Siblings in Foster Care

If you have siblings, think about all of the memories you share with them from when you were younger. Watching cartoons, walking to the bus stop, maybe sneaking a snack out of the kitchen, even bickering on car rides or arguing over who broke something in the house.

Did you know that approximately two-thirds of children in foster care in the United States have a sibling in care? Especially for children entering foster care, their siblings share a special bond with them. For many, their siblings were the support system for them through an abusive or neglectful situation.

Now imagine leaving your home, being separated from your parents; and then, on top of everything, getting separated from your siblings, one of the only constants who you shared your life with.

Why Do Siblings Get Separated?

Unfortunately, many foster parents don’t have the space in their home for multiple children. Even those that have space may not want to take on the responsibility of multiple children, or aren’t comfortable with some of the siblings ages or needs. While child services will always do everything they can to keep siblings together, they unfortunately can’t always find homes to take on siblings.

What Happens When Siblings Stay Together?

Siblings who are placed in the same foster home together typically have fewer moves from home to home, probably because they are facing some comfort in their homes and able to focus on settling in. They have better grades and more emotional stability. Siblings who are placed together are also associated with better permanency outcomes and are more likely to leave foster care together than if they are separated.

What Happens When Siblings Are Separated?

When siblings get placed in different homes, some are able to move together later, or visit each other frequently. However, many children are not reunited with their siblings. These kids are more stressed without their siblings, and are more likely to run away or have to switch homes due to behavioral issues. They are also less likely to reunite with their siblings after leaving foster care.

What Can I Do To Help?

If you’re interested in fostering, give us a call or email today at 703.817.9890 or info@fcsva.org! You can learn more about the support you can get from our case management and our team here at For Children’s Sake. You can also email or call to learn more about our donation needs. Taking multiple siblings on at one time can create a lot of financial stress on a home, and donating clothes, games, toiletries, and more can make a huge change!

Thanks to AdoptUSKids and ChildWelfare.Gov for the statistics!