Tips To Encourage A Relationship Between Siblings In Foster Care

Posted on: 3 January 2016

The foster care system has children from various backgrounds, including siblings. If you are considering opening your home to siblings, it is important that you do what you can to encourage the children to have a relationship with each other. To help ensure you are on the right path, here is what you need to know. 

Why Is a Relationship Important?

Whether you have siblings in your home or just one of a sibling group, maintaining a connection between them is important. If the children are in your home, they are more likely to feel safer with their siblings in place for support. They might also have less behavioral and emotional problems because they have a familial connection with someone in the home. 

Siblings that are separated can experience a range of emotions, including a feeling of loss if they are not with their siblings. The children might even attempt to run away because they want to be reunited with their siblings. 

What Can You Do?

One option you have as a foster parent is to take in a sibling group. Siblings are often separated because agencies cannot find one family willing to take care of all of them. By taking them in, you can provide all of the siblings with the stability they need. 

If the other siblings have already been placed with foster families or are not in foster care, you can inform the caseworker that you are willing to take in any of the siblings if the need arises. Circumstances can quickly change and if the agency already knows you are willing, they are more likely to place the child with you if there is room in your home. 

Even if you are unable to take in the entire sibling group in your home, you can take steps to help them maintain relationships with each other. For instance, you can plan play dates and family outings with the other children. 

The children should also be allowed to communicate with each other by phone, email, and chat. Help them establish accounts that they can use solely for that purpose. If you have safety concerns, talk with them about how to use the Internet safely when the accounts are set up. 

Encouraging a relationship between siblings can not only be beneficial to them, but also to you. The connection can lead to children who are more willing to blend into your household and who are happier. Consult with Braley & Thompson Inc or other foster care services to find other ways to encourage a relationship between the siblings.