Course Summary

Why do so many foster youth lose connections with their siblings? Is there anything you can do to help them stay connected? And why is it such a big deal, anyway? This course will explore the profound impact of sibling relationships on young people in foster care and provide ideas foster parents can use to reconnect or strengthen a sibling bond.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • young people's perspective about the impact of sibling separation
  • benefits to placing siblings together
  • strategies and best practice for maintaining sibling bonds
  • how foster parents can support sibling relationships

Step 1

Watch the video ReMoved (Part 2) that portrays Zoey’s journey through foster care and the effect the separation from her younger brother has on her experience:

Step 2

Explore research, intervention strategies, and resources to assist in preserving connections among siblings by reading "Sibling Issues in Foster Care and Adoption", from the Child Welfare Information Gateway (2013).

Step 3

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Anthony Reeves, who provides valuable youth perspective about why sibling connections are important.

Step 4

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

Imagine a child you have fostered, or any child that you know, ten years from now. How would you expect their relationship with a sibling to look? How will they depend on each other?

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Course Discussion

vmburk's picture

vmburk said:

I recently fostered 2 boys separated from their younger sister They missed her every day Luckily they are now reunited
dominque austin's picture

dominque austin said:

depending on the circumstances i believe that siblings should no be seperated
kathy36's picture

kathy36 said:

I think siblings are better kept together
Michelle.rowe1221's picture

Michelle.rowe1221 said:

My hope for them would be that they have a caring loving sibling relationship. That they are able to stay close.
mrwieneke's picture

mrwieneke said:

We have been fostering, with plan to adopt, a sibling pair since November of 2015. It has been such a blessing to watch them grow together, bond together, and see their love for each other grow since being placed with us. They truly rely on each other's presence, and you can tell a difference when they are not together at the same time due to doctor's appointments or therapy etc. I could not imagine the impact on each precious child if they were not in the same home, and strongly advocate for any set to stay together if at all possible, not only for the short-term, but for permanency of a relationship with siblings as they continue to grow.
Blair's picture

Blair said:

Current placement - I can picture their relationship being very close, with a protective older brother continuing to look after a younger sister, and with him deriving a sense of purpose and responsibility in doing this as well as it contributing to her well being. Unless they are separated. Based on what we see in our home, younger sister would probably form close attachments and move on happily, with her brother becoming far less important to her if separated, as long as she were cared for and loved by others. Though while in the birth home I believe older sibling was more important to younger - keeping her safe, providing nurturing etc, I believe that here in foster care and out of a negligent situation that has flipped - the younger sibling now being more important to the older for security and stability. At this time I believe the negative impact from being separated would be far greater for the older sibling. I hope this never happens.
Blair's picture

Blair said:

Current placement - I can picture their relationship being very close, with a protective older brother continuing to look after a younger sister, and with him deriving a sense of purpose and responsibility in doing this as well as it contributing to her well being. Unless they are separated. Based on what we see in our home, younger sister would probably form close attachments and move on happily, with her brother becoming far less important to her if separated, as long as she were cared for and loved by others. Though while in the birth home I believe older sibling was more important to younger - keeping her safe, providing nurturing etc, I believe that here in foster care and out of a negligent situation that has flipped - the younger sibling now being more important to the older for security and stability. At this time I believe the negative impact from being separated would be far greater for the older sibling. I hope this never happens.
shankennedy's picture

shankennedy said:

My current foster son is the middle child. I've had him for 2 years now and I know it's going to come to a termination. I hope, for his future, that we can continue a relationship with his siblings. They are not healthy together, but they are still family and I need him to keep those family ties but once he's older and is able to understand boundaries.
nryan206's picture

nryan206 said:

The bond of the siblings will keep a connection to their biological family ties. Where each sibling (in our case) has gone into different placements and had their own experience of a foster/adopted family, keeping connected to their siblings help retain a connection to their biological family, and possibly other extended family members.
kpettie's picture

kpettie said:

While I have not yet fostered/adopted a child with a sibling I understand the very strong bonds that can exist due to my own experience. I so greatly value my siblings, even more in adulthood, and this lesson strengthened my desire to ensure that any child in my care has the opportunity to have a strong bond with their siblings.