Keeping Siblings Together in Foster Care - Lorimer Fostering

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Keeping Siblings Together in Foster Care

Posted on 16th February 2024 by

Foster care is a challenging journey for any child. The upheaval of being placed in a new home, often with strangers, can be traumatic. Amidst such change, siblings can provide a vital source of comfort and stability. Unfortunately, keeping siblings together in foster care isn’t always prioritised or feasible due to various constraints. However, understanding the benefits of maintaining these familial bonds can help advocate for changes that promote sibling unity in foster care.

keeping siblings together

Emotional Support and Stability

Siblings share a unique bond that can provide emotional support during difficult times. In foster care, where children are often grappling with feelings of abandonment, confusion, and fear, having a sibling by their side can significantly alleviate these emotional burdens. The familiar presence of a brother or sister can offer a sense of normalcy and continuity, helping children adjust more easily to their new environment.

Preserving Family Identity and History

Siblings share a collective family history and identity. They understand each other’s backgrounds, family dynamics, and shared experiences. This connection is crucial in preserving a child’s sense of identity. Being placed in separate foster homes can disrupt this continuity, leading to feelings of isolation and loss. Keeping siblings together helps maintain their shared narrative and reinforces their sense of belonging.

Better Behavioral and Academic Outcomes

Research has shown that children placed with their siblings in foster care tend to have better behavioral and academic outcomes. The support and camaraderie between siblings can encourage positive behavior and academic performance. Siblings often look out for each other, provide encouragement, and serve as role models, fostering a healthier developmental environment.

Reducing the Trauma of Separation

The trauma of being removed from their birth home is compounded when siblings are also separated. Each additional loss increases the emotional burden on a child. By keeping siblings together, the foster care system can mitigate some of this trauma, helping children to feel safer and more secure despite the upheaval in their lives.

Facilitating Easier Reunification

When siblings are placed together, it can simplify the process of reunification with their birth families. Coordinating visits and eventual reintegration into the family unit becomes more straightforward, reducing logistical complications and emotional strain. This can be beneficial for the overall reunification process, making it more likely to succeed.

Building Stronger Bonds and Social Skills

Living together allows siblings to continue developing their interpersonal and social skills within a familiar and trusted relationship. They learn to navigate conflicts, share responsibilities, and support each other. These experiences are essential for their social development and can have long-term benefits for their relationships and interactions outside the family unit.

Overcoming Challenges to Sibling Placement

Despite the clear benefits, there are significant challenges to placing siblings together in foster care. These include:

  • Limited Placement Availability: There is often a shortage of foster homes that can accommodate multiple children.
  • Differing Needs: Siblings may have different needs that complicate finding a suitable placement that can cater to all of them.
  • Systemic Issues: Bureaucratic and systemic constraints can hinder efforts to place siblings together.

To address these challenges, several strategies can be employed:

  • Recruiting More Foster Families: Actively recruiting and supporting foster families willing to take in sibling groups can help address the shortage of available homes.
  • Policy Advocacy: Advocating for policies that prioritize sibling placement and provide the necessary resources to support these placements is crucial.
  • Providing Specialized Training: Offering training for foster parents on managing sibling dynamics and addressing the specific needs of sibling groups can improve placement stability and success.


Keeping siblings together in foster care should be a priority for all involved in the child welfare system. Additionally, the emotional, social, and developmental benefits of maintaining these bonds are undeniable. By understanding and addressing the challenges, we can work towards a foster care system that better supports sibling unity, ultimately leading to more positive outcomes for these vulnerable children.

The importance of preserving sibling relationships cannot be overstated. As we strive to create a more compassionate and effective foster care system, let us remember that sometimes, the best way to support a child is to ensure they are not alone in their journey.

Get in Touch

Thank you for reading our blog post about keeping siblings together in foster care. If you live in the North West and are thinking about becoming a Foster Carer, please get in touch. Lorimer Fostering can provide lots of information about fostering and becoming a Foster Carer. You can call, text or WhatsApp Rachael on 07938 575 738; or send an email to If you would prefer us to call you, please submit your details using the form below; and we’ll get back to you soon!

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