Thursday, August 11, 2011

Family Connections

Today we had the opportunity to help sponsor an event for siblings in foster care at local ice rink. Children who have been separated from their biological siblings while in foster care are suppose to be visiting together regularly. A group of several agencies (including ours) have formed a committee to plan quarterly events for these kids. This provides opportunities for them to have fun with their brothers and sisters that they do not get to see from day to day.

The smiles on these kids faces today said a thousand words. One girl kept saying, "My brother this...and my brother that." It was evident she was so proud to be his "little" sister. Social workers at the event described moments where a youth saw a sister or brother walk through the door, elated to see them with long embraces.
To these kids family is family, in spite of  what happened to them.

I want to speak to this idea of family connections when it comes to fostering or adopting...

If you become a foster or adoptive parent it is so important to understand how valuable sibling contact is to a child. Now, there are always exceptions...if a child was harmed by a sibling or are too young or if the social worker finds it is not appropriate for whatever reason.But when you are talking about siblings who grew up together, are conscious and aware of a relationship with one another, you cannot deny that bond. I would encourage foster and even adoptive parents (I know that one is difficult sometimes) to allow your children as many opportunities as possible to keep their sibling/family connections.

A child can never have too many people to love them...really, they can't.

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