Sibling relationships can be critical to children's development and emotional well-being and may be especially crucial when children experience out-of-home placements. Some research suggests that children and youth experience better outcomes when placed with their siblings, and that the sibling bond may promote resilience under adverse conditions. Sibling relationships should be considered at multiple points throughout a case, including removal, out-of-home placement, and placement in a permanent home. The following resources offer strategies that help promote and support sibling connections throughout the permanency process.
Child Visitation with Siblings and Parents (PDF - 1,208 KB)
Connecticut Department of Children and Families & Office for Research and Evaluation (2015)
Analyzes the effects of a Connecticut law that enables siblings separated by the Department of Children and Families who reside in-state and within 50 miles of each other to visit one another a minimum of once per week, unless such frequent visitation is not in the best interest of each sibling.
Engaging, Developing, and Supporting Prospective Families for Sibling Groups
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment
View Abstract and Document
Provides child welfare professionals with tips to help prospective families looking to adopt sibling groups understand the needs of the children waiting to be adopted, develop the necessary skills and a support system, and support ongoing training and learning opportunities.
How Are Child Protection Agencies Promoting and Supporting Joint Sibling Placements and Adoptions?
Casey Family Programs (2020)
Explains how keeping siblings together results in better permanency outcomes, such as greater placement stability, improved mental well-being, and higher rates of reunification. The resource explores barriers to siblings being placed or adopted together and reviews strategies agencies use to achieve joint placements.
Intervening to Improve Outcomes for Siblings in Foster Care: Conceptual, Substantive, and Methodological Dimensions of a Prevention Science Framework
Bank, Blakeslee, Jimenez, Kothari, Lamson-Siu, Linares, McBeath et al. (2014)
Children and Youth Services Review, 39
Synthesizes literature on sibling relationships and the effect on child welfare outcomes as well as presents two examples of intervention research studies targeting sibling relationship quality. The report concludes with implications for child welfare practitioners and researchers.
Neighbor To Family, Inc
Describes a foster care model that focuses on keeping siblings together, engaging families, working with qualified foster caregivers, and providing supports and services to foster and birth families. Examples of services include intensive, family-centered, strength-based, and solution-focused in-home services for families in crisis and substance treatment and addiction recovery services focused on developing an ongoing support system for the substance abuser and family.
Neighbor to Family Sibling Foster Care Model
The California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (2017)
Provides program information, education and training resources, and peer-reviewed research on the Neighbor To Family Sibling model.
Positive Youth Development for Siblings in Foster Care [Video]
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2018)
Explains the influence of positive youth development programming on children in foster care, explains the impact of sibling separation, and describes a camp-based reunification program for siblings.
Practice Principles for the Recruitment and Retention of Kinship, Foster, and Adoptive Families for Siblings (PDF - 189 KB)
Provides information on the importance of keeping siblings together and practice principles and considerations for recruiting families for siblings.
Siblings in Foster Care: Assessment Considerations for Child Welfare Professionals [Video]
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare
Teaches the impact of maintaining sibling connections on child and family development, foster care placement stability, permanency, and well-being. The training module includes considerations for child welfare professionals when working with sibling groups in foster care.