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Sib-Link®

Connecting siblings who are in different foster placements.

 

Nearly two-thirds of the children in the U.S. foster care system have one or more siblings in foster care.

In many States, over half of sibling groups are separated and placed in different homes — even sometimes different counties — as there are not enough foster homes that can take in a full sibling set. In foster care, social service caseworkers help siblings visit each other regularly. Still, some siblings lose touch as placements change and time passes.

30

sibling sets served


240

sibling visits during 2019


Children long for their siblings.

Sib-Link® exists because sibling bonds are crucial to child development and adjustment.

We come alongside social service agencies to enhance monthly visitation. Each month, Sib-Link® provides fun and engaging sibling visits that strengthen lifelong bonds. Sibling groups from two, three, and four different placements gather together to celebrate birthdays and graduations, visit parks and museums, and enjoy each other’s company through monthly outings together.

As children consistently see each other and build lasting memories, their anxiety lessens. Caregivers get to know one another, and barriers fall away. Children who are separated by living arrangements eventually form deeper connections that go beyond the monthly visits and develop into lifelong bonds.

  • Erin
    Sib-Link is VITAL in keeping siblings actively connected to each other during an intense and stressful time. Not only do my children get to see each other and reconnect, for a brief moment they get to forget their circumstances and just be kids together, not "foster kids."
    Erin
    Guardian ad Litem
  • Belle (Age 17)
    The whole experience of Sib-Link has been so positive. Everything in my life has had so much negativity, so this really stands out.
    Belle (Age 17)
  • Jude (Age 16)
    At sibling visits, I feel like we can be ourselves, and we didn’t get that from other people in foster care.
    Jude (Age 16)
  • Markaja
    I was 17 and we were all living in a group home. I left first. It hurt. I felt like that was harder being separate from my siblings than being in the system the whole time.
    Markaja
    Foster Care Alumni
  • Ryan

    This was the best day ever! When can I see him again?

    Ryan
    child, age 5
  • Erinne

    I can’t believe you’re here. I thought I lost you.

    Erinne
    child, age 8
  • Rhonda

    I LOVE Sib-Link® because it connects children with each other and promotes family bonding. Some children lack hope within to propel themselves forward with achieving life’s goals. I feel that Sib-Link® gives them this hope.

    Rhonda
    caseworker

Do you know someone who could benefit from Sib-Link®? Refer them!

If ONE of the children you know lives in or has an open case in one of the counties above, you are encouraged to complete a referral. Anyone can complete a referral for Sib-Link®. This includes case workers, CASA/GALs, foster parents, group home staff, family members, friends, and mentors.

Please include as much information as you know about the child. Once a referral is received, our team will contact the case worker to determine if the children are appropriate for Sib-Link® sibling visits.


Types of Sib-Link® Visits

1In-Person Visits
When siblings do not regularly see each other through family visits, the Fostering Great Ideas team makes monthly visits possible. We arrange the date, location, and activity. We help to transport the children, up to 75 miles from our primary locations. Because at least one other adult is required to be present during the visit, we request case team members (social services team, foster/kinship caregiver, or gal/casa) to also help in transport and supervision. Caregivers are especially encouraged to help organize and participate in Sib-Link visits. Caregivers can receive reimbursement and appreciation gifts for their time and travel.
2Virtual Visits
Video calls between siblings are a fun way for children who are separated in foster care to reconnect. Fostering Great Ideas coordinates regular sibling video calls, providing interactive games and activities.
3 Virtual Birthday Celebrations
When siblings are not able to be together for a birthday celebration, a Sib-Link Virtual Birthday Celebration still allows for fun together. Fostering Great Ideas hosts the video call with interactive games and activities and singing Happy Birthday. The birthday child also receives a gift (via Fostering Great Ideas) from their siblings.

Sib-Link® Events

Sib-Link® Celebrations

Virtual Birthday Visits

Does you know a child or youth in foster care with a Birthday coming up? Will they see their siblings on that special day? If not, would you like to make it happen? A fun, virtual birthday party may be just the ticket for any child longing for siblings.

Our birthday celebration includes a 1-hour interactive virtual visit, complete with a birthday song, card and a gift from their siblings. After the party, we don't just drop the connection. We commit to continuing virtual sibling visits every month, as a supplement to in-person visits, as long as you would like.

Sib-Link Celebrations

Siblings with Santa®

The holiday season can be a hard time for children in foster care who are separated from their families. While many foster parents include children in their own traditions and try to make happy moments together, it is never the same as being at home. To bring children comfort during this time, we put special emphasis into a Christmas sibling gathering.

During Siblings with Santa®, children gather to create new memories with their siblings while doing festive activities. Santa shows up to grant wishes and take pictures with the kids. Gingerbread houses are made, and hot cocoa is sipped. It’s a simple Christmas party that brings joy and cheer at a time that’s usually filled with grief for children separated from their families.

Not only is this my favorite time of year, but being able to tell my brother Merry Christmas in person made it so much more special.

Chris, Sib-Link client

Holidays can be extremely hard for kids who have been separated from their families. So being able to attend an event like Siblings With Santa together creates a memory that these kids will never forget.

Ebony, Sib-Link Program Manager

 

Do you want to know more about Sib-Link®?

Please contact us with any questions you have about this Great Idea, including how you can bring it to your own community.

 
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