Keeping Siblings Together: The SOS Illinois Positive Impact

SOS Children’s Villages Illinois places utmost importance on keeping siblings together when it comes to children in foster care.

Approximately two-thirds of US children in foster care also have a sibling in care. More often than not, these siblings are placed in separate foster homes – sometimes never to see one another again – furthering an already extremely difficult and painful situation for these children.

“Separating siblings who have been temporarily or permanently removed from their parents can severely intensify grief and trauma. In some cases sibling separations can be even more traumatic than separation from parents.” – Sharon Connor, Siblings in Out-of-Home Care

The Importance Of Keeping Siblings Together

Research shows that positive relationships between siblings brings less loneliness, higher self-worth, and fewer behavioral problems for children in foster care.

When our youth are allowed to be with their brothers and sisters, it brings a sense of safety and well-being. Siblings in foster care not only care for one another, but they provide mutual support and opportunities for each other to heal while maintaining their feelings of belonging.

The SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Difference

At SOS Illinois, we focus on providing a family unit for all of our children in foster care by keeping siblings together.

We bring an innovative approach to traditional foster care. Our model of care gives children the opportunity to live in a nurturing, stable, single-family home with their brothers and sisters in the care of a full-time, professionally trained Foster Parent in one of our Villages. Children benefit from the stability of remaining with their siblings as well as the support of neighboring SOS Illinois Foster Parents and the entire community.

Here’s what some of the children in our care have to say about the SOS Illinois model of keeping siblings together:

“Living near my siblings means that I can sleep without having to be scared about what’s happening to them. I know that they are safe.” – Candice*, age 12

“Living with [my brother] has impacted his behavior and mine. Having that feeling, knowing I’m doing all I can for my brother, is the best feeling in this world.” – Jonathan*, age 17

“To live with or near my siblings is a good thing because it’s nice to have my sisters and brothers around me, and to be able to grow up with them is a privilege. It’s also a comfort to know that my siblings are safe and are surrounded by people who I know will care for them.” – Analise*, age 15

“Living with my siblings is the best thing that could happen because then we don’t have to separate, and I know that they are safe.” – Mirabella*, age 16

By keeping children in foster care together and united with their siblings, we’re able to provide a much more stable foundation to help nurture and grow our kids.

Looking for ways to help our initiative?

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the children in our care.