Prioritizing Family and Keeping Siblings Together in Foster Care

We believe in the importance of providing a sense of family. That’s why we prioritize sibling bonds and offer an alternative to traditional foster care.

Alternative to traditional foster care

SOS Illinois’ Siblings Foster Care Program

Up to 75% of sibling groups in foster care are separated. The Sibling Foster Care program at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois centers on providing sibling groups the opportunity to live and grow together in the safety of a nurturing and intentional community environment. They remain as a family unit in the care of one of our full-time, professional Foster Parents and are supported by Village care staff and team members.

The importance of sibling bonds is something very close to our mission at SOS Illinois. That’s why we recently asked you to consider your own precious sibling bonds and share them with us. Community is, after all, another pivotal part of our model of care. We benefit from the support of everyone involved inside and outside of our Villages.

As a community we are committed to helping each child and sibling group thrive. It is a great honor to see these moments of growth and possibility. This is a mere glimpse at the inspiration the children in our care share with us.

Meet Rafael: A Dedicated Student and Older Brother

Keeping siblings together in foster care

Rafael and three of his brothers came to SOS Illinois when Rafael was fifteen. At that time, Rafael and his siblings had faced difficult periods of neglect, poverty, and even homelessness.

When Rafael came to SOS Illinois, he was at a point where he felt little motivation to seek academic success or think about his future. Rafael remembers feeling distrustful and without hope: “I didn’t have trust in anyone or faith that my life would become anything more than the suffering I was already enduring emotionally and mentally.”

Since Rafael and his brothers came to SOS Illinois three years ago, their transformation has been a privilege to witness. For Rafael, especially, the turn in his story has been a true joy to watch: he is graduating high school at the top ten percent of his class, as a participant in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and as a winner of a full-ride college scholarship from The Posse Foundation. This foundation asks all high schools in the city of Chicago to nominate ten students who demonstrate exceptional academic merit. After a rigorous nomination and interview process, Rafael earned the scholarship, beating out close to 3,000 other applicants.

Rafael recently shared his story at a gala event and thanked his SOS Illinois Foster Parents, Tony and Camen Moyet, for providing stability, patience, encouraging his independence, and going above and beyond for him and his brothers. Rafael also made a point to thank his younger brothers “who have stuck with me through thick and thin my whole life and are what motivate me to do what I do.”

A Community Dedicated to Seeing Siblings Thrive

Success stories like Rafael’s inspire us to continue doing our utmost to improve the care and resources in our Villages. That would not be possible without the involvement of our extended community of partners and supporters and our dedicated Foster Parents.

Rafael recognizes his Foster Parents for their role in helping him find direction and success. Meet the Moyets and hear how truly committed they are as caregivers and nurturers to sibling groups in foster care, here.

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