Today is National Sibling Day, and if you have siblings, you know the important role they play in your life. There is not a lot about childhood that siblings don't share: They are your first friends, the people who know you best and oftentimes your closest confidants.
For children in foster care, siblings are perhaps even more important. Maintaining a close relationship with siblings can help aid healing for children in care. When a child is removed from his or her home, it is a traumatic experience, regardless of the situation they left. When they are separated from their siblings, that trauma is intensified.
"Often, siblings are all [children in foster care] have left of their past. They are all each other have left," shared Cristian Garcia, Buckner regional director of foster care and adoption in West Texas/Rio Grande Valley.
Research shows that siblings placed together experience a lower risk of failed placements, which in turn leads to fewer moves. They also often feel more secure, enabling an easier adjustment to a new family and new community. Siblings are the only ones who truly understand and share their experiences, which can help them heal and make sense of their new lives.
Foster families willing to care for multiple children – from two siblings to six or more – are one of the greatest needs we have at Buckner. While it may seem daunting at first to consider taking a placement of siblings, it is of paramount importance to the children and to their journey of healing.
"There have been multiple families in West Texas recently who intended on adopting one child, but said 'yes' to a sibling group, a great example of the selflessness of those who are called to serve with Buckner," Garcia said. "It's so important to ensure those precious connections with siblings remain in place."
If you're interested in learning more about foster care or adoption, or would like to learn more about fostering or adopting siblings, visit buckner.org/fostercare.