Siblings in Foster Care

foster youth.jpg The basis of many a great hard-luck novel surrounds the young hero who struggles to keep his orphaned sibilings together. Unfortunately, whether it is Ireland in the 19th century or New Hampshire in 2006, authorities too often fail to concern themselves with keeping together families in need. This issue of Youth Today focuses on emerging state legislation and private programs working to shift this tide.

It includes a wide-array of promising approaches including:

Camp to Belong which forms partnerships with residential campsights to hold six-day gatherings for foster siblings

Project Visitation through which volunteers facilitate monthly visits among separated siblings

Neighbor to Family which hires professional foster care parents willing to accept siblings and be held accountable (I'm assuming more accountable than what is legislated by practices in the states.)

When reading these solutions, one can't help but be struck by the need for donors willing to tackle policy efforts that require states to consider the needs of sibliings. Private efforts are greatly appreciated, but always struggle with scale and sustainability. Only policy gets to the root of this clear social need, but philanthropy in this area has to happen on a state-by-state basis and, because it is often fraught with challenges, is not for the faint of heart. But what about foster care reform is?

Susan Herr

Posted at 7:47 AM, Aug 27, 2007 in Youth | Permalink | Comment