Sibling Visitation in Foster Care

646 Words Feb 20th, 2018 3 Pages
Hegar (2005) states that “since the decades when orphans trains carried children westward, placement of siblings has been a child welfare issue” (p.719). Studies have noted the inadequate number of siblings in foster care being placed together date back as far as 1921 (Theis and Goodrich, 1921). Research and legislative efforts to address the problem of separation of siblings in foster care have intensified (Hegar, 1988). The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 has been instrumental in increasing legislation, specifically addressing the issue of sibling placements at the state level (Heger, 2005). Until recently, there has been little attention given to basic issues regarding siblings in out-of-home care (McCormick, 2010, p.198). There are many reasons as to why this should be important to child welfare researchers and policy makers. “Sibling relationships are an integral part of childhood and continued development and these sibling relationships can serve as a source of protection and healing throughout their journey in out of home care” (Cicirelli, 1995).
Siblings in foster care who are separated often have infrequent contact with one another. This separation causes disconnection and isolation and subjects’ youth to additional trauma. Those who make the decision to separate siblings need to be held more accountable for not ensuring that siblings…
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