Sibling Struggles in Foster Care

The bubbly six year old was showing off his trademark gigantic smile, teasing my 16 year old about how beautiful she was. His effervescent personality had the entire family in stitches. How was it possible that this child could not find a place to call home?

An emergency placement, “Andy” came to us at 1am with his older brother and slept until a caseworker picked him up the following morning. We bid him farewell. Andy was placed in another foster home, but the brother, being a teen, was unable to find a place to live so he came back to stay with us another night. It turns out that Andy had severe separation anxiety and really needed to be with a sibling, so Andy and his older brother came back to us for a long weekend (this was the second time he was placed with us). Fining a place for a teen and a younger sibling together in foster care is VERY difficult, so the older brother was placed in a group home and Andy was sent to another foster family. But, due to his separation anxiety and grief from losing his brothers, he had tantrums and they said he just couldn’t stay. 

All this in one week. 

So, Andy was placed in another emergency/short-term placement with his younger brother this time, but families willing to take siblings are hard to come by. This temporary placement ended so, for the third time, Andy landed back at my house, this time with his younger brother. 

All this in 2 weeks. 

Together with a sibling, he flourished. He was able to be himself again; he could be a child--connecting, laughing, and playing. We had so much fun - building train tracks, going to the zoo, eating LOTS of tacos at Taco Bell. Without a sibling, he was inconsolable. Where did he end up? Did he get to stay with a sibling? I do not know. I wish I knew someone in our county with an open home who could have taken them both. 

Adding a child to your family is hard, and adding more than one is very challenging. Being separated from all those you love though, I cannot even begin to imagine. If you have room in your family to keep a sibling pair together, please consider making a miracle happen for an innocent boy like Andy who wants to be with a brother he loves during his season of crisis. 

-Submitted By Oconee County Foster Mom