Sibling relationships can be one of the most enduring and important relationships children can have. Maintaining connections between siblings when they are living separately in out-of-home care can be challenging particularly when there is significant geographical distance between them, age gaps or poor communication between the adults in their lives such as carers and caseworkers.
Caseworkers can support sibling relationships through
- Accurate identification and records of sibling connections early on
- Supporting co-placement
- Helping siblings to stay in touch when they live separately
- Communicating and planning with caseworkers of siblings
- Facilitating relationships between children’s different carers
- Creating opportunities for shared experiences and memories
The Linking Lives resource suggests ways caseworkers can promote ‘linked lives’ for siblings so they can be part of their ‘social convoy’ over their lifespan.