A Tool for Lawyers
- Executive Summary
- Talking Points for Trial Counsel
- Sample Motion for Sibling Joint Placement
- Sample Motion for [Increased] Sibling Visitation
- State Statues requiring or encouraging placement of siblings together
- Lived experience perspectives on sibling separation in foster care
Social science research has found that children removed from their parents generally experience better outcomes when placed with siblings after removal from their parents:
- Separating siblings heightens trauma and damages children’s mental health.
- Separating siblings leads to identity-formation problems and a lost sense of stability and belonging.
- Placing siblings together reduces trauma caused by removal from parents.
- Placing siblings together increases the chances of reunification with parents.
- Placing siblings together increases the chances that children will be adopted.
- Placing siblings together decreases the likelihood of placement disruptions.
- Siblings in foster care may also look to each other as a unique source of support and help.
- Placing siblings together reduces depression, self-blame, and anxiety.
- Keeping siblings together improves each child’s educational competence and reduces behavioral issues in the classroom.
- Keeping siblings together improves adulthood social skills.
Social Science Research has found that if siblings cannot be placed together, children’s best interests are served by frequent visitation:
- Maintaining sibling relationships requires regular contact when they are not placed together.
- Children desire more contact with siblings after separation.
- Frequent sibling visitation leads to better mental health, social competence and sense of stability and belonging.
- Frequent sibling contact leads to better financial circumstances later in life.