Siblings In Foster Care


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Project Dates:  8/18/2009 - 2/28/2014

Mission Statement

The purpose of Supporting Siblings in Foster Care is to find out whether working with siblings and foster parents to develop relationship-building skills can help siblings get along better, improve school success, and improve their overall quality of life.

Project Goals:

  1. Evaluate our program which has been designed to help siblings strengthen their relationships with one another whether they're living together in the same foster placement or apart;
  2. Provide foster parents with opportunities to learn parenting strategies that have been developed specifically to help youth in care do well in school and successfully solve problems; and
  3. Evaluate how siblings are doing in various areas of their lives, including well-being at home, school, in their sibling relationships and their general quality of life.

This information will be used to help us better understand the unique challenges and experiences for siblings in foster care as well as learning how we might improve the foster care system.

How It Works:

All siblings involved in Supporting Siblings in Foster Care:

  • Have the opportunity to participate in special sibling events put on by community partners
  • Provide important information about being in foster care and being a sibling
  • Receive gift cards for periodically answering questions about their experiences

In addition, half of the siblings in the project are randomly assigned to receive:

  • Weekly coaching around relationship-building, problem solving, cooperation, self-determination and connecting with adult allies
  • 4 opportunities to practice newly learned skills out in the community by participating in fun sibling-planned activities

All foster parents involved in Supporting Siblings in Foster Care:

  • Are invited to attend 4 Parent Management Training sessions geared specifically towards adults parenting youth in foster care
  • Have access to additional support and training resources both online and over the phone with our facilitators
  • Receive gift cards or pay for periodically answering questions about their experiences


  • Older sibs must be within 11-15 years of age and the younger sib must be no more than 4 years younger than the older sib.
  • DHS must be the legal guardian for at least one of the siblings at the time of consent.
  • Siblings must reside within Multnomah, Clackamas, and/or Washington Counties.

Additional Information

  • What's so interesting about siblings?
     - Most youth in foster care have at least one sibling also in foster care.
     - About half of youth in care are placed apart from their siblings when entering foster homes.
  • Why SIBS?
     - Sometimes a sibling is the only constant, stable thing in your life when everything else is changing.
     - That doesn't mean that it's always easy to be a sib. Even when you live together, you might not always get along.
  • We focus on youth (like you!) to find out how to help sibs spend more time together, support each other, and have fun!