TACT is not convinced that proposals to split up sibling groups for adoption will reduce perceived delays. The presumption will rightly remain that an attempt should be made to keep siblings together. If a later decision is made to split them up then it will then take additional time to attempt to match with new families. Other options, such as focussing adoption recruitment on families able to take sibling groups, or public sector assistance with funding to allow home improvement or extensions would also help if there are difficulties in finding families for siblings.
Ultimately, we feel that these proposals once again reflect the Government's belief that adoption should be proritised over other care options. Long term fostering, for example, can be just as effective in helping young people in care achieve their potential. If a long term foster placement avoids the need to separate siblings then it should be considered in preference to adoption.
Separation from siblings, especially for older children, will be extremely traumatic for children who have already experienced separation from their birth families. It should be avoided if possible. TACT's "Aspirations" research shows that nearly 90 percent of our own young people described their relationship with their brothers or sisters as "very important". This is hardly surprising as our relationships with our siblings are likely to be the only life long relationships we have.
If there are difficulties between siblings, skilled theraputic support needs to be available to resolve relationship issues at an early point when children are first separated from parents as this may reduce the need to separate them at a later point.
- Read the article 'End presumption that siblings in care should be kept together, Narey says' published online in Children & Young People Now on Friday 20 July 2012
- For more information please contact Gareth Crossman on 020 8695 8120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org