Seldom seen sibling support : exploring the changing experiences of siblings in Scottish residential childcare services

Morris, Mary (2022) Seldom seen sibling support : exploring the changing experiences of siblings in Scottish residential childcare services. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 21 (2). ISSN 2976-9353

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The Promise, published in February 2020, outlined the findings of Scotland's Independent Care Review. The review heard evidence from over 5,500 care experienced children and adults, where being separated from siblings was identified as one of the most serious and negative consequences of going into care. The Promise has called for radical changes in how Scotland supports children and families, with family, scaffolding, voice, and people being integral to moving forward differently. One of the foundations for family is recognising the importance of sibling relationships for care experienced children and young people. The Promise outlines that children should as far as possible be supported to live with their families, but if that is not possible children must stay with their brothers and sisters when safe to do so. If they are not able to live with each other then they must be supported to keep in touch and be a part of each other's lives. The Scottish Government has committed to implementing the recommendations of the Promise. The rights of brothers and sisters to grow up together and stay connected throughout their childhood so they have enduring bonds are being recognised through changes in legislation, guidance, and practice. Residential workers are embracing this and making a real difference to children's experiences with an emphasis on promoting their sibling relationships. This article outlines some of the work that is happening and explores how residential childcare can continue to support children and young people in their relationships with brothers and sisters.

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