The trauma of separation from siblings and its lifelong effects are often overlooked.
Siblings Together aim to help young people in care initiate and continue to have contact with their siblings, helping them to develop strong family bonds and above all achieve an independent and positive place in society supported by their sibling relationships.
Siblings Together provide opportunities for planned, enjoyable, creative and high quality sibling contact, for children living in different care arrangements.
Our residential holiday camps and monthly activity days MADs are most suitable for children & young people aged 7-18 years, although occasionally older siblings are welcomed along to join in some activities, or to assist.
Our Creative Connections programmes are developed for a variety of age groups creating positive experiences for all children in care, not just sibling groups. These programmes include our Annual Young Writer's week held at the Arvon Foundation, film making at The Roundhouse, and drama weeks at The Young Vic Theatre and Questors Theatre. Some of our Creative Connections projects are specifically for 16-25 year olds who are in the careleaver's age group.
Through our work we also influence policy and practice on the issue of sibling family contact.
We champion, build and strengthen relationships between brothers and sisters, aged 7 -18 years, separated by the care system. We use creative activities and skilled adult support to help the young people we work with in rebuilding their sibling relationships, supporting their broader social welfare and emotional well-being.
Our role is to provide the guidance, structure, consistency and opportunities that children and young people should receive within a family but often lose when in care. We also partner with other organisations to influence the policy and practice of those working with looked-after children to encourage a focus on sibling contact. We are committed to working to address the needs of the four out of every five children in care living apart from at least one brother or sister.
Siblings Together became a charity in August 2010 having previously been established as a not for profit limited company in March 2009. Our founder and CEO, Delma Hughes, has worked since 2008 developing the vision and models underlying our work. She is informed by more than 20 years of professional experience as an Art Therapist working with looked-after children as well as by personal experience of separation from her own siblings in the care system.
Today, we have a lively annual programme of opportunities for siblings. The residential summer camps, which have been the cornerstone of Siblings Together’s work since its conception, have gone from strength to strength as we continue to implement and develop our tried and tested camp model and to expand the number of camps available to siblings.
In addition to camps, Siblings Together has developed a range of other initiatives to encourage sustained positive contact between siblings. We have piloted and developed a Monthly Activity Day programme and a Buddying Scheme which provide an opportunity for regular sibling contact. Our development of the Monthly Activity Days provides a model for supporting siblings that can be applied throughout the country. Our Buddying Scheme is run in partnership with Family Action and is being researched by Oxford University.
We also organise a range of other educational and creative activities such as our theatre workshops at The Young Vic Theatre and Questors Theatre and our Young Writer's Weeks held in partnership with Arvon, which encourage positive learning of new creative and educational skills, vital for professional development.