To download our report on sibling separation, click here: Torn Apart
HOW R U SIS/BRO? TEXT IS NOW THE PREFERRED WAY FOR ADULT SISTERS AND BROTHERS TO KEEP IN TOUCH.
The findings of a survey into what adults really think about their sibling relationships. Survey published to highlight 70% of siblings in UK care system are separated.
Text is the most common way for adult brothers and sisters to keep in touch today. It was cited by 40% of respondents of a survey of adult brothers and sisters carried out by the charity, Siblings Together, as the most likely means they would use to contact each other.
Nearly a third (30%) said they most likely get in touch by telephone, 13% would message each other via a social network like Facebook or Twitter and 8% would use email. Just 9% said they would meet face-to-face if they were to contact their siblings tomorrow.
The importance of sibling relationships was highlighted by the survey, which found that respondents thought that having a brother or sister helped them prepare better for life. Three in four of those polled (75%) said that having a sibling helped them make friends with other people more easily, 71% said it helped them in their adult relationships, 69% said it helped with deal better with school life and nearly a half (49%) said it helped them in their work life.
Other key findings of the survey were:
• 20% of siblings say they keep in touch daily in adult life, 36% stay in touch at least once a week and 29% stay in touch at least once a month. Only 15% stay in touch less frequently.
• 11% of siblings would most like to see their sisters or brothers by spending holidays together, 12% said meeting on their birthdays and 8% said spending their Christmas’s or similar religious festivals together.
• Days spent together at home (56%) and family holidays (35%) were cited as the most precious memories of their sibling relationships in childhood.
• Asked if they were to meet their sibling tomorrow, ‘what would they most like to do?’, 37% said they would like to go out for lunch or dinner, 33% would just like to meet for a chat and 13% would just like to meet each other’s families.
Siblings Together, a charity which champions the interests of brothers and sisters separated in the care system, undertook the survey to highlight the fact that approximately 70% of children placed in the UK care system today are separated from their sisters and brothers simply because they have been placed into care. The survey findings are contained in a report produced today by Siblings Together entitled ‘Torn Apart’ which aims to highlight this issue and the emotional and physical cost it represents.
Nearly three quarters of those polled in the Siblings Together survey did not know that this was the current situation, 95% said that, as a nation, something should be done to rectify this and 88% said that if they had been separated from their siblings in childhood, they would have described this as a ‘traumatic’ experience.
In its report ‘Torn Apart’ Siblings Together has quantified the cost of sibling separation in more detail. It concluded:
• There are approximately 40,000 children in care now who are living separated from brothers and sisters who are also in care, and a further 4,000 children entering care and separated from siblings each year.
• Over a third (34%) of children separated will rarely if ever see their siblings again.
• If just over a third of children in care separated from their siblings fall into the NEET category (i.e. not in employment, education or training), which is in line with the national average, then Siblings Together estimates cost to the UK economy of this separation could be in excess of £800 million.
Commenting on the publication of the survey, Delma Hughes, CEO of Siblings Together, who was herself placed in care as a child and separated from her brothers and sisters, concluded: “The trauma of separation and its lifelong effects are often overlooked. For me, the key finding of this survey is that adults think that having a sibling has prepared them better for life in terms their ability to deal with school life, in making friends more easily, in forging adult relationships and even in their work life. Depriving children of the fantastic base having a sibling relationship provides can greatly disadvantage a child’s life prospects and we must stop this happening.”
For further information contact:
Siblings Together Charity Head Office
351 Southwark Park Road
London SE16 2JW
Telephone: 0207 394 8708
Note to editors:
Research methodology: The survey was carried out online via a Suverymonkey questionnaire. 287 adults participated in the survey.
Siblings Together is a UK-based charity that promotes positive contact between brothers and sisters separated in foster care, kinship care, residential care, or adoption. Copies of the Siblings Together report ‘Torn Apart’ can be downloaded from its website: www.siblingstogether.org.uk