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 provides 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 MAD’s 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, siblings too!. Such as our Annual Young Writers week held at the Arvon Foundation, Film Making at The Roundhouse, Drama Weeks at The Young Vic Theater some are specifically for the 16-25 yrs 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 Director, Delma Hughes, had 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 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 it’s 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 which provides 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. We also organise a range of other ‘one-off’ educational and creative activities such as our upcoming theatre project with the Roundhouse Theatre and our Arvon writer’s camp, which encourage positive sibling contact in the context of learning new creative and educational skills.