Sibling Separation: Learning from Those with Former Foster Care Experiences

Armeda Stevenson Wojciak, Olivia Tomfohrde, Jessica E Simpson, Jeffrey Waid

Sibling relationships of youth in foster care are often complicated as many youth are separated from their sibling(s) at one point or another. Quantitative studies have identified ways in which sibling placement influences youth outcomes.

Fewer qualitative studies have been conducted to understand youth perspectives about their sibling relationships. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine sibling relationships and sibling separation amongst adults with prior foster care experience. Thematic analysis indicated two overarching themes: ‘Sibling Separation was Common’ and ‘Effects of Sibling Separation’. Each theme was comprised of multiple sub-themes that are discussed in detail and explored through an ambiguous loss lens. Recommendations and implications for supporting sibling relationships for youth in care are provided.

The British Journal of Social Work