TACT welcomes the new changes coming into force with the Children (Scotland) Act, giving siblings in Scotland a greater say and more rights to family life.
From Monday 26th July, local authorities will have a duty to place siblings with the same foster carer, where appropriate. If this is not possible, siblings must be placed in homes which are near to each other. Local authorities must also actively promote personal relations and direct contact between siblings.
Brothers and sisters will also be given a voice in decision-making, having the right to participate in children’s hearings. Local authorities must seek out and consider the views of siblings before making any decision about a child.
The changes are a step towards achieving the Promise laid out by the Independent Care Review, which pledged to ensure the voices of children and young people in care are heard and that sibling relationships are protected.
TACT has long campaigned for the rights of siblings to stay together, and is a member of Stand up for Siblings, which champions the rights of siblings in Scotland. Siblings Reunited, a fellow member of Stand up for Siblings, has produced a video to mark the occasion, which you can view here.
Research has shown that many siblings in care experience separation, despite the vast majority expressing a desire to stay together. Separation from siblings has been linked to poorer child well-being and lower placement stability.
TACT foster carer, Linda: “They should be together in order to have their family with them, helping with their identity and security, so they are not worrying about each other, so they can feel safe together.”
TACT needs more carers with the capacity to care for sibling groups. If you have room in your home and your heart to help vulnerable children then please consider enquiring to become a foster carer with TACT. You can find out more information about fostering and how to apply here.
TACT Scotland has more than 20 foster families caring for siblings. All of them have told us that fostering siblings is very rewarding. You can read stories from some of them here: