Reconnecting Siblings in Foster Care
Ashoka Fellow, Colorado, USA
Year- round, Lynn is approaching the issue of sibling separation through a multi-pronged strategy, working on legislation, public relations, and disseminating best practices within the foster care system. 26 states are now passing or evaluating laws regarding sibling relationships. In Colorado, Lynn served as the spokesperson for a coalition that introduced House Bill 1108, requiring court documentation of efforts made to avoid separating siblings placed in foster care. She was also instrumental in encouraging the unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate for a National Sibling Connection Day resolution. Because little data is available, the Sibling Connection Initiative (SCI), which works to prevent sibling separation, is collecting data comparing separated siblings to other youth aging out of the foster care system and is conducting a follow-up study on CTB campers and the support of volunteers.When children are removed from fractured families and placed into foster care, siblings are often separated and lose touch with each other. Of the 580,000 youth in foster care in the U.S., 75% are separated from at least one sibling. Lynn Price founded Camp to Belong (CTB) in 1995 to reunite siblings and reform the child welfare system. In the child welfare system, there is a focus on rehabilitating parents to unite families, but little attention is given to the significance of the sibling bond and the connection between brothers and sisters while separated through foster care placements. Lynn is targeting this gap in the system. CTB provides an environment at summer camps where siblings can reconnect, establishing relationships and lasting positive memories.
As an internationally recognized speaker, author, consultant and advocate, Lynn is changing the landscape of foster care in America .
- U.S. Foster Care System
- Siblings in Child Welfare