05 March 2019

Sibling co-placement and contact in out-of-home care and open adoption

This paper discusses evidence on sibling co-placement for children in out-of-home care and those who are adopted.  Sibling co-placement can be a protective factor for children in permanent care and adoption, but co-placement is limited by available carers who will take sibling groups.  Caseworkers and carers/adoptive parents have an important role in facilitating contact for separated siblings. Several factors have been found to influence the likelihood of sibling co-placement including differences in the needs of siblings; type of placement, with children most likely to be co-placed in kinship care than other types of care;  behavioural problems (a sibling with a behaviour problem is more likely to be removed); and agency factors, including policies and procedures and adequacy of placement resources and supports.