Biological Siblings in Foster/Adoptive/Kinship Households

For this week’s Coalition Connection, we are focusing on a specific group of individuals who are not as commonly discussed when considering the family system with a foster, adoptive, or kinship placement: biological siblings.

Biological siblings are the children and/or youth who were already part of the home when a new member joins their family through kinship care, foster care, or adoption. Sometimes, these individuals can also be identified as “adoptive” or “foster” siblings. However, the terms are often interchanged depending on the person’s preference. Currently, limited research and information about these siblings can make it difficult for caregivers to understand how to best support their loved ones in this new family system.

Despite this lack of public knowledge, the Coalition is thankful to have a featured resource perfect for those who need an introductory understanding of biological children and how they interconnect within their family dynamics: “What About My Other Children? Learning to See & Meet the Needs of Adoptive Siblings.” Presenter Jana Hunsley, Ph.D., LCSW, a biological sibling, uses her personal story, along with several hundred other siblings’ experiences from those who participated in her research studies, to help gain a better comprehension of the roles formed and the impacts that may take place after a new member is added to a family system. This Champion Classrooms webinar does an incredible job of opening families’ minds to understanding common themes the siblings’ experiences share, how the caregiver’s and foster, kinship, or adopted child’s relationships can influence the family dynamics, and what strategies can be used to improve and help make this family system thrive.

If you or your family need additional information or support, please reach out to the Coalition Resource Team.

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