Home In Your Community Siblings In Foster Care are Better Together

Siblings In Foster Care are Better Together

Affectionate caring young parents sitting on floor carpet with little joyful children siblings, playing toys together at home. Happy caucasian family with small kids involved in weekend game indoors.

By Kevin Scott

You may be surprised to learn that a  significant number of sibling groups in foster care are separated at some point during their time in foster care. Now imagine their surprise. On the same day that these children are finding out they are not returning to their home, to their parents, and sometimes even to their school or community, these already traumatize kids also are told that they are not being placed with their brothers and sisters. No child should have to receive this news. That is why Goshen Homes believes that siblings are better together.

One of four agencies at The Goshen Valley Foundation, Goshen Homes is a non-profit child placement agency based in Canton, Georgia. Goshen Homes recruits, trains, licenses, and supports foster parents working with sibling groups in foster care. The organization focuses on helping children in the foster care system by collaborating with the community to provide children with a better life and more substantial outcomes. Goshen Homes is committed to serving sibling groups, as they believe that siblings in foster care shouldn’t be separated.

Research shows that positive relationships between siblings brings less loneliness, higher self-worth, and fewer behavioral problems for children in foster care. When siblings are allowed to remain together, it brings a sense of safety and well-being. Siblings in foster care not only care for one another, but they provide mutual support and opportunities for each other to heal while maintaining their feelings of belonging.

How you can help
Goshen Homes logoBecoming a foster parent can be a scary process, and Goshen’s job is to make it as simple and straightforward as possible. On the previous page, you will see Goshen Homes’ Four Steps to Fostering, and you also can learn more by downloading their fostering guide at FosterWithGoshen.org. The organization’s aim is to let potential foster parents know what to expect when fostering with Goshen. A few other things that set them apart are:

Licensing speed. For families who turn in paperwork quickly, Goshen can go from interest meeting to having a sibling group placed in your home in less than six months.

Training. All Goshen Homes foster parents are trained in “Together Facing the Challenge,” an evidence-based therapeutic foster care model. This training equips you to understand and best help the children placed in your home.

Support. Goshen Homes maintains a case management ratio of 11 youth per case manager. This means their team will have adequate time to help no matter what challenges you may face.

By becoming a foster parent, you will join a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to improving the lives of siblings in foster care. If you or someone you know have the desire to make a difference in the lives of children and are interested in learning more about the foster care process, contact Kevin Scott at Kscott@goshenvalley.org, or download Goshen’s Fostering Guide at FosterWithGoshen.org.

Four Steps to Fostering

Info Session — The first step in fostering with Goshen is a simple Zoom call or meeting with one of our staff. This is when you can get your initial questions answered and meet some of the staff who will be supporting you along your journey.

Complete Training — IMPACT foster parent training equips you with the tools you will need as a foster parent. In each session, you’ll also collaborate with other new foster parents. In the end, you will walk away prepared to begin your fostering journey with Goshen Homes.

Get Licensed — The licensing stage is where we diligently ensure your home and family is ready in every aspect for the challenges and blessings fostering can bring. Goshen Homes staff will walk you through paperwork and home preparations to complete your licensing.

Start Fostering — Your paperwork is turned in. Your training is completed. Your home is licensed. Now it’s time to start fostering! Your support from Goshen Homes doesn’t end here. You’ll be equipped with continuous training and on­call staff support along the way.

Learn more at FosterWithGoshen.org.

Meet Destiny
Destiny’s life is forever changed because of her Goshen Homes foster parents.

IYC DestinyDestiny came to Goshen Homes in 2021 where she was placed into a foster home with her siblings. In school, Destiny was told that she was too far behind in classes to graduate with her 2022 class.

With the support of her foster parents, Destiny rose up to the challenge and worked hard to complete all of her classes on time to graduate.

“They are like my biological parents. I call them mom and dad; my little siblings call them mom and dad,” Destiny says.

Destiny’s plan is to go into law enforcement and serve on an EMT unit. Her heart is for serving and helping those who may be in a similar situation to what she was in not long ago.

What’s different about fostering with Goshen?
Goshen Homes foster parents get licensed quicker, receive more support from case managers with smaller case sizes, and receive the best training possible to equip them to create great outcomes for the youth in their homes!

How much room do I need in my house to foster? Foster youth of the same gender can share a bedroom, so as long as you have one open bedroom, you can foster with Goshen.

How many kids would I have to foster with Goshen? 75% of siblings get separated during their time in foster care, and part of our mission is to help siblings stay together. Because of this, all Goshen Homes foster parents commit to placements of two or more children.

Can I foster if I am renting a house or apartment? Yes! Home ownership is not a requirement for fostering with Goshen.

What counties do you work with? Goshen licenses foster homes located in Cherokee, Cobb, Bartow, Paulding, and Pickens Counties.

What is respite foster care? A respite foster parent gets fully licensed to foster, but rather than having children placed in their home full-time, they serve as a temporary placement. This scheduling is done at the availability of the respite parent and often consists of date nights for the primary foster parent, emergency coverage, or special events. Respite parents often describe their role as being “cool aunt or uncle” to a foster child.

Can single people foster? Yes! Some of our best foster parents are single, especially many of our respite parents.

I have other questions. Who should I contact to get answers? Email questions to Kscott@goshenvalley.org.

Learn more at FosterWithGoshen.org.

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