A Siblings Webinar Event on Tuesday 17 November was one of the highlights of Adoption Week Scotland 2020 as it promoted one of the three main themes – Siblings. You can find out more here.
The focus of the event was to talk about the importance of keeping siblings together when brought into the care of the Local Authority and for the long term regardless whether permanence is with birth family, kinship or away from home. Stressing the importance of keeping sibling relationships central to all children’s plans. Where children could not be placed with their brothers and sisters, the emphasis was placed on promoting and maintaining their relationships.
It was hoped that the event would be attended by those people working to secure permanence for children, those caring for children away from home and to those thinking about becoming permanent carers, whether this be through fostering or adoption. 76 people attended the online event, a substantial number of whom were current or prospective carers.
The event was chaired by Kate Richardson, manager/practitioner of Scotland’s Adoption Register and long-time member of SUFS. Kate was joined by colleagues in SUFS; Dr Christine Jones Strathclyde University – who talked about the research and the resulting outcomes, Anne Begbie City of Edinburgh Council who talked about Lifelong Links and shared the lived experiences of young people, Karen Morrison from STAR Siblings Reunited, who talked about STAR’s focus on bringing brothers and sisters together for family time and Alison Parkinson from Adoption UK Scotland, who joined Chris and Karen in drawing on their experiences of caring for their children, all of whom were adopted as sibling groups.
There was great engagement from those in attendance who contributed to a Q&A for the second half of the evening. It was good to hear from prospective and current adopters from across Scotland raising issues/challenges and seeking guidance about sibling relationships.