Sibling relationships are the longest lasting in most people’s lives.

Siblings Together promotes positive contact between siblings separated through foster, residential, kinship care and adoption. Founded in 2010 by Delma Hughes, an art therapist who grew up in the care system and herself experienced sibling separation, the charity aims to help young people in care to initiate and maintain contact with their siblings.

Why we're here

There are 91,000 children in the UK care system, with approximately 40,000 young people living separately from their brothers and sisters. Siblings Together address this issue through campaigns highlighting this national scandal by actively reuniting siblings to prevent estrangement, loss of family identity and the vital family connections that can support them during and after they leave the care system, when they are most at risk and vulnerable.

Our role is to provide the guidance, structure, consistency and opportunities that children and young people should receive within a family but often lose when in care. We also partner with other organisations to influence the policy and practice of those working with looked-after children to encourage a focus on sibling contact.

About our work

Through the projects and camps we organise, including our Monthly Activity Days (MADs), Siblings Camps, Creative Connections weekends and our ground-breaking Buddying scheme. Our aim is to provide fun, engaging opportunities for young to rekindle and strengthen their sibling relationships. This is critical, given that sibling relationships are the longest lasting in most people’s lives. For children in care, who have experienced significant separation and loss in being denied the support of parents and a family, sibling relationships are even more critical to their life outcomes and future well-being.

We give the young people a chance to bond away from foster carers and social workers, doing fun, creative activities in venues that are engaging and child-centred. This is very different from the often cheerless, windowless rooms where supervised contact between separated siblings usually takes place, often lasting as little as an hour, and as infrequently as once a year. 

In 2016 we ran 4 residential camps, 32 Monthly Activity Days, a 2- day barge trip and a Young Writers’ project. This year we want to continue to grow by reaching many more young people through expansion of all of our siblings’ projects, including more camps, weekend trips and monthly activity days.  With your help we can enable more siblings separated by care to build and maintain family bonds that sustain them long after they leave care.

Simon and Kelly's Story

It was clear the first time Simon* and Kelly* came along to our Monthly Activity Days (MADs), how much they enjoyed being together and how important this time was for them. Simon would start each session asking Kelly about everything she had done in the time since they had last seen each other. They loved taking photos of each-other and making their scrap books as they had no pictures together before coming to our Monthly Activity Days.

During the first 3 months, the siblings hardly let go of each-others hand but then, during their 4th session, they had an argument. Nothing major, a quarrel about what activity to participate in. This is when we could tell they really felt comfortable with each other and in being at our activity session in a safe space.

Having attended MADs for 6 months, Simon and Kelly were placed together in care, in part, the Social Worker told us, because of the feedback, we provided from the sessions. This involved a move away from London so it was not possible for them to continue attending MADs. However, we were able to arrange for them to come along for a final session - positive goodbyes are so important, all the more so for young people who have often experienced difficult, chaotic endings.

The Siblings Together Website