Kirkland’s Sibling House Provides a New Focus for Foster Care

Every year in the US close to 300,000 children are separated from their siblings when they enter foster care. Sibling House, a nonprofit organization located in Kirkland, WA, has a mission of keeping siblings together while in foster care. Founded in 1997 by Kirkland residents Michael and Lynne Gaskill, Sibling House is working hard to fulfill its mission and has provided much needed support to nearly 700 Washington children and their caregivers.


Research compiled by the Child Welfare Information Gateway in 2013 showed that siblings separated by the foster care process “describe this experience as ‘an extra punishment, a separate loss, and another pain that is not needed.’ ”

Through Sibling House programs, siblings can stay connected whether they are living in the same foster home or not.  This opportunity is provided through both academic and social programs that allow them to focus more on being children, than living as a “foster child.”  Sibling House’s programs include: mentoring and outreach to homes that take in sibling groups, plus academic tutoring, outdoor experiences in nature, and support for enrichment activities like swimming lessons, little league, trips to the zoo, and more, for foster children.

On March 22, 2014, Sibling House will hold its annual fundraiser at The Washington Athletic Club in Seattle. Revenue raised at the event funds Sibling House’s core programs, including academic support for children and mentorships for foster caregivers, aiding a growing network of over 225 local foster homes.

Sibling House co-founder Michael Gaskill explains the positive effects of keeping siblings together: “We have personally seen that when kids remain with their siblings, it carries over into many different areas of their lives. They do better in school, in relationships with other kids and with their foster families.

Local businesses and residents are asked to support Sibling House and their March 22 fundraising event through the donation of services or auction items. To donate auction items or purchase tickets to the event, contact: mgaskill@siblinghouse.org. To learn more about Sibling House and its mission, visit http://siblinghouse.org or email mgaskill@siblinghouse.org.

 

About Sibling House
Sibling House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports a network of homes where siblings in foster care can stay together in a loving environment while separated from their birth parents. Sibling House is also dedicated to raising the public awareness of, and to help contribute to the education of, the general populace about foster care and the entire foster care system.

Web: http://siblinghouse.org
Facebook: facebook.com/siblinghouse
Twitter: @siblinghouse