Sibling Connections’ mission is to provide as many separated sibling groups as possible the opportunity to spend quality time together with their brothers and sisters. We provide positive experiences for siblings to enjoy typical fun activities in the community. While our volunteers receive trauma informed training on positive youth development and behavior management, we are not a therapeutic program and are not able to provide 1:1 supervision. We typically maintain a 1:3 volunteer to child ratio.
For this reason, the registration form will ask questions about past and current behavioral issues. We look at every case individually and schedule discussions with each social worker to get to know the youth and to discuss effective behavior management strategies. Behavior areas of highest concern include a history of self-harm or harm to others, fire starting, and running.
We also meet with each foster family and youth individually to orient them to our programs, get them excited about participation, and set expectations regarding attendance and behavior during the outings.
FEES & TRANSPORTATION
Sibling Sundays and other day programs: Day programs are free for participants. Before COVID-19, we also provided transportation to and from day programs. Currently due to COVID-19 safety procedures we are unable to provide that service and caregivers and/or social workers will be responsible for drop off and pick up at events. We will follow all mandated guidelines regarding health and safety including providing PPE and following social distancing requirements.
Weekend Retreats: Weekend retreats (Friday afternoon-Sunday lunch) cost $135 per enrolled sibling. We are able to help with transportation for some of the participants (13 person passenger van) but will require some caregivers to transport youth. We will schedule weekend retreats when Massachusetts enters Phase 4 of the COVID-19 recovery plan.
Sibling Connections Camp: We have a DCF negotiated contract rate of $587/camper for our week of sleep away camp each August. If you are registering a youth in DCF foster care, it is necessary to obtain approval from the Area Manager, Business Manager, or Camp Coordinator in your office before registering.
If a youth is adopted/in a legal guardianship or there are other financial hardship circumstances, we will offer financial aid to families on a case by case basis. We are planning to run camp August 17-22, 2021. We provide bus transportation from multiple locations throughout Massachusetts.
If you have questions about our programs or eligibility prior to submitting the registration form, please contact our Program Manager, Andie Fisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-501-1229.
Step One: Complete our REGISTRATION FORM , selecting the program(s) of interest. For our fee-based overnight programs, including Weekend Retreats and our week of Residential Camp, if the sibling is in DCF care, the social worker must receive approval from the Area Manager, Business Manager, or Camp Coordinator from her/his DCF office before completing the registration payment section.
Step Two: Our Program Manager will contact you after reviewing the sibling group’s application to set up a brief follow-up phone call to discuss the sibling group and provide final approval of the registration.
Step Three: Our Program Manager will conduct in-person intake visits (45 mins-1 hour) with each child who we accept into our program. We will cover rules and expectations, show pictures of past events, and answer any questions the child or family have. During the COVID-19 quarantine, these will be conducted online.