The Issue: Siblings Separated by Foster Care
In 2012, more than 6,980 children were living in foster care in Colorado, according to data from the Children's Defense Fund. Two-thirds of children in foster care nationally also have a sibling in foster care, though they are often separated due to age gaps or other reasons. Studies have shown that separated siblings are more likely to have problems adjusting to foster care and are at increased risk of becoming runways.
For youth who are separated, the benefits of maintaining ties to their siblings are enormous, as strong family relationships can make life easier after foster care. One study found that foster-care alumni who felt close to their siblings in childhood were more likely to report higher self-esteem and income levels.
The Campaign: Reuniting Siblings in Foster Care at Camp
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Camp To Belong Colorado to send children in foster care to summer camp with their siblings. For every $500 raised, Camp To Belong Colorado can sponsor one child in foster care for its weeklong camp. The organization aims to provide at least two scholarships to reunite a pair of separated siblings at camp.
At the camp, siblings are able to bond together over a variety of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, white-water rafting, and wall climbing. Siblings will eat all of their meals together, and same-gender siblings can share cabins. They'll also participate in special events, such as the All Camp Birthday Party, where siblings can celebrate missed birthdays from the year and pick out gifts for each other. Campers will depart with lasting memories, including a photo album and a handmade pillowcase from their sibling that they can cherish at home.
Camp To Belong Colorado
Raised in foster care, Lynn Price and her sister were separated while growing up. They have no memories from when they were kids—they never shared clothes or got to talk about boys, she related in a New York Times interview. Realizing that she and her sister had missed on on something crucial in life—a chance to experience the unconditional love of sisterhood—Lynn sought to prevent other children from experiencing this regret as adults.
So in 1995, she founded Camp To Belong, a one-week summer-camp experience where siblings separated by foster care can reunite, play together, and build memories. Now, there are nine Camp To Belong sites in the United States and Australia, including Camp To Belong Colorado. Each of the camps offer exciting camp outdoor activities, such as swimming and horseback riding, with an emphasis on activities that siblings can do together.