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Nurturing lifelong, loving relationships between brothers and sisters – and those with sibling-like relationships – is a core aspect of the promise.

The Community of Practice for Siblings is a network of connection and action that is working to ensure this promise is kept to children, young people, and adults across Scotland. The Community is making crucial links between activity locally, regionally, and nationally: building confidence in the possibility of real, grounded, positive change.

The Promise Scotland is proud to support the work of the Community of Practice and, this Siblings Day, we want to shine a light on the vital work being done to nurture sibling and sibling-like relationships, hearing directly from those leading this work. Karen Morrison, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Siblings Reunited (STAR), speaks below about her experience as a member of the Community of Practice for Siblings.

If my years of running Siblings Reunited (STAR) have taught me anything, it's the profound impact of teamwork. When like-minded individuals and organisations, such as Stand Up for Siblings, come together, meaningful change occurs for the better. In Scotland, nurturing our children and young people isn't just the responsibility of a village; it requires the commitment and effort of our entire nation.

Changing policies and procedures is a critical step, but the real transformation is seen when these changes are put into practice. This transition can present complexities for local authorities, making the support system somewhat challenging to navigate. Therefore, having the opportunity to share over a decade of knowledge and experience within this Community feels not only appropriate but essential for the future of our siblings in Scotland.

By coming together as a nation, we can ensure that changes in policy are effectively translated into practice, thereby offering the best possible support to siblings. The collective effort of communities and organisations dedicated to this cause is crucial in making a lasting difference in the lives of these young individuals.

Being a member of the Community of Practice for Siblings holds immense value for me, a sentiment that has evolved significantly from the early days of Siblings Reunited (STAR). Initially, we often felt isolated in our efforts to advocate for siblings separated by the care system. The sense of solidarity and shared purpose within the Community today is not just comforting; it's empowering. It's heartening to know that we now have the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience on a national level.

I deeply value the collective spirit that brings us all together, uniting us in our common goal of making a difference in the lives of separated siblings. This sense of unity and shared mission enriches our work and amplifies our impact, reminding us that together, we can achieve so much more.

For those striving to make a difference in the lives of separated siblings and fostering sibling-like bonds in their community, remember: never lose hope. The journey may be challenging, but with the right foundation and commitment, you can create lasting change. Listen attentively to the needs and desires of children and young people and use this understanding as your guide.

It's crucial to provide opportunities for these relationships to flourish in a meaningful way. Offer them regular, consistent chances to reconnect and celebrate their bond beyond mere formalities. Embrace creativity in planning their time together, ensuring each moment is special and valued. Your dedication can transform lives, safeguarding these essential connections. Your efforts matter, and with your help, these fragile bonds can grow stronger and more resilient.

Karen Morrison, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Siblings Reunited (STAR)

Learn more

Sign up to attend an upcoming Community of Practice for Siblings event in-person or online.

For more information on the work of the Community of Practice for Siblings and how you can get involved, visit the Stand Up For Siblings Website.

To sign up to the Community of Practice for Siblings Newsletter for more updates click here
View the April 2024 Newsletter here.