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Eval Program Plann. 2017 Oct;64:69-77. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2017.05.006. Epub 2017 May 13.

Evaluation of a multi-site program designed to strengthen relational bonds for siblings separated by foster care.

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School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, United States. Electronic address:
College of Education, University of Iowa, United States.


Sibling relationships in foster care settings have received increased attention in recent years. Despite growing evidence regarding the protective potential of sibling relationships for youth in care, some sibling groups continue to experience foster care related separation, and few programs exist to address the needs of these youth. This study describes and evaluates Camp To Belong, a multi-site program designed to provide short-term reunification to separated sibling groups through a week-long summer camp experience. Using a pre-test post-test survey design, this paper examines changes in youth ratings of sibling conflict and sibling support across camps located in six geographically distinct regions of the United States. The effects of youth age, number of prior camp exposures, and camp location were tested using multilevel modeling procedures. Findings suggest that participation in Camp To Belong may reduce sibling conflict, and improvements in sibling support are noted for youth who have had prior exposure to the camp's programming. Camp-level variance in the sibling support outcome highlight the complex nature of relationships for siblings separated by foster care, and suggest the need for additional research. Lessons learned from this multi-site evaluation and future directions are discussed.


Foster care; Program evaluation; Siblings

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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