Florida's Children First

The Importance of Maintaining Sibling Connections in Foster Care

For many years, while my parents were drinking and using and dealing drugs, I was all my three siblings had. Due to overuse of  methamphetamines, my parents often functioned at a school-aged level. They were also bipolar and got angry at us kids easily, so as the eldest I stood up for my siblings.

Not only was I like a parent to my siblings, I had to be one to my own parents as well. I was the one who went out and looked for food, sometimes even stealing from grocery stores to make sure that we were fed. I was the one who worried every day when our next meal would be and where it would come from. I was the one who changed the kids’ diapers, clothed them, taught them how to walk, helped them with their homework. My parents’ drug use effectively turned me into a parent while I was still only a child myself. I felt as though my siblings would not survive unless I took care of them…

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