Big and Little have been matched for 7 years. In that time they have made a good friendship and done a lot of activities together but hardship has followed throughout their time together.
In late November 2010 through regular supervision contact with the parent we first learned that the child was in a detention center outside our service area. The parent did not elaborate as to why but did give the case manager the name and number of the person working with the family through the juvenile court system. We informed the Big who also knew nothing about it and was equally devastated by the news. We were able to connect the Big with the Little through the contact with the court so they could find a way to write each other.
In a subsequent call to the parent in January the case worker learned that the reason the child was in a facility was because of an abuse allegation against the child and something involving his younger sibling. We learned also that the incident was from back in early 2009 and that Child Protective Services was investigating the family for some time and only recently acted and decided to pull all the children from the home and determined the parent was not fit to raise her kids. The parent signed off on her parental rights as well. The Little was also moved to another facility downstate awaiting foster placement.
There is one other sibling who is also matched in our program who is now in foster care in our area. She and her Big Sister continue to meet up consistently. The Big Brother and the Little Brother are able to stay in contact through letter, which they are doing. The Big will continue to be in touch with the child and offer any support he can. We will be in touch with the Big to offer our support as well. Because she signed off on her rights to the children, the parent is no longer able to tell us anything about the kids.
The case worker will have to work through DHS and the case workers assigned to the children for updates.