1254. Karen Morrison
Karen Morrison, from Fife, identified a problem with the way siblings in care are often separated from each other through adoption, so she created a unique charity called Siblings Reunited, to help them re-foster bonds with their siblings on her Scottish farm.
When siblings are referred, they are often unable to see each other from between six months to as many as six years, with many children facing trauma, isolation, stress and anxiety as a result of their separation. Through ‘Siblings Reunited’, Karen works to prevent siblings from becoming strangers and to safeguard their family support network, providing a safe and enjoyable environment in which they can meet and form new, positive experiences together. So far, the charity, which is the first service of its kind in Scotland, has enabled over 300 estranged siblings to be reunited.
In a personal letter to Karen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you identified that siblings are separated through the care and adoption system and how, through ‘Siblings Reunited’, you are helping them re-foster the bond lost through the trauma of separation.”
“I am pleased and honoured to receive a Point of Light Award for my voluntary work with ‘Siblings Reunited (Star)’. Setting up and developing Star has been a challenging and hugely rewarding experience, only achievable with the help of a wider team of committed volunteers who give their time and bring a broad variety of skills. Star developed from my personal belief that children and young people, separated from their brothers and sisters in the care of local authorities, could benefit hugely if they had a place to meet that they could call their own special place. It has been hugely rewarding to see the difference this has made to so many groups of brothers and sisters who can trust that, at Star, they will have regular, fun and safe contact with each other supported by adult volunteers.”