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San Diego's Camp Connect Brings Foster Siblings Together

Anthony Racine talks about Camp Connect, Aug. 6, 2015.
Steve Walsh
Anthony Racine talks about Camp Connect, Aug. 6, 2015.
San Diego's Camp Connect Brings Foster Siblings Together
San Diego's Camp Connect Brings Foster Siblings Together
Camp Connect allows children in foster care to spend time with their siblings, as a way to improve the outcome of their time in the system.

A group of more than 110 children in foster care boarded a bus Thursday for a rare weekend with their siblings.

According to the county, this was the largest group of campers in the eight-year history of the program.

The children who headed for Camp Connect live apart from their brothers and sisters, many of whom are also in foster care.

It was a chance for 14-year-old Anthony Racine to reconnect with his two sisters.

“Hang out, as much as possible, together without getting too attached. Because we all don’t live together,” he said.

His 17-year-old sister, Tiffany, has been in and out of foster care herself. They all went to the camp last year. It’s a rare chance to be together for four days, as a family.

“A bunch of things have happened to our family. There may be cracks and small fissures, but we’re not broken, and we never will be,” she said.

There are at least 3,195 children in foster care in San Diego County. California law has changed to encourage counties to keep siblings together, even while they are in the system.

“We know from research that children who remain connected to siblings during foster care have far better outcomes,” said Margo Fudge, adoption manager with San Diego County.

She said there are still several hundred children who cannot be placed together. Many of them are in different programs, within the foster care system.

The camp is at full capacity for the first time.