Foster families are needed in the North-East to give homes to brothers and sisters so that they can stay together after being removed from their parents.
More than a quarter of children in Aberdeen who were being fostered alongwith their siblings were separated from their brothers and sisters when placed in foster care between April 2013 to March 2014.
In Aberdeen, 42 children from sibling groups were placed in local authority care, and of these 11 were separated from their siblings.
Meanwhile, in Aberdeenshire, 13 children out of 33 were separated from their brothers and sisters.
A poll conducted by foster and adoption agency Action for Children Scotland asked 2000 children living in foster care about the impact of being split from their siblings.
All of them said that the separation makes them “upset and angry”.
Carol Iddon, director of children’s services at Action for Children Scotland, said: “For many children, being taken into care can be a confusing and upsetting time; add the distress of being split up from your brother or sister into the mix and the impact will last a lifetime.
“Nobody wants to separate brothers and sisters, but there simply aren’t enough foster carers in Scotland who can look after siblings. By arming ourselves with a pool of dedicated people who can provide a loving and caring home to groups of children we will avoid breaking more young hearts in the future.
“We know that in some cases children can be so badly hurt by what has happened to them before going into care, including severe neglect and abuse, that they need one-to-one support. In the vast majority of cases, however, siblings benefit hugely by staying together and that’s why we need more foster carers to help them.”
Action for Children said 89% of adults in Scotland who are willing to foster are also prepared to care for siblings.
However, its research found that of 787 children from sibling groups placed in local authority care last year, 302 children had been re-homed apart from one another.
Councillor Len Ironside, Convener of Social Care and Wellbeing at Aberdeen City Council, said the local authority tried to keep siblings together where possible.
He said: “It is the policy of Aberdeen City Council to try to keep siblings together- it is natural and the way it should be- but we need more foster carers. It’s a distressing time for the children and we strive to keep them together.
“We appreciate that it is best for the child emotionally and mentally. It is not a good idea to split them but there are occasions when we have to.”