Sibling House is a network of homes where siblings in foster care can stay together in a loving environment while separated from their birth parents. Within this environment the values of family unity are practiced. Life skills such as working together towards a common benefit, playing together, confronting and overcoming challenges, helping and relying on each other are all emphasized. Interactive traditional educational skills such as reading, writing, math, and science encourage children to learn. Cause and effect choices, discipline, responsibility and respect towards self and others, personal health and hygiene, are all a part of the daily routine. These lessons, and more, are a part of a consistent message of unity and unconditional love and are what Sibling House is about. It has already been demonstrated at Sibling House that this consistency allows foster children to thrive and grow. Based in Kirkland, Washington, with a second distribution site in Renton, Washington, Sibling House was co-founded in 1997 by Michael & Lynne Gaskill, and is a Washington non-profit organization registered with the I. R. S. as a 501c 3 charity. Donations to Sibling House can usually be claimed as a tax exempt donation on income tax returns. Sibling House is dedicated not only to providing a haven for siblings to stay together, but also to raising the public awareness of, and to help contribute to the education of, the general populace about foster care and the entire foster care industry. This includes identifying, and providing support, through our Mentoring and Outreach Program to other foster homes that provide care to siblings in foster care, essentially, more “Sibling House(s)”. As any parent knows, raising children also is an expensive challenge. According to a recent U.S. Dept. of Agriculture study, it costs more than $1147 a month to raise a child to age 18. Foster parent support payments from the state supply less than 50% of this amount. Medical coverage from Medicare and utilizing local resources for therapy and enrichment programs also help to make up the difference, but it still falls short of what’s needed. At Sibling House, 84% of every dollar goes to providing care for the children. 8% goes to administrative expenses. 8% goes to fundraising. It is through the efforts of volunteers, and donations from businesses and members of the community that we attempt to provide for these children. Unconditional love is found in abundance at Sibling House. Food, clothing, and other programs work to provide additional learning and growth opportunities that help to enrich the lives of children at Sibling House and the Sibling House Network. Sibling House provides many resources to the siblings we provide care for including The Enrichment Program, The Mentoring and Outreach Program, The Outdoor Experience Program. We are foster child advocates, offer public education programs, and are a foster parent recruitment and resource. We were named “Charity of the Month” by KMPS Radio in September, 2004. Sibling House Executive Director and Co-Founders, Michael & Lynne Gaskill, have 24 years as licensed foster care providers, were 1999 and 2000 year nominees for the Jefferson Award, have 16 years Public Health Service, and are Fosterparentscope certified. Sibling House is governed by a Board of Directors, operating under bylaws and articles of incorporation filed with the Secretary of State for the State of Washington, and listed in the Charitable Solicitations Register in Washington State.
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