Sibs is the only UK charity for children and adults who are growing up with or have grown up with a disabled brother or sister. We provide information, support and training on sibling issues for adult siblings, young siblings, parents and professionals.
Children and young people growing up with a disabled brother or sister often get less attention from parents and have more worries and responsibilities than their peers. Many young siblings experience daily challenges in their lives such as public prejudice and finding it hard to get schoolwork done. They also need recognition for the positive aspects of their family lives, such as learning new skills and being supportive of their brothers’ and sisters’ needs.
Direct support for young siblings
We run www.youngsibs.org.uk – an online support and information service for children and young people aged 7-17, who have a brother or sister who is disabled, has special educational needs or a serious long-term condition.
Young siblings can:
- Get information about disability and conditions, and tips for enjoying life and dealing with feelings.
- Chat on the safe moderated forum and share experiences and ideas with other young siblings.
- Get help from our team with sibling issues at home and at school.
It’s great to read about other siblings like me. It means that I don’t feel so alone.
Help for others to support young siblings
- We train professionals to run sibling support groups for children.
- We train primary school staff to deliver our Sibs Talk support intervention.
- We provide information for parents and professionals on supporting siblings.
Adult siblings, in particular those with a brother or sister with a lifelong learning disability and/or autism, provide support, advocacy and care for their brothers and sisters, at the same time as juggling support and care for their elderly parents, their own children, and their work. They rarely receive any acknowledgement of their role or expertise, information about service provision, or support for their own needs. As a result many adult siblings experience isolation, reduced wellbeing and negative effects on their work and finances. Many adult siblings just want to enjoy social time with their brother or sister rather than time together being focused on care tasks.
Support for adult siblings
- We provide phone and email support for adult siblings.
- We run a network of peer support groups for adult siblings of people with a lifelong learning disability and/or autism.
- We produce guides for adult siblings of people with a lifelong learning disability and/or autism on issues such as future planning and managing care.
- We run workshops and events for adult siblings.
Caring for my brother is very isolating and the responsibility huge. After the support group, I had more energy and an idea of what to try next.