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Facilitating a group is a positive way to be involved in the UK adult sibling community. Being part of the UK-wide project run by Sibs, gives you the chance to support the charity and help shape future programmes for adult siblings.

What’s the time commitment?

1. Attending training

In order for your adult sibling group to be approved by Sibs, we expect new group facilitators need to take part in a one-day training on how to facilitate an adult sibling group. This training is only for people who are making a commitment to facilitating a sibling group as the training is costly for Sibs to deliver.

All of the content is highly useful, relevant and it is specifically tailored to adult siblings which makes it a very efficient use of your time. 
Adult sibling participant

2. Leading the group at meetings

Once you start facilitating a group, the time commitment is likely to be for a couple of hours at a meeting every 6-8 weeks. We would like you to take on this role for a minimum of a year. The main tasks of the group facilitator are to facilitate the discussions, and to delegate the other tasks such as arranging meeting dates and booking venues to other group members.

What skills do I need?

The following skills are important for facilitating a sibling discussion at a group meeting:

  • Able to manage time
  • Able to encourage participation of all members
  • Able to listen actively to others
  • Able to manage conflict and differences of opinion
  • Able to keep the group on topic
  • Able to acknowledge siblings’ feelings
  • Able to set your own needs to one side
  • Able to delegate tasks to other group members
  • Able to take action on safeguarding issues
  • Able to signpost adult siblings to sources of support

You may already have most of these skills and the training day will help you use them to faciitate an adult sibling support group, as well as give you additional techniques for encouraging the participation of all group members, keeping the group on track, and how to use different styles of support in a group setting. The training will also provide guidance on dealing with difficult group situations and how to support a sibling who is distressed.

What personal qualities do I need?

The most important qualities to have are:

  • Respecting and valuing adult siblings
  • Respecting and valuing disabled people
  • Being inclusive of people from a wide range of backgrounds
  • Believing in the positive benefits of peer support

And you must be an adult sibling of someone with a learning disability or autism.

Is this the right time for me to lead a sibling group?

Facilitating a sibling group can be a hugely rewarding experience and that is how we want it to be for anyone who takes on that role. It should be enjoyable and fun for you to do. It is good to think though any implications for yourself of facilitating a group so that you know you can make a positive commitment to it. Some good questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do I have enough time and energy to do this as well as my other commitments?
  • Do I feel reasonably adjusted about my own sibling issues so that I can focus on supporting others?
  • Will I be able to leave the issues raised behind at the end of the meeting

What support will Sibs provide for me?

Training

The adult sibling group facilitator training day will cover the following areas:

  1. Facilitating a group that meets the aims of the Sibs group charter
  2. Confidentiality, inclusiveness and safeguarding
  3. The aims and purpose of group meetings
  4. Getting engagement of all group members
  5. Keeping a group meeting on track
  6. Styles of support in a self-help group

This is an excellent day with practical tools in how to facilitate sibling support groups. I left feeling knowledgeable, motivated and enthusiastic to get started.
Adult sibling participant

Back up and resources after training

You will have access to a private forum for group facilitators for sharing resources and for group discussion ideas. We will send you posters for advertising your group locally. Group leaders will also be able to talk to us about any aspects of facilitating a group.

Interested?

If this is something you would like to do, get in touch and we will have a chat with you about it. Our next training day for adult sibling group facilitators will be in London in spring 2017.