These services aren’t hugely plentiful, but here are the main ones we’re aware of. If you know of any others, do get in touch and tell us about them!
This organisation works tirelessly on behalf of siblings of children and adults with a disability or chronic illness. They create opportunities for siblings to connect with others who share similar experiences. They host a closed Facebook group, SibChat, and website discussion forum, SibChat forum, for adult siblings, and co-facilitate, with the Sibling Support Project in the US, a closed FB group for teens, SibTeen. The Sibworks program is a structured peer support program for younger siblings which aims to reduce social isolation, enhance social networks, improve relationships between family members, and increase children’s resilience. Additionally, the organisation has developed a number of valuable resources for siblings, parents and professionals. For information on all the services available to families and siblings. Visit siblingsaustralia.org.au
SOCS (Siblings of Camp Sababa) from Flying Fox
Flying Fox is a youth led organisation that opens up life-changing opportunities for kids with special needs. They promote positive social interactions by running fun recreational camps and their SOCS program supports siblings of their campers (and of young people with a disability more generally). SOCS hosts camps and weekends away for groups of young people with the aim of providing an opportunity to connect with others who share a similar life experience in a supportive, friendly, fun-filled environment. Just like every other Flying Fox camp, fun is definitely at the core of SOCS! flying fox.org.au/programs/camps
Autism Camp Australia
This camp program supports autistic young people and their families to enjoy a tailor-made program of capacity building social learning and life skills activities.
At each of their camps (one in Byron Bay and one on the Sunshine Coast) there is a Siblings program, which allows siblings to come together, have fun, share experiences and learn ways of dealing positively with the challenges they face as the sibling of an autistic young person. Each camp has a whole heap of fun activities such as paddle-boarding, rock climbing, arts and crafts, pool games and more. They also run the aforementioned Sibworks program from Siblings Australia. https://www.autismcampaustralia.org/
The Young Carers Network
Part of Carers Australia, and providing services across Australia, the Young Carers Network is a place for young carers including siblings who provide support to a family member to learn about support services, access resources and share their story and opinions. youngcarersnetwork.com.au
The Holiday Zone from Li-Ve Tasmania
The Holiday Zone offers fun, inclusion- focused activities for children living with disability and activities and peer support for siblings of children living with a disability. livetasmania.org/holiday-zone
Sibling Support at Irabina Autism Services (VIC)
Designed to be fun and engaging, the sibling support program provides opportunities for open discussions about the good and the challenging parts about having an Autistic sibling. The program focuses on normalising the experiences and feelings of children growing up with an Autistic sibling with the input of psychologists and an Autistic young person as an additional support. https://www.irabina.com/
SNUG (Special Needs Unlimited Group) provides retreats for families caring for a child with a rare disease. These camps offer respite and support networks, allowing families to enjoy a holiday together away from the demands of their caring roles. The retreats are hosted at least four times a year and there is a focus on identifying and celebrating the skills and strengths of ALL family members – parents, children with special needs, and their siblings. newcastle.edu.au/ research/centre/fac/outreach/snug