Siblings Australia was established in 1999 with a focus on supports for siblings of children and adults with disability or chronic illness. Since then, the organisation has developed a national and international reputation for its work with families and professionals.
In Australia there are at least 300,000 siblings of people with severe or profound disability or chronic illness (extrapolated from ABS data re disability).
Siblings Australia recognises the importance of relationships especially for people with disability. It aims to create connections between siblings, between parents and siblings, and between families and professionals, with a focus on strengthening families, resulting in benefits for the whole family.
Siblings Australia has built connections with family, mental health, education and disability agencies, in an attempt to increase the availability of information/support services for siblings, through increasing awareness, understanding, and skills at three levels:
- Direct support to siblings (both children and adults);
- Enabling parents to support their children;
- Working with service providers from different sectors who, in turn, offer support to families.
The organisation fully understands the issues affecting families that include disability. Recently, Siblings Australia received a 3 year Individual Capacity Building grant through the NDIS and was recognised as a Disabled Peoples and Families Organisation (DPFO), which requires meeting the following criteria:
- Actively demonstrate their commitment to the Social Model of Disability, which seeks to remove barriers for people with disability to access mainstream services and live an ordinary life; and
- Are run by and for people with disability and/or their families; and
- Are led and controlled by people with disability and/or their families with a minimum membership of 50% of people with a disability and/or their families making up the organisation’s board, or staff, or volunteers or members.
Siblings: Acknowledged, Connected, Resilient.
Siblings of people with disability have their needs acknowledged, they are connected to support over their lifetime, and they develop the resilience to ensure their own well-being and stronger family relationships.
Siblings Australia’ purpose is to support the health and well-being of siblings of people with disability by:
- developing and co-ordinating sibling support services and resources;
- providing education and training to parents and professionals;
- promoting and carrying out research on issues related to siblings and their families; and
- undertaking advocacy for greater recognition of siblings in government policy and in the community.
- These activities lead to stronger families, resulting in better outcomes for people with disability and their families.
Themes and Objectives
To view Sibling’s Australia’s themes and objectives, please click here.