Role of Professionals

As a sibling, you might come into contact with a range of professionals. They might be people who are supporting your brother or sister with disability (for example, disability support workers, social workers, physiotherapists, doctors) or people that you access to support you (for example, psychologists, GP). Some might be helpful; others, will be less helpful.

Service providers should consider how to support siblings in their own right, to help cope with the number of challenges that might arise. They also need to support a family to plan for the transition of responsibilities and supports from ageing parents to adult siblings where siblings are willing and able to take this on. Responsibilities and supports could include financial, residential, emotional, sexual, social, leisure, practical or advocacy matters. It is equally important, however, for service providers not to assume siblings will take over the main caring role of a person with disability.

In many cases, siblings may want to play the role of a supportive brother or sister, NOT a carer. People with a disability often prefer this too, if it is possible.

If you find that professionals are not supportive you might find it helpful to share this Adult Siblings document with them.