Sibling support refers to support given to brothers and sisters of seriously ill children.
It might be spending time playing, talking or going to the park with a Rainbow Trust Family Support Worker, or going along to a group to meet other children in the same situation.
Brothers’ and sisters’ needs for support will be fluid and will change at different points:
- Some will have known no other experience of family life
- Some may not need in depth support. Perhaps the sick child is in a stable phase of illness, or there are existing strong family support networks
- Other children may have a sibling who suddenly becomes ill. For them, their world may be turned upside down in a matter of days
- The brothers and sisters of seriously ill babies may be unable to meet their baby when they are in intensive care for some months
- A child’s age and development can affect the kind of help they need.
Sibling support can play a vital preventative role, helping children and young people to learn coping mechanisms, find an outlet for their strong feelings and worries, keep up with their school work, and build a support network for themselves outside the home – as well as having some much needed fun.
For more information, read our report ‘See Us, Hear Us’ Notice Us: The case for supporting siblings of seriously ill children’.
To find out whether your child could receive sibling support from Rainbow Trust, see where we support.