Siblings Australia's main aim is to recognise the contribution and needs of siblings of children and adults with disability and to connect them with sources of support both inside and outside their families. The organisation also aims to foster better mental health outcomes for siblings across their lifespan.
In Australia, there's an estimated 200,000 people under age 25 with a severe or profound disability. If you include older age groups and chronic illness, this estimate raises to about 300,000 siblings. These children often grow up in a situation of stress but without the cognitive and emotional maturity to cope with their experiences - this can lead to long term mental health issues.
Siblings Australia provides both written and online resources and services, education opportunities for siblings themselves, for parents and the professionals who work with them.
The organisation takes a ‘settings approach’ – a method that attempts to improve the support available to siblings from within their families and also through schools and the community. It also takes part in internal and external research into the needs of siblings and advocates strongly for more support for this vulnerable group.