Supporting and helping your sibling with medical and social needs can be rewarding and fun, but it can also be hard work and you need to look after yourself too. Doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals might not understand that you play an important part in supporting your brother or sister so we have a few suggestions from organisations and other young people about talking about your situation:
The positives acquired by siblings such as tolerance, patience and kindness are rarely acknowledged or celebrated by schools.Sibs
The official definition of a young carer is ‘a person aged under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (of any age, except where that care is provided for payment, pursuant to a contract or as voluntary work).’ Children and Families Act 2014 Section 96.
Sibling young carers are forced to grow up early and can often miss out on the same opportunities as other children because they care for brothers and sisters who are disabled or chronically ill.
In April 2014, two new laws, the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Care Act 2014, came into effect with regards to young carers and their families, particularly around the right to an assessment of their needs for support. The rights afforded to young carers ‘will be extended to all young carers under the age of 18 regardless of who they care for, what type of care they provide or how often they provide it.’ – The Care Act and Whole Family Approaches, 2015.
SIBS is a charity dedicated to supporting brothers and sisters of children with disabilities. They have lots of information and different types of support for siblings.
Young Minds is a charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, they offer different types of help and support.
Over the Wall
Over the Wall is a charity offering respite holidays for siblings to get away and meet other siblings in a relaxed and fun environment, more information is available here.