When a child goes to the hospital or has medical concerns, brothers and sisters can feel afraid, worried or confused. They are being faced with new and confusing situations. They may hear and see things that they do not understand, may have a change within their daily routines or may be separated from their parents, brother or sister. Each child has his or her own concerns when a brother or sister requires medical treatment.
In this section you will find useful information to help you support and include your child and to help you understand how they might be feeling. You will also find information about organisations and services in Ireland that provide supports for siblings.
Useful information about how to support and involve siblings
Family Carers Ireland
Sibs (Events and support services are for UK only)
The Sibs website provides an excelling range of information for parents and for siblings. Topics include telling your child about their siblings condition, preparing for hospitalization, understanding the sibling experience and sibling concerns.
Note: the sibs website provides information related to supporting children with a sibling with a disability or an illness but uses the term disabled for all descriptions…need better phrasing
Parents – supporting your sibling child – Sibs
Jack and Jill – Resource Centre – Supporting Siblings
Useful information for parents about how to support and include siblings.
Sibling Support | Child and Family Support | Jack and Jill
Supporting Brothers and Sisters
The Irish Cancer Society have created an excellent booklet with information and advice to help parents support their child’s siblings and to understand how siblings may be feeling.
Organisations providing sibling supports
Family Carer’s Ireland – Young Carers
Family Carers Ireland has a support program for siblings called Young Carers. The Young Carer program provides sibling supports such as sib-shops and sibling activities, counselling, information and education. Contact the Young Carer’s Manager for more information about the supports available for siblings.
Young Carers | Family Carers Ireland
Free Registration as a Young Carer is required to access some of the supports available such as counselling, respite weekend, special events etc and to receive a Young Carers Card with access to a range of discounts and special offers.
Young Carers Registration | Family Carers Ireland
Temple Street Sibling Camp – will this run in 2023??
Temple Street Hospital hosts a 3 day, day camp for siblings of a child with a long term/chronic illness attending Temple Street. The camp usually takes place during the Halloween school break each year. Your child will take part in lots of fun activities as well as having a chance to meet other siblings and explore the emotional side of having a sibling with a medical condition. To apply for your child to attend this camp a referral form and consent form must be completed. Contact the social work office for information and application forms: 018784212.
Barretstown Sibling Camp
Siblings Camp takes place mid-summer for 7 days, and is for siblings who have a brother or sister (aged infant to 17) who are currently being treated for, or recovering from, a serious illness, parents do not attend this camp. Please note patient child does not attend.
Sibling Camp – Barretstown
Jack and Jill/Laura Lynn
Need to find out if there are specific sibling supports or should they be included as respite as a support for siblings?
Diagnosis or illness specific sibling supports
Many support organizations also provide supports, information or special events for siblings. Search our database using keyword sibling or contact the relevant support organisation for information about sibling supports.
Grief and loss information and supports for siblings
See our Grief and Loss Section for resources and organisation’s to support children who are coping with losing a sibling.