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Human services agencies and individual professionals – whether they be direct support providers, case managers, doctors, specialists, etc. – can play a powerful role in helping brothers and sisters of people with disabilities better understand their role as siblings and learn how to navigate the often complex world of disability care.

These sisters and brothers did not necessarily “sign up” to be guardians or care managers for their siblings, but will likely be in their lives longer than anyone else – longer than their parents, individual caregivers, or physicians and specialists.

As Kitty Porterfield, an adult sister wrote: “We will become caregivers for our siblings when our parents no longer can. Anyone interested in the welfare of people with disabilities ought to be interested in us.”

While WisconSibs offers programs to directly help these siblings better understand their role and connect with available resources, we also encourage agencies and professionals to proactively help siblings and other family members.  To help you do that, we collaborate with various agencies across the state to provide professionals with information, programs and services.

For example, we:

  • Presented Mission PosSIBle: Your SIB Helps Make the Mission Possible, a half-day workshop at the 2014 Wisconsin Self-Determination Conference, sponsored by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities and People First Wisconsin.
  • Can help groups or individuals interested in holding local Sibshops assess the options available and move forward to offer them.
  • Hosted Don Meyer, creator of Sibshops, for a statewide Sibshop Facilitator Training in October 2014.

If you or your agency is interested in specialized training, a collaborative project, specific coaching or a presentation about siblings and how you can better serve them, contact Harriet Redman at the WisconSibs office. Learn more

NAMI Fox Valley and WisconSibs co-present “A Sister’s Call” movie screening.

NAMI Fox Valley and WisconSibs co-present “A Sister’s Call” movie screening.