One aspect of family-centered care is that the needs of the whole family must be considered. There are many supports in place for the child with special needs, but there is little support, if any, for the siblings.
Sibshops are where school-age brothers and sisters connect with their peers (usually for the first time) and form friendships that can provide a lifetime of support. Sibshops are powerful, effective and fun workshops for siblings.
There are 26 Sibshops across Canada , but none in the Hamilton area. Opening Hearts offered the first Sibshop in Hamilton on June 21, 2014. It was an amazing success with the all of the kids being very excited about coming back to more Sibshops. We are proud to have been running Sibshops every school year since then.
2018-2109 Sibshop Schedule
We are pleased to announce our 2018-2019 Sibshop schedule. We will run monthly from October 2018 to June 2019, every second Saturday of the month. Please see the following for dates, times and locations.
Please note: Sibshops are for 8-12 year old children.
The Goals of Sibshops
- Sibshops will provide brothers and sisters of children with special needs an opportunity to meet other siblings in a relaxed, recreational setting.
- Sibshops will provide brothers and sisters with opportunities to discuss common joys and concerns with other siblings of children with special needs.
- Sibshops will provide siblings with an opportunity to learn how others handle situations commonly experienced by siblings of children with special needs.
- Sibshops will provide siblings with an opportunity to learn more about the implications of their sibling’s special needs.
- Sibshops will provide parents and other professionals with opportunities to learn more about the concerns and opportunities frequently experienced by brothers and sisters of people with special needs.
What Sibshops Grads are Saying
Not long ago 2 researchers from the University of Washington surveyed “Sibshop Grads”, with an age range of 18-30. Here is some of the results.
Improved feelings towards siblings
Taught better coping strategies
Positively affected adult life
Would recommend Sibshops