About

Here at S.I.B.S., we support you in your role as a brother or sister, but moreover, we support you as an individual. We recognize that siblings have different needs at different times in their lives, and that no two sibling experiences will be the same.

In fact, our diverse experiences have helped us learn, grow, and work effectively. Our members say it best:

“The best part about S.I.B.S. is that is about us as siblings …. It is easy to make generalizations; for example, people assume that we are always worrying about our siblings, or that we’re solely focused on them. But for me, S.I.B.S. is about finding people with whom I have common ground and a shared experience. It is about supporting each other through whatever our lives happen to look like right now.”

“Our group has allowed me to see ‘disability’ in a different way. For me, it is not something to try and overcome; instead, it is something to accept and embrace. S.I.B.S. has helped me to take pride in my family.”

Though we live our own stories, our own struggles, we are always stronger together.

Be sure to receive Stronger Together, a free digital resource guide created especially for siblings like you!

What We Do

S.I.B.S. (Supporting Illinois Brothers & Sisters) is the official Illinois chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network (SLN). Our mission is to provide support to siblings of people with disabilities in Illinois by connecting them with information, networking opportunities, and resources in order to enhance the quality of life for their entire family.

How does S.I.B.S. live out its mission? We contribute to the sibling community through:

Providing Vital Information and Practical Education

We are proud to provide siblings with the resources they need to thrive across the lifespan. In this effort, we offer workshops and helpful information on topics such as future planning, navigating the service system in Illinois, and understanding their own needs as siblings.

We also educate agencies, parents, and the public regarding the unique needs of siblings and the importance of sibling support. Our vision is one of partnership; we work together with self-advocates, family members, and service providers to better serve the community.

For example, we receive frequent calls from caregivers and professionals wanting to learn more about Sibshops. They want to know about nearby offerings, or receive training on the Sibshop model.

Sibshops are peer gatherings that include open and lively conversations, recreational and educational activities which gives the siblings a chance to meet with other kids their age with similar family dynamics. And each time we are able to sponsor a Sibshop workshop training, it allows more individuals to become facilitators, taking the Sibshop model into their local communities.

And as a result, more families receive much-needed support.

For more, visit our Sibshops page, or download our full list of Sibshops and Sibling Support opportunities in Illinois here.

Bringing Local Siblings Together

We are committed to letting siblings know that they are not alone in their struggles and joys. As such, we facilitate local gatherings throughout the year, offering opportunities for siblings of all ages to connect with one another.

We connect Illinois siblings through in-person social networking opportunities and educational events, and virtually via our S.I.B.S. Network Facebook group and our Yahoo Listserv, AdultSibNet.

S.I.B.S. is all about relationships … because relationships make all the difference. The difference between feeling like no one else understands what you are going through and knowing that yes, it can be hard, but you are not alone in it.

When siblings meet one another, supportive friendships and powerful partnerships often result. And when siblings receive the help and support they need, it has the potential to transform entire families.

We would love to see you at our next Family Sibday, Sibshop, or Sibling Conference! Our events support siblings of all ages; visit our Events page to learn more.

Supporting Advocacy and Leadership

Brothers and sisters of individuals with special needs share their family’s concerns. Often, these brothers and sisters are their siblings’ only friends, as well as their staunchest advocates.

The sibling relationship is usually the longest-lasting one in a family, and many individuals are involved throughout the adult life of their sibling with disabilities.

As such, we partner with national sibling organizations to co-create educational materials, share our stories through media, host webinars and trainings, and participate in advocacy efforts. We welcome opportunities to present on sibling issues at conferences at the state, national, and international levels.

In all we do, we work toward a better world for siblings and their families, partnering with parents and self-advocates to effect change. For more, read our Sibs Policy Statement.

Siblings care deeply about whether or not their brothers and sisters are included within their schools, workplaces, and communities. They long for a world that welcomes and recognizes their siblings’ incredible gifts.

Moreover, they are committed to making that vision a reality.

The question is: are you?

If so, be sure to receive Stronger Together, our free digital resource guide developed especially for Illinois siblings, families, and providers!