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.

Here at S.I.B.S., we receive frequent calls from caregivers and professionals wanting to learn more about Sibshops or receive training. Each time we’re able to hold a Sibshop, more individuals receive training to become facilitators, and these facilitators bring easy-to-implement programs back to their agencies and neighborhoods. And as a result, more families receive much-needed support.


Download our full list of Sibshops and Sibling Support opportunities in Illinois here.


The two-day Sibshop intensive training covers topics such as:

  • How to effectively address sibling concerns, such as resentment, stress, loss, and fears about the future
  • How to emphasize and encourage the unique characteristics that come with the sibling experience, including (but not limited to) greater compassion, courage, advocacy, and interpersonal insight
  • How to implement strategies that decrease siblings’ concerns and increase their opportunities
  • How to help agencies provide “sibling-friendly” services
  • How to plan and run local Sibshops, with a child-friendly mix of peer support and recreation
  • How to educate Sibshop attendees about siblings’ ever-changing issues

sibshop-logoThe Sibling Support Project describes Sibshops this way:

“Sibshops are pedal-to-the-metal celebrations of the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of kids with special needs.

Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, others a not-so-good thing, and for many, somewhere in-between. They reflect a belief that brothers and sisters have much to offer one another — if they are given a chance.

Sibshops are a spirited mix of new games (designed to be unique, off-beat, and appealing to a wide ability range), new friends, and discussion activities.”

Goals of Sibshops

  • To provide brothers and sisters of children with special needs an opportunity to meet other siblings in a relaxed, recreational setting.
  • To provide brothers and sisters with an opportunity to discuss common joys and concerns with other siblings.
  • To provide brothers and sisters with an opportunity to learn how others handle situations commonly experienced by siblings of children with special needs.
  • To provide brothers and sisters with an opportunity to learn more about the implications of their siblings’ special needs.
  • To provide parents and service providers with opportunities to learn more about common concerns of brothers and sisters.

S.I.B.S. partners with other local agencies in order to provide hosting, volunteers, food, materials and registration for Sibshops. Want to offer your facility, time, or support? Contact S.I.B.S. VP Tara Conley at