Left in the waiting room: Evaluating a virtual intervention for siblings of children with special needs

Over 200,000 Canadian children and youth have special needs, and many of these children have at least one sibling. Siblings of children with disabilities can experience mental health, emotional, and behaviour issues, yet they often do not receive the support they need. Support programs provide opportunities for social and emotional support. SibworkS is an in-person support program for siblings of children with disabilities. SibworkS aims to improve siblings’ resilience, social networks, and family relationships. Despite the benefits of support groups, bringing siblings to face-to-face support groups can be difficult for families. Research shows that telephone-based sibling support groups are a good alternative to face-to-face groups, but there has not been any research into the benefits of video-based sibling support groups. In partnership with Kinark, this project will investigate whether it is possible to deliver a virtual version of SibworkS, called iSibworkS, to siblings. It will also determine the possible benefits of iSibworkS.

Taylor Jenkin
Faculty Supervisor: 
Shannon Scratch
Partner University: