Communities for Children Facilitating Partners Evidence-based programme profiles




Target audience

Middle childhood (6-12 years)

CfC Objective

Supporting Families and Parents


Siblings Australia

Delivery Setting



An early intervention peer support programme for siblings of children with disabilities. SibworkS aims to reduce social isolation, enhance social networks, improve relationships between family members, and increase children’s resilience.

Delivered to

Children 8-12 years of age who are siblings of a child with a disability.

Delivered by

Health and educational professionals can become programme facilitators.

Program Structure

SibworkS is run as a structured programme, delivered as 6 weekly 2-hour after school sessions. The programme is suitable for groups of 6-12 children, and requires a minimum of 2 facilitators.

Each weekly session covers a set theme and includes a mix of physical activity, food, and reflective exercises. Weekly themes include:

  • Exploring individual differences.
  • Exploring the expression of feelings.
  • Problem solving.
  • Coping with difficult situations.

Parents and children also participate in a pre-programme interview and there are guidelines for a parent pre-programme information session.


Siblings Australia provides consultation, training and implementation support to agencies that wish to include this programme in their service delivery.

Training is not compulsory for experienced professionals, however, a facilitator manual is needed to run the programme. Details, including a short video on the program, can be seen at:

The programme materials (a detailed facilitator manual, participant booklets and parent information sheets), can be purchased by contacting Kate Strohm at


$130 for the facilitator manual and 10 participant booklets (includes P/H in Australia).

For information about training costs contact Siblings Australia directly.


Contact person: Kate Strohm
Phone: 0408 720 558

Evaluation and effectiveness

A RCT (Roberts et al., 2015) was conducted in 2015 with 42 participants aged 8-12 (22 participants assigned to the intervention and 20 participants assigned to the control group). Outcomes were measured at pre- and post-treatment stages and at a 3-month follow up point.

Results showed that children in the intervention group had improved emotional and behavioural functioning with a medium to large effect post-intervention and at the 3-month follow up period.

Roberts, R.M., Ejova, A., Giallo, R., Strohm, K., Lillie, M., & Fuss, B. (2015). A controlled trial of the SibworkS group program for siblings of children with special needs. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 43-44, 21 – 31.