Sibs Release New Research: ‘Lonely Lockdown. Life for siblings of disabled children in the UK’

Children and young people growing up with a disabled brother or sister often get less attention from parents and have more worries and responsibilities than their peers.

Lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic has created further isolation and challenges for this group of children and young people.

‘Lonely Lockdown’

Sibs have been collaborating with UCL family researcher Dr Georgia Pavlopoulou to explore how this latest lockdown has impacted on siblings’ health and wellbeing.

‘Lonely Lockdown’ reports the findings of a survey from February 2021 that asked parents about family experiences. The survey focused upon siblings’ day-to-day experiences and mental health needs.

Key findings revealed that: 

  • 81% of parents said their sibling child’s mental health had worsened
  • 43% of siblings were providing more care in lockdown
  • 40% of young siblings were feeling isolated and missing support from family and friends
  • 54% of parents said that respite or a break would have helped siblings cope

The findings from the research suggest that the pandemic has had both an immediate and lasting effect on the mental health of many siblings.

It’s important that these findings are used to inform the support offered to siblings going forward as part of a recovery plan. You can download the “Lonely Lockdown” report to find out more about the research and recommendations. 

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