The report has been published by Sibs, a charity for brothers and sisters of disabled children.
In the charity’s survey of 876 parents, key findings include:
- 75% of parents said their sibling child’s mental health had worsened
- 50% of siblings are providing more care in lockdown
- 1 in 3 siblings are feeling isolated and missing support from family and friends
Dr Georgia Pavlopoulou, University College London Researcher and Sibs’ Trustee, said the survey highlights the lack of support for siblings and the struggles that they face such as loneliness.
“Growing up with a disabled brother or sister brings unique joys and challenges. Siblings' needs are rarely heard or met by educational and healthcare professionals,” she said.
“It is important to hear from parents about how siblings have been coping with the lockdown to enable us to support families better.”
The full report, “Coming second all the time”: Life in lockdown for siblings of disabled children, can be read here.
Clare Kassa, Chief Executive at Sibs said: “These results show the huge impact the current situation is having on young siblings. Many are providing care and support, others are navigating challenging situations at home.”
She added: “We want the important role that siblings play, especially during the Covid-19 crisis, to be recognised and to ensure that siblings receive the mental health support they need in the months and years ahead.”