Sibling programs: North Eastern Metropolitan Region

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The following sibling program are in the North Eastern Metropolitan Region of Victoria.

These sibling programs cover the local government areas of Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Maroondah, Monash, Whitehorse and Yarra Ranges.

Ashwood School

Region: North Eastern Metropolitan
Contact Details: Todd MacBeth
Postal Address: Montpellier Road, Ashwood VIC 3147
Street Address: As above
Phone: 03 9808 7444
Fax: 03 9888 8043
Localities: All North Eastern Metro LGAs – Boroondara, Knox, Manningham, Monash, Whitehorse, Yarra Ranges

Description: A series of fun filled discussion based sessions to support young people who have a sibling with a disability. These are held over a period of five weeks, one afternoon per week, between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm.

The program is open to siblings aged between 8 – 12 years, with a brother or sister with a disability in the Eastern Metro area. Each afternoon is facilitated by a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Psychologist and a Special Educator from Ashwood School.

The sessions focus on topics which draw out the siblings experiences of having a brother or sister with a disability. There is an emphasis on information, communication and problem solving within a creative environment of games and friendship building. The program is not disability specific. Afternoon tea is included and a gold coin donation is requested to cover the cost. There are no additional fees.

Target Group: Siblings aged 8 to 12 years with a brother or sister with a disability
Disabilities: All
Service Fees: A gold coin donation to cover the cost of afternoon tea


Interchange Outer East

Region: North Eastern Metropolitan
Contact Details: Jenna Tatterson , Co-ordinator of Sibling Program
Postal Address: 5-7 Yose Street, Ferntree Gully VIC 3156
Street Address: As above
Phone: 03 9758 5522
Fax: 03 9758 5899
Localities: Siblings aged 5-18 years in any area can access this program.

Description: Sibling Support Groups provide an opportunity for brothers and sisters of children with disabilities to have fun, share their experiences, develop coping strategies for the unique stress in their lives and form a support network. .

Target Group: Groups run on an age group and school term basis. Co-ed Siblings aged 5-18 years.
Program Hours: 5-8 years programs run in term 1 and 3 (3 consecutive Saturdays) 9-12 years programs run in term 2,3 and 4 (full days, on weekdays) All ages Siblings Camps terms 2 and 4, Teenage Siblings camps Terms 1 and 3.
Disabilities: All
Service Fees: $25 for day activities (dependent upon activity), $36.00 for Saturday Sibs, $70.00 – $100 for camps


Irabina Autism Services Sibling Program

Region: North Eastern Metropolitan
Contact Details: Ann Hegerty, Executive Officer Irabina Autism Services
Postal Address: 193 Bayswater Road, Bayswater VIC 3153
Street Address: As above
Phone: 03 9720 1118
Fax: 03 9720 6641
Localities: All regions

Description: A program created by an occupational therapist and psychologist working at Irabina, for siblings with a brother or sister with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The aims of the program are to create a place where siblings can receive and share information about their sibling’s disability, to explore how they are similar and different to their peers and siblings and to provide opportunities for parents and the sibling to share their individual responses. There is also a focus on discovering and celebrating special traits and talents that the siblings have.

The group runs as a holiday program where children attend Irabina for 5 consecutive half days, and participate in educational activities. They are given homework tasks to do, sometimes along with their parent. For example, one task requires the child to interview their parents and other special people in their lives, in order to find out what they think is special about the sibling. An additional homework task requires the sibling to have a go at an activity that is typical for their sibling with Autism. Activities chosen are carefully considered so as to be based on the child’s developmental stage and to involve the parent and sibling in communicating together in a safe and familiar way about their individual responses. These activities acknowledge the sibling as an active participant in their family life and support their developing relationships in the family context.

After the holiday program siblings can continue to meet at a recreational activity held once-twice per term.

Target Group: Must have a brother or sister diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Disabilities: Autism Spectrum disorders.
Service Fees: Available on request.


Villa Maria Early Childhood Intervention Service

Region: North Eastern Metropolitan
Contact Details: Sibling Program Coordinator
Postal Address: Private Bag 20 Kew 3101
Street Address: 3-13 Fernhurst Grove Kew
Phone: 03 9855 7648
Fax: 03 9855 2340

Description: Our siblings program provides facilitated recreational based groups for siblings of children with additional needs between the ages of 5 -17 years. The aim of the group is to build children’s self esteem and provide an avenue to meet and discuss relevant issues with other children living with a sibling with additional needs.

This year Villa Maria siblings groups are working on weekly individual art projects which will be made into a book at the end of the year. Art projects range from drawing and painting, photography and creative writing. There are discussions, other activities and games too. The older groups also prepare and share a meal whilst engaging in the various activities.

Target Group: Siblings aged 5-17
Disabilities: All
Service Fees: On application
Days of Operation: There are three groups. The younger group meets fortnightly, and the two older groups meet monthly. All groups are invited to attend a holiday program each school holidays.


Yooralla Eastern Blackburn South Early Childhood

Region: North Eastern Metropolitan
Contact Details: Co-ordinator of Sibling Program, Lyn Clements
Postal Address: 19 Neil Court, Blackburn VIC 3130
Street Address: As above
Phone: 03 9808 6833
Fax: 03 9888 9396
Localities: All North Eastern LGAs

Description: A support group catering for siblings, co-ed, primary school age held three times a term from 4-5.45pm, usually on a Wednesday. The program is not disability specific. The group gives siblings an opportunity to share their stories and explore their experiences of having a brother or sister with a disability in a non-threatening and relaxed environment through the use of games and group activities.

Past group activities have included an art show, sibling/parent camp and recording of a CD facilitated by a music therapist. It is important to note that families do not have to be members of Yooralla or utilise other Yooralla facilities for siblings to participate in the program. See additional entries for Yooralla to view alternative venues (regional) of the Yooralla Sibling Program. There is also one camp run each year.

Target Group: Siblings, co-ed, primary school age
Disabilities: All
Service Fees: None


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Published July 17, 2014 - Updated November 17, 2014