In 2009, a core group of adult siblings founded the Massachusetts Sibling Exploratory Committee (MA-SEC) to investigate the needs of siblings of people with disabilities across Massachusetts, and the types of supports that were available to meet those needs. MA-SEC quickly expanded into a diverse network of adult siblings, parents of young siblings, mental health professionals, and sibling service providers, all of whom were connected to sibling issues on a personal or professional level. In 2010, MA-SEC evolved into the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network (MSSN), and in 2011 we became a non-profit organization with bylaws governed by a Board of Directors. The MSSN collaborates with key stakeholders in the disability field, including the Sibling Leadership Network, The ARC, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), and the Massachusetts Parent Advisory Committee (MassPAC), among many other agencies and stakeholders.
The MSSN is committed to supporting siblings of people with disabilities in the following ways: creating welcoming communities for siblings across the lifespan; improving the range and availability of sibling support services; and providing education about sibling-related issues.
Much like the parent and self-advocacy movements, siblings are taking on an increasingly active role in advocating for themselves and allying with their brothers and sisters with disabilities. For the last 10+ years, adult siblings, researchers, policy makers, and service providers have been working to raise awareness of sibling-related issues. Sibling groups are forming all over the country, many focused on local issues and needs. We at the MSSN are proud to support siblings in Massachusetts.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]