Information for Social Workers

Thank you for your interest in Sibling Connections. We have prepared some answers to frequently ask questions but if you need additional information please contact Elizabeth Parker at (617) 501-1229  or SiblingConnections.Program[@]gmail.com.

1. Who can refer to Sibling Connections?

brothersWe accept referrals from all sources: social workers, foster parents, adoptive parents, biological parents, advocates and other caregivers. Once we receive a referral, we will make all the necessary contacts to ensure the sibling group can participate in our programs.

Applications coming soon!

 

2. What is the age range to participate in Sibling Connections programming?

We work with youth between the ages of 6 and 20 years.

3. I have a sibling group who would benefit from your programs, how do I make a referral?

First time referrals of sibling groups should be discussed directly with our program director, who will complete an intake form and will work with the referrer to obtain a release of information and permission form. Our program director will then contact the siblings’ caregivers to set up a time to meet them, either individually or in a group. Once it is determined that the siblings would be a good fit and would benefit from our programs they will be invited to the next Sibling Sunday activity where we will talk to them about Camp To Belong MA.

4. What is the purpose of the visit?

We like to visit all siblings who are referred to our programs for many reasons. We like to explain our programs directly to the siblings and their caregivers so they know what to expect and we want to ensure they are interested in our program. We want to assess their readiness to build upon their relationship their siblings. We assess each sibling for behavioral issues to understand if we will be able to manage those behaviors while the siblings are in our care. And finally, we want the siblings to meet somebody from our program so they will have at least one familiar face when they first attend one of our programs.

5. What types of behaviors would be of concern to Sibling Connections?

To ensure the fun and safety of all siblings participating in our programs, siblings who are currently exhibiting the following behaviors would not be able to participate in our programming:

sledding

  • fire setting
  • sexually acting out
  • drug/alcohol use
  • running from caregivers
  • violent behavior
  • siblings who are not ready to continue to build upon their relationship with each other
  • siblings who need one on one supervision.
  • siblings who cannot manage in a sibling to counselor ratio of 2:1.

6. What if the sibling group I’d like to refer hasn’t seen each other on a regular basis?

We expect the siblings in our program already have an existing relationship that they would like to build upon. Our goal is to help them create lifelong childhood memories with their siblings! For this reason, we expect siblings referred to already have an existing relationship regardless of the frequency of their interactions.

7. What types of activities do you offer during Sibling Sundays?

We do all sorts of fun things! Recent activities have included:

    • pottery painting
    • visits to the Basketball Hall of Fame, Butterfly Conservatory, Lowell Winter fest and farms
    • horseback riding
    • roller skating
    • laser tag
    • IMAX movies
    • Earth Day activities

8. What geographical area do you cover?

We are a statewide program. Camp To Belong MA is open to sibling groups from all over the state. We currently have Sibling Sunday programs in the western part of the state, generally along the Route 91 corridor, Greater Lowell, Boston, and around the Bridgewater area.

9. Does Sibling Connections provide transportation?

We provide transportation to and from Camp To Belong MA from various points across the state. A bus schedule and directions will be provided to each caregiver a few weeks before camp. A designated caregiver MUST be available to put the child on the bus and receive the child upon return at the pre-determined times.

We have limited ability to provide transportation for our For Sibling Sunday events. For this reason, we ask that caregivers that are able to provide transportation to and from the activity. We will try to find volunteers to provide transportation to those siblings that would not be able to attend otherwise.

10. Can caregivers stay for the Sibling Sunday activities?

Absolutely!

11. What training is provided for the volunteer camp counselors?

All of our volunteer counselors must complete an application and go through a comprehensive background check that includes a Criminal Offender Record Information check and a Sexual Offender Record Information check. Once cleared, they are able to participate in training.

Camp To Belong MA volunteer counselors participate in a 2 day intensive training before camp begins. Topics include behavior management, safety adherence, professional boundaries, de-escalation strategies, and being a positive role model, to name just a few.

The training for volunteers participating in our Sibling Sunday program is quite similar but does not involve the intensity of the 2 day session.

12. I love this program! How can I volunteer?

See our page for volunteers. We would love to have your expertise!

If you still have questions, please contact Kelley Lane at Kelleyl.lane[at]gmail.com or (617) 335-1292.