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The "LARES sibling children"

Questionnaire for detecting the early signs of stress in the siblings of severely and chronically ill or disabled children

The LARES early detection questionnaire (named after the Roman deities that protect households) is an aid to detecting stress and the associated extent ofsuffering in the siblings of severely and chronically ill or disabled children and to directing the children to appropriate support.

This allows the provision of individual support to healthy sibling children who are at increased risk of psychological stress due to the particular care situation within the family.

LARES can be used, therefore, not only to assess stress and suffering but also in counselling sibling children and their parents.

It is intended that trained medical and psychosocial specialists should also make use of the LARES early detection tool where possible, irrespective of the nature of the illness or disability of the affected child.


Around two million children and adolescents in Germany grow up with a severely and chronically ill or disabled sibling. In most cases, this does not affect the quality of life of healthy siblings and they are generally able to lead a normal life. For up to 30% of them, however, the resulting family situation may cause problems and be associated with psychological stress.

To help detect the early signs of stress due to the particularly stressful situations in which some siblings may find themselves, FamilyTies has collaborated with academic partners in the development of the LARES early detection questionnaire for sibling children, which has now been validated in a study conducted across Germany.

The LARES sibling children questionnaire has been designed in such a way that the results can serve as a basis for direct and targeted counselling and further support in discussions between the health or social care professional and the healthy sibling children and their parents.

More than 200 services providing sibling children support are listed in our database, arranged by postcode and content.

About the services provided

What questions are asked in LARES?

In a first step, LARES asks two questions to determine the level of suffering and stress the sibling child is experiencing. In addition, five areas of care provision are queried that give more specific information concerning the problems and the needs of the sibling.
Sibling relationship (GB)
Social integration (SI)
Family stress (FB)
Competence at school (SK)
Knowledge about the disease (KW)

Everything you want to know about LARES

What is LARES?

LARES initially determines the degree of stress and suffering the child is subjected to on the basis of two questions on risk. The child is then assigned to one of three general risk categories (low, moderate, high).


To enable detection of the early signs of stress, it is recommended that the LARES tool is ideally completed in stages. For the questionnaires to be of value, it is important that they are completed separately from one another.


The evaluation of the parent and children/adolescent questionnaires is conducted separately and is in three stages. The results of the questionnaires provide valuable information for both the sibling children and their parents.

Instructions for discussion with the parents

The instructions provide specific advice about who the parents can contact regarding, for example, the problem fields ‘Knowledge of the disease’, ‘Social integration’, ‘Sibling relationship’, or ‘School performance’.

Online training

The LARES sibling children e-learning module is a practice-based introduction to the completion of the “LARES sibling children” questionnaire and also provides further useful links and information


You can download and print out the questionnaires and the instructions. Alternatively, you can also install the electronic questionnaires on your PC.

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