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Innovation awards!

Creating authentic change in community

We are planning a project to radically change the entry point into the disability sector - by giving families a different initial experience around their first visit with professionals.

When parents suspect or face the prospect of disability for their child, they become overwhelmed. As they look for answers in discussions with experts, there is a risk that the situation becomes so unbalanced that parents to 'give away' their control to professionals: 'Experts know best.'

Whilst we need experts to help us take important medical decisions, there is still a lot that parents can do to create progress in their child's development, but disempowered parents do not necessarily know how. 

We advocate for parents to (re)claim their expertise so that their collaboration with practitioners can better lead to better outcomes - through their daily family interactions.

We will work with a hospital Paediatric department and train a team of parents as peer workers to help others plan for a future with hope for their child and family. Parents will learn from their lived experience how to support other parents. 

At service entry level, shortly after a consultation or before if possible, families will build their agency to participate and plan for positive changes. Empowered parents and families can influence the trajectory of their child progress by making better use of their relationship with professionals.

The disability literature emphasises the role that parents can play and that they do not always think they can. 

Strengthen agency - become empowered

Connect to others and learn from each other - complement each other's skills so that together we can achieve more.

Involve youth with disabilities that can share their knowledge of what is important for their development

  • What can programs bring to community that is not already available?
  • How can people and programs build capability in the community?

Visuals from: https://citizen-network.org