The Shaping Outcomes Parent Project is a course for parents and carers of children with a disability or developmental delay. The focus of the course is on parental wellbeing and building knowledge and self-confidence, empowering parents to act on behalf of themselves and their children in day to day situations and during challenging and confronting times.
Carers are a cornerstone in our community. A 2015 study found it would cost around $60 billion to replace the care provided by carers in Australia with funded services (Deloitte Access Economics 2015). Based on those findings, in NSW in 2015, informal carers provided around 600 million hours of care, which would cost around $19 billion to replace. NB: These figures are likely underestimates: around 80 per cent of carers don’t identify themselves as such.
Shaping Outcomes have been assisting children and families since 1981. Over the last 37 years the team has witnessed the enormous difference a strong network of friends and community can make in the lives of parents as they learn to support their child with a disability.
The NRCF has provided funding to run the Shaping Outcomes Parent Project for the last 3 years.
“Without their help there is no guarantee we would have been able to secure enough funds to run the program and the year prior to their involvement the program did not run due to insufficient funding,” said Amber Thorley, Community Relations Manager – Marketing, Shaping Outcomes.
She continues: “NRCF’s help has meant we have run our 7-week course for the last 3 years, with families attending free of charge. Their children are being cared for by highly qualified Disability Support Workers in a room close by, providing parents with 21 hours of respite from their care-giving role while they are supported at outcome focused Parenting Project sessions run by a Key Worker Specialist and Counsellor. Covering 7 formal topics that include the following: parents as caregivers, parents and your families, parents and your world, affirming and listening, problem solving through handling conflicts, knowing the system and utilising support, taking control of stress and looking ahead. Followed by complimentary relaxation sessions.”
Amber has heard some great comments first hand from the parents:
“I have learnt some relaxation strategies and how important it is for me to take care of myself. It has helped me understand that it is important to look after me as well as the kids.”
“This group was very beneficial in giving me tools for both myself as an individual and caring for all of my children. It was a safe space.”
“I am much more confident in advocating for my children and realise the importance of looking after myself.”
With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) a greater emphasis than ever is being placed on the parents and carers of children with a disability to support their children, negotiate their funding, contribute to their NDIS planning process and manage their disability providers.
Over the course of NRCF’s involvement the course has run for 21 weeks and provided invaluable support and information to over 20 families, including 63 hours of respite.