Introducing ENVISAGE Families – a program that empowers, supports and connects parents and caregivers of children living with disability or developmental concern.
Raising children is an important and sometimes tough task! Caring for children whose development might be complicated by developmental delays or a disability can be even harder. We know that caregivers want to do a good job when caring for their child or children, and there can be a lot of extra stress and strain on caregivers as they work to find ways to support their child’s development and family’s needs.
That’s why the Australian Government is supporting families to access the ENVISAGE Families program for FREE for caregivers of children between the ages of 0 and 8 years who are living with a disability or developmental concern.
ENVISAGE Families seeks to empower caregivers to feel confident and competent in raising their children with disability or developmental concerns by using a positive approach that focuses on strengths and possibilities of the child and family.
The free program can be undertaken through five face-to-face or online interactive workshops and discussions. The workshops were developed with parent partners and cover important areas such as health and well-being in early child development; child, sibling, and family development; parenting values and child-caregiver relationships; self-care and wellbeing for caregivers; and techniques for communicating, collaborating and connecting.
ENVISAGE workshops are facilitated by a clinician or early child development professional with experience working with families with children with disability or developmental concerns AND a caregiver with lived experience in raising a child with developmental challenges who is trained in providing peer support.
Lifestart will be coordinating the delivery of the ENVISAGE program across NSW and the ACT in partnership with the peer support organisation Kindred. These workshops will be co-facilitated by a health service provider from Lifestart and a peer parent from Kindred.
The program provides the opportunity to work through materials and resources and connect to a small group of other parents and caregivers like yourself.
What is required to do the program?
- The ability to commit to 2 hours per week (1 hour of pre-workshop preparation and 1 hour workshop) for five weeks.
- For those undertaking the program online, you’ll need reliable internet access and either a computer with a webcam or a mobile device.
- To complete simple online questionnaires before and after the program.
The ENVISAGE Families program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (go to www.dss.gov.au for more information) and has been evaluated by researchers from Australian Catholic University, CanChild, McMaster University (Canada), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne.