Families Growing Communities: A Partnership Initiative

Current research suggests that families who include a person with a disability are at risk of increased stress and isolation due to the pressures that are placed on them in providing daily support and care for the person who has a disability.

Southern Metropolitan Region (SMR) is experiencing rapid, large growth in both population and number of households. This ongoing increase provides a number of challenges for both the private and public sector to overcome in managing for the future.

The Families Growing Communities project was developed in partnership with Life Without Barriers, Department of Education & Early Childhood Development, Department of Human Services and Chisholm Institute of TAFE.

The project aims to identify a range of opportunities that will support the following outcomes:

  • Decrease isolation of carers and individuals with a disability ('caring families')
  • Promote engagement of individuals with a disability and their families with all facets of community
  • Assist private enterprise to be more inclusive in their practices.

The project commences within the City of Casey moving outwards to include Cardinia and other areas in the southern growth corridor.

Project success relies on community ownership and the involvement of a range of with different skills, knowledge and experiences.

The objectives of this project are to:

  • Support contact between 'caring families', to create a network able to share experiences, information and physical and emotional support.
  • Support the network members to identify ways in which they can work with the community to facilitate changes in attitude and practice.
  • Work with local government, businesses, schools and other community organisations, to promote awareness and assist individuals to build confidence, to maintain old skills and develop new ones, to make new friends, to feel valued.

This initiative is part of the 'Families Growing Communities' project and includes partnership with the VET sector, disability service organisations, and government.

Best practice guides