Family resilience retreats

Evolve Network has been working alongside a cluster of disability industry respite services to deliver NINE retreats for 56 families who have a child with a disability.

BRIEF:  To enhance family resilience among families who have a child with a disability and provide respite services with strategies to support families to maintain resilience into the future.

The Evolve process:  The weekend retreats featured workshops which showcased a variety of industry professionals (Libby Ellis, Peter McGrath and Theresa Duncombe), fun (provided by circus workshop wonder-woman Jill)  and relaxation activities and facilitated conversation.

The retreats had a multi-layered approach which embodied the following outcomes:

* Strengthening family networks with one another and through the broader community
* Sourcing in-depth information about how families view resilience (they are all incredibly resilient) and how they would like to be supported to maintain that as the NDIS approaches and service systems shift
* Providing insights from industry experts about innovative ways to approach creating and sustaining a vision for the future that is guided by the things that really matter to the individual and family
* Having time to have fun, laugh and connect

Parent testimonials:
(My highlight from the weekend was) “Getting to know other families and realising I’m not alone in the issues I’m facing and learning”

“It was great to see the kids connecting with each other and having time to make friends”

Sustainability:  The families took away many connections, ideas and learning that will support their future but most importantly it is the mindset shift about planning for the future – and to a large extent fear (or not) of the NDIS that had the most significant impacts.  Evolve Network has proposed further follow activities which are pending.