Disability support is changing with the NDIS. Plumtree professional training helps organisations deliver innovative family–centred early childhood intervention services.
A new system needs new support methods. Our ECIA professional development project in 2018 – 2019 provided ECI organisations and staff free training in Plumtree’s suite of acclaimed, evidence-based programs.
Many parents expect more therapy services, but don’t realise the most significant impact on the child is the family. In addition to therapy, professionals can help families increase personal agency, well-being and resilience that lead to positive outcomes. Workshops on our award-winning Pictability visioning experience, helping families achieve goals, and the value of peer workers and networks in ECI organisations help make this happen.
Advocating peer workers
With lived experience in raising a child with disability or developmental delay, peer workers are a valuable workforce opportunity for ECI organisations. Plumtree has trained and employed over 20 peer workers since 2015 for paid work including running workshops and courses, research, project management, planning with families, and more.
We believe this is the future. An Innovative Workforce Fund grant in 2017 enabled us to research, document and develop resources that support ECI organisations to introduce families as peer workers. The project drew from peer worker experience and evidence in the mental health sector, and at Plumtree.
In addition to sharing six papers of our work at the 2019 International Society on Early Intervention Conference, Plumtree hosted ECI researchers and practitioners from overseas in a two-day pre-conference visit. Our staff and peer workers presented Plumtree’s programs, capabilities alongside discussion panels.
Lea Ann Christenson, Associate professor from Towson University, USA says about Pictability: “This is a wonderful tool for parents and myself. Using this method with parents helps them to advocate for themselves and their children, with concrete ways that make them feel empowered.”