Welcome to Plumtree Professional
Plumtree is a trusted community-based organisation that provides online training delivered by our highly experienced and qualified team to professionals and teachers in:
– early childhood intervention
– family-led organisations
– early childhood education and care centres
In 2018-19, through our Plumtree Learning division, we delivered professional development to over 550 people in 18 organisations in Australia and internationally. Based on our family-centred practice model and our Theory of Change, our training is evidence-based and our Now and Next program has been externally evaluated by the Centre of Community Child Health at Murdoch Children’s Institute.
Our aim is to work with other professionals so that together, we can build a society where children with disability are supported to have a full life in their community.
Explore the professional training options available for your organisation
Living the family-centred practice model
As all professionals know, family-centred practice is central to the best practice approach in early childhood intervention (National Guidelines on Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention, 2016).
Research on family-centred practice has led to an update of the model to highlight the element of intentional capacity building as a mediator of the benefits for intervention with families (Dunst, Hamby, Raab 2019, Dunst, Espe-Sherwindt, Hamby, 2019, Dunst & Trivette, 2009). The capacity-building paradigm uses a strengths-based approach to focus on building the supports, resources, experiences and opportunities for parents, children and families.
However, despite over 20 years of evidence reinforcing this approach, it is still common for families to experience traditional deficit-based models where professionals are situated as experts to the detriment of parental expertise.
We have addressed this by developing new programs and resources designed to promote greater family participation. Our training for professionals also uses the same capacity-building approaches we use with families. Capacity-building professional development is related to practitioners’ use of capacity-building family-centered practices (Dunst, Espe-Sherwindt, Hamby 2019). It is in the long-term interest of families that they have multiple opportunities for capacity building from the earliest possible time as this will lead to better outcomes for the child and family as a whole.
Training to enrich professionals’ skills at building partnerships with families can only carry us half of the way. Families need to build the bridge from the other side and prepare themselves for this partnership, stepping into a new space and positioning themselves as active partners. Now & Next shows how families learning together can create new discussions with professionals to bring about new outcomes for their child and families.
Working with the whole family
‘I believe early intervention organisations have always valued building the capacity of families, but we should be prepared to develop new ways to do it in partnership with them. The outcome we all want is independent, happy young adults who have strong foundations to lead meaningful lives contributing to their communities. But they can’t get there themselves. The skills, knowledge and vision of their family is critical.’
Sylvana Mahmic CEO Plumtree