An evidence-based peer-led program that builds family capability
Now & Next™ is an evidence-based peer-led program that builds family capability to achieve the best life for their child. It supports families to engage in authentic, creative visioning for their disabled child and for themselves, providing them with the tools to start working toward those goals. Importantly, it helps them to build effective partnerships with professionals.
Practical skills that bring positive outcomes for families
Grounded in Positive Psychology and Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) theories, it also utilises the demonstrated benefits of gamification and mindfulness. By challenging the traditional ‘grief’ mindset often associated with disability and replacing grief with the concept of overwhelm and the promise of growth, it builds on best practice research into family-centred practice.
Developed by Plumtree Learning in 2015, it is to our knowledge the first totally ‘by families, for families’ program of its kind to be offered in Australia and worldwide. Now and Next™ workshops are facilitated by alumni of the Now & Next™ program who have completed the Now & Next™ Facilitator training and have graduated as Peer Workers. Peer Workers are defined as people with a lived, personal experience who are trained and employed to support others (their peers) who face similar challenges. Our Peer Workers are family members who have a child with a disability who can facilitate the Now and Next™ program for your clients.
Peer Workers can also fulfil a multitude of other roles in a professional practice – event coordination, administration, project management, graphic design and more.
Organisations that develop a peer worker workforce through the Now & Next™ Facilitator Training program can be accredited as a Now & Next™ Hub. Successful Hubs include McKenzie Centre New Zealand, Kinsight Canada, Plumtree Australia and several other organisations currently working toward Hub accreditation.
Who is this for?
This family capacity building initiative works with 3 groups of people:
- families raising a child with disability
- peer families who enrol in our leadership and facilitator training and
- professionals who support families.
Using it in your organisation
- The Now & Next™ program has proved to be an ideal tool as a complimentary program to build connection, engagement, community and peer to peer support alongside your traditional therapy services.
- Delivered by trained Peer Workers, they are able to influence parents to lean in to the relationship with their professionals to work more actively and effectively in partnership.
- The program is evidence based and well researched.
Now and Next™ Facilitation program overview
The program begins with a visioning session, followed by an 8 week, 2.5 hour per week online training program.
Program elements are aimed at progressing children’s goals by engaging their families. Through interactive group work, the program supports families to vision, plan, set goals, and develop goals into action, in the context of a peer led environment.
Get started with Now & Next™
All Now & Next™ programs and training are held online. We are experienced in delivering training for both professionals and the programs to families via online methods. Our research and data collection include online formats and shows statistically significant improvements with inline delivery. See our Global Now and Next™ Benchmark Analysis Dashboard to end 2019 report.
Frequently asked questions
All parents and carers of children with disability or delay, including extended families, will benefit greatly from the program.
Yes, all Carers are welcomed and valued. In the past, we have had mums, dads, foster parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents attend the course – representing the diverse nature of modern families.
Yes, your family will benefit from the Now&Next program, regardless of what stage of the journey you are at. Past families include those who don’t have a diagnosis yet, to those who may have had a diagnosis for a number of years. No matter what stage your family is at, you and your family will benefit greatly from Now&Next.
We really recommend that you attend all sessions so you receive the full benefit of the program. Ideas build upon each other over the weeks, so attending every session is ideal.
We understand that unexpected things do come up, such as children getting sick, and we will support families to catch up where possible.
If multiple sessions are being run in a term, you are most welcome to join another group for a make-up session.
Parents of children with disability and delay are super busy. We have more to do and think about, like therapy, specialist appointments, and researching (lots of researching). During Now & Next you will create a vision for your child, and set a clear path of priorities and goals. You will learn strategies and have access to tools to help you. By making the time to participate in Now&Next, you will feel more in control of your own, your family’s, and your child’s future.
We understand that your time is limited, which is why the main commitment is to the weekly sessions. There is no homework, except to work on goals.
As parents, we want to do the best for our children, especially when early intervention is so important, and there is a time pressure to do all that we can in these early years.
The research shows us that prioritising your own needs, health and wellbeing, mean you are better able to care for your child. During Now&Next we will investigate finding a balance, and how to make time for yourself, that isn’t detrimental to your child’s needs.
During Now&Next, you will meet parents like you, who are going on a similar journey. Your Now&Next facilitators are parents of a child with disability or delay, who also understand what you are experiencing. You will share stories, share strategies, and you will learn from each other. Some families like to share a lot about their experience while others prefer to listen more. It’s up to you how much you share in the sessions.
You are not alone! In the early days, as diagnosis are investigated, we are plunged into the ‘medical’ and ‘deficit’ model, and ‘worst case scenario’, when professionals may focus on what our child can’t do, and don’t always recognise the natural authority of parents.
During Now&Next, we investigate how to achieve the best life for our children. Whilst we acknowledge the challenges, we turn our focus to the positives and the possibilities. We recognise the strengths of our children, their talents, and what they are can do.
You will learn strategies to create a more even playing field with professionals, and how to achieve better outcomes for your child as a result. You will look at how to work closely with your team of therapists, and maximise value from the hourly therapy sessions you and your child attend. You will develop strategies around working with professionals, and recognise that families are the ones who make the biggest difference in their children’s lives. We look at the different ways we can support our children to reach their goals and milestones.
Yes, you can…and we encourage both partners to attend, where they can.
Caring for a child with a disability or delay, can put a lot of strain on relationships. The bad news is that the statistics are against us. The rate of separation and divorce is much higher amongst our families. The good news is that in Now&Next you will learn strategies which will strengthen your relationship and partnership in parenting. When families thrive, children thrive. You will create and celebrate family goals. You will create memories, and a new trajectory to travel together, as a family.
You could also choose to attend the program with a close family member, or a friend.
Absolutely! Whilst Now&Next includes some NDIS content, and will benefit planning or pre-planning preparation, the program is about so much more. The Now&Next focus extends beyond child therapy goals, to incorporate all-important aspects of your child’s life, your family’s security, and your own wellbeing.
Now&Next is based on adult learning principles. There are multiple activities and each session is very interactive – certainly not a lecture-style format.
Each Now&Next session follows a similar format, with different focus topics each week. Sessions include various individual and group activities, mini-talks, and video content.
Families keep in touch between sessions via a private Facebook page, which offers additional content and useful links, as well as an opportunity to connect with other parents, and share ideas or offer suggestions and support.
The program is free at this stage, due to funding and generous donations.
We try to provide childcare where we can, but this depends on location and times. Plumtree at Marrickville offer free childcare during Saturday programs at this stage. Please ask us if childcare is available in your area.
We have a fantastic team of Facilitators, who are themselves, parents of children with disability or delay. Their lived experience adds depth of knowledge and understanding – put simply, they ‘get it’. All Parent Facilitators come through a leadership pipeline which involves extensive training.
Get started with Now & Next™ Training
We make it easy for you to take the first step. Find out more about getting started with Plumtree Learning Training.