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Manawanui Auckland conference

Amazing buzz at the Manawanui InCharge conference!!

Firstly, Michael Kendrick greeted his fan club. We had lots of fun continuing with a deep discussion about building a leadership pipeline for families raising children with disability. Michael has been incredibly supportive of our endeavour since the beginning - he is our mentor.


Secondly Simon Duffy loved the ideas we co-designed with our families! Our process clears a space for families to set an inspiring vision for their child's progress and from which they plan a series of steps to achieve it. Simon experienced our Pictability tool set first hand and invited us to join the global Citizen Network (www.citizen-network.org)... more about this soon!!


Thirdly, our presentation was very well received. In the photo below, we carry on talking about it after our presentation with mothers and service providers.


What are our points of difference?
  • We are the first Early Childhood Intervention parent-led network in Australia - supported by Plumtree, we can continue building our initial achievements from the solid foundation of an organisation with great kudos and a reputation for innovation
  • Our vision is long term: Alumni families will continue building their understanding and practice to help their children prepare early enough for a transition out of the education system and into the world of employment and self-employment. These families will have built the experience of planning for outcomes and will guide their children on how to stretch their Individual Funding into the meaningful careers they will have chosen on the basis of the strengths they will have built since the start of their Early Childhood Intervention experience. 
  • We operate from a robust theoretical foundation (positive psychology) and our own evidence-base (6 years of Plumtree research): we are transparent about what our philosophy is and how we build on our early successes
  • We have a large well-connected support base already: The first Now and Next programme piloted in July 2015 was completed by 70 families, followed by another 40. By mid 2017, we will represent 200 families
  • Train the trainer programs are 8 sessions long. Groups are rolled out every cycle with an alumni group growing with each cycle. This alumni group regularly meets as a committee to help the social movement develop and gain momentum. Families set up their own social sharing spaces, often through FaceBook so they continue sharing and learning between sessions and after the program is finished
  • We aim to start new conversations with professionals: The peer networks assists families through a mix of personal guidance and coaching. How to change the relationship between families and professionals with the expectation that new outcomes are sought. Families build outcome-based partnership with professionals selected on the basis of targeted needs. This will assist all families - those who prepare for NDIS as well as those who will not be eligible.
  • Our collective work is deep and fun! We have developed a suite of tools that are as fun as they are effective to assist families create their vision and work on it, we coach families to embed their strengths into self-affirmations, we embed the mindfulness principles we use into colouring books that parents work on. 
We are building a social movement - and it is spreading rapidly.