Families4Families: ABI Support Network provides families living with ABI the opportunity to share experiences, access social supports, and exchange positive coping strategies to support families to develop sustainable social networks.
Families4 Families: ABI Support Network offer a range of services including:
- Social and recreational activities
- Regional support groups
- Education and information programs.
A Shared Journey
This 20-month project (July 2017-February 2019) enabled Families4Families to deliver this project in which people with ABI were empowered to plan, secure and maintain valued roles. This shared peer support journey provided participants maximum life opportunities to live their best lives post-injury, supported by a peer organisation they already embrace to take steps beyond peer group attendance. Families4Families has documented the processes most successful in bringing about this participation for the future benefit of both people living with ABI nationally and also other peer support organisations wanting to offer new opportunities to their members.
The project utilised various tools to empower participants to secure, or maintain, a role which is valued by them, resulting in them having a sense of ’taking part, giving something and being someone in a specific context’ (Schipper, 2011, pp21-22). Such roles are highly individual necessitating person-centred project phases including: planning, securing and design of steps, personalised and small group sessions, maintaining support and finally handover and future planning. In addition to traditional peer group sessions, one on one mentoring and support was provided by the project ‘Researcher’ via individual face to face meetings as well as ongoing phone and email access. Unexpectedly correlating with the NDIS roll out across South Australia, the project enabled deep learning surrounding NDIS access and pre-planning issues evident for people living with ABI.
Project participants made significant progress toward their goals as evidenced in increasing CIQ-R and RC measures, and feedback regarding their life options and sense of choice. Expansions in knowledge via information and support was expected and encouraging, yet it was their overwhelming statements relating to improved confidence, independence, resilience and sense of purpose which dominated feedback from both participants and their involved family members. This project has enabled effective processes to be developed which could result in peer organisations enabling greater community engagement and inclusion of people living with ABI across SA. Findings result in a range of recommendations regarding project replication, peer organisation development as well as improved NDIS accessibility and consistency.
ABI Support Network
Families4Families: ABI Support Network was established by people living with acquired brain injury and their families as a result of consultation and research work undertaken by Flinders University and funds provided by Julia Farr MS McLeod Benevolent Fund in 2012.
Funding for the project will end in October 2014, however, Families4Families: ABI Support Network are looking at other funding sources to continue their work beyond this date.
More information on Families4Families can be found at http://families4families.org.au/