Community Living Project (CLP) received funding in 2006 to establish the Circles Initiative, (formerly called Circles of Support) after identifying that many people living with disability have no one to "look out" for them due to factors such as parents no longer around to support them, or having lived in institutions for a long period of time.
The Circles Initiative intentionally invites people to come together and support a person living with disability for the purposes of protecting their interests into the future and supporting them to make decisions about their lives. People who step forward into the circle might be friends of family, friends of the individual, people who support the person, outsiders who have been identified as interested in being involved in the person’s life.
The Circles initiative was independently evaluated in 2006 and 2009 highlighting the value of this initiative. Key outcomes included:
- People living with disability were central to all discussions and activities
- There were more people in the life of each person who were not paid to be there
- There was an increase in the number of new, positive roles that people held
- Expanded social opportunities for people living with disability
- Secured government funding to continue the work
CLP continues to facilitate Circles of Support, and facilitation can be funded through NDIS plans. More information on the Circles Initiative can be found at https://communitylivingproject.org.au/category/circles/