The Belonging Project Outcomes Report
Little is known about the ways that children with disability and their families connect with places and people, or about their perspectives on belonging, particularly within regional communities. Connectedness and a sense of belonging are not only critically important for wellbeing but also for understanding inclusion and exclusion. The Project Team from the Northern Rivers Social Development Council and the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University engaged with 33 families across the Tweed Shire. Children were asked to draw a map of their lives to show the places they like to go and the people they go there with. Parents were interviewed about what worked well and what the barriers were to inclusion for children and families. The outcomes of the research are built on the lived experience of children and families and tell us what is important and what makes it hard to feel like a valued member of the community…Download the report.
About the project
The Belonging Project is an action-based, participatory research project which involves talking to children who have disability (and are aged up to eight years old) and their families about what it means to feel included and connected in the Tweed Shire Community.
The project includes researchers from the Northern Rivers Social Development Council and the Centre for Children and Young People at Southern Cross University, and involves conducting to 30 interviews with to the age of eight with disability and their families. Using a combination of drawing, mapping, play, interactive social media applications and photography, the project will capture the voices and views of children and families on what it means to belong in the Tweed Valley Shire.
What are the project aims?
The aim of the research is to work with stakeholders across the community to develop a framework for building inclusion in community settings. The project aims to grow the skills and knowledge to become a community in which everyone has a say, has friends and can go to the places they want- when and how they choose. It is a strengths-based project, so the focus is on the existing resilience in the community and learning from the good work that is already happening.
All people who have a stake in the outcomes - children, families, services, organisations and businesses - will have a chance to give feedback and advice on the interview process, research findings and take part in capacity building planning and activities. The Belonging Project is funded for 12 months until June 2013, by the Department of Family and Community Services NSW, through the Stronger Together Two program.
How can families get involved?
We are making contact with children and families through a range of avenues, including services. If a service knows of a family who may be interested in taking part, we ask that (with their agreement) you forward us the families’ details and we will send an invitation with all of the necessary information.
What part will services play?
Once the initial consultation phase has been completed in early 2013 stakeholders, including the community sector, will have the opportunity to attend capacity development activities. At these events, the findings of the research will be discussed and built upon, to map the interpersonal, organisational and community strengths, assets and opportunities for capacity building.
Building Blocks Family Day
Come along and tell us what you think!!! Families are invited to come to the Building Blocks Family Day at Tweed Heads Primary School, 9.30am on August 31 and take part in the second phase of the project! Building_Blocks_Family_Day_Invitation.pdf
Who are the contacts?
The details listed below can be used to make contact about the project, whether you have any questions, are referring a family to take part in the research, or want to take part in stakeholder activities: