The Belonging Project

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Project Outcomes Report

About the project

What are the project aims?

How can families get involved?

What part will services play?

Who are the contacts?

Download a project flyer

Building Blocks Family Day

Plan of Action

The Belonging Project Plan of Action

Plan of Action to build inclusion for kids with additional needs and their families in Tweed.

As part of Social Inclusion Week, The Belonging Project launched a series of activities this week to build social inclusion for kids with additional needs across the Tweed Shire.

The plan of action will be implemented with funding from NSW Family and Community Services, Ageing Disability and Home Care, and includes:

  • Activities for kids, like a homework club for local Aboriginal kids run by their parents, and an arts and craft based program that enables kids with additional needs to enjoy activities with other kids outside of a ‘service’ setting
  • Activities for parents, including a Parents Space where parents of kids with additional needs can connect socially and develop skills to support themselves and their families
  • Service development, helping kids with additional needs make the transition to mainstream schools and community connections, and
  • Community strengthening activities, making community a welcoming place for kids with additional needs and their families.

The Belonging Project Plan of Action will be implemented in partnership across community and government services in the Tweed throughout 2014 and can be viewed here: pdfPlan of Action

The Belonging Project is funded under Stronger Together 2 (NSW Family and Community Services, Ageing Disability and Home Care) until June 2015.

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…pdfDownload 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! pdfBuilding_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:

Dr Sally Robinson
Research Fellow
Centre for Children and Young People
Ph: 02 6620 3134
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Danielle Notara
Research Officer
NRSDC
Ph: 02 66201818
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DddddDownload a project flyer:

pdfThe Belonging Project_Flyer.pdf