Anyone who has kids knows how hard parenting can be.
Imagine for a second you are a single parent with two disabled children. You are struggling to make ends meet and provide the support your children need. Probably the last thing on your mind would be navigating the complex National Disability Insurance Scheme, in order to get the supports you require to help your family thrive. Many families become so fed up by the process, they disengage and give up.
Joseph Archibald, who is both an employee of Growing Potential and a current student of the Graduate Certificate NDIS Business Development at UNE, realised he needed to do something to help. Joseph spent his childhood watching his Nan look after his younger cousins who had significant health issues. This, coupled with the fact he works with indigenous people in the disability sector every day, means he knows firsthand the pressures families with special needs experience.
The indigenous community are not always engaged with the disability sector in Australia. There is not even a word for ‘disability’ in most indigenous languages. Traditionally, due to historical factors of discrimination and racism, indigenous people regularly avoid engagement with formal service systems. Instead they choose to rely on their community, where they feel safe and secure, for informal help. But in many situations, families need more support than what family and friends are able to provide.
In response to these difficulties, Joseph and his team have come up with a practical solution- the Windaan Project. Joseph’s team are providing specialist support in getting people access to funding through the NDIS. They can work out what assistance and support the family needs whilst also taking care of the pesky paperwork which often accompanies government programs. Joseph and the team from Growing Potential provide intensive support that is currently unfunded by NDIS but still essential. Instead they provide this life changing support as part of their service to the community.
The Windaan team are rewarded by seeing the difference their help make to the lives of their clients. Nothing is better than seeing a mum breathe a sigh of relief after realising her kids are finally getting the support they need. Kids often start getting involved in sport and community activities once they have access to appropriate support services. Families can start making plans and achieving goals they never thought would be possible!
In order to qualify to get help from the Windaan team, you need be indigenous and under 65 years old. Notably, the team specialise in early intervention programs for children from birth to six years of age. At the moment the program is being trialled in the Mid North Coast area. Given how popular the program is, it is likely to be expanded in the future.
Thank you Joseph and the team at Growing Potential, for giving back to your community in such an important and heartfelt way!