CRUcial Times 38: Circles of Support

This edition of CRUcial Times focuses on the theme of “Circles of Support

Download  CRUcial Times 38 - March 2007 (PDF)

This edition contains the following articles:

Guest Editorial

Sandra Kalms

From the President

Mike Duggan

Circles: holding and inviting friendships

Janet Klees has been involved with the Deohaeko Support Network in Ontario Canada for the last fifteen years. In this short piece, Janet shares what she has learnt from people with disabilities, their families and friends about the role of the circle in assisting a person and their families to build relationships and to discover a sense of belonging and mutuality. Some of these stories of relationship have been captured in Our Presence Has Roots and We Come Bearing Gifts.

What have support circles got to do with succession planning

Jeremy Ward is the parent of three young adults, one of whom has disabilities and requires assistance to live independently. He works at a family support agency in Brisbane where he leads a team working throughout Queensland to assist families with succession planning.

On being somewhat person-centered

Michael Kendrick is a regular contributor to CRUcial Times. With nearly 35 years of experience, he has made a very significant contribution to the field as an educator, consultant, and advocate. He is well known for his work on Leadership, Quality, Advocacy, Safeguards and the promotion of community living for people with a disability.

Circles of support initiative

Jayne Barrett coordinates the Circles of Support Initiative, a collaborative project in South Australia. This initiative grew out of the recognition that many of the people with a disability, supported by a small service provider, had ageing parents. After many years of trying to help extend people’s personal networks by including this strategy in the general responsibilities of the service coordinators, the service provider concluded that a different strategy was required if genuine success was to be achieved. Jayne describes how the Circles of Support Initiative attempts to build circles of support and increase the social networks for a number of people who had been institutionalised or were at risk of being institutionalised.

Invitation on the Journey

Margaret Rodgers has coordinated a project designed to build informal networks or circles of support for people in Brisbane for the past four years. In this project, circles are one strategy for bringing people into the lives of people with a disability. Margaret has assisted nine adults who have a disability and their families with the establishment of circles of support in this time and shares with us some of the lessons from this journey.

Circles of support

Sally Richards.  In the previous edition of CRUcial Times Sally described the key elements of the family-governed structure which she and two other families set up to support their sons to live a good life in the community. In this issue Sally discusses one of these elements, the circle of support, in greater detail. Most people who are involved in the world of disability have heard of circles of support, sometimes called circles of friends. Sally prefers to use the term ‘circles of support’ as she believes that support can come not only from friends but also from extended family, acquaintances, teachers, support workers who may or may not already work with your family member, business owners or youth workers. Sally also reminds us about some of the essential building blocks of a circle of support and alerts us to remain aware of potential pitfalls which might hinder the circle of support from assisting the person to achieve a good life.