When my son Isaac was in primary school (he's now 23), I began to get worried about what his life and mine would look like once he left school. I wanted more for him than living in a group home and attending a day program.
But the amount of work seemed overwhelming and beyond what I had the imagination, time or skills to create. My connections in the community were limited. I was stuck for ideas on how I would make a good life happen for Isaac. I knew I couldn't do it alone.
So with the help of my friend Sally, another mum who had gone before me, I was able to gather family and friends for our first circle meeting. That was over 12 years ago and we are still going strong today.
Our circle of support stumbled along in the first few years. We made lots of mistakes and nearly fizzled out a couple of times! But we figured out some better ways of working together and started to kick some goals.
The circle helped me find a mainstream high school for Isaac to attend where he made lovely friends who he still sees from time to time today.
We nutted out what kinds of jobs Isaac might be good at and together we organised work experience activities that grew into Isaac's delivery business he now works in today.
Circle members supported me when Isaac had bouts of illness and needed to go to hospital. They advocated for Isaac at NDIS meetings.
They have helped me hire and fire support staff and so much more.
Their love and support has been the key to Isaac's good life.
We It took me ages to get it right and I made lots of mistakes a long the way. I want to save you that trouble!
So I've pulled everything I've learned together into my Circle of Support Project to help you get your circle up and running well without the trial and error.