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Supported Decision Making Video Empowers Youth with Disability Leaving Care

  • Published: 2016-09-04 : Author: CREATE Foundation : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Voice Your Choice video is designed for anyone caring for, supporting or working with a young person with a disability in out-of-home care or preparing to leave care.

Main Document

"Lisa Townshend, NSW State Coordinator, CREATE Foundation said that young people with a disability living in care and those preparing to leave care face a number of life changes and key life decisions."

CREATE Foundation is pleased to announce the release of their first ever Supported Decision making training video, Voice Your Choice, designed for anyone who is caring for, supporting or working with a young person with a disability in out-of-home care or preparing to leave care.

The training video has been developed for people working with young people in the Leaving Care Program. The Leaving Care Program supports young people with disability to transition from the Parental Responsibility of the Minister for Family and Community Services NSW to live as independently as possible and be part of their local community. The Program can provide flexible support to maximise the young person's involvement in mainstream activities that improve quality of life, economic independence, health and wellbeing.

Supported Decision Making (SDM) is a process that can assist young people with disability to make decisions that affect their lives rather than have someone make decisions for them. It is an approach whereby supporters work alongside a person with disability, supporting their choices and decisions. The benefits for young people with disability are increased confidence and enhanced decision making skills, and an improved sense of independence and control around decisions that affect their daily lives. The benefits for supporters are that they can meaningfully support the decisions young people make.

The video is a valuable tool for people working and caring for young people with disability in care and those leaving out of home care. It is designed to be used in team training to prompt discussion and reflective practice. The video provides an overview of key supported decision making principles for effective practice, will up-skill all participants and empowers disability or care sector professionals to work alongside young people with disability in the care system. A support worker who has used the video said, "This is really good training that has empowered me to become a better supporter of decision-making."

Lisa Townshend, NSW State Coordinator, CREATE Foundation said that young people with a disability living in care and those preparing to leave care face a number of life changes and key life decisions.

"This video tool is a breakthrough for the sector because it will really strengthen how workers can support young people to foster meaningful relationships, and how workers can empower young people throughout the decision making processes they face, and have their voices heard," continued Ms Townshend.

"CREATE's objective is to build on people's existing skills with the aim of achieving positive improvement in the lives of young people with a disability and their care experience."

The Voice Your Choice video tool forms one part of CREATE Foundation's portfolio of programs under the banner of The Ability Project (TAP). CREATE provides tailored life-skills workshops as part of The Ability Project for young people with an out-of-home care experience, who also have a disability. The skills gained during the workshops are aimed at supporting young people transitioning to independence, ensuring they have access to support services which best suit their individual needs, goals and aspirations.

CREATE Foundation is the peak consumer body representing the voices of children and young people in out-of-home care, providing programs and services to create a better life for children and young people in care. CREATE has a number of workshops available to young people through The Ability Project, these include: CREATE Your Future life skills workshops; Speak Up leadership and advocacy workshops, and Voice Your Choice supported decision making workshops for young people and their support people, carers or caseworkers. CREATE Foundation gratefully acknowledges funding from the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to support young people in out-of-home care with disability transition to independence through The Ability Project.

The DVD will be distributed to participating service providers and is also available via CREATE's website and YouTube.

The DVD is not a replacement for CREATE Foundation's Voice Your Choice training workshop for sector professionals. In the rapidly changing disability sector, organisations can apply this tool to in-house training and to promote positive behavioural change.

CREATE works to improve the lives of children and young people with a care experience, along with eradicating stigma in our community. Share your voice and hashtag #snapthatstigma

CREATE's #snapthatstigma awareness campaign is a platform for people who have experienced discrimination to play a part in working to eradicate this limiting, myopic behaviour from our community.

If you would like to attend CREATE's training program or receive a copy of the DVD, please contact CREATE's NSW Ability Project team on 02 9267 0977 or email

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