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Role Of Families

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Families play an important role in our life. This can be especially true if they have a son or daughter with a disability. As suggested by Michael Kendrick (2013) “Families typically care about or love their relative more than would be true of others…Family members bring to their role a wide range of talents and experiences which can give them additional authority on many matters. Families are often best positioned to see how everything, in its entirety, adds up in a person’s life. For this reason, they can often see the incongruencies of different interventions. Family members are often free of the vested interests…” p.1 

The role of family often changes over time. For example, when we’re young, we're highly dependent on our family and this becomes less when we move out of home. For people with a disability, who may require the ongoing support of their family, it's often more difficult to delineate the role of parent, 'carer' or support person.

Brendon, and his parents David and Jenny in Brendon's home

Key Points

  • Families can play a vital role in assisting their loved one to:

    • create, design and foster their own vision for home,

    • nurture informal supports and balance the impact of paid supports,

    • creating trust, offering welcome and sharing roles with others.

  • The role of our family changes when we first shift into our new home. For people who have a disability, the role of the family might be more intense and without a high degree of consciousness, it can shape many aspects of a person’s home, even to the point in which it is an extension of the parent’s home.

  • Many families who initially thought their loved one would not be able to live in their own home, have made it a reality and provide leadership to others. 



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Brodie Moves Out!
by Justine Hall

Brodie has a passion for music and bodybuilding. After completing a course in Personal Training (PT), he now works as a PT at a local gym. He moved out of his family’s home in his mid-twenties and shares with a housemate. When Brodie first moved out, his mother Justine had lots of fears because of Brodie’s disability: Could Brodie do it? Was he ready? And how would she manage his supports from a distance? In this podcast Justine shares her fears and what she did to overcome them.


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The Natural Authority of Families
by Michael Kendrick

In this seminal article, Michael Kendrick looks at the unique authority family members have in each others lives and the power this holds when families are willing to act on it. This is a fortifying reminder for people as they engage with systems that come with their own power and authority.

Michael Kendrick

Click Here to Read - "The Natural Authority of Families"

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Don't stop believing
by Kim Fairburn-Baker 

Kim Fairburn-Baker discusses how important vision is to assisting her daughter work towards the good things of life and things that have helped her, as a parent stay on track

Kim and Jade
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