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Book explores supportive relationships

Tuesday, 7 March, 2017

Barwon region participants and support workers have shared their stories in a new book which explores the dynamics of the relationship between young people with a disability and their support workers.

Researchers from Southern Cross University's Centre for Children and Young People connected with clients and support workers from organisations including Karingal and Colac Otway Disability Accomodation Inc (CODA) to compile photos and stories from 45 pairs of young people and support workers.

'Relationships and Recognition: Photos about working together' was the result of their work, and the people featured in the book were asked to take photos of the activities they do together, and then talk about what those photos mean.

Karingal Manager Leanne Napper said the Barwon area book launch held on March 2 at the Eastern Hub was an exciting event, with young people and support workers keen to see how the photos they had taken looked in the book.

"The book launch recognised the contribution of young people and their support workers to this important  project and showcased how positive relationships can make all the difference," she said.

Karingal practice leader Megan Stolz said the whole process made the young people feel valued and important -  giving them a voice.

"The project also provided well deserved recognition to support workers. The support workers set a positive example and that's why they were chosen in the first place," she said.

Lead investigator Dr Sally Robinson said the project proved a valuable experience for all participants.

"Through talking with people and then seeing the photos they decided to take, we learned a lot about what matters to both young people and to workers," Dr Robinson said.

"The importance of respect in relationships is clear, and the good humour and sense of companionship between many of the pairs comes through strongly in their photos.

"The book was developed so that the people in the project could see what mattered to people in other parts of the country who were also involved, and also to form a lasting token of thanks for their involvement."

'Relationships and Recognition: Photos about working together' book is part of a larger project Young people with cognitive disability: relationships and paid support funded through the Australian Research Council Linkage Grant program. It will continue until 2018. Learn more about the project http://rcypd.edu.au/projects/r/

Pictured below: Participants, support workers and officials at the Barwon book launch.

Book Launch Group Shot Feb 2

 

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