The innovative Circles initiative grew from the recognition that many people who have disabilities may have no-one to “look out” for them after parents have died or after a long period of institutionalisation. It began with funding in partnership with the Macquarie Bank Foundation and Julia Farr MS McLeod Benevolent Trust and more recently has obtained funding from Disability SA.
The Circles Initiative intentionally invites people to come together and support a person who has a disability for the purposes of protecting their interests into the future, not with the expectation that this group might necessarily have responsibility for “caring for” the person BUT with the expectation that if asked and/or if required, people would be pleased to make time to join with others from their Circle to “look out” for that person.
The initiative is aiming to build circles of support around 40-50 people. Some of these people have lived in community all their life while others have been institutionalised for a long time. Some people receive supported living assistance through the CLP while others may be assisted by family and other organisations including Disability SA.
The Circle Facilitator role involves getting to know the people who have a disability well and working with them to deliberately invite other people into their lives with a view that they might “look out” for them over the longer term.
This can involve intentional relationship building, vision building and person centred planning, facilitation at Circle gatherings, engendering communication across Circle members and as a matter of last resort, sometimes advocating for people to have their needs addressed.
How to support this important work:
The Circles Initiative is seeking people and businesses who would be interested in making a financial investment in the personal future of a person/s Circles. For example, a donation of $3,000 would enable us to continue to be involved with supporting one individual for a full year. We invite business and corporate sponsorship. All donations made to the Circles Initiative are tax deductible.
Please click here to view the Circles booklet for more information