Introduction to the Next Steps Project
The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies is undertaking a project called ‘Next Steps’ to identify supports and barriers in the change process as our members move to more individualised supports for people who use our services. The objective of the project is to create shared learning that will assist Federation members in embracing the radical change agenda envisaged in the new vision for services and supports to people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland. The overall aim of these changes are to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are supported to live a life of their choosing.
In spite of the economic difficulties which we are all experiencing these are exciting times for people with disabilities, their families and the staff who support them. Many service providers are reconfiguring their services to provide more appropriate community based supports. The publication of the Disability Policy Review and of reports on Time to Move On from Congregated Settings (June 2011) and the 'New Directions review of Adult Day Services (February 2012) presents important opportunities for all concerned. However an essential element in availing of these opportunities is the management of the transitions to new service options that promote community participation and inclusion.
Supporting our member organisations and people who use our services through evidence and shared learning
We believe that a key factor in supporting our members in moving to new service options is practical guidance for the change management process required to transform services. To this end the National Federation have established the Next Steps Project. Through the Next Steps Project we have developed a community of learning between our member organisations and key stakeholders including those supported by our members, as they develop more innovative community based supports.
One of the first actions of the Next Steps Project was for the participating organisations to agree a vision of individualised supports . This vision was agreed by all participants and is at the centre of the initatives that the members are working towards.
We have taken a case-study approach to progressing with real changes that support people in living a life of their choosing. Each of the participating organisations is working with one person (or in some cases more than one person) on an individual basis, developing new types of supports in line with the agreed vision. Every two months the participants come together to share what they have learnt as they progress with this journey.
Federation members are working together in new ways to ensure best value is achieved for the initiatives developed and to ensure a multiplier effect for the learning undertaken. We are monitoring the initiatives undertaken and identifying supports and barriers in the change process, in order to share our learning in the change process with the wider Federation membership and with all key stakeholders nationally.
The Next Steps Project has gathered key relevant policy documents. These are made available on our website for quick reference.
We have also gathered some useful tools and resources and further reading. These materials continue to be updated over time as we continue learning and sharing information.
We also developed a set of quick reference policy summaries which contain the key goals of the Disability Policy Review, the Time to Move On from Congregated Settings Report, New Directions, and the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability 2011-2016.
Next Steps Dissemination Event
The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies hosted an event on 31 January 2013 in Portloaise to share the learning that emerged over the course of the previous year in the Next Steps Project, attended by Minister Kathleen Lynch. The aim of the event was to highlight the learning from case studies undertaken in 2012 as member organisations as they worked towards the provision of individualised supports for individuals supported by their organisations. Presentations from the day are available to download below:
- The Next Steps Project (background, structure and themes of the project) - Alison Harnett, Next Steps Project Coordinator.
- Managing risk to promote independent living - my journey - Keynote presentation, Martin Dooher, Self Advocate and Next Steps Steering Committee member.
- Changing within congregated settings to embrace the vision of individualised supports - John Murphy, General Manager; Martina McCormack and Paul Power, Managers - St. Patrick's Kilkenny.
- The Community Inclusion Project - Liam Quinn, Day Services Manager - SOS Kilkenny.
- Phase 1 of the In Control Project - Louise Mahon, Project Leader & Christy Lynch, Chief Executive (KARE), Lisa McNabb, Self Advocate and Roisin McNabb, parent.
- The community-based supported living project Step-In - Benny Cunningham, Area Manager Brothers of Charity Services Roscommon, Niamh McMonagle, Locum StepIn Coordinator, Rachel Kelly, StepIn Project Member.
- Living a Life - CoAction's Next Steps Project Mary Seymour, Self Advocate and Next Steps Steering Committee member & Mary O'Donovan, Financial Controller, CoAction.
- If I can do it, you can do it too! Emily Meagher, Self Advocate
- Reconfiguration of current service delivery to support people to move from a congregated setting - John Collins, Self Advocate; Alan Blythe, Team Leader; Mary O'Donohoe, Team Member & LesleyAnn Kavanagh, Services Manager. Brothers of Charity Services South East
- Development of new model of individualised day supports in line with New Directions policy Pat Reen, Director of Services, Laura Creaner & Ashling O'Brien, Project Coordinators, Prosper Fingal.
- Family Leadership & Engagement - Stepping Out and Moving In(Part I) Ciara O'Keeffe, CNM2 - Daughters of Charity. Part II - Marie Lally, Parent and David Lally, Self Advocate.
The work continues in 2013, with more case studies being progressed and more organisations taking part.
Further information will be posted on this website throughout the progress of the Next Steps Project.
For any queries or further details please contact the Project Coordinator, Alison Harnett: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the National Federation at 091 792316.