At Plumtree Leaning, we train and employ parents who have experience in raising a child who has a disability or developmental delay. Peer work is not common in the early childhood intervention field and we want to change that.
We believe peer workers are a valuable yet under-utilised resource, which is complementary to other early intervention services. Their insights can provide a new way to build knowledge with other families. Plumtree Learning is proud to be bringing peer work to you.
Research on Peer Work in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Project
We are proud advocates of peer work in early childhood intervention. Since 2015, we have co-trained and employed 20 peer workers who do a range of paid work that includes running workshops and courses, research, project management, vision-setting and planning with families.
Peer workers’ lived experience in raising a child with disability or developmental delay are a valuable resource that complements existing family-centred services. Their insights can provide a new kind of support and knowledge-building for families. Increasing hope and optimism, promoting inclusive services and approaches, and decreasing social isolation are just a few examples.
And yet, peer work is not common in the early childhood intervention and disability sectors. We want to change that.
In partnership with Plumtree Children Services, we began a project to research, document and develop resources to support the introduction of families as peer workers in ECI organisations. This project was funded by a grant from the NSW Innovative Workforce Fund in 2017. This research drew from the experience and evidence of peer workers in the mental health sector, and those working with us.
The project promotes peer workers as a new, untapped workforce that should be used more in the disability sector.
Click on the resources below to download them
- At a glance: Families as peer workers in Early Childhood Intervention
- Research overview, including report on peer worker use in ECI organisations by the Centre for Disability Studies, University of Sydney
- Literature Review on peer work in mental health and ECI
- Guide and resource toolkit to support peer workforce integration in ECI organisations
- Knowledge Translation strategy and action plan to disseminate key project messages