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Extended Families

Celebration and launch a success

  • Jun 05, 2020

The culmination of a successful capacity building project with Vietnamese Families with Special Needs (VFSN) came to fruition last week with a virtual celebration event and the launch of their new website.  

The VFSN is a led by a group of passionate parents who provide peer support, parent information and community inclusion opportunities to the Vietnamese community living with a disability in Western Melbourne.  Extended Families is fortunate to have shared a highly successful working relationship with VFSN for several years, resulting in many positive outcomes for families, resource sharing (staff, project management expertise, financial and administrative), collaborative grant applications and auspicing arrangements.

When the NDIS - Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Disabled People and Families Organisations (DPFOs) Grant became available, it was an obvious opportunity for VFSN and Extended Families to partner up on a project dedicated to building the VFSN’s organisation capacity.

Managed by Extended Families Project Manager, Julia Klieber and an Advisory Group of key stakeholders from the VFSN, local government, disability service providers and the Vietnamese community, the project has led to:

- Strengthening of VFSN organisational governance
- Strategic planning to build the VFSN’s service capacity
- Development and delivery of  Vươn Lên (Rise), an innovative peer group program for young Vietnamese people with Autism
- Development and launch of new website www.vfsn.org.au

Key outcomes
Constitutional review, updating of the Vision and Mission statements and the development of a 3-year strategic plan were key outcomes that were supported by a series of governance workshops developed for the VFSN Committee of Management (COM) and delivered in both English and Vietnamese.  The governance workshops enabled the COM to grow in confidence and achieve greater clarity about the steps needed in order to develop the organisation and better serve the community.

Implementing the Vươn Lên pilot program provided significant insights into the support needs of young autistic Vietnamese people facing significant barriers to community inclusion and demonstrated that a service model combining bi-lingual assessment of participant and parent support needs with dynamic program design linked to individual inclusion goals was successful. By integrating an adaptive learning framework and social activities – Vươn Lên provided a bridge over which young people could travel and connect, take social risks, be vulnerable and experience success.

What’s next?
A further collaborative funding application between Extended Families and the VFSN has been submitted to the ILC to extend organisational and individual capacity building activities that have been initiated under the current project.  If successful, this application will provide two years of funding that will assist the VFSN to implement all components of its 3-year strategic plan and broaden the vital support it provides to Vietnamese families living with disability.

Head on over to the new VFSN website to view a recording of the project launch (released soon) and to find out more about the organisation, its services, its partnership with Extended Families and others, and the inspiring community of people it serves.

Living with a disability can be difficult. We support people aged 0-30 and their families in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula to build friendships and connect with their community.

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Coburg Victoria 3058