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Now & Next Program for Parents and Carers

I Can Jump Puddles is bringing the award-winning, innovative ‘Now & Next’ program to South Australian families to deliver positive results for children with disability or developmental delay.

The Now & Next program is designed to educate and empower parents and carers to achieve positive outcomes – for their child with disability, their family and themselves.

This innovative and award-winning program helps families develop their skills as they choose goals and work towards them with purpose.

The Now & Next program uses a strength-based and family-centred approach to support parents and carers on their journey. Drawing on principles from positive psychology, this evidence-based and robust program enables parents and carers to build their confidence for the future.

This program empowers adults to create an inspirational long-term vision for their child, while also building relationships with peers. It is the first ‘by families, for families’ program of its kind – with close to 500 alumni in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Finland.

About the program

The program is delivered in sessions of 2 hours held over 8 weeks, commencing from Wednesday 6 May 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and given the social distancing rules and widespread closures, the program will now look a little different, but press ahead nonetheless! The course will now be conducted via video based seminars on a weeknight. This important change means we can continue to deliver the course now, in a safe way, at possibly the most important time for hope and connection!

Through fun and engaging activities, you will learn to:

  • Identify a vision for your child, family and self
  • Set three goals (and reach them!) during the course
  • Reflect on the strengths of your child and family
  • Identify your signature strengths and learn how to use them to achieve your goals
  • Create positive relationships with professionals
  • Increase the well-being and resilience of yourself, your child and your family.

Enrol or find out more today

Build a network of support

The program uses the innovative Pictability planning tool, which helps you reflect on, visualise and plan your path forward. See more about the Pictability tool below.

Past participants have greatly valued being together with other families who are raising children with a developmental delay or disability. This parent led, evidence-based programme provides the opportunity for families to: 

  • Share their stories with each other
  • Learn about new strategies and ideas from each other
  • Build new relationships and a network of support
  • Empower and inspire each other to take control of their journey. 

The Now & Next program is available in South Australia exclusively by I Can Jump Puddles. Designed by Plumtree, the program has been developed by Sylvana Mahmic (CEO, Plumtree) and Dr Annick Janson (Clinical Psychologist and Positive Psychology Researcher), both of whom are parents of young men who have a disability. They developed this program because they learnt that a positive vision and a focus on strengths is the best foundation for your child and family’s future. I Can Jump Puddles is excited to offer this rewarding program to better support South Australian families today and tomorrow. More information about the program is available at https://plumtree.org.au.

Course details

The course is delivered with weekly sessions over an eight-week period. The course will now be conducted via video based seminars on a weeknight. Given the social distancing rules and widespread closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to make this important change in delivering the program. Given the world’s current instability, it’s more important than ever that this program delivers positive, hopeful outcomes for families across not just Adelaide, but greater SA too.

Dates: Wednesday 6 May – 24 June 2020
Time: 8-10pm
Seminars: Held via Zoom conferencing – easy to set up and we’ll guide you through the process

Course places are strictly limited, with a maximum of 16 attendees.

Coupled with a networking group set up on Facebook, participants will have greater opportunity to connect with other families.

The course cost can be claimed through NDIS Capacity Building funding for Improved Daily Living – as training for parents/carers in matters related to caring for a person with a disability. Contact us for a detailed quote.

The benefits of learning online
The Now & Next Program has been delivered in both online and face to face formats previously, with the online delivery being the most popular choice of many families for the past year and a half.

Plumtree’s global benchmarking data shows that the online programs run to date actually match the face to face program scores, with both formats showing statistically significant increases in a participant’s wellbeing, hope and empowerment.

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of supporting families with positivity now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting our lives in every domain. Despite all the adversity, we believe this program is needed now more than ever and we’ll be working hard to ensure it delivers outstanding results for all.

What participants say…

“As your child’s parent you will fight for your child’s rights and future.  You will give your child the best possible chance in life so you need to learn the skills to do so and that’s what the Now and Next program taught us.” – Ryan

“The trust, safety and togetherness that was established was amazing to me. There was one night which was particularly magical … the whole room of people anonymously shared their biggest worries (many of them shared by everyone) and the whole room brainstormed ideas for those worries, that was unbelievably wonderful!” – Jacqui

Enrol or find out more today

Evidence and resources

While the Now & Next program is new and innovative, it is also backed by solid evidence-based research to ensure it is helping families reach their goals.

Theory of Change
Now and Next is a capacity building initiative for families of young children with a disability or developmental delay and co-designed with them. This Theory of Change visual explains the practical work we have undertaken towards achieving this goal as well as the research we are building.
We started our work in 2015 at the bottom left of the visual by reviewing our evidence base which we list here. Then each theme builds as we reach the top where we demonstrate the outcomes for our Theory of Change.
We have an evaluation framework which includes standardised tools that measure the impact of our work. We are gradually building data for each level and you can follow our progress by exploring this site.

Read more

Centre for Welfare Reform
The Centre is excited to publish this report because it describes a new high-point in the development of family-centred work. The idea of being family-centred has been with us for many years, and it does describe the approach of the best professionals: respecting the family’s expertise and supporting the network around the child. But too often professional power still dominates the family’s experience and negative stereotypes and expectations can build up which stop the family moving forward with hope.

Part of the answer to this is to make peer support – family to family support – an essential component of the way forward. But Now and Next goes beyond the normal patterns of peer support to develop an approach that has both rigour and depth. Now and Next has developed methods of planning, reflection and mutual support that really lift families to a new place of strength.

Now and Next takes the best of professional expertise and puts it at the service of families, without abandonment and without dependence. I am sure the growing ranks of the Now and Next Alumni will provide us with the foundations for a new wave of innovation, inclusion and active citizenship.

Read report

External program evaluation
The Centre of Community Child Health at Murdoch Children’s Institute conducted a process and outcomes evaluation of Now and Next. The institute is the largest dedicated to child health research in Australia and one of the top five in the world.

The evaluation covered 15 Now and Next groups run between January 2017 to March 2018 that included 154 families. It looked at whether the program was delivered as intended if it was reaching the target groups and the participants’ experience. It also assessed participant outcomes: if they achieved their short-term goals, became empowered and had an increased sense of wellbeing and positivity. Data was collected via online surveys at the beginning and end of the program and during the program by the peer facilitators.

The findings have been positive. Now and Next attracted high attendance levels with an average rate of 79.9% across all 15 groups over the eight-week program, and strong participation of culturally diverse families (59.1%) and fathers (20.8%). The last point is remarkable, given that other research indicates the participation of fathers in early childhood intervention is usually under 5%.

Now and Next was highly successful in providing all parents with experience in developing and achieving short-term goals. 134 child goals, 137 family goals and 117 personal goals were recorded. Over nine in ten participants achieved all three of their goals. Of the thirteen parents who did not achieve all three goals, ten achieved two and the three achieved one of the goals. Participants felt more empowered, with a better sense of wellbeing and agency at the end of the program.

​> Read the full report