How reflective practice can improve our aged care sector

How reflective practice can improve our aged care sector

Social Futures recently made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommending all aged care workers are given the opportunity to participate in Wellness and Reablement Reflective Practice in order to continuously improve the quality of the care they provide.

Wellness and Reablement approaches support older people to maximise their independence and remain in their homes for as long as they can. Embedding Wellness and Reablement within this sector is a key goal for both the government and the broader aged care sector.

While most aged care workers are aware of Wellness and Reablement principles, many have not received formal training in the approach and are unclear how it relates to their individual work. Reflective practice is an important tool to enable aged care workers to successfully apply Wellness and Reablement in their practice. It provides a space for staff to think about how they work and practically apply Wellness and Reablement approaches to a range of relevant service delivery modes. The practice emphasises the value of their contributions while safely challenging any biases and assumptions they may hold.

Since Social Futures first piloted the concept in 2018, we have facilitated fifteen Wellness and Reablement Reflective Practice sessions with aged care workers in the Northern Rivers region. These participants reported that reflective practice is far more effective at integrating Wellness and Reablement into their day-to-day work than a traditional information session. Importantly, reflective practice allows for continuous learning and reassessment of skills, critical in changing established ways of working.

Social Futures offers free Wellness and Reablement Reflective Practice sessions for community aged care service providers in the Northern Rivers to help embed this approach within their service framework. Email [email protected] for more information or to book a session.

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg.

Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill for a social visit. She loves a chat. “I know all about her family and the goings on for Marg,” Angela says.

Marg (58) and her husband Tex (65) are long-time residents of Broken Hill. Marg has NDIS funding and supports in place to help with intellectual disabilities and hearing impairment.



Up until recently Marg and Tex were renting a house which was so decrepit, it had been condemned. They were there for more than 10 years. There was no air conditioning, it was poorly kept and it was making Marg ill.

“One day she came in crying,” recalls Angela. “Her son had had a child but he refused to bring him to the house to see her.

“Marg lifted her skirt and showed me her legs. She was covered in bites. You could see the sores on her. At night things were crawling all over her. I organised for a cleaner to go out but the quote was colossal, it was such a hideous mess. Marg begged us for help to find somewhere new.

“I had a chat with the agent and told them we included house and yard maintenance supports in Marg’s NDIS plan, and this is what got them over the line in the end. If they didn’t have the NDIS, they wouldn’t have gotten the property.”

The day the real estate agent told Marg and Tex they had a house, they were over the moon. They were at the agent’s office before noon for the 2.30pm viewing.

Their new home is in a nice part of town, close to the CBD, with easy access to transport, and it has air conditioning. All just in the nick of time for summer and for a family Christmas.

“I don’t think they ever thought they would get out of the house they were in.,” Angela says.

“Now they have a much happier and healthier standard of living.”

“We are just so excited to have a real home. It has a bath! And air conditioning! And a new stove! We couldn’t have done this without the help from the NDIS. We couldn’t be happier,” exclaims Marg.

Marg and Tex’s new home is having a few little touches made before they move in in the New Year. With funding from the NDIS the front access to the property will be widened to accommodate their scooter and bath feet are being added to help with safe entry to the bath.

When Marg first accessed the NDIS through Social Futures, she couldn’t hear. Her LAC made an appointment for her to have her ear drained and then to obtain a hearing aid. “She came in all excited because she could hear!” Angela says.

The future is looking so much brighter for Marg and Tex. Angela is now helping Marg to pursue a volunteer role at an Op Shop in the New Year.

“They’ve come a long way. And they’re happy. They are over the moon. Marg is so appreciative of the NDIS and so excited about her new home and her new life.”





“We are just so excited to have a real home. It has a bath! And air conditioning! And a new stove! We couldn’t have done this without the help from the NDIS. We couldn’t be happier.”


NDIS Participant

Using her NDIS plan

Marg’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • achieve safe and comfortable housing
  • improve both her and her husband’s general health
  • improve her hearing and quality of life through a hearing aid
  • increase confidence and social connection through visits and experience at the Op Shop
  • improve access to family and social connections

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg. Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill...

read more

Wording up for a wider world

The world is making much more sense to Catherine Ryan since she was accepted onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).   The 33 year old lives in Orange and has experienced schizophrenia for as long as she can remember, disrupting her education and...

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From homebound to outward bound

Nicole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in December 2009. She tells her story in her own words: I went to the doctor because I had three cold fingers and that's when I got the diagnosis. It was devastating. I was a full-time working mother and it seemed like...

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Tailored care helps Joseph spread his wings

Joseph's birthday in November last year was a double celebration - turning 40, and spending his first year as a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.   He marked the occasion with a concert in front of 80 invited guests, singing covers of his...

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From hobby sketching to the Archibald Prize

When Zion Levy Stewart first started sketching people who visited his family home at age 20, everyone thought it might help him pass the time. Twenty years on, this National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant was an entrant in this year's 2019 Archibald...

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Everyone Benefits From Inclusion

Everyone Benefits From Inclusion

Everyone Benefits From Inclusion

Social Futures LAC program staff were thrilled to work with the Murwillumbah Show Society and Tweed Shire Council to make sure people of all abilities had equal access to be part of the Murwillumbah Show. Watch our video discussing inclusion.

Everyone benefits when communities are inclusive.

Follow the below link to read about more stories from our NDIS program participants.

Or fill out the below form to connect with one of our local area coordinators to discuss how Social Futures and the NDIS can support you.

15 + 13 =

Dirty Laundry Day Project 2019

Dirty Laundry Day Project 2019

2018 dirty laundry logoThe Dirty Laundry Day Project is a powerful community education campaign to raise awareness of domestic and family violence in our communities.

During the last ten years, the Dirty Laundry Day Project has provided a voice for hundreds of people who have experienced domestic violence. It has also engaged local businesses; community organisations; education bodies; our local police and health services. It has been promoted in the media and it’s success has been mentioned in the NSW Parliament. We believe it has truly shone a light on a difficult topic.

The project aims to:

  • dirty laundry day shirts on the lineRaise awareness and challenge long held beliefs in our communities about domestic and family violence.
  • Be a visible call for cultural change.
  • Enable conversations to begin in our communities
  • Provide an opportunity to hear the voices of those in our communities who have experienced domestic and family violence
  • Encourage community support for the safety and well being of children and create more cohesive communities
  • Send a strong message to perpetrators – as an early intervention strategy – that violence will not be tolerated in our communities.
  • Connect service providers, people who have experienced domestic violence and the wider community allowing through networking and information sharing.
  • Be a cathartic and empowering process for people who have experienced domestic and family violence.

dirty laundry day tshirts
Where can I find it?

In 2019, The Dirty Laundry Day Project will take place all over the Northern Rivers in partnership with Summerland Credit Union, in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle and Forbes. If you would like to run The Dirty Laundry Day Project in your area, contact Amanda Shoebridge for more information.

Dirty Laundry Day at Summerland Credit Union

In 2019 Dirty Laundry Day Project will take place in partnership with Summerland Credit Union with displays in branches right across the Northern Rivers.

Click here to see the branches involved:

In September 2019 Summerland Credit Union joined Social Futures in becoming an accredited workplace recognised for leading social change to prevent and respond to violence in our communities.

At Summerland we uphold good governance and role model the standards of decency, respect, and accountability.  As a financial institution, we provide ethical banking and take steps to prevent the financial abuse of vulnerable customers, including elder abuse, domestic violence and disability bias.  We promote equality across the board, regardless of gender or any other attribute – when people are represented equally, respect follows.  We welcome and celebrate diversity – our communities are richer when people are valued and free to be themselves.

Summerland are proud to be supporting Social Futures’ Dirty Laundry Day Project.  Visit one of the Summerland Credit Union branches to see the powerful displays of t-shirts with messages by people in our own communities who want their voice heard.

Dirty Laundry Day in Coffs Harbour

The Dirty Laundry Day Project will also be rolled out in Coffs Harbour in partnership with Warrina Domestic & Family Violence Specialist Services. The launch will be held in the Coffs Harbour CBD on the 22/11/2019 with Dr Angela Jay, an inspirational survivor / advocate as guest speaker.

A number of workshops will be held with women who have experienced violence, including Aboriginal community members, young people, people experiencing ongoing homelessness (sleeping rough) with a history of trauma and representatives from the CALD community. These workshops will run over the 16 Days of Activism and the T-shirts will be displayed in the CBD of Coffs Harbour.

The C.EX (Coffs Ex Services Club) has kindly provided support through the free lease of a shop they own in the CBD for the duration of the event. They will also support us through the display of messages against violence against over the 16 Days of Activism.

With thanks to Warrina Domestic & Family Violence Specialist Services; The C.EX (Coffs Ex Services Club); and Mid Coast Communities.

Dirty Laundry Day in Kyogle 

The Kyogle Domestic Violence Committee, in partnership with Ritchies IGA Kyogle will have a Dirty Laundry Day Project display in the main street of Kyogle.

You can view the display from Friday 8 November 2019 in the old Richies IGA site, 115 Summerland Way Kyogle.

click here to watch our clip:

Dirty Laundry Day in Forbes

Dirty Laundry Day will be rolled at the Forbes event on 25 November 2019. There will be stalls with activities at Lions Park in Forbes and a march will take place through the town beginning at Cross Street. Please gather at 10:10am to march from 10:30am toward Lions Park.

Social Futures Local Area Coordinator, Belinda, will be on hand at Lions Park with a Dirty Laundry Day Project where you can paint and display messages onto t-shirts.

With thanks to The Forbes Domestic and Family Violence Committee.


Dirty Laundry Day and the 16 days of Activism

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence ( Nov 25th until 10 December 2019) is the time we run The Dirty Laundry Day Project.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, up to 80% of women who have experienced intimate partner violence or sexual assault do not report it to the police. Participating locations hand Dirty Laundry Day t-shirts in their shop windows to raise awareness and start conversations about this challenging topic.

Watch videos of previous campaigns or click any thumbnail to see full size image

Thanks to our supporters and sponsors

The Dirty Laundry Day Project is grateful for the contributions and support of:

  • Casino Neighbourhood Centre
  • Jenny Dowell (OAM)
  • Lismore City Council
  • Lismore Domestic Violence Interagency
  • Men and Family Centre
  • Niki Gill – Founder of the Dirty Laundry Day Project
  • QBE Insurance Company
  • St Vincent De Paul Society
  • Women Up North

THANK-YOU all and the other staff, family and volunteers who make it possible.


Interactive map highlights extent of poverty across regional NSW

Interactive map highlights extent of poverty across regional NSW

Regional communities in NSW are doing it tougher than their city dwelling counterparts. That’s the message from new research mapping social and economic disadvantage across the state released by the New South Wales Council of Social Services (NCOSS) today, echoing Social Futures concerns for the rural and regional communities we support.

With 888,000 people living in poverty in NSW, no community is immune to hardship, but our rural and regional communities are doing it particularly tough explained Chief Executive of Social Futures, Tony Davies.

“While only 30 per cent of the population live outside the metro areas in NSW, our regional communities are home to more than half of the people living in poverty across the state.

“There is a myth that our regional coastal communities in particular are an oasis of paradise but low incomes and high unemployment rates, coupled with high rates of housing stress, mean that many of these communities have significantly higher rates of poverty than the rest of the state. In Nambucca Heads for example, almost 1 in 4 people are living below the poverty line.

“Most concerning, children are the most likely age group to be living in poverty  with one in six children live below the poverty line. In some parts of Northern NSW this figure is closer to one in four.

“With many communities facing the additional bite of the drought it has never been more important for government to take real action to address the inequality in regional communities.

“We urgently need the government to invest in social housing, early childhood education and to raise the Newstart Allowance in order to break the cycle of poverty,” he said.

This report provides a detailed picture of the extent of disadvantage across NSW with interactive maps allowing users to explore how poverty impacts people in their region.

View the interactive map and read the full Mapping Economic Disadvantage in New South Wales report.

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