Now & Next: our growth and achievements

Plumtree’s award-winning Now & Next enables children with disability and their families to thrive. A global benchmark analysis shows how far the program has come.

We are passionate about innovation and transforming lives. Developed in-house and launched in a group setting during 2016, Now & Next builds skills and enables parents to achieve positive outcomes for the entire family.

It established a peer network connecting families to learn from and inspire each other. Alumni have been trained to become peer workers in roles such as running courses, research, and planning with families at Plumtree.

Now & Next shows that peer networks and peer workers are new resources for the future. Plumtree Research Analysts and Peer Workers Mogi Bayasgalan and Eram Afroz have been tracking the program’s achievements. We are also part of a cross-university research collaboration advancing research in this field.

A growing international program

The program has expanded since beginning with three groups in 2016. To June 2023, a total of 117 group programs have been hosted in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Finland for 991 graduates. 38.2% of attendees were from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and fathers were well represented at 22.5%.

Now & Next successfully transitioned to a fully online program during the COVID pandemic.

Setting a vision and goals

Using Pictability, an innovative visioning tool developed in-house, participants learned to develop short and long-term goals in three categories: for the child, the family, and themselves.

Examples included having a child become more independent in daily routines, or begin to communicate. Common family goals involved creating more quality time together. Better well-being and fitness were popular personal goals.

Now & Next impact

The results are encouraging. Across the three categories, close to 90% of participants’ goals were achieved in the face-to-face sessions and over 80% in the online sessions. Answers to questionnaires were also positive and included:

  • Increased empowerment, skills and knowledge, agency and hope at the program’s end;
  • Increasing participant satisfaction across the eight sessions.
  • A better sense of wellbeing.

For more detailed information, download the full Now & Next Program 2016-2023 Global Benchmark Analysis by Mogi Bayasgalan.
Read more about the external evaluation undertaken by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

Collaboration for the future

An earlier version of the analysis was presented at a symposium attended by Australian and international academics, parents of children with a disability, and professionals from early intervention and disability support services.

Now & Next was well received, and we are working with them further to develop the program and other family capacity-building strategies.

Want to collaborate with us? Get in touch.

Find out more about Now & Next

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