Seven Steps to Self-direction


Community Living Project has developed a model of Self-directed Support that embraces Family Leadership. This model uses the ‘Seven Steps to self-direction’.

The content of this post is also published in the Family leadership booklet

The Seven Steps process gives a logical sequence of steps which build on each other. When something goes wrong, or is not working well, the process offers a way to identify and address the problem.

The seven-steps are:

  1. Start with the person
  2. Develop the vision and plan
  3. Make a good match
  4. Learn to support the person well
  5. Build a relationship of trust
  6. Solve problems quickly and locally
  7. Check for resilience.

In addition to this, the Self-directed Support model coaches people with disability, their families and informal network to build their capacity and confidence to create a personal life vision and to understand and articulate the person’s needs. Knowledge and strategies are shared to attract, engage and maintain a group of workers who will match the needs, interests, culture, and aspirations of the person they are supporting.

Self-directed Support also builds the capacity and confidence of the group of workers to engage with and support the natural authority and wisdom of the family. The group of workers become increasingly self managing over time as they take responsibility to deliver day to day support, whilst embracing the person’s vision and contribution.

Community Living Project has developed the resources and structure to guide Self-directed Support:

  • an Inclusion Coach helps to build the skills and expertise of people, families and workers around a life vision of inclusion, and building a group of workers to support and enable the hopes and dreams of the person;
  • a Support Manager to build the knowledge of the person and their family around managing their NDIS budget and employment conditions for the workers; and
  • Administration and Finance support to manage service agreements, payroll, risk management and service provider mandated requirements.

Resourcing Inclusive Communities has produced a Seven steps to self-direction workbook which includes many stories, ideas and tools available to help people with disability and their support networks to
envision and plan a good life.

The Seven Steps model of Self-direction was developed by Griffith University under the Innovative Workforce Fund. Download the summary article by Margaret Ward.

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