Relationshipsand Recognition

The Project


In this research, we want to know what helps young people and support workers in their work together. When do they feel cared for, respected and valued in their relationships with each other? What happens when they don’t feel these things? 

The project will continue until Early 2018. Descriptions of the project, the team and ways we will tell others about the findings can be found through the above page tabs.

Latest news

Our Relationships and Recognition Policy Review Summary is now available for download. The academic journal article from this summary is currently under review.

The project welcomed Dr Ed Hall from the University of Dundee. Dr Hall presented a seminar: “Personalisation and the new landscape of disability care and support: possibilities for social inclusion and belonging”. the slides from this presentation are available here.

The dynamics of the relationship between young people with disability and their support worker is revealed in a new book, Relationships and Recognition: Photos about working together . The book is a collection of photos taken by 40 pairs of young people and support workers who have shared their stories, from across six sites around Australia, including Northern NSW, Sydney, and regional Victoria. Media interest from the book launches include:

The Colac Herald

Australian Ageing Agenda

Team photos

Photo caption: The research team at our recent team planning day at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW (Sydney – 13th September 2016). Absent from photograph: Anne Graham, Gordon Duff, Judith Carll and Ed Hall.

Photo caption: The research team celebrating another book launch at Northcott Parramatta (Feb 2017)

What is research?


Research is the word we use to describe the ways we find out about things we don’t know the answer to, and tell other people what we have learned. It is a careful way of asking questions and listening to the answers.

Our research project


In our project, we want to know how young people and workers feel cared for, respected and valued in their relationship with each other. We are also looking for when they may not feel these things either. Ideas about feeling cared for, respected and valued are described in “Recognition Theory”. We will use this theory to understand the relationships between young people and their paid support workers.

Why this is important


The young people and support workers in this project get an opportunity to have a say about something important to their lives or jobs. We will then tell others what they have said and help explain what makes relationships work or not work. Telling people who run organisations and work with government will hopefully help set up ways that relationships can be better for young people and workers everywhere.

We are using a theory to help us understand our project


A theory is a way of making sense of what we want to understand. Using a theory helps to describe what people tell us in our interviews. At the start of the project, we decided on which theory might help us understand more, and also help us improve things once we find out more.

Our project is using recognition theory


A guy called Axel Honneth wrote about recognition theory. He believes that if someone is cared for, respected and valued, they will feel good about themselves. He thinks that other people will also see that they are important too. He calls this love, rights and solidarity.

Feeling these things helps people feel important and included. They start to see how they can be part of making life better for themselves and others.  Honneth calls this “developing their identity”.

Once Honneth started telling everyone about his “recognition theory”, some people (a woman called Nancy Fraser in particular) thought he forgot to talk about all the times people don’t feel cared for, respected or valued. She thought it was important to talk about those bits too.  So together, they worked on finding out what happens when someone isn’t cared for, respected or valued.

They called this “misrecognition”.

They believe when misrecognition happens, people don’t get a chance to develop their own identity or see how they are important in the world. They also say other people can’t see that person’s importance either.

They believe it is just as important for you to love, respect and value someone so that you can feel those things too. They called that “mutuality”, which means, it goes both ways.

We started with Honneth’s ideas, and added other words that also mean the same kind of thing. We can look for times that people say these sorts of things in our interviews to see if they are feeling this way.

 

What does this mean for our project?


For our project, we want to know when the young people and the support workers feel cared for, respected and valued. But that’s pretty hard to understand, so we are using social geography to help us make it easier.

What is social geography?


Social geography asks about the places you go, the things you do and the people you know.

Asking these types of questions tells us about how people spend time together. Then we can find out about their relationship, and when they feel cared for, respected and valued, or show that towards the other person.

So how are we using theory again?


We are using social geography to help us ask the right questions when we talk to the young people and the support workers.

When we ask those questions, we write or draw their answers on big pieces of paper called maps that end up looking a bit like this:

This gives us a clear picture of how the young people and their support workers spend time together.

It’s through this mapping that we then start to see how their relationship works. We start to understand times when they care for, respect and value each other (or when that doesn’t happen).

That’s when we can start to see if recognition is present (or when it’s not).

So, we are using the theory about recognition, but asking people questions that are easier to answer.

The project stages


1.

We will look at what is already being done to make sure young people feel cared for, respected and valued through their relationship with their support workers.

2.

We will sit down with 48 young people and their support workers (one at a time and then in pairs) to talk about how they spend time together. We will make a map together. The map will be about the people and places that matter to them both.

We will then ask each young person to take photos of the things that they do together. Afterwards, we will talk to them about what the photos mean.

When we finish doing this, we will display the photos and hold meetings to talk about what we found. But we talk about it in a way that doesn’t identify anyone personally. Only the photos the young people and their support workers want to show will be in the display too.

3.

We will then take what we learnt from the photos and talks with young people and workers and make a survey to ask lots of other young people and workers if they feel the same. A survey is a bunch of questions. We hope 200 young people and their workers fill out the survey for us.

4.

We then write up everything we found and hold talks to explain those findings. A lot of what we write up will also be in easy-read language so young people can know about the results too.

Events


We will have events to help describe the project or what we have found.

We want lots of different people to come along. When we know all the details about an event, we will advertise it here. We will let you know where the event is and when it will be held. We will also let you know how you can be involved.

Some of the events we have planned include:

  • A meeting to talk about what we found when we looked at all the information already known about the research topic.
  • Meetings in each of the research locations to let young people and their support workers know about the project and how to send us their photos.
  • Photo exhibitions to show everyone the photos that were chosen by the young people to be displayed.
  • Meetings to talk about what we learned from talking with young people and support workers about their relationships, and from the photos they sent us.
  • A big conference at the end where we talk about the whole project and what new information we have found. We hope this new information can help young people feel more included in their communities. We want services and governments to think about these results when they decide how to help make things better for young people.

Events in 2017


  • 8th Feb 2017 9:30-11.30am – Public Lecture (Room R1:06 Southern Cross University Lismore Campus)

    Dr Ed Hall, University of Dundee, UK
    Personalisation and the new landscape of learning disability care and support: possibilities for social inclusion and belonging

    As the NDIS gathers momentum, what can Australia learn from personalisation in the UK?

    In this seminar, leading Scottish academic Dr Ed Hall will discuss the effects of  large-scale personalisation, the risks posed by austerity, and the ways people have developed creative responses that build community belonging for people with disability.

    The seminar will present a critique of personalisation, the dominant discourse in social care and support in post-welfare states, including the UK and Australia. As many state sites of collective care are closed, and those that remain open are restricted to those with higher needs, many people with learning disabilities, along with their families and carers, are taking on responsibility for assembling, managing, and using a personal budget to pay for, their package of care. The new landscape of care and support is emerging is a mix of state, private and voluntary sector providers in a marketplace of services; new sites of specialist and mainstream care and support; and new sets of relationships. For many with learning disabilities, this has been a positive experience, with new choices and opportunities for activities, independent living and social inclusion. For others, the responsibility of devising a care plan and managing a budget, in an uncertain context of provision, has been challenging and isolating.

    The seminar will consider how ongoing austerity is putting pressure on personalisation, with eligibility for funding tightened, the value of personal budgets reduced, and state and private providers facing financial difficulties. Governments are increasingly looking to the assets within local informal organisations and communities to ‘fill the gap’ left by declining formal services. There is evidence that some people with learning disabilities, with their families and advocacy organisations, in some cases supported by community connectors or Local Area Co-ordinators, are being proactive in reimagining and building innovative spaces, networks and relations of care and support (for example, arts centres, cafes, community gardens, and friendship clubs). Being involved in such community-based initiatives holds much promise for people with learning disabilities, not only to cope with austerity, but also more significantly to provide opportunities to become known, gain a social role and seek a sense of belonging in their local neighbourhood.

    Ed Hall is a social geographer whose research with people with learning disability has spanned local area coordination, community belonging, and most recently, community safety. This seminar is presented as part of a visiting fellowship for the Australian Research Council project Relationships and Recognition between young people with disability and their paid support workers.

    Download slides from the seminar here.

  • 10th Feb 2017 – Photographic Exhibition and Book Launch

  • 13th Feb 2017 9:30-12noon – Policy Workshop and Book Launch

    The policy workshop and book launch consisted of a policy review by the researchers and an interactive small group activity for the participants. This was followed by a  book launch and photography exhibition.

    Photos from the day

  • 14th Feb 2017 Time TBA – Public Lecture (Room TBA, University New South Wales Kensington Campus)

    Dr Ed Hall, University of Dundee, UK
    Personalisation and the new landscape of learning disability care and support: possibilities for social inclusion and belonging

    In this seminar, leading Scottish academic Dr Ed Hall will discuss the effects of  large-scale personalisation, the risks posed by austerity, and the ways people have developed creative responses that build community belonging for people with disability.

    The seminar will present a critique of personalisation, the dominant discourse in social care and support in post-welfare states, including the UK and Australia. As many state sites of collective care are closed, and those that remain open are restricted to those with higher needs, many people with learning disabilities, along with their families and carers, are taking on responsibility for assembling, managing, and using a personal budget to pay for, their package of care. The new landscape of care and support is emerging is a mix of state, private and voluntary sector providers in a marketplace of services; new sites of specialist and mainstream care and support; and new sets of relationships. For many with learning disabilities, this has been a positive experience, with new choices and opportunities for activities, independent living and social inclusion. For others, the responsibility of devising a care plan and managing a budget, in an uncertain context of provision, has been challenging and isolating.

    The seminar will consider how ongoing austerity is putting pressure on personalisation, with eligibility for funding tightened, the value of personal budgets reduced, and state and private providers facing financial difficulties. Governments are increasingly looking to the assets within local informal organisations and communities to ‘fill the gap’ left by declining formal services. There is evidence that some people with learning disabilities, with their families and advocacy organisations, in some cases supported by community connectors or Local Area Co-ordinators, are being proactive in reimagining and building innovative spaces, networks and relations of care and support (for example, arts centres, cafes, community gardens, and friendship clubs). Being involved in such community-based initiatives holds much promise for people with learning disabilities, not only to cope with austerity, but also more significantly to provide opportunities to become known, gain a social role and seek a sense of belonging in their local neighbourhood.

    Ed Hall is a social geographer whose research with people with learning disability has spanned local area coordination, community belonging, and most recently, community safety. This seminar is presented as part of a visiting fellowship for the Australian Research Council project Relationships and Recognition between young people with disability and their paid support workers.

Seminar slides

  • 2nd March 2017 10:30-1pm – Photographic Exhibition and Book Launch

     (Hosted by Karingal) Karingal Eastern Hub, 285a McKillop Street (corner of Humble Street), East Geelong)

Results


As we do the research, we will find out new things we didn’t know before. We want everyone to know about these things so we will write them up into reports and make them available here. We will also make a copy of everything we write in easy-read language.

We will also hold meetings, exhibitions or talks about what we found too. These talks will be advertised in the “Events” tab above.

Team


Sally Robinson

Kate Neale

Anne Graham

Jaimsie Speeding

Danielle Notara

Sally, Anne and Kate work at a research centre in Lismore (the Centre for Children and Young People).

Sally and Kate work on all parts of the project. Anne helps us understand “recognition theory” and how it relates to our project.

Kate and Sally will also be talking to the young people and support workers in Victoria and Northern NSW.

Jaimsie is helping us make sure our project makes sense to people with disability. She also helps us talk about our results. She works in Lismore with Sally, Anne and Kate.

Danielle is doing her PhD as a part of the project.


Karen Fisher

Kelley Johnson

Sandra Gendera

Karen, Kelley and Sandra work at a research centre in Sydney (Social Policy Research Centre).

They are looking at all the information already out there on this topic and helping us understand what we find out in ours.

Kelley and Sandra will also be talking to the young people and support workers in Sydney.


Gordon Duff

James Bannister

Gordon and James work for a disability service called NDS, and are helping us with our project.

Gordon will give us advice and James is helping us organise the project in Victoria.

James will also be talking to the young people and support workers in Victoria.


Judith Carll

Deanna Mooney

Suzanna Poredos

Judith and Deanna work for a disability service called Northcott, and are helping us with our project.

Judith will give us advice and Deanna is helping us organise the project in Sydney.

Suzanna works at Northcott too, helping us with the data collection, analysis and speaking to others about the project findings.


Ed Hall

Ed works overseas in Scotland. He is helping us understand how people with disability feel included in their community.

Young People’s Advice Group

Our Young People’s Advice Group meet once a month to help us with our project. There are six people in this group. They look over all our information and give us feedback on how we can make it better.

Send us your photos here!


If you are involved in the project as a young person, this is where you send us your photos.

You need to fill in the form below. It asks for your name, your email address or phone number if you have one. This is so we can txt or email you to say we got your photo. We would like you to tell us a little bit about the photo too. Then you can “upload” the photo. If you have any problems, please call Kate or Sally.

Kate’s telephone number is 02 6620 3802.
Sally’s telephone number is 02 6620 3134.

Contact


You can contact us if you would like to know more about the project or our planned events. Please call or email Kate or Sally. Their details are below:

Kate Neale

Research Officer

Centre for Children and Young people

Southern Cross University

Telephone: 02 6620 3802

Email: kate.neale@scu.edu.au

Dr Sally Robinson

Lead Researcher – Disability Research Agenda

Centre for Children and Young People

Southern Cross University

Telephone: 02 6620 3134

Email: sally.robinson@scu.edu.au


Making sure the project is safe and fair

We need to make sure our research is safe and fair for people to be involved. We have an Ethics Committee that helps us make sure this happens. If you are worried about this project, you can write to them. They will check to make sure the project is still safe and fair for everyone.

You can contact them by writing them a letter and sending it to:

Ethics Complaints Officer

Human Research Ethics Committee

Southern Cross University

PO Box 157 Lismore

NSW 2480

Or you can email them at:

ethics.lismore@scu.edu.au