Designing service user-led support


Terms like ‘person-centred’, ‘service user-led’ and ‘empowered relationships’ are often used to describe approaches to disability support where service users exercise greater decision-making power.

These projects delve into what this means in practice for service users, workers and the organisations that sit behind these relationships.

Summer Foundation and JFA Purple Orange are testing approaches and developing tools to empower service users to express and communicate what they are looking for in their workers and how to meet these needs.

Projects from Griffith University, UNSW and Community Living Project provide detailed descriptions of the relationships between service users and support workers. They provide insights into what the ‘right relationships’ mean for the skills, values and training of workers, the support service users need and the organisational capability needed to support these ways of working.

Read More

What we found

  • What approach to user-led support did these projects test?
  • What worker attributes and skills do people look for?
  • What job design features are important?
  • What is required of workers?
  • What is required of service-users?


project image

Community Living Project Inc.

Project: HR 1:1 – Family Leadership in Workforce Management

This project documented CLP’s family-led model to empower service users and families to manage their own support workers in such a way t...

Read more
project image

Griffith University

Project: Evaluation of capacity-building strategies: building the right relationship betwee...

This project built on earlier research and aimed to further develop and test resource material to support self-direction and the developm...

Read more
project image

JFA Purple Orange

Project: Workforce innovation through self-managed supports

This project documented the experiences of self-managed participants who managed the employment relationships with workers themselves. It was an Au...

Read more
project image

Summer Foundation Ltd

Project: Developing participant-led training videos

This project prototyped supporting people with disability to create their own training video for their disability support workers. 

Read more
project image

University of NSW

Project: Mutuality in Support Relationships

This project was an extension of earlier research on the quality of the support worker-service user ‘mutual relationship’, refined...

Read more