How a transformational Collective Benefit Mindset experience prompted parents raising children with disability to launch a peer network
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This research reports how families forged their pathway towards a ‘Benefit Mindset’ self-transformation. This
resulted in parents creating a peer network, taking steps to pursue their development and to share their learning
about empowerment and flourishing as they work in parallel to create better outcomes for their children with
Twenty-three participants (11 couples and 1 mother) raising children with disability or developmental delays
attended the Now and NextTMprogram, which pioneered the integration of Positive Psychology in the disability
sector. This disruptive program was launched in New South Wales in 2015 by two professionals with lived
experience and evolved through co-design with the 300 families that have since completed the program
(Mahmic & Janson, 2018).
As participants grew their individual empowerment, hope and collective capacity, their vision to support other families and the collective mindset to make it happen emerged. These families recognised that the missing link in partnerships between professionals and families is their accountability in building their leadership. Participants learnt about identifying their signature strengths and putting them to work to build their family leadership.
This research extends the concept of Benefit Mindset proponed by Buchanan and Kern (2017) about individuals to a group space by detailing how their Collective Benefit Mindset emerged.