The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is a watershed in Australian disability policy. Understanding the role that paid support plays in the ongoing identity development of young people with cognitive disability is urgently needed to realise national policy aspirations of rights, choice, inclusion and independence.

This research led by Southern Cross University aims to improve the rights and wellbeing of these young people by exploring their relationships with paid support workers. Using social geography and recognition theory, the project will result in new understanding and improved practice around how paid support relationships can foster mutual care, respect and valuing at a critically important time in young people’s lives.

Research Involving Children and Young People with Disability website

Research Centre

Social Policy Research Centre

Research Area


Fisher, KR., Robinson, S., Neale, K., Graham, A., Johnson, K., Davy, L. & Hall, E. (2020). Impact of organisational practices on the relationships between young people with disabilities and paid social support workers, Journal of Social Work.

Robinson, S., Graham, A., Fisher, KR., Neale, K., Davy, L., & Johnson, K. (2020). Understanding paid support relationships: possibilities for mutual recognition between young people with disability and their support workers. Disability and Society

Robinson, S., Blaxland, M. Fisher, KR, Johnson, K., Kuang, C., Graham, A., Neale, K. (2020). Recognition in relationships between young people with cognitive disabilities and support workers, Children and Youth Services Review. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105177

Fisher, K.R., Gendera, S. Robinson, S., Graham, A., Johnson, K., Neale, K. (2019), Disability and support relationships: What role does policy play? Australian Journal of Public Administration, 78(1), 37-55.

Australian Research Council

  • Sally Robinson (lead CI), Anne Graham, Kate Neale and Jaimsie Speeding (CCYP)
  • Gordon Duff (National Disability Services)
  • Michael Henman (NSW Government Family & Community Services) 
  • Ruth Callaghan (The Northcott Society)
  • Ed Hall (University of Dundee, UK)

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