Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

Genna Ward

Genna Ward presented on Day 1 of the Opening Opportunities conference with her daughter Jessie and Job Supporter Cassandra on the theme of developing roles.

About Genna Ward

Portrait of Genna Ward

Genna works as a psychologist in private practice. She is concerned about the state of the world and has an interest in eco-psychology. She also enjoys being in the bush and meditating.

Along with her partner, Kim, Genna is very committed to ensuring her daughter Jessie has a rich, full life and is well-connected in the community. Genna has been learning about Customised Employment for a few years and has been busy implementing the model. With Genna and Kim self-managing her NDIS plan, Jessie has received support to do an apprenticeship, work in childcare, and become involved in advocacy. Jessie is supported by a Job Coach and Life Skills Development Mentor, Cassandra.

Genna is glad to be able to share her story and give back to the community that has helped her family so much.

Developing roles that align with Jessie’s interests and contributions

Genna Ward, Jessie Ward, and Cassandra Morrow

Genna, Jessie, and Cassandra discussed their experience with Job Development, focusing on Jessie’s role in after-hours school care. They explained:

  • the Discovery process and how it helped Jessie to identify her interests and employment aspirations clearly
  • how they reached out to people they knew to help them brainstorm employment ideas and approach potential workplaces
  • how they created volunteering and employment opportunities using the Customised Employment approach
  • the role of a Job Coach and how their understanding of the role has evolved
  • the Job Development process: what worked, what didn’t, and how they overcame obstacles
  • what was needed for Jessie to be successful in the workplace, including:
      • clear expectations of what she will do
      • enough hours to have a meaningful working week
      • avoiding big noisy environments
      • consistent co-workers
      • supported study
      • support to understand appropriate expectations.

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