Just like all families, parents and carers play a critical role in supporting young people with intellectual disability to be safe, have positive relationships and experience good reproductive and sexual health. However the complexity of supporting a young person with a disability means their sexuality and relationship needs may be unmet.
With many parents and carers feeling lost and isolated as they try to navigate the appropriate way to support a young person with their sexuality and relationships, an opportunity exists to provide support to these carers.
Family Planning NSW is the state's leading provider of reproductive and sexual health services, with more than 30,000 client visits annually. As providers of health promotion, education and training, they are well placed to deliver specialised programs for carers and people with disability. Their clinics offer a safe space for people with disability and carers to access confidential reproductive and sexual healthcare.
In response to a high volume of requests from parents and carers seeking information and resources regarding a young person's sexuality, Family Planning NSW will run a series of six interactive workshops across NSW to address this unmet need.
The workshops will be held across Sydney, the Hunter region and regional NSW and will enable parents and carers of young people with disability to come together, share their experiences and speak to experts in the field.
Numerous topics will be explored including: the importance of providing sexuality support to children and young people with intellectual disability; strategies to provide sexuality education across childhood and adolescence; resources to assist the young person's learning; and information on local services and referral options.
Research has shown that providing sexuality education in the early stages of a young person's life can act as a protective factor to help keep them safe.
This program will help to ensure that parents and carers in metropolitan and regional NSW are better equipped to support young people to navigate sexuality, adolescence and relationships.
The program will help to create a community of support that not only provides carers with best practice resources and information, but will allow them to implement strategies from the workshop - increasing knowledge and confidence in providing sexuality support.
To learn more about the program visit Family Planning