Pursuit of Wellbeing

Staff and Parent Wellbeing in Disability Services


This study aims to test the effectiveness, cost and acceptability of a program to increase key workers self-efficacy to support parents mental health.

Project Summary

This research will provide a strong evidence base upon which disability organisations can base organisational redesign to optimize health and wellbeing of children and carers within the context of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The 4-year research project is in partnership with Yooralla, a leading Victorian disability organisation, and has worked in collaboration with families of children with a disability. 

Strategies to improve the mental health of parents of children with a disability are urgently needed, and are timely given the current rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia. This program is needed to break the vicious cycle of poor mental health in parents of children with a disability that leads to poorer short and long term outcomes for themselves, their child and their family. Applying a capacity building framework and assessing changes in self-efficacy of professionals this program was developed to not only benefit the wellbeing of parents of children with a disability but also the wellbeing of their Key Workers.


'The Pursuit of Wellbeing Study' featured in Yooralla's 2019/20 Annual Report Page 33

'The Pursuit of Wellbeing Study' featured in the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit, Centre for Health Equity 2020 Annual Report Page 18-19

Pursuit of wellbeing summary

Key Papers

Young D, Gibbs, L, Gilson K-M, Williams K, Reddihough D, Tracy J, Tonmukayakul U, Carter R. 'Understanding key worker experiences at an Australian Early Childhood Intervention Service'. Health and Social Care in the Community. 2021. 29(6) p e269-e278

Davis E, Young D, Gilson KM, Reynolds J, Carter R, Tonmukayakul U, Williams K, Gibbs L, McDonald R, Reddihough D, Tracy J, Morgan J, Ireland P, Kenyon C, Carracher R. 'A Capacity Building Program to Improve the Self-Efficacy of Key Workers to Support the Well-Being of Parents of a Child With a Disability Accessing an Early Childhood Intervention Service: Protocol for a Stepped-Wedge Design Trial'. JMIR Res Protoc. 2019. 8(4)

Davis E, Young D, Gilson K-M, Swift E, Chan J, Gibbs L, Tonmukayakul U, Reddihough D, Williams K. A rights-based approach for service providers to measure the quality of life of children with a disability. Value In Health. 2018. 21 p 1419-1427

Research Partners

Yooralla, Royal Children's Hospital, Monash University, Deakin University, Monash Health, Swinburne University.

Funding Source

NHMRC Partnership Grant

Other Resources

myCPGuide and University of Melbourne - Parent and Carer Wellbeing Resource


Contact Name
Dana Young