This program was the first time, parents and carers had choice in who, when and how their child was being cared for. CP Innovative Choices is the original service, offering individuals with a disability and their family, the platform to choose and manage their own support workers. CP Innovative Choices continues to provide members with control of their supports, and as such more and more members join every day.
CPSN was born in 1995, when 6 parents of children with cerebral palsy formed a parent support group to share information and connect with others who understood the issues and challenges they faced. It didn’t take long to discover they were far from alone. As the first committee met other parents, they were invited to join, and within a few years, the group had grown to almost 50 families.
In 1997, we evolved into a membership-based not-for-profit organisation and officially became the Cerebral Palsy Support Network (CPSN). In these early days we empowered other parents by running regular support groups and information sessions for members as well as presenting at conferences representing the consumer voice.
As an organisation governed and led by parents and carers for parents and carers, we have always been able to truly understand the needs of our members and build services that met their needs. In 1999, CPSN developed the CP Respite Brokerage Program (which would later become CP Innovative Choices).
As we grew, it was important to broaden our attention to increase awareness of cerebral palsy within the general community, to ensure individuals with cerebral palsy and their families had the same opportunities as others. To spread our message we held a number of fundraisers to highlight cerebral palsy, including one of our biggest events, Melbourne’s Longest Cake, which brought celebrities, chefs and the public together to raise awareness and funds for CP and CPSN.
In 2016 Australia introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS is being rolled out across the country over 3 years. It provides individuals with the funding they need to access supports to achieve their individual goals. We have been proactive in supporting members to understand and transition onto the NDIS so they get the best funding package possible.
Two decades after our incorporation, CPSN now supports over 1500 members across all of Victoria.
Our staff and board are represented by the membership we serve and we continue to be committed to supporting parents and carers of individuals with cerebral palsy, while protecting and promoting their interests.