Each Star Raft circle helps bring connection, companionship and collaboration into the life of an individual or family, supported by friends and allies who are ‘on-purpose’ and committed for the long haul. Star Rafts are designed to be self-sustaining and self-renewing by encouraging members to introduce trusted friends and colleagues, expand the circle, and invite new contributions and commitments.
The Star Raft doesn’t operate ‘outside’ the family or in competition with the family – it’s more like ‘opening up the family circle’ and including more people in the faithful work that a family is already doing.
Some Star Rafts add a focus on customized employment. Others might help people develop and operate small businesses. Some Star Rafts evolve into Microboards that help individuals and families manage direct support services. Others help the person at the center navigate the challenges involved in starting a new job or making the transition to increased autonomy and interdependence.
Star Raft strategies can be seamlessly incorporated into existing person-centered planning and consulting activities, making each conversation an opportunity to consciously strengthen the role of natural supports in people’s lives. The pattern is working in disability, mental health and other community services, and has strong potential in areas such as child protection, community justice and aging.