Stretch Cards

Rationale behind Stretch Cards

The Stretch cards have been developed in response to the changing landscape within the mental health and human service sector. Changes in the community mindset of Australia and subsequent changes to funding structures mean that human services need to adapt in order to remain viable and relevant into the future. In order to do this, services needed to challenge their practice and look for new possibilities. Change, as always is inevitable. How can we protect the integrity of what is great about current practice whilst developing and growing into the future? The Stretch cards are one tool to help services do this.


The Stretch cards are a way of offering creative examples of how practice could be. To open up opportunities to do things differently without losing the basic and essential components of success in existing services. They also prompt conversations about intentional, considered and reflective development of both services and individual worker practice.


There are two separate versions of the Stretch Cards.

  1. Stretch Cards for Individiual Practice
  2. Stretch Cards for Groups


The Theoretical Underpinning of the Stretch Cards:

The Stretch cards are based on a vast body of knowledge and wisdom taken from people with lived experience of overcoming mental illness and distress and of accessing human services. This body of knowledge is not owned by one person but has been contributed to over many years. The wisdom and experience of people who have been this way before asks us to resist many of the paternalistic and managed care beliefs and practices that have been standard for decades. It requires that services find a balance between the learned, external wisdom of trained professionals and the lived experience of the individuals accessing services.


Intention of the Stretch cards:

These cards are designed to challenge, stretch and inspire. They are provocative, frank and realistic. This is because real reflective practice needs to be this way. We believe that the very fact that workers are in human services means they already possess a strong sense of self-reflection, humility and courage to challenge and grow. It is with this intention that these cards have been developed.

While these cards have been developed with staff and service development and transformation in mind, there is also scope for them to be used with people who access services.


Please feel free to contact Helen Glover if you have any questions
regarding the Self Righting Star® Framework, including permission for use.
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