Choice, Control and Confidence
say the National Disability Insurance Agency/Scheme
Since time immemorial, bureaucratic and ideologue restrictive practices have been well entrenched throughout support and care services for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities, especially government direct services, giving consumers (people with disabilities and their stakeholders) little or no choice, control or confidence.
Consumers are often told:
- The service provider has in place a range of checks and balances to ensure that opportunities for improvement can be identified and actioned, with complaints processes being one of the many feedback mechanisms. These mechanisms provide a level of objective and independent scrutiny of service delivery against clearly stated criteria or standards rather than an individual view or opinion.
- We can countermand any complaint made against this service!
- Other residents in the house are nothing to do with the stakeholders of
other residents! Whereas, what adversely happens to them, is likely to
happen to others when and if they no longer have stakeholders.
- Stakeholders do not use communication strategies that enable their person with disabilities to communicate directly with community visitors. Rather, stakeholders seek to represent their person with disabilities as substitute decision-makers by providing information as to the issues they perceive to be relevant to the care of their person with disabilities.
The above is a brief example of the indifference people with disabilities and their stakeholders have to endure at the hands of so called professionals and ideologues who claim to know it all, and consider their well-paid positions gives them power over people - with no need for customer-service or treating the customer as always right.
People with intellectual and multiple disabilities are, per se, seriously at risk of abuse and neglect in a myriad of forms, yet they are denied plenary guardianship protection by restrictive practice legislation in Victoria, and the ideologue implementation of section 22(1)(c) of this legislation - the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986.
This very restrictive section of legislation focuses on, does the person with a disability ‘need’ protection, and makes it almost impossible for caring parents to continue to be so after their family member is, by common law, classified as an adult. This is despite their intellectual age maybe just three years.
The VCAT ideologues will argue until they are blue in the face that a person on reaching 18 years, but intellectually operating at a three year old level, magically, is no longer in need of parent protection and guidance through a plenary guardianship order to negate the common law age demarcation on the grounds their family member is intellectually a child and in need of parent protection and guidance.
Evaluating the various types and level of support service is a complex process for most people, let alone a person with less than a regular IQ. Yet the Office of the Public Advocate in Victoria claims its community visitors, all volunteers from the general community, can ascertain the level and quality of support services a group home is providing its high support needs residents having no expressive communications by noticing the residents’:-
- ease or unease,
- level of engagement,
- participation in activities,
- relationship with other residents and support staff,
- tiredness at the end of the day,
- eating and drinking and,
- engagement with community visitors during their inspection visit.
Whereas meaningful quality of life support services include extensive person centred active support, positive behaviour management and skill training outlined in extensive practice, policy and standards manuals.
Without proper, consistent and meaning monitoring of support services, vulnerable people receive little more than mindercare - even under NDIS.
And even with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework and their Capacity Building Framework, parents and families should ensure they have the power to fully represent and support their family member to ensure they receive quality of life, not mindercare support services.
Extra 1: Supported Decision Making versus Substitute Decision Making – The Fault Line by JacksonRyan Partners – August 2015
Extra 2: New Values & Vision by DHHS Victoria : Yet their service delivery fails to match this intent
Extra 3: Core Support Service Concerns - Bureaucratic and Ideological Resistance
Extra 4: House Supervisor
Extra 5: ABC-2, Autism - USA
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