LISA... is a parent support and lobby group, for parents and families with a family member having an intellectual or multiple disability, and living in a supported accommodation group home in the State of Victoria, Australia.
Tuesday, February 28 2012
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation exists to demonstrate that individuals with severe learning disabilities who are described as having challenging behaviour can enjoy normal life opportunities when their behaviour is properly understood and they receive appropriate individualised support.
The CBF will support families, professionals and other stakeholders through education, information, research and partnership working to enable this to happen and will work strategically to influence national policy and practice.
Our aims are:
To provide information and support to parents and professionals caring for individuals with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour
To demonstrate how local service provision for individuals with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour can be improved, and to actively facilitate such provision on a national basis
To highlight the needs of those with challenging behaviour and to influence policy on their behalf
To promote research into challenging behaviour associated with severe learning disabilities and to disseminate the results of such research so that practical benefits are gained
We believe that we can achieve most by working together. We look forward to working with you.
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation
c/o The Old Courthouse
New Road Avenue
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) http://www.familyandhome.org/difficult_child.html
Pathological Demand Avoidance http://www.donnawilliams.net/pathologicaldemand.0.html
Tuesday, February 28 2012
The Panel delivered the Report to the Minister for Community Services on 27January 2012. The Report was tabled by the Minister for Community Services in Parliament on 28 February 2012.
The Report is now available to the public.
It is split into three Volumes.
Volume 1 includes the Executive summary and Lists of recommendations, findings and matters for attention as well as an Implementation plan.
Volume 2 comprises eight parts and contains 23 chapters. For ease of downloading, this Volume has been divided into sections.
Volume 3 is composed mostly of the appendices.
If you would like to receive this publication in an alternative format, please contact 03 9096 0581 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 28 2012
The Department of Human Services is embarking on major reform to deliver more integrated, family-centred services for vulnerable Victorians.
This follows last year’s announcement of a new approach to case management and service delivery, which is being trialled in Dandenong and Geelong and the South West Coast.
A comprehensive review of the department has taken place and we have proposed how the department will restructure to improve the quality of its services to make a real difference for Victorians.
Last year alone, the department managed 55,000 child protection reports, provided 31,000 clients with disability aids and equipment and supported 39,000 homeless people.
Victoria’s population is projected to increase significantly over the next 20 years. Demand for community services is very high already and is expected to increase.
To meet these demands, we are proposing major changes to the department’s structure that will help us to provide more responsive, family-centred services for vulnerable Victorians.
The key changes are:-
The department’s regional operations will be organised into 17 local areas, putting more focus on the frontline and providing improved services when and where people need them. The 17 local areas will be based on geographic catchments reflecting trends in population growth and service demand across the state.
- The 17 local areas will be supported by four regional divisions (North, South, East and West).
- The areas will manage service delivery with government and non-government organisations in a more integrated way, along functional rather than program lines.
- The areas will have greater decision-making power over local services and the ability to allocate resources depending on the needs of that area. Some of the local areas will have – for the first time – a senior manager to drive better, and more coordinated services at the local level, integrated across housing, disability and family services.
- The areas will have a greater focus on achieving lasting outcomes for people through early intervention and building opportunities for social and economic participation.
The department’s central office will be consolidated to remove program silos, reduce duplication and increase efficiency. There will be three central office groups: Policy and Strategy; Service Design and Implementation; and Corporate Services.
- The three groups will replace the current seven divisions in central office.
- This arrangement reorganises central office along functional rather than program lines, by integrating policy, program management and corporate functions across the departmen.
The creation of two Deputy Secretary roles to respectively oversee a Community and Executive Services portfolio and a Housing, Youth and Women portfolio.
- These roles will have primary responsibility for providing high quality and responsive policy advice to the Secretary and Ministers.
A comprehensive consultation process with the department’s staff has begun, with implementation of these important changes happening over the next 12–18 months.
This restructure is just part of our broader service reform program, which will build a strong and responsive human services system – one that is set up to achieve the best possible outcomes for our most vulnerable people.
WHAT GILL CALLISTER SAID
Some of the key points - “What do they mean in nuts and bolts?”
- “Focused on improving client outcomes through service delivery reform and developing a sustainable workforce”
- “How it needs to change to be able to provide more joined up and responsive services for our clients”.
- “Two leading experts have guided a comprehensive review”
- “More integrated, family-centred services for our clients”
- “Build a strong and responsive human services system – one that is set up to achieve the best possible outcomes for our most vulnerable people”
- “Focus on business excellence and continuous improvement”
- “Vision for improving the way we deliver services”
- “Develop a new ‘joined up’ model of case management”
- “Improve our services if we listen to our clients’ experiences of them”
Friday, February 24 2012
The Sheriff of Nottingham demanded the common people show respect when he took their money: Robin Hood had different views – So has LISA Inc., in respect to people with a disability and their families.
This is a sign not only of obedience, but of subservience. An acknowledgement of the humble place in which people with a disability and their families are expected to be to receive support. Most of which is a charity hand-out, not an entitlement, in a world of captive market services for those with a disability and their families.
The moment your child is diagnosed with a disability, your life becomes a lone battle against bureaucratic barriers far superior to the well-known green zone in Baghdad, until you depart this world.
Captive market bureaucrats expect families to be totally respectful, obedient and subservient to them, no matter what they do, say, offer or don’t offer in respect to help and services.
The government of Victoria originally established departments with public funding to serve the people of Victoria through direct and indirect service provision.
Over the years many of these departments have become out of control juggernauts. Unlike organisations who compete in the market place, they have few reasons to maintain and grow their customer base.
As their funding is not based on customer service or customer satisfaction, they have few reasons to respond to the requests or concerns of those they are intended to serve.
The general attitude of public service staff is that everything would run much better without customers!
In contrast, those working in the market place realise and accept the custom of the customer as the important person without whom they would have no job
Successive governments realised just how much they had lost control of these juggernauts, and established a number of “Independent Statutory Bodies” in the hope of at least making the departments somewhat accountable to those they are intended to serve, and to the public who provide their funding.
The Department of Human Services is by far the most out of control, with its awesome despotic powers impacting adversely on the most vulnerable in our community. The “independent statutory bodies” such as the Ombudsman, Office of the Public Advocate, Office of the Disability Services Commissioner and VCAT have little hope of making this juggernaut accountable for its actions. They have become little better themselves!
Consumers and their families must be empowered to call the tune! Not the service providers dictating to the consumers! In outside industry, the customer is always considered right!
Wednesday, February 22 2012
It’s a government lottery, with no guesses as to which will be last or never occur in a meaningful way.
Bill Shorten says the NDIS pit is so deep, we will never hear the coin touch the bottom. Yet with that philosophy, Mr Shorten, on Q&A, claims it will occur. What he does not say is, how much it will be watered-down, if it does occur.
Certainly, there is an urgent need for NDIS funding to provide for the huge level of unmet needs – those families doing it tough with little or no hope for the future but to keep on keeping-on caring for their adult family member ‘till they drop. However, there is a lot of cleaning-up of existing services pending any level of NDIS, or similar.
The Victorian Government has produced an action plan entitled “Human Services – The Case for Change”.
This document explains how we can, and should be, building on the strengths of the existing system to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable Victorians and their families. But despite our common purpose of supporting people out of disadvantage, major improvements can still be made to connect individual efforts and achieve better life outcomes for vulnerable people.
If existing services can be made more accountable for their service provision, including better customer service, then when some NDIS funding finally arrives, consumers and their families will have less battle to achieve reasonable quality of care for their family member.
Bill Shorten speech to ALP National Conference, NDIS
Human Services - The Case for Change
Wednesday, February 15 2012
1 What are the community attitudes to people with disability in Australia and similar countries?
2.How do community attitudes affect social and economic inclusion in different life domains such as participation in education and employment, social networks, community, health, housing, support services, etc.?
3.What is the relationship between community attitudes to people with disability and their experiences and outcomes a) overseas and b) in Australia?
4.What are the community attitudes to specific groups of people with disability, including the person's characteristics such as disability type, age, gender, location,Indigenous, CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse), socioeconomic status?
5.What are the attitudes to people with disability as held by groups of people relevant to particular life domains (For example employers, managers and co workers in the employment domain; teachers and students in the education domain; formal and informal carers in the personal support domain) and relevant to particular life course stages (for example peers, teachers and other parents in preschool/primary school [pre¬puberty], high school [teenage years] and early young adult years)?
6.Can community attitudes to people with disability be changed (including which groups who hold the attitudes and to which people with disability) and if so how; what are examples of constructive attitudes to people with disability and case studies of ways to bring about social and economic inclusion?
7.What are the gaps in knowledge about community attitudes to people with disability in Australia as relevant to policy change and how could they be addressed?
8.To what extent do the existing datasets support the ability to infer outcomes regarding people with disability? Where are the data gaps where inference is not possible?
We know from considerable national and international literature that negative community attitudes towards people with disability affect their quality of life in the important life domains of education, employment, health, housing and social networks. Negative attitudes are more likely to be experienced by particular groups of people with disability, such as women and people with intellectual or psychiatric disability.
Research evidence about the impact of negative community attitudes towards people with disability on their outcomes across various life domains is scant. However, there is a strong conceptual link between attitudes and outcomes. This link is also suggested and supported by the literature reviewed in this report.
Australia has some datasets that include indicators of outcomes for people with disability from which the impact of negative attitudes can be inferred, but no large or longitudinal attitudinal data are collected. Options for addressing this research gap in Australia are: include a disability module in existing longitudinal data collections; access relevant administrative datasets; and design specific disability attitudes surveys of people with disability and other members of the public. International examples of data collection could be used to inform survey development in Australia, and a good model would be the BSA survey.
Australian and international policies to change community attitudes to people with disability operate at the levels of personal, organisational and structural change. Few of these policies have been evaluated. An option to inform policy change would be to review the effectiveness of existing policies and programs in Australia.
Strategies to change community attitudes seem to be most effective when they include policies at all three levels (personal, organisational and structural), include people with disability in the design and implementation of the policies, are sufficiently prolonged and resourced to reinforce positive attitudes and replace negative attitudes, and address the diversity of disability experience.
Monday, February 06 2012
Dental health is a concern for everyone. It is a major concern for those with limited capacity to understand the need for, or carry out dental heath routines.
As Community Visitors, and as an DSO (in Victoria), we saw the shocking conditions many residents of institutions suffered. One of these was the lack of proper and consistent dental hygiene.
Many who finally came out of the institutions, had lost most or many of their teeth. They moved into group homes where the dental health aspect was/is little better, given institutional cultures were allowed to be transportable.
Both the medical and dental professions agree it is easy to distinguish between those with intellectual or multiple disabilities living at home, and those living in supported accommodation group homes, especially DHS group homes, by their dental health.
The general community, has the ability to understand the need for, and result of various dental procedures. Whereas, those with limited capacity are further disadvantaged if they have limitations participating well in one of their major quality of life areas – being able eat and enjoy food properly.
Monday, February 06 2012
All Telecom employees were in this comfort zone, Australia wide, for years. No matter what they did, or did not do, they were totally protected by the Telecom juganaught.
Telecom had no reason to attract customers or provide customer service. Consumers could go nowhere else!
Now, with consumers having choice of service providers, the attitude of employees towards customers has changed significantly.
The above example of the down-side of a captive market, relates to the product and service being electronic equipment.
Whereas, similar captive market down-side still exists for people with intellectual or multiple disabilities. Still treated as of less value than electronic equipment!
They have no choice of service provider, no effective complaints process, and with support staff having far more rights than they or their families, and staff safe employment protected by the DHS juganaught
It is little wonder, families are looking for ISPs to SDA – DIY. Where families can employ their own staff, they can set, monitor and maintain staff work value to reflect quality of life care, rather than minder care.
Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see one of the DHS regions actively, from staff level, addressing the need to provide meaningful customer service. More on this later.