Skip to main content
#
L.I.S.A Inc
 
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.
Find What You Need
 
Forum
Wednesday, January 23 2013

‘Developing cultures of respect in residential services for people with an intellectual disability’ is a research study being conducted by Professor Chris Bigby and Dr Patsie Frawley, from the Living with Disability Research Group at La Trobe University. This research is funded by the Disability Donations Trust through DHS.

Despite strong principles underpinning the disability service system, research and recent government reports show residents in group homes are not always treated with dignity and respect, and may experience serious incidents of abuse. This study will explore how staff, families and people with intellectual disabilities understand key principles of dignity and respect and how they are interpreted in group homes. It will also identify what is understood as abuse and neglect and how the ‘culture’ of group homes can support or prevent abuse. The findings will help to build cultures of respect in group homes, and develop strategies to change the social environments and interpersonal dynamics that have allowed abusive cultures to develop and be sustained.

Family members and staff who are directly associated with group homes, and people with an intellectual disability who live in group homes are invited to express their interest in participating in the research. Participation will involve a few hours of your time in an individual interview or in a small focus group. If you are interested please contact Patsie Frawley on 9479 3041 or email p.frawley@latrobe.edu.au who will provide you with more information. This study has been approved by the LaTrobe University Faculty of Health Sciences Ethics Committee.

Email: p.frawley@latrobe.edu.au
​Mail: La Trobe University, Plenty Rd, Bundoora, 3086

Application/Consent Form LINK

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, January 20 2013

The residents of most group homes are there because of their limited ability to properly care for themselves. Their limited intellectual ability means that most have little value in their lives. They and/or their carers have to seek all possible avenues which have the potential to enhance their quality of life. One of these avenues might be to have a pet.

This might seem quite simple, but not within DHS Victoria. Having a pet is a major concern for direct care staff. Most of whom say, “We have too much to do, to have the bother of a pet. So whether a resident or residents have a pet, is directly dependent on the view of the direct care staff. That is why most DHS group homes are considered to be hostels.

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 16 2013

A Judge has slammed a controversial" competency" test devised by the government for disabled workers, saying it has led to lower wages and is discriminatory

The federal government could be liable for a compensation bill for disabled workers, some of whom earn less than a dollar an hour working in government subsidised businesses known as Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs), doing tasks such as filling envelopes, packing muesli bars and gardening work.

The ADEs, formerly known as sheltered workshops, assess workers using the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT), which measures their productivity as well as ‘‘core’’ and ‘‘industry’’ competencies.

Full Story LINK

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, January 10 2013

The federal coalition has abandoned its guarantee to deliver a budget surplus a day after Labor confessed it could not keep the nation's finances in the black.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said because the government would not reveal the size of the deficit, he could not repeat the previous promise to have a surplus in every year of an Abbott Government.

Story LINK- 22 December 2012 – Herald Sun

Real NDIS – A Bridge Too Far!

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 09 2013

THE DIRECT CARE STAFF TIME-IN-LIEU (T.I.L.)SAGA

Time-in-lieu is a process which allows staff to take time-off in lieu of payment. Time-in-lieu is also used where staff are, allegedly, not able to take a meal break.

The time-in-lieu process is frequently used in direct care services for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities. The process has the potential to seriously reduce the quality of life care of the very people the service is intended to serve – people needing PCAS and PBS (Quality of Life Care).

Time-in-lieu of payment directly reduces the staff hours at the service point! This generally impacts on the level of developmental, interactive and social care being provided, rather than on basic care. This means that the lifestyle of the residents of supported accommodation group homes (CRUs) isolated in the community becomes more isolated and looking at four walls!

Time-in-lieu of meal breaks can be quite questionable, especially where the point of employment is isolated - like supported accommodation group homes in the community. It is quite easy for staff to claim they had no time for their meal break, and leave early. Again, those who are disadvantaged are those the service is intended to serve, the most vulnerable, the most disadvantaged – people with limited intellectual capacity.

The use of time-in-lieu makes it is very difficult for service management to monitor staff working hours. If a staff member leaves, say two hours early, unnoticed by management, then no excuse is needed! If, however, the action of leaving early comes to the notice of service management, the staff person can say that they are using accumulated time-in-lieu…

“Always keep some T.I.L. up ones sleeve!”

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 09 2013

The Department of Human Services, Disability Services, Victoria, have been talking about this type of direct care work hours accountability monitoring in their group homes throughout Victoria for over three years. Yet, this has been, and still is a serious factor frequently and adversely affecting the care of vulnerable people – the residents of the said group homes.

The rorting of rostered work hours has been occurring since the DHS originally became involved in the provision of direct care services for the residents of group homes.

Many direct care staff believe that once all the domestic tasks are completed within a group home, there is no need for more than one staff member to remain in the house - so there is no need for them to stay to the end of their shift.

There is little general acceptance of, (a) at least a moral obligation to be at one’s workplace for those hours for which one is paid, (b) at least a moral obligation to be meaningfully productive for the hours for which one is paid and (c) those with limited capacity need quality of life care not just minder care.

Quality of life care is well defined in most departmental publications. The DHS Standards Evidence Guide as, “staff competency in relation to active engagement and capacity building strategies (pg. 27), the Residential Services Practice Manual, section 4.4 and, the Quality Framework 2007, section 4, valued status 6.1-3.

Most of the reason rorting of rostered hours has continued to fester, is the totally failure of all levels of management above house supervisor to properly man-manage direct care staff to ensure they are supported, encouraged and praised, or properly disciplined. If staff are ‘managed’ to be just ‘bums on seats’, they are most likely to be just that. Whereas if they are actively encouraged and well supported to be valued members of a care team, they are more likely to be so - with responsibility and job satisfaction.

Certainly, there is ample technology to monitor staff are at their workplace for their rostered hours, but little to monitor meaningful activity when they are there. Quality, meaningful and pro-active management can solve most problems within these factors (Quality Framework 2007, Handbook section 2.2.2 – Principle that underpin the quality framework are , ‘Human Rights’ and Quality Management’).

DHS Standards Evidence Guide LINK

Residential Services Practice Manual 2012 LINK

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 02 2013

The department produced these care policy manuals in 2007, 2009 and 2012

Editions 2009 and 2012 contain a - 'Promoting Positive Practice’ preface.

Positive Practice preface of issue 2009 LINK

Positive Practice preface of issue 2012, August 2012, follows and applies to all...

Contents

  • The aim of residential services
  • Staff role
  • Practice and service accountability
  • Individualised support and resident inclusion is vital to wellbeing
  • Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
  • Department of Human Services Values
  • Person Centred Active Support is the key

Resources 2012 RSPM LINK

The aim of accommodation services:
Residential services aim to enrich the quality of life of residents who live in them.

Staff role:
The role of Disability Development and Support Officers (staff) is to provide skilled support and use every available opportunity to actively promote resident's:

  • participation in household and community activities
  • relationships with other people
  • decision making skills
  • dignity and respect.

The Residential Services Practice Manual (RSPM) provides instruction and, information based an these underpinning practice principles.

Practice and Service Accountability

All staff should be aware that department managed Disability Accommodation Services and its staff are accountable service for the services they provide. Practice and service delivery is monitored and audited by a range of statutory accountability authorities who have the legal right in circumstances defined by their governing legislation, to scrutinise individual staff actions. investigate service delivery and adverse events, and recommend policy and practice change. These include:

  • The Ombudsman
  • The Auditor General
  • The Public Advocate, includes the Community Visitor Program
  • The Disability Services Commissioner
  • The Senior Practitioner
  • The Coroner

Department of Human Services values

Client Focus: In residential services this means:

  • using Person Centred Active Support (PCAS) approach to provide life experiences and opportunities (in the least restrictive way possible)
  • providing support which is free from personal bias, for example, religious or sexuality beliefs.

Responsibility: For staff this means:

  • making decisions within the scope of their role
  • reporting issues including suspicion of abuse, or neglect and seeking assistance, as required
  • taking responsibility for decisions made.

Collaborative Relationships: For staff this means:

  • working as part of a team with residents, their families, co workers, managers, other service providers and members of the community
  • providing the best possible assistance to residents and co workers.

Professional Integrity and Respect: For staff this means providing support with a focus on:

  • resident wishes and desires
  • practice and policy requirements
  • identifying possible conflicts of interest and ensuring these are managed, or avoided & respecting residents, their families, co workers, other service providers and members of the community 
  • ensuring communication is open and information is shared, as required, so residents are supported in the residential service and when attending other service providers. 

Quality: For staff this means:

  • working to the best of their ability and setting an example to others
  • not accepting 'near enough' as 'good enough' fur themselves, residents, or co workers.

Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities

Departmental staff must be compatible with the rights contained in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. The Disability Act 2006 has been assessed for compliance with the Charter. In most instances, if staff act in accordance with the requirements, as outlined in the RSPM, they will meet the Charter's requirements. The following are examples of how Charter rights are applied in residential services: Recognition and equality before the law In residential services this includes:

  • having a current Residential Statement, RSPM 4.1
  • a current child care agreement for children and young people, see RSPM 1.1.1
  • having the right to make a complaint see RSPM 1.6.1.6.1.
  • having the right to an Independent Third Person (ITP) and legal advice, if accused of a crime
  • having the right to legal advice and assistance, if the victim of a crime.

Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment In residential services this includes:

  • being spoken to and acted towards as an individual. see ISPM 1.1.1.1.2
  • being treated with respect see RSPM 1.2
  • being informed of activities and actions to be performed by staff, for example, when assistance is provided with meals, or personal care tasks, see RSPM 4.11, 4.12, 4.13
  • having access to timely medical treatment and health care, RSPM 5

Privacy and reputation In residential services this includes:

  • having privacy with personal care tasks, where possible, RSPM 4.11 4.12 4.2
  • Sharing information to enable support and protect wellbeing, (not fur small talk, or gossip purposes), RSPM 1.2
  • being spoken about as required, and with respect see RSPM 12. Cultural rights In residential services this includes:
  • respecting and supporting cultural identity and traditions, see RSPM 1.2, 4.9
  • respecting and supporting religious identity and traditions, see RSPM 12 4.9

Right to liberty and security of the person In residential services this includes:

  • supporting freedom of movement within the residential service and the community, unless restriction is authorised, see RSPM 1.2, 7.2, 7.3

LISA Comment: The 'Preface' to the department's 2012 care policy manual is the very first pages.

The 2009 has similar, but the 2007 manual did not have these pages. The department has clearly since learnt, that it needed to define the basis on which the rest of this important manual is based.

This manual together with the recent 'Standards Evidence Guide', the department's traditional 'Quality Framework 2007' and the Eastern Metro Region's 'Family Connections' (shown in the previous LISA Forum item), provide an awesome service foundation if properly and consistently implemented with their direction, intention and spirit.

All service providers, especially the department's direct service provision, should feel an obligation to show and prove to consumers that they are providing meaningful and consistent quality of life care within the afore mentioned policies and standards, and within community expectations. Not expect consumers to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not.

We will be comparing the "Positive Practice Preface" of the 2009 RSPM, with that of the 2012 RSPM.

Standards Evidence Guide LINK

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 02 2013

Department of Human Services, Disability Services, Victoria...
"Residential Services Practice Manuals"


The department produced these care policy manuals in 2007, 2009 and 2012
Editions 2009 and 2012 contain a - 'Promoting Positive Practice’ preface.

Positive Practice preface of issue 2012, August 2012, follows and applies to all...
  • Contents
  • The aim of residential services
  • Staff role
  • Practice and service accountability
  • Individualised support and resident inclusion is vital to wellbeing
  • Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
  • Department of Human Services Values
  • Person Centred Active Support is the key
Resources 2012 RSPM LINK

The aim of accommodation services:
Residential services aim to enrich the quality of life of residents who live in them.

Staff role:
The role of Disability Development and Support Officers (staff) is to provide skilled support and use every available opportunity to actively promote resident's:
*participation in household and community activities
* relationships with other people
*decision making skills
*dignity and respect.

The Residential Services Practice Manual (RSPM) provides instruction and, information based an these underpinning practice principles.

Practice and Service Accountability
All staff should be aware that department managed Disability Accommodation Services and its staff are accountable service for the services they provide. Practice and service delivery is monitored and audited by a range of statutory accountability authorities who have the legal right in circumstances defined by their governing legislation, to scrutinise individual staff actions. investigate service delivery and adverse events, and recommend policy and practice change. These include:
*The Ombudsman
*The Auditor General
* The Public Advocate, includes the Community Visitor Program
*The Disability Services Commissioner
*The Senior Practitioner
* The Coroner

Department of Human Services values Client Focus:
In residential services this means:
*using Person Centred Active Support (PCAS) approach to provide life experiences and opportunities (in the least restrictive way possible)
*providing support which is free from personal bias, for example, religious or sexuality beliefs.

Responsibility: For staff this means:
* making decisions within the scope of their role
• reporting issues including suspicion of abuse, or neglect and seeking assistance, as required
* taking responsibility for decisions made.

Collaborative Relationships: For staff this means:
*working as part of a team with residents, their families, co workers, managers, other service providers and members of the community
*providing the best possible assistance to residents and co workers.

Professional Integrity and Respect: For staff this means providing support with a focus on:
*resident wishes and desires
*practice and policy requirements
*identifying possible conflicts of interest and ensuring these are managed, or avoided & respecting residents, their families, co workers, other service providers and members of the community
*ensuring communication is open and information is shared, as required, so residents are supported in the residential service and when attending other service providers.

Quality: For staff this means:
*working to the best of their ability and setting an example to others
* not accepting 'near enough' as 'good enough' for themselves, residents, or co workers.

Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities
Departmental staff must be compatible with the rights contained in the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. The Disability Act 2006 has been assessed for compliance with the Charter. In most instances, if staff act in accordance with the requirements, as outlined in the RSPM, they will meet the Charter's requirements. The following are examples of how Charter rights are applied in residential services:

Recognition and equality before the law In residential services this includes:
& having a current Residential Statement, RSPM 4.1
• a current child care agreement for children and young people, see RSPM 1.1.1
• having the right to make a complaint see RSPM 1.6.1.6.1.
*having the right to an Independent Third Person (ITP) and legal advice, if accused of a crime
*having the right to legal advice and assistance, if the victim of a crime.

Protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment In residential services this includes:
*being spoken to and acted towards as an individual. see ISPM 1.1.1.1.2
*being treated with respect see RSPM 1.2
*being informed of activities and actions to be performed by staff, for example, when assistance is provided with meals, or personal care tasks, see RSPM 4.11, 4.12, 4.13
having access to timely medical treatment and health care, RSPM 5

Privacy and reputation In residential services this includes:
• having privacy with personal care tasks, where possible, RSPM 4.11 4.12 4.2
• Sharing information to enable support and protect wellbeing, (not for small talk, or gossip purposes), RSPM 1.2
*being spoken about as required, and with respect see RSPM 12.

Cultural rights In residential services this includes:
*respecting andsupporting cultural identity and traditions, see RSPM 1.2, 4.9
*respecting andsuppnrfing religious identityand traditions, seeRSPM 12 4.9

Right to liberty and security of the person In residential services this includes:
*supporting freedom of movement within the residential service and the community, unless restriction is authorised, see RSPM 1.2, 7.2, 7.3

LISA Comment: The'Preface' to the department's 2012 care policy manual is the very first pages. The 2009 has similar, but the 2007 manual did not have these pages.

The department has clearly since learnt, that it needed to define the basis on which the rest of this important manual is based.

This manual together with the recent 'Standards Evidence Guide', the department's traditional 'Quaily Framework 2007' and the Eastern Metro Region's 'Family Connections' (shown in the previous LISA Forum item), provide an awesome service foundation if properly and consistently implemented with their direction, intention and spirit.

All service providers, especially the department's direct service provision, should feel an obligation to show and prove to consumers that they are providing meaningful and consistent quality of life care within the afore mentioned policies and standards, and within community expectations. Not expect consumers to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not.

We will be comparing the "Positive Practice Preface" of the 2009 RSPM, with that of the 2012 RSPM.
Standards Evidence Guide LINK
Posted by: Hatton AT 11:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 01 2013

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Federal Minister for Disability Reform, says:-

People with significant and profound disabilities in the Barwon region of Victoria are set to benefit from a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from 1 July 2013.

Over the course of the trial about 5,000 people with significant and profound disabilities, their families and carers in the Barwon region will have their needs assessed and will start to receive individual care and support packages under an NDIS model.

The Australian and Victorian Governments will work together to provide people with disability, their families and carers with the care and support they need, when they need it.

We question it will be the level of support they need and want, when the Commonwealth is quoting a benchmark figure of $20,779 per person, per year. This figure will purchase little more than a relatively few hours of support per week - such as in-home support.

A five day per week registered day service can cost, in service fees only, as much as, $30,000 pa. And a supported accommodation group home, in service fees only, as much as, $130,000 pa.

The total for one person would be, $160,000 pa. Certainly, not every one of the 5000 people would need or want this level or type of support, but there must be many in the Barwon area who need and want this type of top level of support, or similar.

Given the restricted funding of the trial, the number of people funded will be inversely proportional with the number who need and want the top level of support.

We are, therefore, especially interested to hear from those people and/or their families, who need and want what we have defined as the top level of support, or similar, and how and when they are assessed as to their needs. As the selection process, following assessment, may initially favour those with low support needs.

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Email
Add to favorites

LISA Inc   ~   Phone: 03 9434 3810   ~   Email: vk3qq@optusnet.com.au   ~   Address: 73 Nepean Street Watsonia VIC 3087

Copyright © 2013 LISA Inc. All Rights Reserved. SiteMap.