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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.
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Monday, August 12 2013

Messages for service provision under DisabilityCare
Australia, which have arisen from the consultations

of the NDIS Workforce Ready Project – June 2013

  1. People with disability and their families should be able to consistently receive high quality and innovative supports that enable them to maximise independent lifestyles and their full inclusion in the mainstream community.
  1. People with disability and their families should exercise the maximum choice and control possible in the planning and delivery of their supports, including decisions relating to the selection of people who will be responsible for providing their support services.
  1. People with disability and their families vary in their preparedness and   capacity to direct and monitor their own services, as does their degree of vulnerability to neglect and abuse (malpractice), which needs to be taken into account when recruiting and monitoring direct support staff.
  1. There is a need to safeguard the best interests of people with disability and their families by having in place mechanism to ensure only those persons who are ‘good citizens’ work in the disability sector, and to prevent malpractice.
  1. There is need to have established systems that can respond to allegations and established situations of malpractice (especially with respect to preventing the vocational mobility of those who have an established record of malpractice).
  1. There is a need to attract and retain good people, who are ‘right for the job’; that is people who listen to, serve, and support people with disability to achieve their goals.
     
  2. There is a need to create career paths for those who seek to work in support of people with disability in the longer term.
  1. There is a need to provide a system that accommodates those who might  only work part–time, or for short periods in the disability sector.
  1. There is a need to provide a system that can accommodate family members who provide paid care, and others in the community who work as volunteers.
  1. The tasks asked of the disability sector workforce vary greatly in their complexity, and consequently so do the levels of experience, skills and knowledge required to perform these tasks; from relatively simple domestic assistance to work involving health care, assistance with medication, and psycho-social educational programmes.
     
  2. Values and attitudes are considered to be the basis for an effective workforce. Some of the core values to be identified for the workforce included ‘human rights’ (as referenced in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, 2006), and fundamental principles such as the exercise of choice, self-determination, and community inclusion.
  1. Experience and skills acquired in a variety of ways need to be recognised; including experience and skills developed through personal experience (e.g., linguistic or cultural competencies) practical work (having previously supported a person with disability, including a relative or friend) and informal training (self-initiated or provided by an employer, but not necessarily accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework or other such scheme).
     
  2. Knowledge gained through formal (accredited) educational programmes need to be recognised, and people should be encouraged and rewarded for having pursued formal education commensurate with the needs of their clients and their personal career objectives.
     
  3. On-going and in-service education and training are vital to maintain currency of knowledge and skills.
     
  4. Specialist and advanced knowledge and skills need to be recognised.
     
  5. Some areas of practice should require formal accreditation.
     
  6. Issues of accreditation and remuneration need to be considered together. That is, industrial agreements will need to recognise those who attain higher levels of accreditation with higher levels of remuneration. Such an integrated system will be important to both recognise and encourage people to develop their skills and knowledge, and in turn raise standards of practice.
     
  7. Strategies are needed to ensure consistency in the quality of training and assessment , and in the outcomes to these courses, including maintaining consistency and standards in AQF accredited programmes, where currently there is evidence of diversity in quality of outcome despite standardisation ofunits of competency.
  1. Formal recognition of people who are ‘right for the job’ needs to be introduced gradually; to ensure that we do not lose the many good people that are currently working in the sector Summary of Key Findings including paid family carers and those in the community who work as volunteers in the disability sector; and to ensure that any such system does not impede others coming to the sector – especially those who might have experienced difficulties or disadvantage in education, those from non-English speaking backgrounds, and those with a disability themselves.
  1. The introduction of any such scheme needs to take into account workforce shortages in regional, rural and remote areas, and work towards supporting those who currently are, or who could potentially be, ‘right for the job’ to attain the necessary accreditation.
  1. Formal recognition should be structured in a way that both enables people with disability to recognise and select from an accredited workforce,and which recognises and rewards (encourages) those who seek a career path in the sector.
  1. Any scheme to formally recognise the disability sector workforce needs to be established in a way that emphasises collaboration between people with disability and their families, the direct support workforce, service providers and government.
  1. In the context of Responsive Regulatory Theory, there is an emerging consensus that the current situation, in which the market place generally sets its own standards, with possibly some minimal oversight by an employing agency (e.g., police checks, reference checks, and supervision), and no nationally accepted industry bench-mark recognition being required, is not satisfactory.
  1. Market-based regulation might provide for those situations where people with disability and their families retain staff for basic domestic duties (e.g., cleaning, cooking, shopping, gardening) that they themselves direct. However, this is not considered sufficient to provide the safeguards needed for more complex areas of practice, or where people with disability are limited in their ability to exercise higher levels of direction and self-advocacy.
  1. Bearing in mind the need to leverage social capital and good will in the sector, as well as the current complexities of the workforce, there is general endorsement of the need to initially develop at minimum a voluntary accreditation scheme.  Such a scheme would provide basic safeguards and recognition of people who were ‘right for the job’.
  1. There is support for the development of a more formal register of people who would then be recognised as ‘right for the job’, especially for those who seek to practice in more complex areas of work, or to support people who are limited in their capacity to self-direct or self-advocate, and are consequently recognised as particularly vulnerable to neglect, abuse or malpractice.
  1. Any such compulsory register would need to encompass features to accommodate the varying needs of people with disability and their families (including their varying needs for protection against malpractice), and the
    varying complexities of the tasks involved in direct support activities.

     
  2. A national approach to any such scheme is considered important. A national approach would ensure continuity of standards and procedures across states and territories. It is also noted that the direct support workforce includes a cohort of people who are mobile across states and territories and that it is in the best interests of both workers and people with disability that the scheme is national.
  1. Local administration of any scheme is considered important to its effective operations and responsiveness to the needs of both people with disability and the workforce.
  1. The administrative structure of any such scheme would need to encompass participation by people with disability and their families, direct support workers, service providers and government.
  1. The establishment of any such administrative structure would need to reflect it having status (authority) in the community.
  1. The establishment of any such scheme would need to ensure its independence from other existing stakeholder groups (i.e., being constituted in a way that eliminated any potential conflicts of interest).
  1. Such a scheme should concern its self with both practical skills and knowledge of the workforce, as well as setting standards of ethical conduct.
  1. The cost of establishing any such scheme would need to be met by Government.
     
  2. The cost of maintaining any such scheme might in part be supported by registration fees, but these fees would need to be calculated taking into account the current pay structures in the sector, as well as the preponderance of part-time workers, family careers and volunteers, together with the varying degrees of complexity of task for which people were seeking accreditation to perform.

    PDF File of that above
Posted by: HATTON AT 05:53 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 10 2013

National Framework for Reducing the
 Use of Restrictive Practices
(LINK)

Council on Community and On 3 May 2013, Standing Disability Services Ministers considered a draft proposed National Framework for Reducing the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector (the proposed National Framework).  The proposed National Framework was developed jointly by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments and based on consultation to date from non-government stakeholders.

 
LISA Comment:  The first consideration of Restrictive Practices is Containment /Restraint , for which there is considerable written material and discussion, especially by the Senior Practitioner in Victoria.

 
Whereas, we look at those restrictive practices having the primary intention of  maintaining psychological power over people, especially vulnerable people and their often almost equally vulnerable stakeholders.

 
Current captive market, charity hand-out, block funded, support services have a natural and traditional restrictive practice culture that the consumer and their stakeholders should consider themselves lucky to get anything, and must never, ever, complain.

 
Power over people, the consumers and their stakeholders, is supported by the consumer and their stake holders being seen as lesser people by the captive market service providers as a result of having to take support service funding from government revenue the public purse.

 
This power over people is maintained by captive market service providers having no reason to retain consumers or provide customer service and satisfaction.  They being as difficult and covert as possible with their service provision per se, and especially difficult and covert when their service level, quality, accountability and transparency is questioned by the consumer and/or their stakeholders.


 

Posted by: HATTON AT 08:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 10 2013

Safeguarding People with Disability
 Developing Policies and Procedures for Service Providers

Deakin University, in partnership with Uniting Care Community Options, invites you to participate in a study which investigates ways of safeguarding children and adults with disability against neglect and abuse from staff employed by, or working with, government and community service organisations, including ancillary staff. Your anonymous answers to the questions will be used to develop evidence-based policies and procedures for disability service providers. There will be three rounds of questions, each taking about 20 minutes to complete. The completion date for the initial round is 28 June.


If you have any questions concerning this project, please contact Associate Professor Keith McVilly at keith.mcvilly@deakin.edu.au or Dr Goetz Ottmann at goetz.ottmann@deakin.edu.au, or telephone 03 9239 2639.

 

Posted by: HATTON AT 11:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 16 2013

The recent Victorian Government Cabinet reshuffle following Denis Napthine taking over as Premier, saw the Honourable Mary Wooldridge, MLA, previously the Minister for Community Services, appointed as Victoria's first dedicated Minister for Disability Services and Reform.

This appointment sends a strong message to the Department of Human Services, Disability Services, that the new Premier recognises the absolute circus and crises within all corners of this government department which has been wasting dollars and providing questionable services for years.

We trust the new Minister will examine the future of the DHS as a direct provider of disability services.  And, as a matter of urgency, move her department out of direct service provision and make regulatory reform to enable and ensure non-government service providers are better able to focus on the delivery of customer centred, quality of life, support services. 

Direct care services should be provided by non-government, not for profit, community service organisations which, unlike government direct care services, can be made accountable for service level, quality and customer service, as service management is marketplace-proactive. 

This is in total contrast to the department’s overall, captive-market, reactive, crises driven, in-denial, issue avoidance, intimidating, consumer avoidance, dollar burning, management.

Whereas, the Department of Human Services, Disability Services, has an extensive range of very comprehensive care policies, standards and values which, if fully and consistently implemented within their direction, intention and spirit, would ensure people with disabilities and their families were at the very centre of first class, quality of life, service provision.   

Posted by: Hatton AT 09:34 am   |  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
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.

FULL REPORT

If you would like to receive this publication in an alternative format, please contact 03 9096 0581 and rocco.fonzi@dhs.vic.gov.au

 

Posted by: Hatton AT 12:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 18 2012

The Department of Human Services fails to condemn and properly control the driving of department vehicles in unsuitable footwear – especially thongs.

Failing to properly control quality of care practices, like driving department vehicles in unsuitable footwear, is yet another example of the department’s overall reactive management of its services for vulnerable people.

The department’s disability services has policies regarding the wearing of unsuitable footwear for staff safety, client safety and the ability of staff to provide a duty of care in often adverse circumstances in its group homes. Yet this department has no firm policy on the driving of its vehicles in unsuitable footwear!

There is almost an epidemic of direct care staff wearing basic thongs whilst on duty, even in the sight of their management. This is yet another a very clear illustration of strongly supported findings of ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive’ management being number-one reason for the massive range of on-going care problems throughout disability services.

Victoria Police say it is not against the law to drive in unsuitable footwear, but they strongly condemn the practice. Yet, there is no restriction on driving state government vehicles in unsuitable footwear. Therefore, DHS direct-care staff are free to drive vulnerable group home residents, in house mini buses, wearing basic thongs.

Many of these residents have little ability to help themselves if the vehicle was involved in an accident where there was significant damage and/or fire. The driver wearing just basic thongs (assuming they were still on the person’s feet) would be seriously limited in their ability to assist those for whom they have a duty of care, let alone a moral responsibility

Posted by: Hatton AT 01:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 06 2011

The quality of life of people with an intellectual disability is directly proportional to their level of ability. Every avenue and opportunity having the potential to expand their quality of life should be considered.

All travel is an opportunity to expand their horizons, and should not be missed. They should therefore be considered the priority focus of all travel opportunities. Adherence to the following guidelines will help ensure those disadvantaged by intellectual disability enhance their quality of life through a positive travel experience.

  • Ensure that everyone has a seat belt, harness, or wheel chair restraints firmly secured.
  • Wherever possible, have suitable residents or students share the front seat next to the driver
  • Wherever possible, all support staff except the driver should be in the back with the residents or students, for safety and to enhance communications.
  • Ensure people sitting beside each other are as compatible as possible.
  • Count the number of people before leaving, and each time they re-enter the vehicle, after the doors are closed, and before moving off.
  • Ensure everyone is informed what is intended during the outing.
  • Remember to include everyone in the discussions when travelling and stopped, even if there is a view that they don’t understand.
  • Talk to everyone about their day.

The above steps will help to ensure that everyone achieves a positive and productive outcome from the outing

Posted by: Hatton AT 06:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, August 26 2011

Department of Human Services, Disability Accommodation Services (DAS), Victoria, Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines for Clothing, Footwear and Accessories Information Bulletin: 11 October 2010 states:

Direct support staff should wear shoes which are:

  • Fully enclose the foot to limit the entry of liquids, sharps, insects or spiders and to minimise injury.
  • Low heeled and flat soled of a material (tread preferred) that reduces the potential of slipping.
  • Thongs are not acceptable footwear.

The guidelines were developed in consultation with Health and Safety Representatives, Work Health staff and members of the DAS Area Occupational Health and Safety Committees.

If a member of staff does not adhere to these guidelines, their line management will take appropriate action

Posted by: Hatton AT 03:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, August 07 2011

An elderly long time widowed mother, with a son in a Department of Human Services (DHS), Victoria, group home, visits her son each week to take him into the community and lunch with him.

Most time she takes him out, he is poorly dressed. Yet she says he has good clothes, and she can’t understand why he is not dressed better per se, but especially when department staff know he is going out with his mother into the community

This mother feels so intimidated, she does little more than pass the time of day with the house direct care staff.

The mother feels so embarrassed when meeting people she knows, that she pro actively apologies for the way her son is dressed.

Yet, the Office of the Disability Service Commissioner (ODSC), Victoria, an independent statutory body, set up specifically to deal with complaints, actively encourages parents/families to complain, but does little to shield them from the wrath of the all-powerful DHS.

The ODSC, a pseudo government department, certainly does not actively and assertively encourage the DHS, a government department, to provide real customer service within the principles of its ‘Quality Framework’, Section 5.2, ‘Consumer Assessment’, and within the principles of AS ISO10002 - 2006.

Rather, the ODSC has a philosophy of “Equal Opportunity” for both the DHS and the parent/family.

The ODSC feels it is providing a level playing field, with the all-powerful DHS (with no reason for customers or customer service) at one end of the table, and a very weak parent/family at the opposite end. And, the ODSC conciliator in the middle, with a mandate not to help either side.

So why would any parent/family feel other than intimidated in the presence of a service provider who considers the parents/family are lucky to get any service, and should be extremely grateful for whatever they get, as there are many on the ‘Disability Support Register (DSR)’ who are only too willing to take anything on offer for their family member.

Posted by: Hatton AT 03:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 22 2011
House Supervisors are expected to be totally responsible and accountable for everything in the house. Yet they have few rights and little authority. They are unlikely to be supported by line management when attempting to set, monitor and maintain direct care staff work value within departmental care policies, standards, guidelines and values, and within staff job descriptions!

If a House Supervisor comes into the house at times when not “rostered-on”, stays after their shift, comes in early or phones staff at the house when he or she is not on duty…. This is frequently grounds for a successful harassment complaint by direct care staff with HACSU support against weak DHS management who are also intimidated by direct care staff into not visiting a house without giving prior notice to staff.

So although held responsible and accountable, a House Supervisor is rarely permitted to be a pro-active and responsible supervisory person. And, is not sufficiently empowered to address the needs and aspirations of the residents for whom he/she is responsible

People promoted to the position of supervisor should be made aware that:-

“Although you are now officially a House Supervisor, under no circumstances should you attempt to supervise!” This is because:-

1. In most circumstances, you are unlikely to be supported by your line management!

2. You will have to fight the public service management issue-avoidance bureaucracy alone, in every way, to support your residents to receive the care and quality lifestyle set by the department’s own care policies, standards, guidelines and values.

3. At any time you could have HACSU supported, militant direct care staff undermining any attempt you make to have residents receive quality care and support. These staff wish to have “leisure time at work”, and will claim you are bullying them if you make any attempt to direct them, or question their actions!

4. Management will most likely cave-in to your subordinates complaints and demands, no matter how unreasonable or unfounded these may be!

5. Management will almost certainly make you the scapegoat, to help make the problem/s go away, and to cover their own backsides!

Are you still feeling lucky in getting the position? No! Maybe? Well, see how you feel after attempting to do just a fraction of what is in your job description!

Even with good staff, you are likely to battle every day against the entrenched management attitudes and practices described above. With entrenched staff - forget it! Either keep your head low and ignore what is going on around you, or move to the NGOs.
Posted by: Hatton AT 05:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 17 2011
(Confirm details and personal situation with Centrelink, these are general guidance notes)

Recipients of the Disability Support Pension, under the age of 35 years, who are assessed as having a partial work capacity of eight or more hours per week, and who are not working, will be required to attend Centrelink interviews on a quarterly basis for the first 18 months after first receiving a payment and then twice yearly thereafter at an estimated cost to government of $92.8m over four years.

From 3 September 2011, DSP claimants, with the exception of those who are clearly unable to work, will need to provide evidence that they have tested their future work capacity by participating in training or work related activities. In addition, job capacity assessments will be refined to focus on people's potential to work. This measure is expected to save $49.7m over 4 years.

A variety of changes to DSP entitlements and Carers payments affecting those people with disabilities and their carers travelling overseas are expected to save $19m over five years.

Subject to the income test, DSP recipients will now be permitted to work up to 30 hours per week and still retain eligibility for a part-pension for up to 2 years.

In 2012-13 $1m will be made available to up to ten disability employment broker projects, designed to help create job opportunities for people with disabilities and building relationships with employer and industry groups.

Beginning on 1 July 2012, employers will be provided with wage subsidies of $3000 to provide a 26 weeks minimum employment placement to approximately 1000 job seekers with disabilities who have been unemployed for more than 12 months. Up to $2000 will be also be made available to assist employers to provide appropriate training and supervision to employees employed under the Supported Wage Program. In total this measure is expected to cost $11.3m over 3 years.

Mandatory annual ongoing support assessments for Disability Employment Service recipients will cease for those who have had no change in their previous two assessments.
Posted by: Hatton AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 15 2011
The Department of Human Service, Victoria is integrating the quality standards and accreditation processes operating across disability services to reflect, empowerment - rights promoted and upheld, access and engagement - a right to access transparent, equitable and integrated services, a right to well-being and safety and a right to choice and decision making.

Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) has developed a draft standards guide to be used by standards bodies when undertaking audits.

Click here to see draft standards guide.

LISA Inc questions the effect of this on group homes, and similar, where the DHS is the direct service provider.

At present, the residents of these homes have no residential tenancy rights, no individualised funding and few rights in the home for which they pay rent. Many of these homes are mainly staff work places, where residents and their families are looked on as intruders.

If the residents of DHS group homes had residential tenancy rights and individualised funding, they could replace DHS service with a CSO service, and define the service contract. And, if a CSO was not to their contract standard, the contract could be moved to another CSO.

Unlike the NDIS (Productivity Commission) proposal of market driven service quality, where residents must take themselves and their funding package to another service if they are not satisfied, this way the service providers come to them.
Posted by: Hatton AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2011
Manage or Supervise without conflict is a traditional public sector management issue avoidance tool, allowing managers and/or supervisors to maintain their comfort zone and avoid the need to use fortitude and effective man-management practices to set, monitor and maintain direct care staff work value expectations necessary to ensure service level and quality is within care policies, standards, values, guidelines and community expectations.

Manage and Supervise without conflict philosophy allows the managers and/or supervisors of government direct care services in Victoria, for people with an intellectual or multiple disability, to ensure that they are always considered nice people by their direct care staff, being content to reduce service standards to clients/residents, rather than risk having discontented staff.

The majority of the residents of government direct care supported accommodation services have insufficient capacity to effectively question their service level and quality standards. And most advocates have been driven away by the overwhelming and long standing ability of government departments to treat customers with contempt, saying that any complaint they may have is just their opinion.
Posted by: Hatton AT 04:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2011
"INDEPENDENT MONITORING OF SERVICE LEVEL & QUALITY"

Information on the audit of DHS supported accommodation group homes (Disability) by one of the contractors listed below.[/b]

Disability service providers (DHS) are required to be certified as compliant by 31 December 2012.

The Independent Monitoring process, which verifies if a disability service provider meets the relevant performance measures in respect of the Standards for Disability Services in Victoria, involves two stages. It started, 25 October 2010, and is due for completion 31 December 2011.

Stage one: Consisted of a review of policy and procedure, and did not involve the visiting of group homes.

Stage two: The monitoring process is due to occur in June/July 2011, and will involve visiting a group of homes selected as a representative sample.

As the sampling exercise has not yet been undertaken by the auditor it is not possible to advise you whether 25 Peugeot Pursuit, Mill Park will be one of the group homes audited.

Contractors:
  • BSI Group (Australia & New Zealand) Pty Ltd
  • Global-Mark Pty Ltd
  • Health and Disability Auditing Australia Pty Ltd
  • International Standards Certifications Pty Ltd
  • NCS International Pty Limited
  • SAI Global Certification Services Pty Ltd
Certification audit against the Quality Standards for Disability Services in Victoria as per JAS ANZ Procedure 34.

LISA Inc  suggests that as there is no formal indication of parents/families being consulted, parents/families with a family member living in a DHS group home should ascertain which of the above contractors has be allocated to accredit the group home in which their family member is living.

If not provided with this information on making a request of the Regional Director, make an FOI request to: Manager, FOI Department, Department of Human Services, 50 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000.

Having ascertained your contractor, any concerns you may have about the care of your family member can be presented to the contractor.
Posted by: Hatton AT 04:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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