Minding the Minder Care
Department of Human Services, Disability Services, Victoria, care policies, standards and values determine quality of life care. Whereas traditional staff lore determines little more than minder care
We are currently hearing calls for a Royal Commission into abuse and neglect, especially that reported within department direct care services.
Yet this is just the tip-of-the-iceberg, in respect to the extent of questionable care happening to very vulnerable people behind the closed doors of group homes. And, the questionable treatment of families who question this.
The many good supervisors and staff are powerless to question traditional staff lore, for fear of suffering intimidation and house politics.
Most house supervisors feel unable to do more than 'mind, the minder care', as they often get little or no support from the various levels of management above them. It is traditional that each level of public service management does not pass problems above them.
This is called 'manage or supervise without conflict'.
Manage or supervise without conflict is a traditional public service adage designed and intended to absolve public service, captive market, managers from having to properly, proactively and consistently manage the business of ensuring the provision of care and support is consistently within the direction, intention and spirit of the department's comprehensive and extensive care policies, standards and values.
LISA Comment: Given the high level of DHS management issue avoidance, with the corresponding low level of proactive and meaningful management overall, we question how the content of one of the department's latest publications can ever be properly and consistently implemented for those it was intended to benefit. We refer to the 'Standards Evidence Guide' - especially and the following quotation:-
The Standards Evidence Guide, in particular, promotes service monitoring and evaluation:
• Regular monitoring of staff competency in relation to strengths-based, active engagement, early intervention approaches and capacity-building strategies.
• Regular monitoring of the alignment of practice with documented processes in client records.
• Monitoring of trends in people re-accessing a service.
Feedback mechanisms include capacity for people to comment on:
• Active engagement strategies
• Intervention strategies.
Regular review of the documented processes occurs and reflects:
• the involvement of people who use the service, staff, volunteers, carers and other stakeholders.
• links to service planning and delivery.
• feedback to people who use the service, staff, volunteers, carers and other stakeholders.