NDP Community

  • 1.  A philosophical framework

    Posted 08-09-2023 20:23

    For a long time I have worked as a front-line support worker and noticed the incredible range of understanding people have towards clients with disabilities and how they work in real terms. While our diverse backgrounds and history make us all remarkable and unique i have been amazed at how this also corrupts the approach to our work. For example there are no common standards or frame of references for people to discuss matters about clients other than whatever the service has trained them in. Because I was fortunate to have a background in Social Role Valorization and completed the PASSING workshop my perception of what is good practice is based upon a standard much higher than those people I work with. I've had to adapt or lessen my expectation because even most front-line staff or managers have no understanding of this level of understanding or training and the massive holistic philosophy of SRV. 

    I'm wondering why this model was forgotten and why the disability field has no general philosophical framework that is as ambitious or detailed. 

    I feel strongly about this because the success I experienced for clients under this model was incredible and it feels like the whole delivery of services has moved backwards because there's no common language if you like.

    Gary Ashton

  • 2.  RE: A philosophical framework

    Posted 11-09-2023 09:32
    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for your thoughts, and for bringing these ideas up for discussion. Thinking a little about what you have proposed, I think that there is a framework, (think NDIS Practice Standards) but each individual or provider decides who they achieve the outcomes outlined in the practice standards. The challenges come when not all providers are obligated to adhere to the standards (registered vs unregistered). However, the Code of Conduct takes some place here. 

    I think what you are suggesting, is that there needs to be some minimum professional standards for disability support workers - I agree! And there is movement in this area from organisations like NDS, as well as the NDIS. I am excited to see what comes of those discussions. 



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  • 3.  RE: A philosophical framework

    Posted 11-09-2023 19:51

    Nicole, thanks for the response. Yes the Practice Standards are taken from the original disability standards but the framework I am talking about is a specific philosophical concept that allows the staff to have a shared vision of exactly what the individual can achieve and the method to get there. It focuses upon skill development and image. This gives the client an increased social value within their community. 

    The current standards offer a general concept which is open to interpretation among staff based upon their own values and perceptions, whereas the SRV model gives very clear indicators as to how to use the community, the individual and the image they present.

    I really feel the idea of a philosophical framework could only enhance service delivery,  and the actualization of potential rather than what appears to be day to day maintenance and a lowest common denominator approach. 

    These are just my own musings upon disability in the 2023's, I was very fortunate to have been heavily invested in and trained very well many years ago but unfortunately I do feel there is a decline in the way staff perceive their role and the expectations upon them. 

    I was hoping someone out there in NDP land may have also had the PASSING training. It would be good to get their perspective. 

    Gary Ashton

  • 4.  RE: A philosophical framework

    Posted 26-10-2023 13:25

    Great discussion! 

    It is an important point and, in many ways, so intangible for a lot of the workforce to really understand.

    We provide a SIL services for a range of need levels from very independent, to primary mental health, to high physical support needs, all in the context of ABI, Huntington's and other neurological disability. It is interesting to see how different workers find their groove and capacity to empower dignity of independence and dignity of risk with different cohorts. We find some workers gravitate toward cohorts that they resonate well with and sometimes struggle when assigned shifts with other cohorts, and others are able to apply the more general philosophy of care with any of our clients. 

    I totally agree that the practice standards have their place but are not really helpful in developing understanding of a philosophical framework for delivering disability services. Part of the issue is that the NDIA does not genuinely understand or embrace the philosophy and how quality services that are appropriately resourced (more money and appropriate resourcing are not the same thing) leads to financial and system sustainability with strong participant outcomes. 

    Anne Hawkins