Creating a cultural shift to empower people living with disability

Posted 1 year ago by Liz Alderslade
Disability provider, Baptist Care SA, has put in a special practice framework to assist in providing better supports to their clients with disability. [Source: Supplied]
Disability provider, Baptist Care SA, has put in a special practice framework to assist in providing better supports to their clients with disability. [Source: Supplied]

SPONSORED – With the Disability Royal Commission still investigating ways to improve the lives and services of people with disability, one service provider is leading the way by implementing a purpose-built practice framework to help empower their clients.

A new practice framework by Baptist Care SA aims to empower people living with disability and position them as experts in their own lives, while also encouraging a culture shift for their staff.

The NDIS has a commitment to giving greater choice and control to participants, placing them at the centre of all decision-making. As a disability service provider, Baptist Care SA is using a practice framework to achieve and measure this at a practical level..

The organisation has embed a set of standards, processes and tools to ensure clients are given a voice and staff are held accountable for the quality of support they provide.

Sarah Pastro, Disability Pathways Practice Lead at Baptist Care SA, says this framework empowers people to be equal partners in the development and review of their support.

“For our clients living with disability, this means we work with them to identify their needs and strengths by listening to their views, wishes and feelings,” explains Ms Pastro.

“To achieve this, we complete regular holistic assessments involving the client, their family and community, and review their plan to make sure we’re clear about their goals and choices.”

The framework, called ‘Tapa Marnirni-apinthi’ – which translates to ‘creating change’, is built around holistic and client-centred practice – meaning it focuses on the whole person and considers all aspects of their life.

Additionally, it recognises the impact of previous trauma and sees family, friends, community and other agencies as all having a role to play in helping the individual.

“It’s really changed the way we do things. It’s about understanding our client’s journey and history – who they are and who’s in their world,” says Ms Pastro.

The concept is helping people living with a disability, like James*, gain independence for example by cooking alongside his support workers.

Previously, James didn’t know how to cook but wanted to learn. Using the practice framework principles, his support team helped him cook with them by practising safe knife handling, sourcing ingredients and following recipes together.

Outside of cooking, Service Delivery Coordinator Indiana is working in partnership with all stakeholders to make sure James is receiving holistic support from all his support networks.

Ms Pastro says the organisation recently created a WhatsApp group for James so that their stakeholders, staff and guardians can communicate with each other easily to provide better care.

The structure, methods and discipline of Baptist Care SA’s practice framework aim to help staff improve the quality of life for people living with disability.

“It’s much more than just a framework – it’s about shifting culture. It gives us guidance and anchors us in our work – enabling us to work uniformly,” adds Ms Pastro.

To find out more about Baptist Care SA’s Disability Services, head to their website, call (08) 8273 7190 or email [email protected].

*Client’s name has been changed to protect their privacy