Caring for those in supported accommodation

In my role as NDIS Program Manager with CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning, I have been fortunate enough to witness our clients in supported accommodation experience so many memorable times. 

These include a Disney-themed party, TAFE enrolments filled with promise, a beautiful art project that is now proudly displayed at the client’s home, dream holiday bookings and so many skills-building opportunities. Our staff too have had increased opportunities to grow and better their practice. Regular reflection and training opportunities have increased morale and confidence across the staff teams.

Central to this success is the therapeutic care model CatholicCare has adopted. Therapeutic care has been defined as a holistic, team-based and individualised approach to supporting the complex needs of adversity. Put simply, carers utilising this model take their cue from the client, in this case a person with disability. Carers implement the approaches that work best and take into account the client’s language, culture and history. A primary goal of a therapeutic care model is to ensure independence, choice and control for the people in receipt of service.

The primary elements of therapeutic care are as follows:

  • The therapeutic specialist works in partnership with the case management team to provide assessment and support to the client.

  • Reflective practice is a process of ongoing professional improvement whereby staff develop their skills and practices through regular meetings with their teams, focusing on actions and responses and their impact.

  •  An active process, engaging the clients in every step of their journey, focuses on inclusion and direction led by the client and his/her support networks.

  •  Clients will be matched to households appropriately via well-developed and informed processes and compatibility tools to ensure positive experiences and growth.

  •  There is scope for the physical environment to encompass the resident’s individual flair.

  •  Staff are appropriately trained and qualified with a sound understanding of the theory that underpins therapeutic care.

  •  Care team meetings occur regularly, with agendas that focus on the best possible care of clients.

  •  In consultation with the client, a plan to reduce levels of support where appropriate is required to ensure the client’s empowerment, greater independence and sense of choice and control.

  •  Comprehensive governance and reporting are required to maintain consistent, high quality practice.

  • A strong organisational commitment ensures staff are connected to the service provider. Ongoing training and development, wellness programs, transparency and consistency are critical.

I hope that this brief explanation of the therapeutic care model employed by staff of CatholicCare reassures the family and friends of those with disability living in supported accommodation and informs the wider community.

Please visit CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning.

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Andrea Walters

Andrea Walters is NDIS Program Manager with CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning.

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