Voice Your Choice Video Empowers Support Workers
29 August 2016 at 10:33 am
Support workers for young people with disability have been given a “breakthrough” tool to help transition their practice to suit the new NDIS system and empower those in out-of-home care or preparing to leave care.
The national peak consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience has released its first ever supported decision-making training video.
The Voice Your Choice video from CREATE Foundation provides workers with practical skills to put the methodology of supported decision making into practice.
CREATE Foundation NSW state coordinator Lisa Townshend told Pro Bono Australia News workers and carers needed to be skilled in providing appropriate support, particularly under the new model.
“Supported decision making, as an approach to working with people with disability, is new for the disability sector in Australia, but is critical to working effectively with people with disability as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out,” Townshend said.
“This is because the NDIS system requires people with disability to make informed decisions on where they would like to receive services. As this is a significant but positive step for the disability sector, people with disability may need to support in making decisions that they may not previously have made.
“This is where workers and carers need to be skilled in providing appropriate support to empower people to make informed decisions.”
Supported decision making (SDM) is a process that can assist young people with disability to make decisions that affect their lives rather than have someone make decisions for them.
The new video, which provides an overview of key supported decision making principles for effective practice, promises to up-skill participants and empower disability or care sector professionals to work alongside young people with disability in the care system.
Townshend said young people with a disability living in care and those preparing to leave care faced a number of life changes and key life decisions.
“This video tool is a breakthrough for the sector because it will really strengthen how workers can support young people to foster meaningful relationships, and how workers can empower young people throughout the decision-making processes they face, and have their voices heard,” she said.
“The impact of the Voice Your Choice video will be very positive as there is a great need in the sector to provide workers and carers with the skills and awareness needed to support people with disability to make independent and informed decisions.”
The Voice Your Choice tool has been developed for people working with young people in the Leaving Care Program which supports young people with disability to transition from the parental responsibility of the minister for Family and Community Services NSW to live as independently as possible and be part of their local community.
“It is designed for the purpose of in-house organisational training and is not a replacement for CREATE’s three-hour-long training workshop for support workers, carers and caseworkers who work with young people with disability in out-of-home care,” Townsend said.
She said the video, which forms one part of CREATE Foundation’s portfolio of programs under the banner of The Ability Project, will enable people from across Australia, to access much needed information, advice and skills to help transition their practice to suit the new NDIS system.
“CREATE’s objective is to build on people’s existing skills with the aim of achieving positive improvement in the lives of young people with a disability and their care experience,” she said.
“The disability sector is rapidly changing, and for that reason I would advise staff and carers to be be open to new ways of working with people with disability and to seek out training or professional development tools such as the CREATE Voice Your Choice video, to keep abreast of changes in the sector.
“Ongoing training for all professionals is critical for professional development and to ensure good practice is consistently being delivered to consumers. Similarly, ongoing training for those working in the disability sector is vital as the NDIS is changing the current system for all disability support services.
“It is critical to understand how your role is changing and how you can adjust your practice to suit the needs of people with disability in a new climate.”
The DVD will be distributed to participating service providers and is also available via CREATE’s website and YouTube.