Creating cultural change to empower people…

SPONSORED – As the Disability Royal Commission continues to explore ways to improve the lives and services of people with disabilities, a service provider is leading the way by implementing a practice framework specifically designed to help empower their clients.

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

The NDIS is committed to giving participants more choice and control, placing them at the center of all decision-making. As a disability service provider, Baptist Care SA uses a practice framework to achieve and measure this at a practical level.

The organization has embedded a set of standards, processes and tools to ensure customers have 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 allows people to be equal partners in developing and reviewing their support.

“For our clients with disabilities, this means working with them to identify their needs and strengths by listening to their perspectives, wishes and feelings,” says Pastro.

“To achieve this, we conduct regular holistic assessments involving the client, their family and community, and review their plan to ensure we are clear about their goals and choices.”

The framework, called “Tapa Marnirni-apinthi” – which translates to “creating change”, is built around a holistic and client-centered practice – meaning it focuses on the whole person and considers all aspects of his life.

Additionally, it recognizes the impact of past trauma and considers that family, friends, community and other agencies all have a role to play in helping the individual.

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

The concept is to help people living with a disability, like James*, to gain autonomy, for example by cooking alongside their companions.

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

Outside of the kitchen, the Indiana Service Delivery Coordinator works in partnership with all stakeholders to ensure James receives holistic support from all of his support networks.

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

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

“It’s more than just a framework – it’s a culture change. It guides us and anchors us in our work, which allows us to work in a uniform way,” adds Ms. Pastro.

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

*Customer name has been changed to protect their privacy