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Information for families and friends of the people we support 29 January 2021

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 29 January 2021

Welcome to our first Accommodation Services Family and Friends e-newsletter for 2021.

We hope you have had a relaxing and safe start to 2021. It is sure to be another busy year, and while we hope it is not as disrupted as 2020, we remain vigilant and ready to respond to any future coronavirus cases in South Australia.

In line with our continuous improvement approach, a key focus of service delivery in 2021 is embedding the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework (framework) into our daily practice.

We are building on our significant work during 2020 to finalise the NDIS registration of Accommodation Services, ensuring we continue to pursue high quality, safe services for the people we support. Bringing a consistency of practice across the service and having a zero tolerance to the abuse and neglect of people with disability are important aspects of delivering the framework.

Ultimately, we are working to provide your family member or friend with greater ability to exercise choice and control of their support and lives.

We will keep you informed as this work continues.

Update on court appearance of a disability worker

Following last September’s court appearance of a disability worker, we promised to keep you updated on developments.

The former worker appeared in court again on Wednesday (27 January 2021). He did not enter a plea to sexual assault offences. The next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday 21 April 2021.

DHS has offered support to those directly affected by this case. Our ongoing priority remains the safety and wellbeing of the people we support, including your family member or friend. We always take any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously and are committed to our Zero Tolerance to the Abuse and Neglect of People with Disability Strategy.

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions or concerns relating to this matter, our dedicated phone service for families and guardians remains available.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

For any other matters about your family member or friend’s needs, please continue to speak directly with your Service Coordinator.

Zero tolerance

Accommodation Services has been busy implementing its Zero Tolerance to Abuse and Neglect of People with Disability Strategy (PDF 504.0 KB).

The Zero Tolerance initiative is built on an evidence-based framework that provides:

  • Understanding of organisations to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect and violence towards people with disability
  • Clear messages that abuse, neglect and violence is never acceptable and should never be ignored
  • A way of thinking about abuse as a human rights issue, not a disability issue
  • Organisational and personal commitment to act on anything that:
    • makes a person with disability be or feel unsafe.
    • doesn’t support a person’s human rights.
    • we could be doing better.

To date we have diligently updated all relevant policies and procedures to ensure we have appropriate systems in place to support the Zero Tolerance Strategy.

The education and training of staff at all levels has commenced and continues to develop understanding of our individual responsibilities in preventing and responding to abuse.

Service Agreements

The people we support, or their guardian, will soon have more clear information about the services we will deliver and their rights, as Accommodation Services introduces agreements for the services it delivers to each person. This is a requirement of the NDIS registration.

You will likely be aware of Service Agreements through arrangements with other NDIS providers who deliver additional services to your family member or friend. NDIS participants can choose who provides their services and supports before committing to these with signed agreements.

A Service Agreement is an important document that shows what services we agree to provide and makes sure the supports are delivered, as well as detailing rights and responsibilities. A new Service Agreement with NDIS providers is needed every plan. This helps include different things if needs change for the people we support.

Our Service Coordinators will be working with the people we support and their trusted representative to assist with the Service Agreement process. Our Service Coordinators can help finalise the Service Agreement if your family member or friend chooses to continue being supported by Accommodation Services.

Please speak directly to your family member’s or friend’s Service Coordinator if you have questions.

If your family member or friend is funded through a Continuity of Support (CoS) package, they will continue to be supported by Accommodation Services in the future.

Team Supervisor Training

Team Supervisors, who are now based in the homes of the people we support and oversee daily activities of Disability Services Officers, are undergoing a new training program co-ordinated by the Accommodation Services Training Unit.

The training covers a range of themes, including NDIS, human rights and zero tolerance, leadership styles and self-awareness, building effective teams and the art of communication.

Several sessions in December and January accommodated more than 60 participants for their first day of training. Day two of the training will be delivered shortly and more dates are anticipated for additional Team Supervisors throughout 2021.

Restrictive Practices

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has been consulting about draft legislative changes to ensure restrictive practices - such as restraint and seclusion - are used only as a last resort and in accordance with individual behaviour support plans.

Responses to consultation via the YourSAy website will inform the policy direction ahead of proposed laws being introduced to Parliament this year.

SACID Workshops

Parents and carers of people with intellectual disability are invited to register for a variety of workshops about relationships and protective behaviours, brought to you by the SA Council on Intellectual Disability (SACID).

They’re being held in February in Smithfield Plains. Bookings are essential.

Phone 8352 4416
Email admin@sacid.org.au.

NDIS consultation

The NDIS is inviting feedback about how it plans to improve access, planning and plan flexibility.

If you would like to have your say about the consultation papers it has released to try and make sure the NDIS works for everyone, you can visit the NDIS have your say web page to find more information. Feedback closes 23 February 2021.

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via the DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

More information

Further details about COVID-19 in South Australia are available online.

As always, you can contact us by phoning 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm excluding public holidays) or emailing AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au.

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Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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