Department of Human Services

Family and Friends Forum held on 1 June 2020

Accommodation Services Notes from the Family and Friends Forum held on 1 June 2020

  • These online forums are being run at this time to keep you up to date on our response as a service to COVID-19 and the other work we are doing to support your family and friends, and yourselves during this time.
  • If you have any individual matters, please contact your Service Coordinator or Team Leader.

COVID-19 general update

  • Thank you for your understanding around our response as a service to COVID-19.
  • While some restrictions are being eased in South Australia, we are continuing to work to State and National guidelines and arrangements.
  • We are also continuing to keep Accommodation Services staff up to date on important processes to follow and how to keep the people they support safe.
  • This includes continuing the great work around handwashing, social distancing, and cough and sneeze hygiene.


  • In previous updates, we have discussed exemptions being in place for some of the people we support, for example to allow them to go to work if it is safe.
  • At this stage, we are continuing with these exemptions to help protect people and slow the spread of the virus.
  • We are keen to take your feedback and wishes into account for your family and friends.
  • Our Positive Behaviour Support team is still working closely with staff in the houses on support strategies to help people to cope at this time.
  • If you have any concerns around exemptions, please talk to us.

Day Options

  • Providers of day activities and employment for the people we support have been asked to prepare a plan about how things can be done safely with focussed outcomes when they are ready to resume services.
  • This will ideally consider social distancing requirements, tracing arrangements, continued handwashing and good hygiene as well as expectations that if anyone is sick or has flu like symptoms they stay home.
  • Good planning by providers will assist individual conversations within homes to negotiate how services can resume safely.
  • We will send you more information on this as details are confirmed.

Staying in touch

  • It has been great to hear about the many phone calls, and the video calls using the house iPads to help you and your family member or friend to stay in contact.
  • Some families have told us that they would like to use a video-calling tool called zoom to video-call the houses, so zoom is now installed on the house iPads.
  • Just as many of us are learning how to use technology and video calls at this time, please bear with our staff who may find zoom a little challenging to use as they are doing their best.
  • We also encourage you to visit the houses within reason, while respecting social distancing and following the State guidelines.
  • If you do visit, we have a short survey that you will need to complete with staff at the house for safety and tracing reasons.

Capacity Building Officers

  • We have previously discussed our new Capacity Building Officers, and we are pleased to let you know they officially started in their new roles in mid-May.
  • These staff are working directly with key staff including those in the homes to help your family member or friend to develop their confidence and capacity.
  • Even during challenging times like these, we are seeing how the Capacity Building Officers are making a difference.
  • One example is through activity books that are being put together and sent to the houses, providing a range of activities like cooking and crafts to help keep people busy and happy in their homes.
  • We have also heard some great stories about houses adapting to the circumstances by doing things like home-made tenpin bowling to keep people occupied.
  • They are also working with staff in the homes to arrange house meetings and will shortly be making contact with you to invite you to be involved.

Process Improvements

  • Work to improve the processes we use in our service is well underway and we are looking to start rolling out updates from July.
  • This work is about looking at all of our processes, mapping them and developing a holistic, consistent, wrap-around service for people we support. It is about updating how we work and our services to ensure the people we support have a fulfilled life.
  • We will be keeping you updated as we go on what the changes mean, and how they will impact you and your family member or friend.

Other updates

  • The Client Influencer Group has now met twice online. This has been a bit of a challenge but also great for some of the people we support to see each other online and have a chat.
  • The group recently provided some terrific feedback on the Accommodation Services Customer Charter.
  • The charter is nearly finished and will be circulated to you at that time. It details what can be expected from our service, and how we will be more consistent across some of the key business areas – and we are excited to provide it to you and those we support.
  • We are finalising the Accommodation Services Organisational Chart that some families have asked for, including pictures and names that outline key staff and our structure, and that will be provided very soon to you too.
Page last updated : 23 Jun 2020

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