Sharing Places – NDIS Worker Code of Conduct

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Code of Conduct for workers is an important part of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework. It promotes the health, safety and wellbeing of persons with disability by setting out acceptable, appropriate and ethical conduct for NDIS providers and workers delivering supports or services in the NDIS market. The obligations in the code are fundamental to the rights of people with disability set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They are also broad to account for the diversity of people with disability and their support requirements.

The NDIS Code of Conduct requires workers and services to do the following in providing those supports and services:

  • Act with respect for individual rights and decision making in accordance with applicable laws and conventions.
  • Respect the privacy of people with disability.
  • Provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner with care and skill.
  • Acts with integrity, honesty and transparency.
  • Promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports and services provided to people with disability.
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against, and exploitation, neglect and abuse of people with disability.
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.

Sharing Places’ policy on Employee Code of Conduct aligns strongly with the NDIS Code of Conduct guide for workers. Other Sharing Places policies that are related to the Employee Code of Conduct are Interpersonal Protocol; Rights and Responsibilities; Privacy and Confidentiality; Equity and Diversity; Employee Orientation and Assessment; Work Places Bullying and Risk Management. All staff receive professional development training against the above policies and are fully compliant with the Code.

Administration of Medication: Sharing Places Participants.

 

A number of participants at Sharing Places are required to take prescribed medication while at Sharing Places. Medication is administered to participants while at Sharing Places in a correct and responsible manner in accordance with direction provided by parents/carers and guardians and is in line with the NDIS Commission Quality and Safeguards System.

A strict Administration of Medication Policy is in place and all staff are required to know that policy as part of their competency training.

All initial requests for the administration of medication and any subsequent changes to current requirements are to be in writing and signed by parent/guardian. This includes PRN (as required) medication, for example antihistamines, antibiotics and/or analgesics. All requests for administration and any changes to the current medication or regime is recorded immediately in the participant’s Personal Profile.

A participant’s medication list is to be reviewed every 3 months and the Personal Profile and Active Support Plan updated as necessary.

All medications are kept in secure, locked locations. Management ensures staff members assisting participants to take medication are given appropriate training and are competent in their task. Staff are not to administer any non-prescription medication without a written request. In the event that a participant becomes unwell and does not have a written authority for the use of non-prescriptive medication then the participant’s parent/guardian/ supported residential staff are asked to collect the participant from Sharing Places.

All medication that has been administered is to be recorded immediately on the participant’s medication chart and signed by the administering staff member and by the staff member who checked and confirmed medication.

In the event that prescribed medication has not been administered or any problems are encountered the staff member must inform the immediate supervisor. The problem/reason why the medication has not been administered is to be recorded in the participant’s records and communication book and followed up by a a phone call and email to the parent/carer/guardian.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission: What This Means for providers.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is a government body that works to improve the quality and safety of NDIS services and supports, investigates and resolves problems and strengthens the skills and knowledge of providers and participants.The Commission is independent of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIS Commission commenced in the ACT on 1 July 2019 and will progressively roll out across Australia by July 2020.

The Commission oversees:

  • Registration and regulation of providers
  • Compliance with the Practice Standards and Code of Conduct
  • Complaints about NDIS services and supports
  • Reportable incidents, including abuse and neglect of a participant
  • Behaviour support and use of restrictive practices
  • Nationally consistent NDIS worker screening

The NDIA’s focus is on managing:

  • Plans
  • Payments
  • Pricing for participants
  • The NDIA will also detect and investigate allegations of fraud.

The NDIS Commission does not regulate the NDIA. Complaints about the NDIA should be made directly to the Agency.

All NDIS providers are expected to support workers to understand and apply the Code of Conduct in their organisation. This includes:

  • respect individual rights
  • respect self-determination
  • respect privacy
  • act with integrity, honesty and transparency
  • deliver services competently
  • ensure quality and safety
  • prevent and respond to violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation

Sharing Places throughout 30 years of service provision to adults with disability and intensive high and complex needs has adhered to Australian disabilty standards,government ACTS and legislation and has developed and implemented policies based on Code Of Conduct Standards which are reviewed and revised regularly. Sharing Places’ policies and practices clearly reflect the NDIS Commission’s Code of Conduct and expectations.

Due to the high and complex needs of Sharing Places’ participants Sharing Places developed a Restrictive Practices policy in 2015, and recently reviewed, clearly reflects that the use of authorised restrictive behaviour measures be an integral part of a participant’s positive behaviour support plan. An individual’s behaviour support plan is authorised by the Office of the Senior Practitioner and evidence of the authorisation is lodged with the NDIS Commission. Sharing Places concentrates on positive behaviour supports and strategies adhering to human rights.

Disability Inclusion: workforce

It is against the law to discriminate individuals based on their disability during the recruitment process and employment. Currently, 10% of the Australian workforce employs people with disability across different industries and occupation. 32% of people with disabilities are employed as professionals and managers.

The benefits of employing individuals with disabilities includes: recognising the rights of people with disability, attracting and retaining talents, build the organisations reputation, improves marketing and mitigates risk.

Ensuring an organisation’s recruitment process is barrier free for people with disability, helps the organisation to recruit employees with the relevant skills, qualifications and experience. Evidence demonstrates that employees and customers are loyal to organisations that value the inclusion of individuals with disability, and therefore improves customer loyalty and satisfaction. Employees with disability tend to have lower absenteeism and employee turnover, which is cost effective for businesses. A major benefit of hiring people with disabilities is that it supports and upholds their rights as a person.

Thinking about employing individuals with disability?

When employing individuals with disability it is essential to make the workplace accessible to them. You do not need to make drastic changes to the workplace, however some modifications can include:

  • accessibility to car park
  • accessible bathrooms and sanitary facilities
  • restructuring the physical environment
  • flexible work arrangements
  • training of other staff members particularly in the understanding of disability and communication strategies that may be appropriate.

When employing people with disability it would be a wise decision to approach a local Disability Employment Service which specialises in placing people with disability into employment and also provides support and advice on all the above points to the employer.

There are skills associated with employment that everyone needs to learn, practice and implement and this is very important to people with disability.

How Sharing Places Inc assists clients to develop and maintain work skills.

While Sharing Places is not a Disability Employment Service the service works closely with disability employment services to allow for easy transition of clients to move into employment. Clients at Sharing Places are provided with every opportunity to meet their work related goals through a diverse array of activities and opportunities.

Activities relate to the following areas:

  • developing and maintaining friendly and cooperative relationships with others
  • maintaining a positive mood and dealing with frustration
  • displaying positive emotion
  • accepting direction
  • coping with changes in a work environment
  • learns work related tasks
  • solving problems and making appropriate decisions
  • understanding instructions
  • remembering tasks and instructions
  • focusing on tasks
  • performing consistently
  • responding appropriately to supervision and instruction

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References

Australian Government 2018, Disability Support, < https://www.business.gov.au/people/hiring/equal-opportunity-and-diversity/disability-support >

Australian Network on Disability 2019, Business benefits of hiring people with disability, AND, <https://www.and.org.au/pages/business-benefits-of-hiring-people-with-a-disability.html&nbsp; >

Australian Network on Disability 2019, Inforgraphic: Disability inclusion makes good business sense, AND, <https://www.and.org.au/pages/resources-publi-infographic-about-disability-974.html >

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system, particularly the brain, which means people sometimes have seizures. Epilepsy means you are likely to have more than one seizure but not everyone who has seizure has epilepsy.

The Causes of Epilepsy 

Approximately 50% of cases, doctors cannot find the cause of epilepsy, however the other 50% of cases find that any injury or illness to the brain is the cause. Epilepsy is widespread and it can affect anyone. Two in every 100 Australians have some form of epilepsy. Although epilepsy can begin at any age, most people with epilepsy have their first seizure during childhood. About two thirds of people with epilepsy have had their first seizure by the time they complete their primary school years. This means that about 50,000 primary school students throughout Australia have epilepsy.

A seizure happens when there is a sudden burst of electrical activity. Depending on which part of the brain is involved, the seizure will affect different parts of the body/what the body does. A seizure may affect someone’s behaviour, their consciousness, their senses or their movements. Seizures usually don’t last very long, a few minutes at most. A same person can have more than one type of seizure, and the pattern of seizure may change over time or the seizures may stop altogether.

At Sharing Places, anyone living with epilepsy has a protocol which is individualised to the person, having regard to their history and medical advice. Support staff are well trained in managing epilepsy and how to respond whenever someone experiences a seizure. In many cases, workers will support the person through their seizure and recovery, allowing them the opportunity to rest or to continue their activities for the day.

Skills Development: Functional Living Skills

Most individuals with a disability need extra support to undertake daily activities. The important factor is to have realistic expectations and understand the specific support the individual requires as each person is different. Adults with intellectual disability may require step by step methods to help learn tasks. Some of the functional living skills that can be carried out independently are: cooking a meal, vacuuming the floor, starting a washing machine, handling money, grocery shopping etc.

Teaching Techniques

There are a variety of teaching techniques for each activities. Each person is different and therefore some may find it easier to learn if they: watch a video, have a family member helping with the task, joining a local community group, and or having step by step photo sequences of the activity.

Backward chaining is a technique that teaches the individual the task in reverse order. This method helps the person receive instant success and therefore likely to increase their motivation and confidence.

Schedules helps individuals to be remember activities to be carried out, therefore bringing routine and predictability to their day. It is also recommended that using pictures will help them to learn the routines and therefore promoting independence.

There are ways to make the activity easier, for example, changing the environment or using different techniques.

  • Purchasing scourers and sponges with thicker handles and finger gloves for ease of use
  • Sitting down for tasks that do not require the individual to be standing
  • taking breaks and rests in between each task.

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Reference

Government of South Australia 2013 , Disability Information, <https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/17359/intellectual-disability-promoting-daily-skills-adults.pdf >

From the Shelf to the Plate

Sharing Places is committed to promoting the recognition of the competence of clients.  Programs and services are designed and administered so as to provide opportunities for people to reach personal goals, and enjoy lifestyles which are valued by the community.  We focus on actively engaging people in any activity which increases the time that clients are engaged in a purposeful way and ensures those who require more support to participate, receive it.

The participation in community and other activities is based on the individual’s skills, interests, strengths and potential while being guided by the person’s goals.  Activities are reviewed regularly and this process involves identifying current activities, how these meet the individual’s needs, goals and interests, how the activities could be further enhanced, and/or identifying other activities that meet the individual’s needs, interests and goals.

Henry participates in a cooking program which entails so much more than merely cooking.  Firstly, Henry carefully selects what he will be cooking.  He then makes a list of the ingredients and plans for a shopping trip to purchase the ingredients.  Then the magic happens and the cooking process is completed which includes preparation, mastering cooking techniques, and cleaning up afterwards.  Then it’s time to celebrate by enjoying and sharing the finished product.

From the Shelf
To the Plate