Practice Statement: Natural Supports

Connection to a natural support network of family, close friends and other stakeholders provides people with a sense of security and a safety net. We assist people to maintain existing relationships and to stimulate potential new connections wherever possible.

Practice Definition: Natural Supports

What would be observed in practice:

  • People have the support and resources to develop, enhance or renew relationships, eg Skype, emails, cards, letters, phone calls etc
  • People are assisted to access the supports that will enable them to maintain connections to people in their support network
  • People who have lost contact with family members, friends or stakeholders are supported to re-establish communication and develop their circles of support.
  • People negotiate the extent and frequency of contact with family, friends and stakeholders

Role-based Resources

Residential Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. Consider both activities and discuss what it would be like (or what it is like if you have lived experience to be the parent of a child with an intellectual disability.) How does this effect how parents get along with support workers?
  2. Watch the video about having a child with Down Syndrome. Why do you think Mel says that it helps when the specialist has kids themselves? What can you do when working with parents to show more empathy and respect for their experience?
  3. Why is it important for family to stay involved with their family members with disabilities? What can we do to make this easier for families?

Community Services

Discussion Questions
  • Consider the activity and discuss what it would be like (or what it is like if you have lived experience to be the parent of a child with an intellectual disability.) How does this effect how parents get along with support workers?
  • Watch the video about having a child with Down Syndrome. Why do you think Mel says that it helps when the specialist has kids themselves? What can you do when working with parents to show more empathy and respect for their experience?
  • Hub and Support Staff

    Discussion Questions

    • More to Come…
    Activities

     

    • More to Come…

    Managers and Coordinators

    Discussion Questions
  • Read the blog article. Kiri’s comment at the end of it is “I can always tell whether a service for my child is worthwhile or not by the first questions the provider asks. If those questions focus on diagnosis and severity then that’s an indication that they are not there to provide meaningful support. The best service providers always talk about needs.” Consider what your questions are when considering someone for your service. Is Kiri’s preference to talk about needs the best question? Are there other options?
  • What does partnership mean to you in terms of working with the families of people we support? Have a look around the online guide for partnering with parents in schools. Discuss the advice given, how could you adapt it to work at Spectrum Care?