Practice Statement: Rights and Responsibilities

Spectrum Care believes that we all have the responsibility to promote and protect people’s rights. Knowledge about rights, laws and supports is an important first step.

We then put this knowledge into practice by promoting rights through proactive strategies, such as:

  • Respecting individual preferences and choices
  • Encouraging individual decision making
  • Offering people multiple opportunities and experiences

It must be noted that rights are balanced by responsibilities. We assist people to exercise their own rights, and to understand their responsibilities and the outcomes of their actions.

Rights are fundamental to all people. WE must ensure we focus on everyday opportunities and experiences in promoting and educating people on their rights. It is important for all support staff to work in partnership to ensure each person understands their rights and responsibilities in the context of their decision making.

It is important to take the time to discuss the consequences that may follow from their decision making, and how it may impact on the person and other concerned parties. Respecting each individual’s contribution in their decision making around rights, lives, responsibility and expectations should always be considered as important.

Practice Definition: Rights and Responsibilities

What would be observed in practice:

  • A proactive approach is required to determine what rights and personal freedoms are most important to each person, and support is required to ensure people are able to exercise those rights and personal freedoms
  • Support staff must be willing to go beyond the basic level of making sure that rights are not limited
  • All team members must advocate to ensure each person is treated with respect and dignity
  • Key workers and support staff must seek ways to support people to actively exercise rights, eg welfare guardians, advocacy, advisory group
  • Staff should encourage ongoing conversations with people about rights and responsibilities to improve understanding and awareness of issues
  • Whenever a person expresses dissatisfaction (ie verbally or behaviourally) with anything (eg where they live, where they work, how they socialise, with whom they live, what progress they’ve made toward reaching their dreams etc), support staff should raise questions about rights, eg:
    • Are any rights being violated at this time?
    • If the person did not have a disability, how would we handle the dissatisfaction?
    • What choices and support alternatives might be available to them in this situation?
    • How can the organisation support this person to use those supports?
  • If you or your family were in this situation, how would you respond?

Role-based Resources

Residential Staff

Discussion Questions

    We reviewed Rights last year, so this month we are going to explore Responsibilities.

  1. Read the responsibilities for NZ and US citizens. Which do you think covers citizen responsibilities best? Are there any more you would add?
  2. With all Rights come Responsibilities. What other Responsibilities do the people accessing Spectrum Care services hold? Do the people you support understand their own individual Responsibilities? What are the consequences when the people fail to uphold their Responsibilities?
  3. The most important message promoted by disability Rights is respect – how do we promote people’s Responsibilities in a respectful way?

Community Services

Discussion Questions

    We reviewed Rights last year, so this month we are going to explore Responsibilities.

  1. Read the responsibilities for NZ and US citizens. Which do you think covers citizen responsibilities best? Are there any more you would add?
  2. With all Rights come Responsibilities. What other Responsibilities do the people accessing Spectrum Care services hold? Do the people you support understand their own individual Responsibilities? What are the consequences when the people fail to uphold their Responsibilities?
  3. The most important message promoted by disability Rights is respect – how do we promote people’s Responsibilities in a respectful way?

Hub and Support Staff

Discussion Questions

    More to Come…

Activities

  • More to Come…
  • Managers and Coordinators

    Discussion Questions

    1. Read the five pages highlighted in the report and discuss whether any of the strategies presented may be useful in Spectrum Care’s context? Have you used any of them before?
    2. One of the things we are looking at this year is how to implement Supported Decision Making. Choice is fundamental to the discussion of Rights, however many of the people we support haven’t got much experience in exercising choice and more importantly learning from the consequences of their choices. How might Spectrum Care support people to understand their Responsibilities in the execution of their decision-making Rights, and therefore make informed choices in the future?