Case study – Juanita* from Geelong, Victoria
NDIS participant Juanita* is 23 and lives with her parents in Geelong. Juanita has an acquired brain injury and needs support with daily activities including getting dressed, attending appointments and meal times. She receives this support from her family and professionals, including her support co-ordinator Nicole*, support worker^ Mateo*, and her behaviour support provider GG1A Care*.
One day Mateo was supporting Juanita to shower and dress, as she had an appointment with the dentist. Juanita however was upset. She did not want to get dressed and was refusing to cooperate with Mateo. Because of this behaviour Mateo locked her in her bedroom. Under the NDIS Rules, this is an unauthorised restrictive practice.
When Juanita later met with Nicole to update her support plan, she communicated the incident. Concerned, Nicole lodged a complaint with the NDIS Commission.
At the time, Nicole wasn’t familiar with behaviour support plans or the use of authorised restrictive practices. She told us that she had very little contact with Juanita’s behaviour support provider, GG1A Care, and didn’t know if Juanita had a behaviour support plan in place.
|Behaviour Support plans look to outline individualised strategies that manage behaviours of concerns while also responding to a person with disability’s needs. Over time, the Behaviour Support Plan should seek to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the need for the use of regulated restrictive practices.|
We called GG1A Care to discuss what had happened, and found they were not aware of their requirements and had not developed or lodged a behaviour support plan for Juanita.
We worked with GG1A Care to build their awareness and understanding of positive behaviour support and the benefits of having a behaviour support plan in place to help manage behaviours of concern. We also provided them with information and resources to share with their staff.
Following this, we worked with GG1A Care to develop a behaviour support plan for Juanita. The plan identified ways to help make Juanita feel more comfortable, such as spending time drawing or listening to music and acknowledging her feelings. These activities provide a safe way to support Juanita when she’s upset.
After speaking with Nicole and GG1A Care, Juanita and her family asked that she be supported by a suitable NDIS Behaviour Support Practitioner. This gave them confidence that Juanita’s support worker was responsive to her needs and able to support her safely.
|NDIS Behaviour Support Practitioners apply to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner and undertake an assessment process, to be considered suitable to provide behaviour support.|
GG1A Care’s willingness to understand how they could improve their practice and to change their approach allowed a quick resolution to provide better quality supports for Juanita and other NDIS participants in the future.
*All names have changed for privacy.
^ For information on these terms, please download the factsheet on Behaviour support and restrictive practices.
Case study – Greg* from Maroochydore, Queensland
Greg* is 48 and is an independent NDIS participant who lives in his own home in Maroochydore. Greg’s provider, CL3 Services*, has supported him for several years with daily tasks, such as attending activities and appointments, and bathing and dressing.
Greg gets on well with his support team. Their support enables him to visit his family, pursue his woodworking hobby and take part in activities at the local Men’s Shed, which he enjoys.
Recently, on a trip to the Men’s Shed with his support worker Jo*, Greg fell while being transferred from the car to his wheelchair. He cut his arm and was taken to hospital where he received stitches.
An occupational therapist on Greg’s clinical team, Abdullah*, was concerned about the injury, and worried that Jo may have caused the accident by not following workplace procedures while helping Greg out of his wheelchair. He contacted the NDIS Commission to raise his concerns.
Our Complaints team worked with CL3 Services, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and Greg to understand what had occurred, the supports provided to Greg and the funding available to address his needs.
We visited Greg’s home and spoke to him about the supports he receives, and what happened on the day of the injury.
|Listening to the participant is the most important element of finding a resolution to complaints and ensuring they are receiving quality and safe supports and services.|
Overall, Greg was happy with the supports CL3 Services provided. However, both Greg and his support worker Jo understood that some changes needed to be made to keep him safe and ensure he was not injured again. We worked with CL3 Services and Greg’s support team, including Jo, to put these changes in place. These changes included using a sliding board to move Greg from his wheelchair to the car.
When we spoke to Greg he was concerned that the complaint would affect the support he received from Jo and other staff at CL3 Services. However, we explained to Greg that anyone – including a participant, family or carer, support worker or provider - can raise a concern and that we work with participants, providers and workers to improve the quality and safety of supports. We also gave him information about his rights as a participant, and what he should expect of the services he receives. This information reassured Greg who said NDIS funding had dramatically improved his life and boosted his independence.
Greg continues to visit the Men’s Shed with his support worker Jo, and is confident that the changes we assisted CL3 Services to put in place help to keep him safe.
*Names changed for privacy