This is the first in our series titled "How do you keep your Support Workers Connected?" which addresses ways that help families keep their support workers connected with themselves and with each other so that everyone knows how the person receiving support is doing, achieving goals, struggling, thriving, surviving.
Bethany Nakoi who runs the I Love NDIS Facebook Group told us that she uses Facebook to keep her daughter's support workers connected. Here's what she says:
I have all my support workers join a private FB group and they submit reports so that everyone knows what is going on. She pays them for the time it takes to write the report.
She gives them the following instructions:
Each shift you are required to write a report on what you did with Rose. This is to keep you focused on the goals and to let me know what you are doing with her.
Each Shift you need to pick 2-3 goals from Rosie’s NDIS plan. In her plan she has 6 goals, 3 short term goals and 3 long term ones. These goals are:
Short Term Goals
1. For Rose to increase her communication so that her needs and wants can be made known in a calm manner while at home or in the community.
2. For Rose to learn strategies to safely mobilise at home and when in the community while performing basics tasks such as eating, getting dressed, and playing with her toys with minimal support.
3. To develop the skills needed to play with other children, especially focusing on children around her age.
Medium to Long Term Goals
1. For Rose to develop a relationship with her siblings and with the other children in her class at school of the same age.
2. To develop an awareness of safety in the community while learning protective behaviours.
3. To develop the skills to communicate in a calm manner.
How to Write a Report
This is a sample of what a report should look like:
WRITTEN BY - your name
REPORT DATE - date event happened
LOCATION - Each location attended, such as Mick's caravan, Bethany’s house, swimming pool, park etc.
ATTENDANCE - Write each person that interacted with Rose such as parents, therapists, children from the playground, stranger in the park. If they had an interaction with Rose, it needs to be in the report.
GOALS CHOSEN - 2 - 3 goals from either category, I don’t mind if it’s 2 short term, 2 long term or 2 of each. It’s also ok for you to keep the same goal for a while.
REPORT - this is where you write what goals you worked on and the success or challenges you faced. Remember these are goals, so most of your reports will show challenges and that’s ok.
THERAPY REPORT - if applicable please write what you learned from attending the therapy session.
GAPS - this is where you can ask me to get more puzzles, bring in more training or anything where you feel there is a gap.
Report written by Sarah Post on the 13/07/2019.
Location: Both at Rosie’s mother's house and at the park.
Attendance: Rosie’s mother was present for the majority of the shift, and Alicia the Speech Therapist was also present. Strangers in park.
• For Rose to learn strategies to safely mobilise at home and when in the community while performing basics tasks such as eating, getting dressed, playing and with her toys with minimal support.
• To develop an awareness of safety in the community while learning protective behaviours.
Today was a big day for Rose. The first goal I focused on, was helping her find her clothes by reminding her which side of the drawers were hers and which side was her sisters. We played a game to see how quickly she could get dressed rewarding her each time with the ‘click clock’ song. Although she got some clothes on back to front it was great to see her realising which side of the drawers were hers. She did get confused a few times but it was a good effort. Next time I want to do this game with her but I’m going to focus on working out how to find long-sleeved shirts rather than short-sleeved ones and long pants over shorts.
The second Goal was to develop an awareness of safety in the community while learning protective behaviours. For this I took Rose on my own to a playground to help work her interaction with a new environment. There were a lot of strangers both adults and children. One man had a dog and Rose was scared so climbed on the bench. She kept saying “go away, and I’m scared.”
The man approached saying that the dog was nice, but I firmly told him that she was scared and asked him to take his dog in a different direction. I praised Rose for her words and ability to make herself feel safe by standing higher up, but also tried to reassure her that the dog was only little by using touch words like “he was fluffy” and “he was soft”.
While the goal was to focus on her interaction with other children, I think it was good for Rose to hear that it’s ok for her to say no to dogs and to see that I respected her fear and supported removing it. My hope is that this will help her feel she can be honest with other fears in the future.
I pushed Rose on the swing next to another child and she had a good time and then we returned home for therapy.
I got a lot out of this therapy session. Particularly the term “if and then” - Bec, the OT, is using them like "If we do this, Then we can do this" to help Rose with patience by understanding what is coming next. So if you need to get dressed, then we can sing the clip click song.
Bec did several puzzles with Rose to help her hand movement and showed me how rather than using my hands to do it for Rose, I can use words such as turn right up or turn down. Bec also showed me how Rose writes her name and the words that she uses to do this. This lady was really helpful as it’s something I can easily do with Rose at her mums or dads.
FILL THE GAP - can we put something on Rosie’s draws to show what’s inside them - such as a picture of PJ’s or long-sleeved shirts and short-sleeved ones?
We have more to follow in this series as we hear from different carers and the tools they use to keep their support workers connected with themselves and the person they are caring for.
Feel free to email us any ideas/tips/tools you have been using successfully.