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A local community group (LCG)

Local community group
Social Role Valorisation
Deinstitutionalisation
Disability services
Disability and community

People with disability (inclusive definition)
How does the community care?
Disability services role models
An alternative model of service delivery for people with disability
Explanation of terms



A local community group (LCG)
A community group or a community service?
A local community group
The needs of the person Vs the needs of the community




A community group or a community service?  (Top)
A community group is where a number of people get together for a common purpose of interest. The group may provide support for each other, or support others that need some help in providing for their own needs. They share skills and resources to achive the goals of the group. There is a sense of purpose and achievement in the project, All members benifit in participating in the activity. There is a value in being a part of the group. While the group may provide a valued role, it is limited by the skills and resources that can be shared within the group. As a result the members may look to a business or service to provide a skill or resource that is not available within the group. A service is a business or organisation that provides specalised skills and resources to a community that are are not available within that community. The service is structured or organised around a need. This need can be transportation, home maintenance or anything that is not available to a person or a group of people. Services such as electricty, water, gas, telephone etc were originally (and still are in some areas) the responsibility of the person (they were not provided as a community service). The trend today is to encourage individuals (through subsidies or bonuses) to provide for their own needs as much as possible rather that relying on the service. This strategy reduces excessive demand on existing services that are unable, through various reasons, to keep up with population growths.

Originally human services were the providence of a family or group. They managed as best as they could. Over a period of time human services became so specialised within each area of care that they have become service industries within their own right. These services now provide important roles within society. They have the specialised skills and resources that are not available within the wider community. These days the trend is to shift the support mechanisims from congreate care to indivualised care. While the settings may have changed, these mechanisams are still there, where the support is provided by a service that is specialised within a particular area of care. As a result we see a multitude of services that support people in a vartety of settings that most suits the persons needs, as well as the needs of the wider communities that these services are a part of. People with high support needs that can not be supported within their community are still supported by a service that specialises in a paticular area of care.

I feel that a time where people with high support needs are are supported within their own communities will never return. We can change the settings and provide more appropriate supports where these groups have more opportunity to be more involved in local community activities, however, these groups will always have the support structures and mechanisms as a part of their lives. The way the support is provided is determined by the society in wich we live, as well as government policy and practice. This does not mean that a community can not be a part of the process. Who knows what will happen in the future. Will societies be the same as they are now in 100 years time? Will communities as we know them today still exist? Somehow I feel that the answers to both questions will be NO.

Whatever the future is, the reality is that we are living in the present and it is up to us to determine the future. Communities are changing in the sense that they are no longer bound by geographical locations. However, the idea of community is probally more important than at any other time. Communities provide the way we socialise with each other. They provide a way to share experiences, and relationships.

Having a local community support network can be the first step towards independence.

Rather than building new communities around people with disability, we should be building existing communities that have the skills, resources and valued roles, where people with disability are a part of their community.


A local community group. (Top)
A better description of a group of stake holders that get together would probably be "local area group" or "a community network of support".
Representatives of the local businesses, recreational groups, youth groups, educational institutions and government departments get together to find the best solutions to enable people with high support needs to participate within each community that they wish to participate in. The community may be a local community or a part of a service provider who specialises in a particular area of care. The idea is to involve other local community services as much as possible in the support.

This has the advantages of ...
... all stake holders are a part of the process
... various issues can be discussed and solutions can be found within each community
... communities have the opportunity to become more familiar with these groups
... new patterns of behaviors are introduced into the community
... the community learns new skills
... existing community resources are used more effectively
... can create networks within each community
... is flexible in providing for the individual needs of each person, as well as each community that is most appropriate for the person
... provides the tools that help each community help themselves: policies, funding, training can be coordinated through a local group.
... services that specialise in a particular area of care can be employed to suit the needs of the person and the community.



Structure of LCG shows community stakeholders that support direct intervention in the care of people with high support needs.
Various activities are coordinated through the LCG with the support of the various organisations that provide specialist services.
The LCG is accountable to the various government policies and regulations in respect to performance and service delivery.
Note: this service model is based on CLAN WA (Community Link And Network)

The Local Area Coordinator ...
... acts as a government representative within a number of groups within an area.
... acts as a link between the various local, state and federal government departments: disability, social security, housing, business, employment, aged care, child care, community services etc.
... acts as an advocate/lobbyist on behalf of the groups about issues in government policy and processes.
... coordinates the activities of various services and organisations: disability, businesses, educational, recreational etc.
... coordinates the activities of the group with other community groups within an area.
... acts as an arbitrator/mediator where issues arise within the group.
... provides direction for the group.

LCG: provides a support network for people with high support needs with other members of each community (living, recreation, education and employment). The LCG would provide training, workshops etc. for families, friends to find solutions for community participation.

People with disability, families, and friends and significant others within each community: would have the networks and skills to find the most appropriate support within each community. Rather than each organisation supporting a person or group of people, the LCG would provide that role. The LCG would be able to access each service that is appropriate the needs of the person as well as the needs of each community that the person wishes to be a part of.


Each organisation would have a supportive role in providing for the needs of people with disability.



The LCG provides the skills and resources for each community to support a person or group within that community.
A community could be a part of an organisation or service provider, or within the wider community.
The organisation would also provide the skills and resources that are not available within the wider community.
Services would be coordinated by the LCG.


The LCG would be made up of a committee of local community members with a social worker that supports people with high support needs and their families in developing valued relationships within their community. The community has the opportunity to become more actively engaged in supporting
people with high support needs and their families through the various activities of the LCG. Having a local support network can be the first step towards independence.


<-------> Direct support provided by family, friends (volunteers, co-workers etc.) and community
 networks within each community (home, recreation, education and employment).

<-------> Staff or specialised service employed by the person, family or LCG to provide specialised
 care that is not available within the local community network, e.g. medical, skills development, transport.
 The local community has access to special skills provided by the respective organisation.


The various activities of each community (education, living/recreational and employment) would be coordinated through the LCG,
which is supported by the organisations that specialised in a particular area of care.

Living: would be coordinated through the LCG, where the most appropriate accommodation for the person and family would be found. Medical needs: could be provided within the respective community or provided by an organisation that specialises in that area of care. Nursing agencies etc. could be employed or contracted to provide any special support. Transport: could be provided within the respective community or contracted through Swan taxies etc.



The needs of the person Vs the needs of the community. (Top)

From:


People with low to medium support needs are supported by a service or organisation in participating within each community.
Where a community does not have the skills and resources to support the person, new communities are created within the service arena to fulfill those needs.


To:


Rather than supporting the person, the LCG supports the community, where the community has the skills and resources to provide for the needs of its members.


When providing the most appropriate care for people with high support needs ...
1) The community is not where the person is living, but where the person participates, shares experiences and has valued relationships with others.
2)  People with high support needs (severe disability, aged etc.) will always need support structures as a part of their lives.
3) The amount of participation in a community (living, education, employment or recreation) is directly related to the skills and resources of the person, and, the skills and resources of the community that the person wishes to participate in.
4)  Institutions are going to be around in one form or another whether we like it or not, It is the way that they are used that is the problem.
5) The institutions of a society towards a particular group determine the way the group participates in society.
6)  The institutions of a particular government department, organisation, profession or service define the way the person is supported within that society.
7)  Facilities that support people with high support needs do not need to be the nursing homes or prisons in the sense that they are today, but can become warm inviting community places that offer a range of services to the community, as well as be a part of the wider community.
8)  People with high support needs are a minority group in our society, and will have the same problems as other minority groups in being a part of society.


01/10/2010
Peter Anderson
http://www.psawa.com

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