The purpose of the following policy is to provide care and support for one of the most vulnerable groups whereby enhancing their capacity for unassisted or semi-assisted living. The aim in terms of community is to develop a fully functional person who engages meaningfully in the life and activities of the local society. A result of this policy adoption would be an individual or group of individuals with intellectual disability or autism developing a range of skills and capabilities for self-sustaining and independent living. A care provider under this policy will be assisting the above-mentioned individuals in a respectful, meaningful, and beneficial manner.
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The procedure described below is designed to address possible conduct issues that might arise in the interactions with individuals in need of care. It will provide guidance, under which the assistance can be delivered in a smooth manner and with the utmost success. The procedure will cover the following areas: individual scheduling, participation in activities, control, assimilation with the non-disabled community, negotiation, safety and security, and re-scheduling. Addressing these matters will ensure that the policy will achieve the outlined goals and become an instrumental tool in the development and provision of care to challenged individuals in residential rehabilitation and life sharing settings.
Under conditions where there is only one vehicle per several users, the schedule needs to be developed to satisfy everyone’s needs. This schedule should be devised so that each individual receives the service by the urgency of his or her matter. Each individual’s rights for using the vehicle will be addressed through negotiation in which they all participate under the guidance and support of caregivers. Should there arise an overlap in the schedule of two or more people, a balance of interest will be maintained by rotation in using the vehicle? Such a scheme will also enable each of the participants to develop the skills in utilizing public transportation. Routes will be devised and supported by visual means such as a tablet, smartphone, or a map.
In the event of divergence of interests among the members of the group, a meeting must be held to devise an action plan to address each party’s needs. Participation in activities or events that are different from those in which the group engages should be arranged with the assistance of individuals who can support and guide mentally challenged persons during and after such event or activity. On a group meeting before an event, such a possibility needs to be discussed. The individual with a desire to fulfill one’s separate plans should contact a person or people who can provide transportation or another type of assistance to facilitate the presence of a mentally challenged person at an event. The rest of the group needs to be encouraged to offer alternatives or ways to sustain the accepted plan.
Each needs to have an unallocated spare time in which a preferred activity needs to be chosen by one’s preferences. At the same time, to increase the involvement of other people interviews should be conducted to identify similar desires in others. A service provider is to facilitate the availability of a chosen activity or event and encourage an individual to ask other home inhabitants if they want to join. Should a company be found, staff should arrange a meeting where those with the same tastes could discuss the action plan of attending the event including matching schedules, transportation options, and other nuances. Should no-one else agree to participate, care providers need to encourage an individual to realize his desires with the help of brainstorming and evaluation of options.
Assimilation with Non-Disabled Community
To provide an individual with an opportunity to perform the same actions as non-disabled peers, staff should encourage assessment and matching of one’s capabilities and desires. While the latter should be explained to be a priority, the careful consideration of the former is to be stressed as well. As a developmental measure service provider needs to help suggest activities that are slightly above the individual’s current skills and age to encourage one to rise above his or her limits.
The provider should bear in mind that all the chosen activities need to address either physical, social, emotional, self-sustaining, or another aspect of living beneficially and developmentally. While desires should be a central, challenge, and educational elements should be considered to facilitate rehabilitation and assimilation with the non-disabled community.
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A framework for conflict resolution should match the type of conflict. The interpersonal conflict that might arise between members of the group should be resolved through dialogue, where each participant needs to be encouraged to substantiate their position with arguments. In this process, the care provider should play the role of mediator, helping sides to reach an agreement. The intragroup conflict management needs to begin with prevention, where all possible issues arising from schedules and activities will be discussed and settled. Force majeure problems are to be resolved by staff who will encourage sides to understand each other’s positions and reach a compromise, if not complete agreement. A means of visualization such as blackboard drawing could help outline the differences and possible solutions and outcomes.
Safety and Security
Safety concerns should be addressed by their severity. While minor and moderate risks can be acceptable, major risks need to be avoided even at the cost of sacrificing an individual’s desires. In the case of the former, mitigation and prevention strategies need to be developed in collaboration with staff and all concerned parties. Then, a detailed action plan should be established for a person to have a complete awareness of the actions they need to make to avoid any damage.
Finally, should an emergency arise, an escape route or management procedure needs to be devised by the service provider and made completely clear to the individual. Yet, at the core of safety and security measures, there must always lie prevention. A meeting should be called to discuss all possible risks and ways of avoiding them regarding all foreseeable events written into participants’ schedules.
All individuals will have an option to change their schedule. To enact the change, an individual needs to consult a service provider for the latter to arrange a new meeting where all people could discuss how the change of schedule could be maintained. If an agreement is not possible, an alternative should be suggested by a caregiver. In cases when a change of plans is immediate, and a meeting is not possible, each participant’s schedules should be stored in a digital or written form at the caregivers’ and other participants’ disposal. A Google docs service could be used for this purpose.