We provide centre based groups supports in a number of locations. The main ones being in Brunswick and Richmond. The supports we offer in our groups are not static. Activities, and the way that we do things, change as we learn new ways of supporting people and our participants tell us about new things that are important to them. Milparinka is committed to progressing further down the path of individualised supports for people rather than automatically presuming that group activities are best. So, if we see an individualised opportunity come up that we think could make sense for you, we will talk to you about that
There are a number of considerations that we apply when we are providing groups activities:
- To the greatest extent possible we want out participants to be able to understand, influence and impact on their supports. Each morning and afternoon all participants are part of small groups that plans/prepares or reflects on the day. We also have a participant council which provides advice to our management.
- Within our centres, we have a very strong emphasis on communication and maintaining a communication friendly environment. It is always better, regardless of how big or small a contribution is, when people can have a say about what is happening in their day.
- For many participants, we are one of a number of services that they use. Where it brings benefit to participants, and they give approval, we will work with other agencies, for example, support coordinators, therapists, behavioural specialists and residential staff to provide a more coordinated support system for participants and get the best use out of available resources.
- Our Community Access programs, whether in groups or individualised supports are not just about access: – they are about community participation that emphasis’s integration and social inclusion. At this time, we have a benchmark that limits any group accessing the community to 4 people or less, this includes staff.
- We know that the normal groups hours don’t suit all families so we have a capacity to provide what we call afterhours programs, which provide activities from between 3 and 6 pm.
• We support your right to practice your culture, values and beliefs while accessing supports and wherever possible will redesign our practice to respond to your culture, diversity, values and beliefs.
A note about activities and vacancies in our centre based services.
People who attend our group programs participate in a wide range of activities that we develop in consultation with them and their families. Many of these activities will be similar to other services and others may be different. We don’t list the activities here for a couple of reasons. First, activities change as people change their minds and want to do new things and second, because we don’t want to encourage anyone to think we may be suitable because of a type of activity that we may do or not do. We think the starting point is not about picking from a list of activities, it’s having conversations about who you are and if we can contribute to you have better stories to tell.
Vacancies in our centre based groups are limited and placements are not always available. Milparinka does not have a growth agenda. We are steadfast in our belief that we can contribute more to people’s lives when we know people well and our staff, including our most senior managers, are connected to the people who we support. If we were to get too big we will lose some of our capacity to know people well and be responsive in their lives.