Our policy states four other areas of importance in addition to our values and goals:
- Behavioural Support
- Rights and Responsibilities
Each employee, family member and others involved with L’Avenir Cooperative needs to be committed to effective, accurate communication. Communication is critical to ensuring that members, support staff and families work together to provide the best possible support to the member living in the community. The qualities of good communication include respect, clarity, courtesy and honesty. Miscommunication can result in a misunderstanding of the real issues and concerns.
As an agency L’Avenir will provide staff who have a sensitive and supportive attitude toward the member they are supporting as well as their family and friends. All L’Avenir staff, from administration to support workers, will create an atmosphere where all opinions, concerns and ideas are listened to, respected and dignified. Family and friends of members should be provided the opportunity to express their opinions or concerns through regular contact with support staff, input solicited from family and friends by L’Avenir staff, and participation in the member’s planning sessions and daily life. Staff should continually explore methods of communicating with members, especially those individuals who have difficulty expressing their needs and desires.
To ensure success in the communication process, each member L’Avenir supports has a personal file and a log book, as well as daily support charts that support staff on shift must fill out. The purpose of this documentation is to record the member’s strengths and needs so that L’Avenir can provide consistent, professional and effective supports.
L’Avenir encourages the development of friendships with members, staff and others in the community through the implementation of its policies. Friendships are valuable in the lives of all people, regardless of disability. For our members friendships may not come as easily as they do to others in society, so L’Avenir support staff are asked to develop their own friendships with members as well as facilitate opportunities for our members to meet other people who share common interests.
Friendships develop over time as people get to know each other. Simply working as a support staff does not make a friendship. Friendships are based on equality, mutual respect, dignity and value. L’Avenir encourages members to be interdependent, to participate in and be responsible for their own decisions and actions. Support staff need to be aware of the power differential that exists between “staff” and “client” and minimize it, ensuring that the support role does not take on a parental role. L’Avenir encourages the creation of friendships between members, staff and others outside of the home in order to fulfill the important needs that we all require for our health and well being.
L’Avenir staff will make every attempt to understand the reason for inappropriate behaviour. This is so that they can fully support, guide, teach and help the member to develop a more appropriate way of communicating and to feel more comfortable and confident within themselves, the community and their relationships. At L’Avenir, we believe all behavior has a reason and that attempting to change behavior without addressing the underlying reason will only result in compliance or anger.
L’Avenir will respond to inappropriate behavior by role modeling and discussion and by teaching natural consequences-rather than imposing punishments or rewards. Although this approach takes more time, the result is to build internal motivation, self respect and accomplishment. Staff will talk, listen and offer verbal support to our members. Getting to know the member is important because support staff can then recognize situations that the individual may find stressful. Staff can then either avoid these situations or assist in minimizing their effect on the member.
If the level of escalation is simply too high, L’Avenir staff will respond to the person according to the individual plan that is in place.
If the situation happens in the community, support staff will attempt to exit to a quiet place where they can offer support without an audience. If this is not possible, support staff will respond respectfully and professionally and offer appropriate information in order to raise awareness or to educate. L’Avenir staff are encouraged to carry the information card with the number of the member’s home as well as the emergency cell number. If a support staff requires assistance in the community, they will ask someone to call the numbers provided. If no one is available to assist, the police may be called.
Rights and Responsibilities
L’Avenir Cooperative seeks to respect, encourage and support the assertion of all individuals’ rights. A member has the right to:
- A safe and comfortable home meaning:
– Freedom from all abuse
– Permanence, security, continuity
- Consideration of individual rights and preferences meaning:
– Opportunities to exercise autonomy
– Equal participation in decisions that affect services provided to the member
– Assistance and encouragement to represent himself/herself
– Opportunity to voice grievances with support staff, team leader, coordinator or executive director
– Have needs met in ways that are culturally valued
- Personal freedom, meaning members have a right to respect and to:
– Choose their own friends
– Choose their own clothing
– Own possessions
– Be present and participate in the communities of their choosing
– Send and receive mail without censorship
– Have visitors and make phone calls
– Religious freedom and freedom to practice
– Form relationships
– Receive prompt medical care when necessary
– Be informed of and receive community educational services appropriate to his/her needs
– Obtain legal representation
– Leave residential accommodations which he/she feels do not meet personal needs and to leave with all personal possessions
– Have access to all personal information kept by L’Avenir Cooperative
– Continue learning
– Opportunities for growth and development
– Expect that their basic human needs will be met
All members of L’Avenir Cooperative are expected to be as actively involved as possible in the maintenance of the household they reside in. Members, where possible, are responsible to:
- Treat others fairly and with respect
- Make informed decisions with support if needed
- Show respect for the property and privacy of others
- Be a good citizen
- Share in household responsibilities such as grocery shopping, meal preparation and house cleaning
- Be involved in the decisions that affect their living situation
All individuals employed by L’Avenir Cooperative have a responsibility to the member they are supporting as well as the agency. Support staff is expected to be at work on time and work to the best of their abilities, keeping these guidelines in mind.