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Difference between capacity building and parenting responsibility

Difference between capacity building and parenting responsibility

as support workers we can be asked to implement Positive Behaviour Support Plans (PBSP). support workers are fundamental in the implematation of PBSP as they coach the parents and caregivers in the implementation. in our role we need to understand the difference between building capacity and parental responsiblity. Building capacity is where we work together with families to understand the participant’s strengths and weaknesses. We use assessments such as Vineland, ABASS and CARE Needs Scale to assess the level of supports required. Supports are to ensure people can live as independently as possible, remain engaged in the community and to live their best life. 

Parenting responsibility is a term the NDIS use to acknowledge that there is day to day tasks that are necessary in raising children.  What are some of the things considered to be parental responsibility – providing a home, providing food, and meeting the day-to-day needs of the child. The NDIS provides for the extra support required. This may include any or all the following-

The types of supports that the NDIS may fund for participants include:

  • daily personal activities
  • transport to enable participation in community, social, economic, and daily life activities
  • workplace help to allow a participant to successfully get or keep employment in the open or supported labour market
  • therapeutic supports including behaviour support
  • help with household tasks to allow the participant to maintain their home environment
  • help to a participant by skilled personnel in aids or equipment assessment, set up and training
  • home modification design and construction
  • mobility equipment, and
  • vehicle modifications

The parents have been notified by the schools that the boys are attending, however, on many occasions they attend without the required supplies and resources to make it through the day successfully.

You are going to be working in a team of three support workers. The shifts to be covered are 7 -9 am and 3.30-7pm Monday to Friday, 8-5 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. You have been provided a small briefing regarding the family and understand that both boys have challenging behaviors. There has been police involvement.  

Sam is 12 and attends the local SDS school and Oscar is 15 and attends the high school SDS.  Together with their parents they live in a 3-bedroom home where both boys were born. There are 4 other children aged between 18 and 26 in the family that are all currently located in various prisons. 

Both parents report to work full time. Dad is a baker, leaving the house at 3am and mum leaves at 7am.  There has been recent police involvement with Sam where he was observed pulling a knife on a child at the park. 

There are concerns the fighting between the boys can get out of hand. 

You arrive for your first shift and find the house to be completey out of control. You can not find the kitchen bench, with all the dishes spread every where, and the floors are covered in rubbish and clothes.  The boys are in bed sleeping and when you try to wake THEM, they tell you to go away. 

When trying to wake the boys you notice that both are sleeping on the floor in their own rooms. There are no beds, just mattresses and each had what appeared to be a soiled doona. After being told to go away you return to the kitchen to attempt to prepare the breakfast and see if the lunches are made or if you need to do this. Looking at the kitchen you start placing the dirty dishes in the sink and collecting all the rubbish. You look in the fridge and find there is nothing to make lunch or breakfast with.  

You start to look for school bags and cannot find any. After clearing the kitchen and a space at the dining table you attempt to wake the boys again. This time they are more receptive and get up. You help them locate clothes- unfortunately picked up from the floor and they appear very dirty. When asked, the boys tell you these are their only uniforms and they do not have a school bag. While you are in the kitchen you can hear Sam and Oscar start fighting.  

What do you do? 

Do nothing

Call shift supervisor Huma

Organize the boys to be dressed and then go find some breakfast and lunch in preparation for school- then when the boys are at school- call Huma and discuss your concerns

Call the parents and tell them to bring food now and school bags. Also tell them their house is disgusting and clean it up

Make the boys get up and clean up the mess

Would you do something different?

If you take option

Do nothing. You get the boys dressed. Discuss where to find food in the house and there is nothing suitable for breakfast or lunch options. The boys look for something and find packets of chips. They say this is what they take for school as they put it in their pockets without eating anything now. They take energy drinks for the bus ride. Complete shift notes and you leave and head off about your day

Please do. If this is the option you take please find somewhere quiet and safe to make the call. Always be mindful of your own situational awareness and safety. Huma needs to know when something is not as it should be. We have basic needs that families are responsible for providing as do we as providers of service. When we look at parental responsibility and NDIS-provided supports, we need to be cognisant that although we are there for Disability related support, we are not providing parenting responsibilities. In this case, it is the parent's responsibility to provide food, and clean clothes (at least for the first shift) on going it may be that you will be supporting the boys to attend to their uniforms and doing preparation work. The workplace needs to have clear floor space for you to walk through and not be an ongoing workplace safety risk. 

Complete shift notes and you leave and head off about your day.

Organise the boys to be dressed and then go find some breakfast and lunch in preparation for school- then when the boys are at school- call Huma and discuss your concerns.

Being mindful that Sam and Oscar would normally take the school bus. We have a duty of care to see our participants have the resources they need however the line between our responsibilities and the parents needs to be understood. In the first instance I would always ensure that dietary needs are being met. Our behaviours are determined by our own interoception. Interoception is one of the 8 senses within our body. When we are hungry, and we feel it this is called Interoceptive awareness. When we do a PBSP- the first assessment we complete is a sensory profile. The behaviour the boys are demonstrating is a direct result of feeling hungry. They do not know how to express this any other way. Right now, they need food as they have just woken up. This is a given. As Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs states, emotional regulation commences when our immediate needs are being met- e.g., shelter, food, and clothing. For Oscar and Sam – at the moment their needs that are not being adequately addressed are food and possibly clothing depending on how Sam and Oscar feel about wearing dirty clothes to school.

Our role for today is to support Sam and Oscar to attend school, with appropriate resources and be ready to learn. We can not do much regarding the clothing as time is limited, however, we can and need to assist with food. No one can learn if they are feeling hungry.

Complete shift notes and you leave and head off about your day

Call the parents and tell them to bring food now and school bags. Also tell them their house is disgusting and clean it up.

This is not advisable. This will not help at the moment and will only create issues with the parents. 

Complete shift notes and you leave and head off about your day

Make the boys get up and clean up the mess.

This is not the children’s responsibility, please consider age-appropriate activities such as locating clothing from designated space- is washing something you would expect. The cleaning of the home and removal of rubbish is again parental responsibility. Unless specified it is not our role to make children clean for their parents.

Would you do something different?

Tell us what you would do.

FYI- a specialist cleaning service can be accessed for this support. It is not the support workers' role to deep clean or forensic clean participants homes.