Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The high's and low's Self-Managing under the ndis

Today's a sad day for me. I have just given notice to my current support provider to end our agreement, after many months of mismanagement of my roster and weekly occurrences of some supports not being delivered. Now the reality of telling my workers I am leaving, has set in.  I was not all huff and bluff - months of fighting to have the service agreement delivered have failed. It's time give up the fight and start making a new plan.
What am I fighting for?  Flexible service delivery that is reliable with a monthly roster, that works around my art practise.  Not an organisation looking for staff the day before.  I am now looking for workers with certain skills and an interest in art and certainly that the support I need will be delivered on the day as requested.

Hear my greatest fears are about to be faced

FEAR - There may be not grass on the other side, and may be it will be a mud-bath. My local area coordinator is encouraging me to build my own support team.  If workers break boundaries now 'what if happen the boundary wholes happening  now, continued once I directly supervising my own team? Can I do this? Can I cope with the stress of finding and building my a team I can trust. I know its a chance I need to take.
There was no roster, no certainly for two weeks.  Time wasted everyday, 'we can't fine any workers who else can we try'.  'Hang-on I am paying you to provide this service', because I don't want too do my own staff management.  'You find a worker or call an agency.' Sadly that's not the way the provider wanted to work and rostering is now becomes part of self-managing.

So I sit at a fork in the road.  I am about to travel path 'B', at the same time path A needs to end cleanly. To achieve this a service exit plan developed, because I signed a 12 month contract I needed to give formal noticed .

I am about tell my staff, I am adding to  my stress leading into my end of year exhibitions and business planning for 2018 buy leaving the service they work for and directly engaging my own team.

A choice that makes no sense but nor did wasting the last 4 months hoping service provision would improve. The energy wasted fighting for what I want will be better serve search for what I need to feel supported to grow my art practise. .
The interim involve two interim agreements.
  1. The current service exit plan.  Agreed date, fees and charges.
  2. And interim agreement with a support provider while I recruit and train a team.  (I've been able to action this part of my transition today due  to dialoguing with them during the last few unsettle weeks. The few hours I was signing over today became all my hours.) This boosted my confidence and they are now looking to fill my roster to the end of the year, while I focus on building the team I want.
  3. I also need to seek changes to my ndis plan to cover additional costs.
The next step is to talk with a friend who is already engaging her own support workers.  Service providers are telling me that's a huge risk, but I now buying my advice form the manager of the Ipswich area office manager who knows it can be down successfully. By engaging an interim provider I have effective brought myself peace of mind and space to find what I need in a support team. If plan B doesn't workout I can extend my agreement period while I work out plan C.

Self-management for me is insuring I have good supports around me and safety nets ready to catch me when I fall. So far my back up plan is working well for me.  Service providers need to know the need to deliver what the promise and being short staffed is no excuse.

With that done now its a matter of deciding the best way to recruit my staff, write job descriptions, advertise, hire, write service agreements for each team member and train them. Surprise! Surprise! I have already talked to a organisation about this.  I don't need to do this alone as support services who have you believe. 

I also talked to my mum and my Local Area Coordinator yesterday. Clearly my current agreement has failed me. Yes! I could be about to jump in the mud, but I know I have help to call on if I get stuck.

Having meet with my interim provider, notify my plan manager and my local area coordinator and asked for all documents to be prepared for signing off on by 10th November.  I feel I have started a difficult and painful journey well.

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