Taking care of business: some ideas for governance in self-directed arrangements

Directing your own supports involves a range of tasks requiring different skills and abilities.  This can appear overwhelming to many people but it is important to remember that you do not have to do it all on your own.  You may find support from your family and friends, your Host Provider if you work with one, or from Disability Services.

Many people who have been engaged in self-direction for some time have found it helpful to organise the support they need on a more formal basis.  One way to do this is to establish a group who share the roles of governance of your support arrangements.

The following ideas are an outline for keeping your self-direction on track. You can use these for your own thinking or as a guide for discussion with a 'governance group' of people established to assist you.

1. Know your business - be clear about the roles and responsibilities of each person in your support arrangement and issues arising

2. Review - write an overview of activities / actions in the month and review these against your plan

3. Reflect and Interpret - reflect on your experiences of what is going well and what remains a concern

4. Be clear about your decision making framework - you are the authority in your own life:

- Is a decision required?

- Is the decision in relation to the matters of your support arrangements?

- Can a decision be made with current knowledge/information? If not, research and find out the information you need.

- Is there existing documentation that provides direction e.g. position description, document of personal information for workers, the award?

- Does anything need to be added to existing documentation or does a guideline need to be created?

- Does anything need changing as a result of discussions?

5. Be clear about leadership

- The person directing support provides the leadership required for self-direction to happen

- Think about stewardship - create opportunities to deepen understanding of the person when directing on their behalf

- Create opportunities for mentoring with other people who are self-directing

- Take a multi-generational approach - think about who will direct in the future if you become less able to

6. Take care of relationships

- Develop a framework for working through 'whose business is it'

-  Develop a framework for working together

- Make it fun

7. Think ahead - what roles might people take on now in preparation for the future.

The article, What does it take? The business of self-direction suggests one way of dividing up the roles of self-direction and outlines the skills and abilities needed to do these well.

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