It is relatively easy for Australians to find out about others’ experiences when it comes to restaurants, hotels or movies, but the same cannot be said about community services.
While these facilities are all required to be accredited, they are not currently obliged to measure the quality of their services based on the person’s experience. You might assume, one of the most important measures of quality in community services must be the experience of clients and residents?
A change in culture and attitude is needed for organisations to move from asking “what can we do for this person?” to “What does this person want for themselves and how can we help?”
With a change in thinking to empower the people looking for support services, services can begin to separate notions such as what is important for the person and what is important to the person.
Person centred approaches require a change in thinking about people with disabilities and the delivery of services so that the person, and what is important to them, are at the centre. The idea of this is so simplistic however the shift in thinking can become difficult because the differences appear so subtle.
Everyone knows when you look up a company’s website, it usually looks good but how do you know if it’s the right organisation to choose? What makes this facility or service different to all of the other ones? Choice itself can be an overwhelming and daunting experience, particularly when the community services areas are not the most straight forward places to navigate.
You want the inside scoop, you want to hear it from people who’ve had the experience.
There is nothing like hearing it from peers to reassure you that you are making the right decision. After all, this is one of the most important decisions that people have to make either for themselves or a loved one.
Our aim is to enable a growing community of people that utilise community services to make decisions for themselves based on what they would like to see.
For the first time in Western Australia, My Care My Choice is enabling people to search for support based on criteria that are important to them including providing a space where people can read unbiased reviews of the services they provide.
Article written by Emer Long.