Introduction and Purpose

 

Quality Manual

Contents
  1. What is Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Objects of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
  4. Definition and Concept of Citizen Advocacy
  5. The Five Cornerstones of the Citizen Advocacy Schema
  6. Citizen Advocacy Principles
  7. Fundamental and Underpinning Values and Beliefs
  8. Definition and Concept of Social Advocacy
  9. Principles of Social Advocacy
  10. Interpretation and Definition of Terms
  11. The Principle of Normalisation/Social Role Valorisation
  12. Who does Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy advocate for?
  13. Strategic Directions and Operational Plan
  14. Quality Framework and Continuous Improvement Plan and Processes
  15. Document Control
  16. Policy Development and Review
  17. Registers: Purpose and Review

1. What is Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy

[Standard 8]

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy is an independent citizen advocacy organisation for people with intellectual disability in the Sunshine Coast Regional area.
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Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy employs one Coordinator, one part time Assistant Coordinator, one part time Administrative Assistant, and one part time cleaner.

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy is managed by a committee of skilled people.

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy management committee is elected by members of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy each year at the Annual General Meeting.

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy management committee meets on a regular basis and is responsible for the financial and organisational management of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy for a period of twelve months.

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy is a community based, non-profit incorporated association funded by the Federal Government.

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy members believe in the organisation’s mission and objects and support the work of citizen advocacy.

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy’s office is located at:

6-10 Blackall Street,
Woombye QLD 4559
(Behind the Rural Supplies Store)
Phone (07) 5442 2524
Mobile: 0418 714 695
Email: sunshinecoast@citizenadvocacy.com

2. Mission Statement

To promote, protect and defend the personal well-being and interests of a growing number of people with Intellectual Disability, in order to enhance and defend their identity and role as human beings, growing and developing persons, and citizens, by establishing and supporting a range of individualised, voluntary, personal relationships between such persons and valued, competent citizens, prepared to undertake committed and sustained relationships based upon the representation of each person’s interests.

3. Objects of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy

  1. To identify and recruit as Protégés people with Intellectual Disability who have major unmet needs arising from impaired instrumental competence or who have major expressive needs which are unmet, either or both of which are likely to remain unmet without special intervention.

  2. To encourage and/or recruit, competent, committed, resourceful and valued citizens as Citizen Advocates.

  3. To provide initial orientation and preparation to Citizen Advocates in respect of issues facing people with Intellectual Disability as a class, the concept and role of advocacy on their behalf, with a specific focus on the concept and role of Citizen Advocacy, the role of a Citizen Advocate and Citizen Advocacy, and the fundamental human needs and interests, and the degree of vulnerability, of the specific Protégé with whom the advocate is to be matched.

  4. To match Protégés and Citizen Advocates and in doing so, to ensure that there is a good “fit” between the fundamental human needs and interests of the Protégé, and the competencies, commitment and resources of the Citizen Advocate.

  5. To provide initial follow up to each relationship to assist in the establishment of the relationship on a firm and committed foundation.

    To provide ongoing encouragement to each relationship through regular and systematic contact with the Citizen Advocate and Protégé.

    To be sensitive and conscientious in providing any needed emotional and/or practical support required by the relationship over time.

  6. To provide, and/or facilitate the provision of, ongoing training events designed to provide sources of values-related insights, information, skills and encouragement to Citizen Advocates and Protégés.

  7. To identify and recruit, orient and prepare, people with relevant specialised skills and knowledge as Advocate Associates, willing to provide information and guidance to the Citizen Advocacy Programme and to individual Citizen Advocacy relationships upon request, and within their area of expertise.

  8. To identify community action groups which have as their central concern, issues which confront people with Intellectual Disability as a class.

  9. To develop and maintain over time extensive community support for the concept of Citizen Advocacy and the development of the Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Programme.

  10. To raise and secure funds and other resources so as to develop and maintain a stable and diverse financial basis for the operation of the Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Programme.

  11. To annually review and triennially evaluate the program according to the criteria set forth in “Standards for Citizen Advocacy Program Evaluation” (Wolfensberger, W., O’Brien, J., Georgia Advocacy Programme 1981).

  12. To establish and maintain co-operative and supportive ties to other Citizen Advocacy efforts within Queensland, Australia and internationally.

  13. Within this network, to contribute to the ongoing development of Citizen Advocacy concepts and practices.

4. Definition and Concept of Citizen Advocacy

The Association shall recognise and safeguard the definition and concept of Citizen Advocacy adopted by the International Citizen Advocacy Safeguards Group in October, 1990, and set forth hereunder, or such other definitions as may be determined by that Group from time to time, namely:-

Citizen Advocacy is a means to promote, protect and defend the welfare and interests of, and justice for, persons who are impaired in competence, or diminished in status, or seriously physically or socially isolated, through one-to-one (or near one-to-one) unpaid voluntary commitments made to them by people of relevant competencies.

Citizen Advocates strive to represent the interests of the person as if they were the advocates own; therefore, the advocates must be sufficiently free from conflict of interest.

Citizen Advocates are supported and usually recruited by a Citizen Advocacy Programme with paid staff that is so funded and so governed as to be essentially free from conflict of interest.

In consultation with the Citizen Advocacy Programme, advocates choose from among a wide range of functions and roles. Some of these commitments may last for life.

5. The Five Cornerstones of the Citizen Advocacy Schema

The Association shall recognise and safeguard over time the five cornerstones of the Citizen Advocacy schema set forth hereunder, namely :-

5.1 The Citizen Advocacy Concept

The Association shall promote and safeguard the Citizen Advocacy concept as set forth hereunder, namely as :-

A one-to-one (or near one-to-one) relationship with an individual person with unmet needs, by a person who has minimal built-in conflicts of interest, who is therefore an unpaid volunteer, prepared to carry on a sustained relationship.

5.2 The distinction between instrumental and expressive needs and tasks

The Association shall recognise a distinction between instrumental and expressive needs and shall seek to support and encourage over time a variety of advocacy roles based on a response to these needs either exclusively, or in combination, namely :-

Instrumental Needs

Instrumental needs are those human needs which are of a practical, material and representational nature; instrumental tasks are those actions that might be taken to meet these needs.

Expressive Needs

Expressive needs are those human needs that are of an emotional nature; expressive tasks are those actions and commitments that might be taken to meet these needs.

5.3 The differentiation of advocacy roles

The Association shall recognise and seek to encourage and support over time the fifteen potential advocacy roles generated by the following distinctions, namely:-

  1. The distinction between formal (legally based) roles and informal roles.
  2. The distinction between instrumental and expressive needs and the continuum of tasks that might be taken to respond to these needs either exclusively, or in combination.

  3. The degree of demand and involvement required of the Citizen Advocate by the relationship.

    See CAPE: Standards for Citizen Advocacy Program Evaluation by John O’Brien & Wolf Wolfensberger ISBN 0-919648-18-5.

5.4 The utilisation of complementary legal provisions

The Association shall recognise the benefit of, and within its role and resources, seek to further enhance, the range of legal provisions complementary to the Citizen Advocacy concept, namely:-

The Association shall actively encourage Citizen Advocates to undertake legally-based roles such as, but not limited to, those of Limited Guardian, Plenary Guardian, Property Manager, and Adoptive Parent.

5.5 The establishment of a stable, viable, valued and continuous organisational and administrative context for the programme

The Association shall recognise the necessity and significance of, and seek to develop and enhance over time, a stable, viable, valued and continuous organisational and administrative structure and context from which the Citizen Advocacy program shall be conducted, namely to develop:-

  1. a management and administrative structure which is separate from direct services to people with Intellectual Disability.

  2. a stable and sufficient financial base for the program, which is free from conflict of interest.

  3. a skilled, committed and resourceful Board of local Citizens with community standing.

  4. a sufficient paid staffing structure to perform a balance of the necessary activities of a Citizen Advocacy Programme.

6. Citizen Advocacy Principles

6.1 Citizen Advocate Independence

Explanation and Rationale

In order to effectively represent Protégé needs, Citizen Advocates must be free to develop a primary loyalty to Protégés and to act as independently as possible in meeting Protégé needs. This requires that Citizen Advocates shall be encouraged to see themselves as:-

  1. supported by, but independent of, the Citizen Advocacy Programme;
  2. independent of agencies and settings which provide services for Protégés; and
  3. independent from families of Protégés in those instances where family interests are different from those of individual Protégés.

In brief, the Citizen Advocacy program shall be structured to support Citizen Advocates as unpaid, independent, volunteers to an individual person.

6.2 Citizen Advocacy program independence

Explanation and Rationale

In order to support the development of effective Citizen Advocacy relationships, the Citizen Advocacy Programme itself must be independent.

Independence requires the greatest possible freedom from conflict of interest in administrative structures and funding.

The Citizen Advocacy Programme shall therefore be administratively and physically separated from agencies which operate direct human service programs involving (potential) Protégés, and shall act independently of, and shall not be identified with, the human service system.

6.3 A Clearly Defined Staff Role

Explanation and Rationale

In order to develop the full range of its potential, a Citizen Advocacy Programme needs a staff who understand the nature and possibilities of Citizen Advocacy and who communicate this understanding by supporting, not supplanting, Citizen Advocate-Protégé relationships; and by directing their energies toward building and maintaining the Citizen Advocacy program as a whole. Clear and effective staff functioning requires the distinction of a well-defined staff role from the role of the Citizen Advocate, non-competition with other advocacy roles, and staff involvement with others involved in developing Citizen Advocacy concepts and practices.

Citizen Advocacy staff shall support, but not ‘direct’ Citizen Advocate-Protégé relationships. The staff’s role is to find and support Citizen Advocates, not to be advocates themselves in their role as paid staff.

In brief, the Citizen Advocacy Programme shall focus exclusively on encouraging and supporting Citizen Advocacy relationships, and shall not become involved in other activities which detract from this focus, even if these activities are worthy in themselves.

6.4 A Balanced Orientation to Protégé Needs and to Citizen Advocacy Roles

Explanation and Rationale

People with Intellectual Disability have a wide variety of needs for representation and relationships which can be met by Citizen Advocates. One of the greatest potential strengths of Citizen Advocacy is the flexibility to define and support those relationships which can, if the participants choose, fit the changing circumstances of the Protégé.

In order to realise this potential, the Citizen Advocacy Programme, shall develop and implement a multipath plan for recruiting and supporting many different kinds of relationships. This requires careful planning from a number of complementary perspectives.

Protégé characteristics

Many individual characteristics of Citizen Advocates and Protégés shall be considered in developing individual matches. However, the Citizen Advocacy Programme shall particularly emphasise a balanced approach to Protégé age range (from conception to very advanced age), Protégé capacity for relationship reciprocity (to ensure that people unable or unwilling to respond to others in typical ways are systematically included in the program), Protégé need for spokesmanship (to ensure that people requiring spokesmanship to defend their human rights are systematically included in the program), and Protégé need for long-term relationships (to ensure that there is an over-riding emphasis on the creation and support of relationships which have the potential to be long-lasting).

Potential Citizen Advocacy Roles

The range of Citizen Advocacy roles which a Citizen Advocacy Programme conceptualises and plans for as they recruit, match and support Citizen Advocates is perhaps the single most powerful determinant of a Citizen Advocacy’s Programme’s long-term success.

This does not suggest that Citizen Advocates are or should see themselves as bound to any sort of ‘job-description’. Citizen Advocates choose the investment they wish to make; and choose, together with the Protégé, the direction and content of their relationship.

However, most Citizen Advocates make their choices in the context of options defined and supported by the Citizen Advocacy Programme and the Citizen Advocacy Programme therefore must be careful to ensure that it does not recruit and guide Citizen Advocates into just a few categories of response.

There are at least three dimensions necessary to define an adequate range of Citizen Advocacy roles, and these are outlined in paragraph 5.3. Over time, the Association shall develop and implement plans to attract Citizen Advocates who will fulfil a wide variety of the fifteen potential roles generated by these distinctions.

Crisis Advocacy

Situations will arise in which a person with Intellectual Disability has a critical, immediate need for instrumental support. The typical process of recruiting, orientating, and matching advocates will often be too slow for the needed immediate response.

In addition, a Protégé who is already matched needs to avoid involvement in crisis situations which are so demanding as to strain the ability of the Citizen Advocate to support the relationship.

In order to ensure that the Citizen Advocacy Programme can adequately represent people in crisis without drawing staff into a service providing relationship with an individual Protégé, the programme shall recruit and support a number of stand-by Crisis Advocates.

The Citizen Advocacy Programme shall work to ensure that at least five (5) or ten percent (whichever is the smaller) of the currently available Citizen Advocates are identified as Crisis Advocates, and that this pool of Crisis Advocates shall be maintained over time.

Crisis Advocacy relationships will typically be instrumentally focused and time limited, although the potential exists for the Citizen Advocate (and where possible the Protégé) to choose to broaden their relationship after the crisis situation is resolved.

Youth Advocacy

Citizen Advocacy offers young people a unique and powerful opportunity to serve people with Intellectual Disability in a non-technological way. As well, many people with Intellectual Disability regardless of their age, can benefit from a relationship with a young person.

Whilst most young people have not developed the skills or status to be fully effective representatives of the needs and interests of a person with Intellectual Disability, they can give and gain much from involvement as a second Citizen Advocate to a person with substantial need for spokesmanship or other instrumental action. However, in some instances a young person might serve alone as a Citizen Advocate.

At least ten percent but no more than twenty five percent of the active Advocates shall be under the age of eighteen, and Youth Advocates shall be encouraged to assume and maintain as many as possible of the fifteen conceivable Citizen Advocacy Roles.

Avoiding Underprotection and Overprotection of the Protégé

Citizen Advocacy is founded on the conviction that – eventually if not immediately – Citizen volunteers can be recruited and supported to provide people with Intellectual Disability with as much support and protection as they need and not more.

This requires:-

  1. that the Citizen Advocacy Programme identifies Protégés who need formal relationships and recruits Citizen Advocates willing to provide them.
  2. that the Citizen Advocacy programme minimises the possibility that a relationship will be socially overprotective.

Socially overprotective practices are based on a presumption that people with Intellectual Disability are less capable of exercising their rights and meeting their needs than they in fact are, or could soon become with increased responsibility and support.

The Citizen Advocacy programme will avoid social overprotection by :-

  1. orientating its concern for providing formal relationships to the legal principle of selecting the least intrusive means to protect the person’s interests.
  2. carefully considering the instrumental-expressive need continuum in the matching process, so that Citizen Advocates are not orientated to regularly providing for instrumental needs which the Protégé could meet for his of her self.
  3. providing Citizen Advocate training and support activities which make Citizen Advocates aware of the risk of social overprotection, and should it become an issue in a relationship, assisting in developing ways to reduce overprotection of a Protégé by a Citizen Advocate or by some other party.
  4. ensuring that all of the Citizen Advocacy Programme’s dealings with Protégés communicate a positive presumption of their competence.

6.5 Positive Interpretations of the Identity and Needs of People with Intellectual Disability

Explanation and Rationale

The Citizen Advocacy program shall be a model of positive interactions and interpretations of people with Intellectual Disability.

The Board of directors and leadership of the Citizen Advocacy Programme shall include interested people with Intellectual Disability.

Interactions between Citizen Advocacy personnel and people with Intellectual Disability shall be courteous and respectful.

Images which suggest negative roles or stereotypes, even very subtly, contribute to the devaluation of people with Intellectual Disability and therefore shall be consciously and systematically avoided. Specifically, the program will avoid places, actions or images which connect people with Intellectual Disability to images or practices which connote death or decay, subhumanity, animality, triviality, worthlessness, sickness, pity or charity, menace and eternal childhood.

Positive and non-stigmatising language and images shall be used by the programme in all aspects of its operations and in particular in its interaction with the general public.

This does not mean however that the Citizen Advocacy Programme will deny the existence of people’s disability or the nature of their social situation. Instead, the Citizen Advocacy Programme shall seek the most highly positive, value-conferring and yet valid possible associations which support the intellectual growth potential, citizenship role, and individual human identity and rights of people with Intellectual Disability.

7. Fundamental and Underpinning Values and Beliefs

The Association shall recognise and safeguard over time the fundamental underpinning values and beliefs set forth hereunder, namely :-

… about the nature of the world, of human societies, of human nature, and of human endeavours …
  1. We believe that human suffering exists.
  2. We believe that contemporary society is very complex, and under significant economic and social stress rendering vulnerable and powerless people even more so, and particularly susceptible to scapegoating.
  3. We believe that some of the values of contemporary society such as those which estimate a person’s worth according to such things as their physical attractiveness, productivity, intelligence, and wealth pose grave risks to the well-being of people with Intellectual Disability.
  4. We believe that human beings have the capacity for acts of both justice and injustice.
  5. We believe that human beings through science, technology, governmental structuring or any other means are incapable of perfecting the world, society, human beings, or of solving all human problems.
… about the nature of our responsibility to one-another as human beings …
  1. We believe that human beings are interdependent and should strive for interdependence.
  2. We believe that there is a moral imperative for humans to take personal, individual responsibility in their own lives to address injustices and the needs of others in a direct, voluntary, concrete and close manner.
… about formal direct human services …
  1. We believe that formal human services serve many different interests in the community in which the individual person should be the most powerful, and have the most controlling interest themselves.
  2. We believe that human services are not perfect, nor are they perfectible, and there will therefore always be a need for safeguards of people’s interests in such systems.
  3. We believe that human services should strive to achieve their stated purpose, and are likely maintain quality over time with vigilant safeguards.
  4. We believe that formal human services can not, and should not, meet all human needs.
  5. We believe that formal human services should be designed and implemented in ways which do not diminish the intellectual and maintenance of freely-given personal relationships.
… about people with Intellectual Disability …
  1. We believe that people with Intellectual Disability are human beings of intrinsic and unconditional value.
  2. We believe that people with Intellectual Disability, regardless of the nature and degree of their disability, have the capacity to grow and develop across the course of their lives.
  3. We believe that people with Intellectual Disability are citizens of our community and nation and should be accorded the benefits, entitlements and responsibilities of such citizenship.
  4. We believe that Intellectual Disability is real, not imagined, and results in a life-long impairment in instrumental competency, and an extreme vulnerability to social devaluation.
… about advocacy …
  1. We believe that advocacy is a significant and urgent response to the needs and interests of people with Intellectual Disability.
  2. We believe that in a society as complex and pluralistic as that of Australia, there must be multiple and diverse safeguards of the interests of people with Intellectual Disability.
  3. We believe that no single advocacy or helping form, can or should attempt to, do everything.
  4. We believe that there is nothing morally wrong or demeaning about people with Intellectual Disability having advocates and protectors.
  5. We believe that the forms of help people with Intellectual Disability need will differ widely in the amount of help needed, the kind of support required, and how long it is needed.
… about how advocacy objectives should be pursued …
  1. We believe that as far as possible the means of conducting advocacy should be enlightenment and persuasion, however we believe there will almost inevitably come a time when conflict becomes necessary to the pursuit of a particular objective.
  2. We believe that conflict is inappropriate in the following circumstances, and as far as possible should be avoided, namely:-
    1. in first or early contact with individuals;
    2. at the start of an advocacy effort;
    3. where a milder approach has not yet been given a reasonable chance.
  3. We believe that no more formality, conflict or confrontation should be used than is absolutely necessary to attain the desired advocacy objective.
… about the significance and power of voluntary, committed personal relationships …
  1. We believe that voluntary relationships are of enormous significance and benefit to any person, and are no less benefit to people with Intellectual Disability.
  2. We believe that voluntary relationships can meet human needs for love, friendship, communication, security and protection which can not be met in any other way.
  3. We believe that sometimes those human needs that at least theoretically could be met by formal paid structures will nonetheless not be met by those structures, and therefore must be met voluntarily.
  4. We believe that there are all sorts of ways of helping, but committed one-to-one help has a certain special power and potency, especially in some situations
  5. We believe that voluntary commitments become more significant, the more deeply devalued, degraded and ‘wounded’ a person is.
  6. We believe that in some instances, a person’s wounds can only be addressed in the context of a life-long committed relationship.
  7. We believe that there is no such thing as a wound or a person that nobody would be willing to respond to.
… about the capacity to recruit voluntary advocates for people with Intellectual Disability …
  1. We believe that it will always be possible to recruit people to voluntarily engage themselves on behalf of people with Intellectual Disability, provided that:-
    • voluntary altruistic engagement is upheld as an ideal;
    • there are such people who will call upon each other to step forward for such engagement.
    • there are models of such engagement to whom others can look and draw inspiration.
  2. We believe that people will step forward for such engagements even though they won’t get paid, life gets harder, they are not tied to the person in need by blood.

8. Definition and Concept of Social Advocacy

The Association shall recognise and safeguard the concept and definition of Citizen Advocacy as arising from, and embedded in, the broader definition and concept of Social Advocacy set forth hereunder, namely:-

To act with minimised conflict of interest on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a person or group, in order to enhance and defend the roles of human being, growing and developing person, and citizen, in a fashion which is emphatic and vigorous, and in a manner which is actually, or very likely to be, costly to the actor; for example, in terms of time and other resources, emotional stress, bodily demands, social opprobrium, rejection, ridicule, self esteem, self certainty, socio-economic security, livelihood, physical safety, life, especially over the long run.

9. Principles of Social Advocacy

The Association shall recognise and safeguard its consciousness over time of those broader social advocacy principles in which the concept of Citizen Advocacy is embedded, namely :-

  1. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to act on the side of the disadvantaged party, to the possible exclusion of all other interests, even where these interests may be valid in themselves.
  2. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to be over-ridingly concerned with the fundamental human needs and interests of the disadvantaged person, to the possible exclusion of all other considerations.
  3. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to be vigorous and concerted in the pursuit of the disadvantaged party’s needs and interests.
  4. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to pursue no other motivation other than the desire to do what needs to be done for the party at stake.
  5. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to strive for minimum conflict of interest.
  6. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to be prepared to accept the inevitable costs arising from the promotion and defence of the disadvantaged party’s interests.
  7. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to have fidelity to the vulnerable party, especially over the long-term.
  8. It is the responsibility and obligation of a social advocacy effort to be particularly mindful of any parties which are even more disadvantaged lest it harm them.

10. Interpretation and Definition of Terms

When used by the Association the terms set forth hereunder shall carry the following meaning, namely:-

Potential Citizen Advocate

The term ‘Potential Citizen Advocate’ shall mean an apparently competent, committed, and resourceful citizen interested in assuming the role of a Citizen Advocate, but who has not yet completed the screening, orientation and preparation prerequisite to assuming this role.

Citizen Advocate

The term ‘Citizen Advocate’ shall mean a competent, committed, and resourceful citizen who has successfully undertaken a screening, orientation and preparation program conducted by the Citizen Advocacy Programme, and has been designated by that programme as a Citizen Advocate, whether or not the person has yet been matched with a Protégé.

Potential Protégé

The term ‘Potential Protégé’ shall mean a person with Intellectual Disability who apparently has significant needs of an instrumental and/or expressive nature which are unmet, and which are unlikely to be met without special intervention, but who has not yet been formally accepted into the program.

Protégé

The term ‘Protégé’ shall mean a person with Intellectual Disability who has significant needs of an instrumental and/or expressive nature which might be addressed by a Citizen Advocate, who has been formally accepted into the program, whether or not that person is currently matched with a Citizen Advocate.

Intellectual Disability

The term ‘Intellectual Disability’ shall mean an intellectual impairment, which becomes apparent during the so-called ‘developmental period’ (that is from conception to the age of 18 years), which is likely to continue indefinitely and which results in substantial limitations in instrumental competency.

Advocate Associate

The term ‘Advocate Associate’ shall mean a person with specialised skills or knowledge relevant to the activities of the Citizen Advocacy Programme or to individual Citizen Advocates, who volunteer their services to the Citizen Advocacy Programme or to individual Citizen Advocates, after having completed orientation and preparation for this role provided by the Citizen Advocacy Programme.

Long-term Relationship

The term ‘Long-term Relationship’ shall mean a Citizen Advocacy relationship which is based upon the expectation and hope of a long-term and possibly life-long commitment of the Citizen Advocate to the Protégé, based upon a response to one or more of the Protege’s fundamental human needs.

Short-term Relationship

The term ‘Short-term Relationship’ shall mean a Citizen Advocacy relationship which is based upon the expectation of a short-term, goal orientated, commitment of the Citizen Advocate to the Protégé, based upon a major but not necessarily fundamental need. A short-term relationship will complete when this need or interest has been pursued as far as is possible for the moment.

Crisis Relationship

The term ‘Crisis Relationship’ shall mean a Citizen Advocacy relationship based upon the expectation of a time-limited commitment by a Citizen Advocate to the Protégé who requires critical immediate instrumental support, to address a need or interest which will be very significant, though not necessarily fundamental. A crisis relationship will ‘complete’ when this need or interest has been pursued as far as is possible for the moment.

Discontinuation

The term ‘Discontinuation’ shall mean a long-term Citizen Advocacy relationship that ceases for whatever reason, or a short-term or crisis relationship which ceases without the tasks associated with the role having been completed to the extent that is possible for the moment.

Completion

The term ‘Completion’ shall mean a short-term or crisis Citizen Advocacy relationship that ceases having pursued the tasks associated with the role to the extent that is possible for the moment.

Formal Relationship

The term ‘Formal Relationship’ shall mean a Citizen Advocacy relationship where the Citizen Advocate is recognised as having legal standing.

Informal Relationship

The term ‘Informal Relationship’ shall mean a Citizen Advocacy relationship that does not require, or has not achieved, legal standing.

Expressive Needs

The term ‘Expressive Needs’ shall mean those Protégé needs which are of an emotional nature, such as those of relationship, affection and communication.

Expressive Tasks

The term ‘Expressive Tasks’ shall mean those actions and commitments which might be taken by a Citizen Advocate in order to respond to a Protege’s expressive needs.

Instrumental Needs

The term ‘Instrumental Needs’ shall mean those Protégé needs which are of practical, material and representational nature.

Instrumental Tasks

The term ‘Instrumental Tasks’ shall mean those actions and commitments which might be taken by a Citizen Advocate in order to respond to a Protege’s instrumental needs.

Demand

The term ‘Demand’ shall mean the degree to which a Citizen Advocate experiences a ‘cost’ as a result of their relationship with a Protégé, and may be determined according to one of more of the following variables:-

  1. the amount of time and other resources required of the Citizen Advocate by the relationship;
  2. the degree to which the relationship results in emotional stress to the Citizen Advocate;
  3. the degree to which the relationship exposes the Citizen Advocate to social rejection or ridicule;
  4. the degree to which the relationship results in a loss of the Citizen Advocate’s self esteem and self certainty;
  5. the degree to which the Citizen Advocate is exposed to economic insecurity as a result of the relationship;
  6. the degree to which the Citizen Advocate is exposed to threats to their physical safety as a result of the relationship.

11. The Principle of Normalisation/Social Role Valorisation

The Association shall recognise and safeguard the concept of Citizen Advocacy as arising from, and embedded in, the principle of Normalisation/Social Role Valorisation, namely :-

The enablement, establishment, enhancement, maintenance, and/or defense of valued social roles for people – particularly those at value risk – by using, as much as possible, culturally valued means.

12. Who does Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy advocate for?

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy advocates for people with intellectual disability from the Sunshine Coast Region who are vulnerable because they:

Are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing abuse and/or neglect
Are isolated from family, friends and community.
Have fundamental needs which are not being met.

13. Strategic Directions and Operational Plan

13.1 Strategic Directions

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy carries out Strategic Directions and Planning every three years. The current Strategic Plan located at

13.2 Goals for 2010/2015

Goal 1

To provide citizen advocacy for vulnerable people with intellectual disability whose fundamental needs are not met.

Goal 2

To recruit and support members of the community to advocate on behalf of a vulnerable person with disability.

Goal 3

To inform and influence allies and others to bring about systemic change to advance our individual advocacy efforts.

Goal 4

To promote the understanding and development of advocacy within Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy and in the wider community.

Goal 5

To operate a principled, effective, accountable and sustainable social advocacy organisation.

14. Quality Framework and Continuous Improvement Plan and Processes

14.1 Commitment to Quality Systems

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Management Committee and Staff are committed to a Quality management system that strengthens work of the organisation by continuous improvement. Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy is committed to achieving accreditation under the Disability Sector Quality Standards through independent external audits as part of the quality management system.

14.2 Disability Advocacy Standards

The coverage of the quality management system and ongoing improvement is benchmarked by the Disability Service Standards and standard indicators for service provision. Ongoing monitoring and review will provide information for the Management Committee to oversee its strategic planning and operations and strengthen Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy’s advocacy effort.

14.3 Processes and Accountability

The process for planning and accountability for the Management Committee include:

  • Strategic and operational planning.
  • Management Committee minutes, together with Staff reports covering all activity over a monthly time frame.
  • Staff meetings and performance appraisals
  • Suggestions and complaints procedures
  • Service User Assessment and Self-Assessment leading to
    • Continuous improvement as a function of the Committee and
    • Third party auditing for independent quality assurance

14.4 Internal Auditing Processes

Quality Monitoring and Internal Audit Schedule and Continuous Improvement Plan
Continuous Improvement Register
Document Control Register
Annual Compliance Schedule (check list for the committee)
Formal Review of Advocacy Files
Survey of stakeholders of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
Self Assessment

14.5 Quality Manual

Section One
Section Two
Section Three
Section Four
Section Five
Section Six
Section Seven
Section Eight
Introduction
Governance
Human Resource Management
Policies relating to Disability Services Standards
Financial Policies
Standard Office Procedures
Workplace Health and Safety
Forms used by Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy

14.6 Continuous Improvement

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy will use the Quality Monitoring and Internal Auditing and Continuous Improvement Plan to provide the overall framework for reviewing the Quality System over the year. The plan will outline the following points of review.

  • Monthly for report to the Management Committee by the Coordinator
  • Annually in Quality Systems review

14.7 Registers and Reports

Information for the Continuous Improvement Plan will collected through the maintenance of registers and various Quality System reports. These include:

Complaints and Feedback Register maintained by Coordinator
Risk Register maintained by Coordinator
Document Control Register maintained by Administrative Assistant
Professional Development and Training Log maintained by Administrative Assistant
Workplace Health and Safety Audit Report produced by internal and external assessment
Insurance Register maintained by Administrative Assistant
Service User feedback reports maintained by Coordinator
Budget Review Report maintained by Treasurer and Coordinator
Annual Compliance Schedule maintained by Management Committee
Preferred Suppliers Register maintained by Administrative Assistant

14.8 Continuous Improvement Plan

The Quality Monitoring and Internal Audit and Continuous Improvement Plan will provide a summary of all actions, outcomes and any outstanding matters to the following:

  • Coordinator at monthly meeting with the Treasurer and President
  • Staff at weekly (if possible) staff meetings
  • Relationship review
  • Committee members through the Coordinator’s Report on specific matters and Annually as part of the Quality System Monitoring and Review process
  • Members and service users as part of the AGM report and other communications as appropriate.

15. Document Control

Background:

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy needs to be confident of the authority, accuracy and currency of the documentation on which people act. The approaches an organisation takes to achieving these goals are known collectively in quality assurance terms as “document control”. Aside from its critical importance to the effectiveness of Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy, good control of documentation is also an expectation of people who use Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy and a critical focus of external and internal quality review processes.

Scope/Application:

This policy refers to all documentation that is created and distributed for information and action in managing Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy (e.g. policies, management processes, committee papers etc.) This is separate from but complements other good office practices, e.g. correspondence tracking references etc. It need not include personal work, but universal good practices are encouraged.

PRACTICE:

All management documentation at Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy (whether paper or electronic) is to include, within the document, a record of its: document name, status, authority, currency, location and full pagination
Draft documentation is to indicate the author and version of the draft as well.
All documentation will include a Version Number and date e.g. V1 9 Feb 2009
All policies are to be listed in the Register of Policies
A Document Control Register will enable Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy to control mission-critical documents to ensure obsolete documents are removed from circulation, and access and distribution of documents is controlled. A good strategy for effective information management is to include in the footer of each document its electronic file path, the document control number, and the date of issue. This register can be used to evidence practice against service standard indicator 8.3.

Aspect of Control Minimum Identifiers Comments
Status Approved, or Draft Approved: ……
Author & version
Authority Group(s) Approving, or Author(s) of a draft eg. Management Committee
eg. Coordinator
Traceability
a. Currency Date approved, and
Date effective (if applicable)
Date of lapse (if applicable)
Date of review (if applicable), or
Version of a draft
Include day, month, year (AUS)
If different from approval
Where known or intended
When part of a review schedule
eg. As used for software versions
b. Location of original i.e. the “control” copy of the document
(Note: wherever possible this
should be an electronic copy)
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Office
Electronically
“Quality Manual Section 1”
Author’s file name
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Policy Manual
*Electronic sites easily incorporate all features of document control
eg. on drafts
c. Pagination Full pagination Total pages known (no losses)
Page 1 of 5

GUIDELINES: Practical examples of document control

  1. Footer of an approved policy document
    Electronic File pathway V1 9 Feb 2009 Page 1 of 5

    Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Management Committee Ratified: 25 July 1998
    Date for review Feb 2011

  2. Header of an attachment to papers
    Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy Policy Section 1 Quality Manual Introduction

  3. Footer of a draft
    Electronic file path Document Control Policy V.01 9 Feb 2009: Page 1 of 2

  4. Footers of electronically controlled documents
    Same as for hard copies of documents

Policy Development and Review

Under development

Registers: Purpose and Review

Under development

Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
is funded by the
Commonwealth Department of Social Services

© 2012 - 17 Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
Sunshine Coast Citizen Advocacy
p: (07) 5442 2524
6-10 Blackall Street, Woombye QLD 4559
(Behind the Rural Supplies Store)
e: sunshinecoast@citizenadvocacy.com




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