User Comments

kathylavin May 29, 2020

I am Carer for my sister who has an intellectual disability. Jacqui lives with my husband, daughter and me. I took on the Carer role as my parents being elderly, could no longer cope. I was pleased to give them some relief about what would happen to my sister when they were gone as it had been the three of them for so long. I am now in the shoes of my parents, worried about Jac if something happens to me.  I volunteer with a person with Cerebral Palsy, I have seen a lot of good and bad in disability workers. Some are truly dedicated and some are definitely there because it’s a job. However things are improving with regards to social inclusion, people in the community are more understanding and this gives me hope. Every person with a disability which involves a lack of communication or who cannot speak for themselves needs an appointed guardian or advocate who can oversee their funding is spent correctly and the service provider is held accountable in situations such as Anne Marie Smith’s. The service provider I have my sister with are fastidious and I am not complaining as I have seen some very bad management by untrained staff who fail to see their client as a human being, rather more an income provider. I feel staff training needs to be higher,  and paid better so a good quality of staff take on the role. Our vulnerable children/family need more than people/kids sent to do a few weeks ‘training’ or unsuitable people working with them because of staff shortages. 

I’m glad I’m here for my sister but I see plenty who are at the mercy of house unit staff because some families can’t spend a bit of time checking on their welfare or because there’s no one to come in to bat for them.  I have been jumping hoops to try and get the right permission to take the young man I volunteer with swimming. He has the funding for a spinal check - I know because I went with him to the local NDIS office after being frustrated by lack of family input, house input, service provider input. 
I sat down in an office and the young man and I discussed his needs with a staff member, who coincidentally used to work with him in his house. They were going to call me back! That was almost a year ago. I am a volunteer! He just wants to go swimming like he used to. I had a break over the holidays and I’ll be back after Carona. This man had better be going swimming this summer. Rest in Peace, Anne Marie.