The 4 Essentials of Risk Enablement
The Risk Enablement Process
Expression of a preference or preferences from a range of options. Choice enables people to have control over their own life.
The conditions that can affect an outcome. For example, these can include things like: cost, catering, weather, scheduling, social, physical (e.g., crowds at an event). When thinking about the process of risk enablement, context is important to consider as these factors need to be included in your planning.
Values and beliefs that guide the way people think, act and talk. In disability policy and disability support work, the core values are that people with cognitive disabilities are valued and equal members of our society.
When people are not doing anything, are bored, or isolated they are disengaged. When people with cognitive disabilities are disengaged, it is not through their own choice, but because the assistance they need to participate in activities is unavailable. When a person is disengaged they may pace around, or engage in various types of self-stimulatory or challenging behaviours.
To put others in a position of power by supporting them in the things they want to do. In disability support work, it relates to supporting a person with cognitive disability to have more control over their own lives, such as supporting them to engage in activities involving risk.
To make something possible. In disability support work, it relates to supporting people with cognitive disabilities in a way that that creates an opportunity for them to undertake something, like an activity of their choosing.
Participating in some form of meaningful activity or in social interaction. This can range from household tasks, hobbies, leisure pursuits, exercise, social activities or social relationships. Engagement is the means to social and physical well-being and enriches anyone’s life. Supporting people to be engaged is a key principle of working with people with cognitive disabilities who often need support to initiate or participate in activities.
Ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to participate in community life and to take their place in society as respected citizens. Key aspects of inclusion are: social relationships, participation in education, employment, family, and having a say about the decisions that affect your life and the community you live in.
Doing things for yourself, making your own decisions about how you live. Most people are not fully independent and rely on others for advice, or assistance. We call this interdependence. People with cognitive disabilities need more help than other people to do things they want to do. It is important not to give too much help or support as this makes people too dependent on others and can take away their choice and control.
To live a life with purpose, that is satisfying and fulfilling. The person is engaged, they feel a sense of belonging and they are valued.
In disability support work, this refers to the restrictions that staff and/or families have on decision-making opportunities for the person being supported. These restrictions that are imposed on the person may not actually be what the person wants, but they are thought to be what is best for them. Paternalism can get in the way of enabling risk.
‘Supporting individuals to live as independently as possible, have choice and control over the services they use and access to both wider public and community services and employment and education. Rather than fitting people to services, services should fit the person’ (SCIE, 2010, p 5). It has three core elements:
A person who is either a direct line manager or in a specialist position and is a skilled practitioner whose role is to support and guide the practice of support workers. Being a practice leader involves: supervising staff, leading team meetings, coaching support workers, modelling good practice, and planning shifts for support workers so they know where and with whom they will be working. A practice leader aims to ensure that everything that happens in a disability support service is focussed on supporting people with disabilities to have the best possible quality of life.
In disability support work, this means to create an opportunity for someone you support, to help to make something happen that is of their choosing. It is about knowing what a person wants and then making it happen.
A person's choice(s). So they have control over their own life.
To avoid or be hesitant to take risks.
These are the essential items that need to be considered when assisting a person with cognitive disability to take risks.
The entire process to use when enabling a person with cognitive disability to take risks. The process starts with the person, then attention is given to The 4 Essentials of Risk Enablement all at once. The attention given to each might vary, depending upon the type of risk. This all happens while ensuring the following things are included in the process: working together, taking account of context, planning, accountability.
This glossary has been adapted from the resource: Greystanes Disability Services, La Trobe University. (2015). Every Moment has Potential – An introduction to person centred active support. Retrieved from http://www.activesupportresource.net.au
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