Recently we introduced you to Neighbourhoods, Cara’s new service model that groups our Supported Independent Living, Short-Term Accommodation and Home & Community Support services in to Neighbourhoods.
The Neighbourhoods structure is a significant improvement to ensure that Cara is able to meet the needs of our customers and provide high-quality supports, now and in to the future.
With our first six Neighbourhoods now operational, Cara Quality Service Manager Andrew Smith, who oversees four services that have rolled out to the new structure, says that the Neighbourhoods project has provided benefits for both customers and staff.
“Each customer is now working with a larger group of core staff, who are all familiarised with individual customer requirements and have received the necessary training to provide high-quality supports that meet their needs.”
“This means that customers have more consistent support if members of their core staff group are unwell or on leave. This has been particularly important when our services have been affected by COVID-19.” Andrew said.
“Our staff have really embraced the change. They have been able to expand their skills and training by working with different groups of customers.”
It’s a sentiment that is echoed by Michael and Pam, parents of Lucy, who Cara work alongside in a Supported Independent Living service that transitioned to a Neighbourhood earlier this year.
For Lucy, familiarity and a rapport with the people that work alongside her, is important. Prior to Neighbourhoods being implemented, her parents were often called in to cover shifts where her core staff were unavailable.
“Lucy’s anxiety can be exacerbated by unfamiliar people, such as agency staff. With Neighbourhoods, she has access to a larger group of core staff, which has meant more stability in her staffing, benefitting both Lucy and us,” Pam explains.
“As her parents, it has meant that we have been less relied upon to cover shifts and we are able to concentrate on spending quality time with Lucy.”
“I have gone from feeling like I may need to step away from work because I never knew when I would receive a phone call, to now taking on a more senior role.”
“We now have more confidence in Cara, knowing that Lucy is happy and being well supported by people who know her and understand her needs.”
“Neighbourhoods has been a really positive change for Lucy and our family.”
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