An update for our Group Home families and client representatives

An update for our Group Home families and client representatives
Posted on Fri 15 May 2020

15 May 2020

Dear CPA clients, families and representatives,

Our priority is and always will be the health, safety and well being of our clients.

The NSW Government recently announced that there will be further easing of restrictions from Friday 15 May, with a key focus on connection with family and friends. 

In response, CPA has updated its position on community supports to reflect these changes. We expect these measures will continue to change over time and we will update you as this occurs.

Updated approach to community supports 

Based on the Government’s advice and the NSW Public Health orders, clients should continue to stay at home, unless they are:

• Shopping for essentials
• Receiving medical care or caring for others
• Exercising
• Going to work or education (if open and where it can’t be done remotely) 

As of Friday 15 May, the following will also be supported:

• Outdoor gatherings of up to ten people.
• Up to 5 visitors at home in addition to normal residents.
Due to the increased health vulnerability of our residents, CPA wishes to continue to maintain our current policy of maintaining no more than two visitors at any one time. 
• Access to some community venues (such as parks, cafes, shopping centres and community centres) allowing up to 10 people but ensuring that the rules of physical distancing and good personal hygiene are followed.

As a result, we will now be able to support clients with some of the following activities:

• A client visiting another a client at a CPA group home in their outdoor area. Visiting activities need to be carefully coordinated with the House Manager.
• As per the changes on 1 May, clients can also be supported to visit their family and friends.
• A trip to support an outdoor gathering such as a visit to a local park for a picnic or a local coffee shop.
• If a client is taken into the community, staff have been instructed to practice social distancing which means avoiding crowds and small gatherings in enclosed spaces, and keep a distance of 1.5 metres between the client and others when out in public.
• These community activities can be supported by CPA transport however as per the government orders, transportation of clients is only for vital care reasons.
o When supporting ride sharing in our cars and vans, is recommended that trips are brief.
o We need to adhere to the 1.5 metre rule as much as practical.  As a guide, there should be no more than half the usual capacity of the vans being utilised.
o Any staff travelling with clients in a car or van should regularly wipe down high touch point areas including steering wheels, seat belts, and door handles with hot water and detergent, or anti-bacterial wipes.
o Car trips for clients with behaviour support needs will be considered on a case by case basis with the client and their representatives in consultation with the Consultant for Behaviour Support and the Client Practices & Service Delivery Manager.

• All services should be carefully planned and discussed with the House Manager on a case by case basis. 

Clients wishing to attend other activities in the community 

As community restrictions begin to ease, other day service providers may begin to open their doors. We will seek to support all clients’ wishes, however it is important that CPA, like all members of our community, abide by the NSW public health orders.
While the staying safe at home rules are still in place, we would encourage clients to stay at home rather than attend any non-essential community activities. This position will change over time in accordance with the public health orders, and as community restrictions continue to ease, clients will be encouraged to attend their preferred day programs again.
We trust that the additional new activities outlined above, in addition to some new virtual programs delivered in home, will be a welcome addition to our clients’ experience during the day.
When living and working in a group home, it is important that everyone remains conscious of any new health risks that may be introduced to the home, including access to non-essential activities in the community.  If a client was to be exposed to COVID-19, they may be required to self-isolate within their room upon return or stay in alternative accommodation until medically cleared, which is a consideration for any client at this time.
Our House Managers are more than happy to make alternate arrangements with clients to ensure they continue connecting with their family, friends and community using technology.
Your cooperation is appreciated
For further information and updates, please check our website regularly where we are updating information and advice as it becomes available. https://cerebralpalsy.org.au/
You can also give me a call, contact your Client Services Consultant (CSC) on 1300 888 378, or email ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Kind regards,

Tim Pines
General Manager – Accommodation, Respite & Supported Employment (Packforce)
Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Newcastle Knights supporters recently raised over $600 for CPA through the 50-50 Charity Raffle. 

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