Practice Tips for Workers
There's a range of practice considerations and modifications that can be implemented to better support clients with complex needs. This section describes strategies for working with clients in the areas of building rapport and engagement, applying principles of universal communication, responding to behaviour, care planning and case management, counselling, group work and referrals.
The key points are that:
Developing genuine relationships with clients is a cornerstone to improving communication. There are also some universal strategies you can use, and with a number of clients you can help by using strategies to improve their memory and attention.
Behaviour is a means of communication, and all behaviour has a functional element. 'Challenging' behaviour is often described as communicating unmet needs.
As a case manager in a drug and alcohol setting, you are not expected to provide all the necessary services to support a person's needs, but you are expected to work with staff from appropriate agencies to provide holistic care.
Groups can often be challenging for people with complex needs, so special consideration is needed. There are also simple steps you can take to improve their level of engagement in your service's programs.
Your service can take steps to improve the experience of clients with complex needs while they are part of your program. But for long-lasting effects you also need to follow effective outreach, aftercare and referral practices for these clients.
People who've been in prison are essentially no different to other clients and present with a similar range of issues, but with some specific considerations to take into account.
Ensuring your own wellbeing is crucial to helping reduce stress and avoid burnout. It can be particularly important when working with an increase in numbers of people who have more complex or challenging needs.