Enabling Good Lives Q&A: How can we use EGL principles in our work now?

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A nationwide transformation of the existing disability support system is under way. To prepare us for this change, we created an Enabling Good Lives (EGL) Q&A forum based on the common themes raised from the EGL survey we conducted among our people. 

To bring life to the Q&A, we will invite people to share their insight and real life experiences on how EGL principles affect us every day.

This month, we asked David from our children and youth team how he is incorporating EGL principles in his work. 


"Last year I attended the PATH and Map workshop with some of our clients. At the workshop, I got to role play as the client and have my PATH plan co-created with me. It was definitely not easy being on the other side of the table where I have to answer all the questions about my goals and needs. It made me more aware of why clients can feel anxious during assessments.

Although I am yet to use PATH and Map planning in its truest form, I can incorporate the core concept which is to focus on people's goals and strengths when I do my assessment. As we know, this is an EGL principle.

When I talk to clients, I start by exploring their goals and dreams first, then their functional needs at the end. I think restructuring the conversation this way enables them to drive the engagement, to steer it from their own point of view and to express better what they want to achieve. But a large part of the assessment still has to be about identifying disability needs so that supports can be allocated.

It can be tricky to incorporate EGL principles on current MOH processes because they're not built around the EGL model. For example, Disability Support Services are mainly categorised to meet peoples' needs rather than their goals.

The challenge is to think about how we can shift the power balance for people and their families. It's all about being people focused. For example, I ask my initial clients if they want to see the Needs Assessment template before I meet with them, so they are aware of what we'll talk about and they can prepare for the questions.

I know many of us are trying to incorporate EGL principles into our role. Personally, I think it's important to be reflective with my own practice so that I can continue to develop and improve the way I support people."

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Want to keep reading? Try this story: Upskilling for tomorow: PATH and Map training.