Ensure that your loved one is receiving the care and support that would otherwise only be received from family. Your family deserves the best! After thousands of nappy changes, countless nights nursing you back to health and those frantic cheers of support at the sports finals… they at least deserve to retire in grace.

But these days you can’t just trust anyone to take care of your loved ones. Not too long ago we heard the story of a nine year old boy who was abandoned in a local park for hours by his carers. Thankfully, the boy was found “safe and well”. The “carers”, however, didn’t get off so lucky, with criminal charges currently being laid out against them.

In other instances, mid last year the department of human services felt immense pressure from the Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge, after over 100 intellectually disabled citizens were reported to have suffered some sort of abuse under state funded care.

With recent reports emerging regarding the misconduct of various support workers and care providers who can you trust? How will a support agency get it right?

You should look for the following combination of character, competence, headquarter operations and communications.

Character

This juggling act starts off by finding staff and support workers that possess the right characteristics. Walking through the halls of Guardian Network you will constantly hear the phrase “support them like you would your own mother and father”. From the very beginning, in the induction process, support workers and staff (alike) are screened to ensure that they share the values and embody the characteristics that are required to provide you or your loved one with the highest standard of care. Providing “care with compassion” is embodied in everything we do and is at the heart of Guardian Networks service delivery strategy.

Competence

The competence of support workers is crucial in ensuring your loved ones are in the safest of hands. But what is competence? In our experience this is a combination of book and street smarts. Our motto is that “we select for attitude and train for skills”. This is because you cannot train for attitude. We therefore hand pick support staff based on rich life experiences who can react to situations instinctively in ways that can save lives (which you cannot necessarily learn from a text book). In actual fact Guardian Network is proud to currently employ many support workers that have been faced with experiences, out of work, in which their instinctive reflex responses have saved lives.

On the flip side of the coin, when it comes to technical knowledge we always identify strengths and potential for further training in staff. This encourages staff to further skills stimulating, motivating and refreshing their knowledge so that they may provide you with the best quality care. We are particularly proud to be directly involved in training staff in house.

Headquarters

An agency can have the best workers with the finest skills and characteristics in the world. However unless the “back end” of the operations are right the service will not be satisfactory. This is where we, as agencies, have to get it right. To do this we must understand, with absolute comprehension, the unique circumstances, environment, needs and requirements of you or your loved ones. It is therefore crucial that we undertake an in-home care assessment from which a custom care plan is developed and tailored to suit you or your loved ones needs based on personality, culture, gender, background, language and specific support worker skills required by you. Does this sound a bit too costly? Well guess what… Guardian Network does this for FREE.

No one can just trust a strange face. So for an extra special touch we also offer an introductory “meet and greet” so that you may get acquainted and comfortable. This allows you to become accustomed to the support worker and your client manager. We also aim for as few support workers to attend your home to ensure continued reliable and consistent care with no disruption.

Communication

The final key ingredient of the recipe is communication. Don’t you hate it when you’re stuck on hold for hours, your screaming at the phone “OPERATOR”, and all you get on the other side is a machine recording! A support agency that can be trusted is one that recognises that their clients do need help inside and outside of office hours and would prefer to speak with someone who knows them.

At Guardian Network you can rest assured. We provide a 24 hour contact to handle all emergencies or urgent carer/client related issues. You will speak directly to one of our regular care coordination team who will know you directly and have access to vital information regarding your care plan.

Communication between yourselves and support workers should always occur through headquarters, allows us to support, supervise and adapt the services to the client’s changing needs. Therefore your tailored care program will continue to evolve with you or your loved one changing needs.

It is the above concoction of sugar, spice and everything nice that you should look for when finding the right agency for you or those that are closest to you. What better way to treat someone than those who you owe everything to?

You can call on 1300 932273 (1300 WECARE) and find out.