Values-based leadership in suporting people living with disabilty
Understanding the challenges
For an agency to build genuine coherence between the values it talks about, the values its stakeholders feel, and the values that are then evident in the organisations work, there is a critical need for values-based leadership.
Jane Sherwin's article sets out the imperative for social inclusion and the challenges this throws up for people in leadership roles.
Resisting trends for unhelpfulness
The Model of Citizenhood Support contemplates what it means for a disability service agency to be truly helpful. This is anchored on a careful attention to investment in a person's capacity and, to personalised supports, advancement into meaningful roles in community life.
These ideas can be seen in the sentiments underpinning the NDIS in Australia. However, even with changes to public policies and systems towards individualised funding and personalised supports, it is not safe to assume that this automatically leads to better services and better outcomes for people living with disability. it remains entirely possible for service agencies to maintain, or even move into, habits of institutionalised services.
People in leadership roles in service agencies will need to be vigilant about the organisational decisions they make in response to the changes in Australia's disability funding landscape. They will also need to maintain a critical eye on how is the funding system operates, and to give voice to any subsequent concerns, in relation to whether the funding mechanisms help or hinder the advancement of personalised supports (NDIS values of 'control and choice') and social inclusion ( NDIS values of 'participation in community life and the economy').
Robin Jackson's analysis of the situation in the United Kingdom is an important read for Australian leaders in disability sector agencies who genuinely want to make a positive difference and you want to avoid the risk of falling into patterns of unhelpfulness.