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July 23, 2015

It’s coming up to that time of year that I dread. No, not the return of the X Factor. It’s the annual review of whether Steven has achieved the outcomes set by his care plan.

I have to admit that I only look at the “Outcomes” a couple of weeks before the appraisal. For the rest of the 50 weeks of the year, the care plan gathers dust in a lever arch file under my desk. It’s not me being rebellious. It’s just that the care plan objectives are so sterile, so far removed from the way in which Steven and I view his life, as to be meaningless. I write in this blog often of some of the great things Steven gets up to – his jokes, his inventive discos, his conversations, his adventures with the support workers. None of those things make it to the review because, as hard as I might try, I can’t shoehorn them into the four categories we are expected to pay attention to.

Last night, I amused myself in the bath. No, I didn’t do unspeakable things with a soap on a rope. I’d been reacquainting myself with the outcomes and wondered how I might do during an appraisal if I applied them to my life. How did I do?

1. Reduce Risk Behaviours:

Astutely, I spotted that the loaf of bread in my flat was out of date. Risk of food poisoning reduced. I decided to feed the bread to the ducks and wandered down to the towpath. This carried considerable risk as I encountered a man deeply engrossed in his two phones and had to throw myself into the hedge to avoid collision with him. It was either that or risk being catapulted into the canal. The man didn’t see me at all. Clearly, I need a new risk assessment for this activity.

2. Access the Community Safely:

I will be accessing the community after I finish work at 2pm. I will be getting the bus into Uxbridge as I’ve been summoned to the Civic Centre. Last month’s personal budget audit revealed that I had missed off three cab receipts and I need to prove that I didn’t purloin the £24 cab fares I recorded for my own ends. Will I manage this safely? Well, I remember Tufty’s highway code instructions, so as long as I don’t encounter the man with two phones again, I think I’ll be alright.

3. Attend to Personal Hygeine:

Shit! I’m out of Brut.

4. Increase Independence Skills:

This has come along in leaps and bounds and I’m hoping to score highly. When I get back from accessing the community, rather than watch Gladiators with Steven, I will independently be doing the support workers’ wages from the personal budget. Over time, I’ve become much more independent at filing their tax returns and don’t have to seek out the Help page on the HMRC website.

And that’s it. My life in four outcomes. I think I measure up pretty well, don’t you. It would be nice if someone sets me some new outcomes for next year but I expect I’ll have the same four to work towards again.

From → Social Care

  1. Perhaps you could request another outcome be added – ‘Increase Happiness’

    Outputs to be measured: laughter, smiles, eye contact, high fives etc

  2. Ticking boxes is just so satisfying!

  3. Why do ‘they’ insist on progress at all? This is how life is for Steven and it’s not going to change …

  4. But none of them are outcomes?

  5. Rebekah permalink

    Steven’s goals are ridiculous because there is no way to quantify the outcomes and it seems that what they expect is contradictory to the symptoms from people on the spectrum. For example, personal safety is a joke because in my experience that kind of thing not only passes people like Steven by but pretty much everyone. Personal independence? When he can’t keep safe? REALLY? About hygiene and “community access” what do they think you’re doing Mark? Steven goes out and gets all of his neccessary help from you and you try to make Steven more independent. Does any of this matter as long as Steven is safe and happy?

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