Trish Wetton, CEO REPORT for 2016

Consolidation, CQI and Communication in Forsight Australia Sensory Group Homes.

I am pleased to present my Report for 2016. Last year I reported on the significant change for such a small organisation and spoke of our goal for 2015-16 to be a year of Consolidation.

Forsight Australia opened one more group home in 2016, bringing our total to 13, together with our Group Home Support Centre in North Rocks. The year 2014-15 was a year of significant growth, when we opened five new group homes almost at the same time, making 2015-16 very different by comparison.

Forsight Australia remains a Specialist service, a trans-disciplinary organisation where resident privacy is respected, professionalism and sharing of knowledge is communicated equally with members of ‘One Forsight One Team’ to ensure the best outcome is achieved for each resident.
The Forsight Australia 10-Year Strategic plan for 2008-18 runs parallel with the FACS ADHC 10-Year ‘Stronger Together’ strategic plan. In 2008 expansion was made a Board priority after Hilton McKenna completed a survey in 2007 of Deafblind services within Australia offering accommodation places. Following the transition of a Deafblind resident from Marsden in 2009, Hilton’s data took on a new meaning after the Board decided to keep its focus on accommodation services for Deafblind adults.

In 2012 the Board met with families of residents who were waiting to move out into community group homes under the FACS ADHC ‘Stronger Together’ plan with a focus on connecting up families. Hilton accompanied me to FACS ADHC planning meetings during the 2-year construction and transition phases for the new group homes.

Fast-forward to 2016, as we look back we can feel confident that we did our best in partnership with FACS ADHC to manage all stakeholder expectations with a deep commitment to ensure no one would be disappointed. My thanks go to John Ryan, Lynne Ready, Sing Ting, John Ebrahim, Rhondda Vassallo, Joy Quinn, Julie Ross and Jenny Scott for your contribution to each resident’s transition.

NDIA representatives began introducing themselves to Forsight Australia in July 2016 with Planning meetings being conducted in September and October by NDIA Local Area Coordinators (LAC) together with families and Advocates to develop individual costed plans to identify the level of funding approved for each resident. It is hard for me to share information with families and Advocates, because each representative is taking a different approach to coordinating these meetings and the guidelines are continually changing. It is easy to find out the benefits that may be available by reading the NDIS literature in the form of communication aids and other equipment, but there is no clear process.

Forsight Australia will undertake Third Party Verification in February 2017. Prior to this external audit by International Standards Certifications (ISC) we are implementing our Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) peer review P&P to measure the quality of systems in place at each group home. Firstly, a manager from another group home reviews a system and reports on findings. Secondly, an Action Plan is developed to address any gaps in service provision and finally a Survey is sent to all stakeholders to collect feedback on the outcome of each review.

Communication in the coming year will be my #1 Priority to ensure everyone is fully informed of the NDIS and NDIA because it is going to have a huge impact on the way we work. Sharing stories will keep us all informed so that we can maximise the benefits accessed by residents receiving our support. Regional Managers and House Managers will be proactive in contacting families on a regular basis and all letters and Newsletters will be available in alternative and Augmentative formats.

Thank you, on behalf of our residents to:
• Our voluntary Board of Directors led by Chairman Frank Deane for your attendance at monthly Board, Finance, Audit & Risk Committee, CEO and quarterly Homes’ Committee Meetings
• Bill Wooldridge, Chairman of the Grievance Committee
• All Board members for your commitment and dedication to our residents, their families and all stakeholders
• Patron Dr Timothy Hawkes for being a mentor, and guest speaker at a Board Leadership Group meeting
• Michael Bailey for producing the 2016 Annual Review
• John Ryan and your teams at Rydalmere for giving residents and families their time so willingly during transition and for being inclusive
• Executive team for your commitment to the entire organisation
• Leadership group for making the group unique and for building trust
• Disability Support Workers for the professional care and joy you bring to the lives of each resident
• Matthew Swanson and Paul Dawson, Punters’ Club Ivy Mens’ Shed donation.
• Donors and volunteers - personal donors, Genworth, Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution, Rotary Clubs of Carlingford, Thornleigh, Cherrybrook/West Pennant Hills, Probus Club of Carlingford/North and Inner Wheel Club of Beecroft for your generous donations of Apple watches and Patient Lifters, donations-in-kind Christmas Tree of Joy, support and volunteering
• Alex McL Shaw CEO retired in June. Thank you Alex for your personal support to our Deafblind adults and RFBI capital works grants for Therapy room equipment, sensory kitchens and wheelchair paving.
• Alex we hope you and Mary will have more time to visit us
• Best Wishes for the future to Ellie Comerford CEO and Lyn Stroud from Genworth - capital funding turned 5 Forsight Australia houses into sustainable and accessible homes plus the backyard blitz by volunteers
• Welcome to Frank Price new CEO of RFBI
• Ken Thompson Board member RFBI
• Welcome to DeAnna Burton, Business Alignment, Genworth we look forward to sharing our vision with you
• To our residents – May you continue to enjoy living in your own homes, sharing it family and friends, going out into the local community and making choices about your lifestyle – YOU ARE OUR INSPIRATION.