Philosophy & principles
“It’s not just what we do, but why and how we do it that distinguishes us…” Spartans Will
Ok, so we’re not spartans but we do buy in to their creed. When it comes to mentoring, the ‘how’ is every bit as important as the ‘what’. That’s why everything we do is driven by these overarching principles and philosophies.
The lightest touch
‘The lightest touch’ is our philosophy of how we work with people. It is not doing for a person what they, or their significant others, can do for themselves. We look first to what the person already has in their life (such as family, friends and neighbours) that we could build on and develop to support the individual. If these don’t exist we seek out other community members who are willing to contribute freely of their time to help the individual to achieve their goals and aspirations. This forms a natural and sustainable support network.
We believe in a ‘person-driven’ practice’. That is, we are driven by the person and their desires, not by what we believe is in the best interests of the person. To reinforce this, we have integrated the Enabling Good Lives principles into our work – the aim of which is to support people in a way which offers greater choice and control over the supports they receive and the lives they lead.
Enabling Good Lives is a partnership between government agencies and the disability sector aimed at long-term transformation of how people and families are supported to live everyday lives. These principles are the framework through which we determine how best to assist people, their significant others and our community as a whole, and through which we filter all of our decisions.
The principles are:
- Self-determination – Each person is in control of their own life.
- Beginning early– Each family/whanau is supported from the beginning to be aspirational for their child.
- Person centred– Each person has whole of life supports that are personalised. It will be different for every person and every situation.
- Mainstream first– Each person has opportunities to do everyday things in everyday places, with everyday people, at everyday times.
- Ordinary life outcomes– Each person has aspirations and goals like others at similar stages of life.
- Mana/confidence enhancing– Each person and family/whanau has their abilities and contributions recognised and respected.
- Easy to use– Each person has supports that are flexible, responsive and simple to use.
- Relationship building– Each person and their family/whanau is supported to build and strengthen relationships with the people who are their natural supports and with their wider community.