Human Services Manager
Last month, I had the great opportunity to present “Who’s the Boss: Transition Age Youth and Employer Authority” at the 2015 Wisconsin Transition Conference in Wisconsin Dells. The conference is a chance for educators, professionals, families, and transition age youth to come together and share best practices. The conference opened up many fascinating discussions about community-based employment, higher education, adaptive technology, home and community-based services, and self-determination.
In both “Who’s the Boss” and many other sessions at the conference, I found myself reflecting on a common theme: expectations. How do we understand the expectations of the individuals and families we serve? We often talk about what individuals and families can or should expect from their educators or their employers, but we don’t always discuss what young people can or should expect from their caregivers.
Clarifying expectations is crucial to successful employer authority. In my recent post, I highlighted how self-directed programs allow participants decision-making authority in recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising caregivers of their choice. When a participant or member chooses to exercise this employer authority, they take on the role of a boss.
Participants and members frequently hire “inside sources” (people they already know) to be their caregivers. While you might not think interviewing a parent, spouse, sibling or friend is necessary, establishing clear expectations is very important. When I am out in the community and talking to folks, this issue comes up again and again.
Making sure both the caregiver and care recipient are on the same page from the beginning can facilitate a healthy caregiving relationship. Check out the slide below for some tips on establishing clear expectations with family or friends.