You will often hear staff at ACR talk about “resident agenda”. This is shorthand for “does a given action or decision serve the best interests of the people we support?” The phrase “resident agenda” came from an ACR Program Counselor in a letter sent to a supervisor:
As I walked into their home that day, I knew I had to face one of the most difficult tasks right at the door. This meant leaving all my personal concerns, errands and telephone contacts behind. I needed to make myself available for the housemates and give them quality attention and time. An important thing to remember was whose agenda was being followed? Was I going to look for ways I could help out, or ways to cop out? I found that if I was going to do a good job I needed to focus on their agenda, not mine.
The next challenge was to make each day fresh and assist everyone as persons, not clients. I soon realized that each person had many unique qualities and started to build friendships. It was fun to see the smiles that came to their faces when the staff came; you could tell a friendship had begun. The rewarding aspect is when you start to see the progress of your effort in those relationships. Keep it up!
~A Fellow Worker
In your work for ACR, we want you to focus on enhancing the lives of the individuals we are supporting. To maintain this focus, here are some guidelines regarding “agenda”:
- While on duty staff may not use tobacco, drink alcoholic beverages, entertain personal visitors, make or receive personal phone calls (except in emergencies), do personal laundry, shopping, homework, or reading unless it is the agenda of a resident.
- Resident choice or interest should determine radio station or TV use.
- Do not answer the phone during meals; let the answering machine pick up calls.
- You may not eat food or drink pop in front of residents unless you are sharing a meal or snack with them.
- If you wish to add an activity that isn’t on the regular activity schedule, you must consult a supervisor first (e.g. activities with strobe lights, motorcycle rides, sailing, etc.).
- If residents are at home and you need to use the company van, at least one resident must accompany you on your excursion.