My Place Aotearoa is a newly established provider of individualised and flexible supports to people with disability and their whānau/families with the vision of being fully inclusive. This means working in partnership with people with disability and their whānau/family to live in their own home and to receive supports that meet their individual needs and preferences from people that they choose and trust.
My Place Aotearoa believes that family/whānau are the foundation of communities and can only thrive if they are connected to, are valued by and have a sense of belonging in their own communities. My Place Aotearoa’s name was purposely selected to reflect the very personalised, client-controlled approach: individuals standing in their own power, in their own wisdom.
My Place Aotearoa will support people who have been referred to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) ‘Living my Life’ service in the wider Auckland area, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. The areas of support that My Place Aotearoa will provide under this service are called ‘Tailored Supports’ and ‘Coaching to Self-Manage’. My Place Aotearoa is committed to work in partnership with each person with disability to plan and receive supports that meet their individual needs and preferences from people that they choose and trust. My Place Aotearoa does not provide any group home, day centre or other congregate care services.
People with disability who are allocated individual funding by the ACC , or from other sources, have a wide range of options as to how they use their funds and how their supports are provided to them.
The individualised arrangements that are most commonly used by people who have control over their own personal budgets are described in the website to help people determine what arrangement might best work for them. What connects all of these arrangements is that the person is always in control of:
Naturally, people are free to choose any mix of arrangements that better suits them at any time they wish – and are free to change their minds at any time.
This is called Tailored Supports under the ACC’s Living my Life service. ACC describes this as ‘an episode of delivery support for clients who would benefit from a capability (strengths-based) approach to facilitate increased engagement and participation across all areas of their life, including employment, transitions into adulthood and activities.’
My Place Aotearoa starts from the position that you and your whānau/family are the experts of your own lives and the solutions that will work for you in your own life and context and that you should be supported to be involved in making decisions. This approach empowers you to have control over your own life, to pursue your own destiny and to celebrate your independence – mana motuhake.
You may prefer an arrangement where you employ or contract your own support people but have My Place Aotearoa assist you with planning and implementing your supports - as well as managing and administering your funds. Planning and support from My Place Aotearoa will include, among other things:
Management and administration from My Place Aotearoa will include:
My Place Aotearoa offers you several ways of engaging your own support people under this arrangement. One way is for My Place Aotearoa to organise for you to be registered with IRD under its own umbrella registration so that you can employ and pay your own support people.
Another way is for you to engage an independent contractor to provide your supports. The advantages of using independent contractors is that you have fewer legal responsibilities and, while you might not have as much control over who the actual support person will be each time, you retain the flexibility to adjust your support arrangements to suit your changing needs and interests.
Some people do not want all the hassle of managing their own support people, but they still wish to be the employer. If you would like someone to help you recruit, train and supervise your support people, My Place Aotearoa can advise you on engaging a private co-ordinator to undertake those tasks on your behalf and under your supervision.
You may prefer a support arrangement under ACC’s Tailored Supports program that leaves you with the least administrative hassle or legal responsibility. If you prefer this type of arrangement, you can ask My Place Aotearoa to co-ordinate your services and employ support people on your behalf. In other words, My Place Aotearoa:
Each person who chooses this type of arrangement is allocated a My Place Aotearoa Co-ordinator (Pouarahi). Each co-ordinator works with an average of 10-12 people, ensuring that they get to know you well and can remain in close contact. My Place Aotearoa will charge you an additional fee to cover the cost of your Co-ordinator/ Pouarahi.
There are a number of specific Tailored Supports arrangements from which you can choose, and from which you can also ‘mix and match’. Popular support arrangements that are offered by My Place Aotearoa are described below.
The Homesharer arrangement appeals to those who feel that the best living arrangement is to move in with a person, couple or family who can provide needed supports. The homesharer is carefully matched to you and your needs and preferences – and their ability to provide a safe, secure, comfortable and welcoming home. Homesharers can be younger parents with one or two of their own children living at home, middle-aged parents whose children have left home, older couples or single people who may be of any age. You may move into the homesharer's home or the homesharer may move into your home.
Identification and matching of homesharers is a very careful and thorough process, with you at the centre of decision-making at all times: before and after any arrangement has commenced. My Place Aotearoa provides training to homesharers to further ensure they are competent and suitable to have you living with them. Homesharers are visited regularly by the Co-ordinator/Pouarahi to ensure that the arrangement is running smoothly for everybody involved.
The Mentor arrangement, as the name suggests, is less about direct support provided at agreed times by a My Place Aotearoa PA/Pouāwhina. It is more about a My Place Aotearoa mentor being there at the right times, and on-call at other times, to help you make better decisions and take the right actions by understanding the consequences of not doing so: such as being unable to remain living in your home. My Place Aotearoa mentors also connect you into your local community, assisting you to develop useful skills and to fulfil valued roles in society.
The Flexible Supports arrangement involves a My Place Aotearoa personal assistant or Pouāwhina (personal assistant is our name for support workers because it underlines that fact that you are in control) providing agreed support when, where and how you decide. This support could be in your home, in the community, at a marae, kura, at college or university, in a regular workplace, at a recreation centre, in a gym, at the pool or on holidays.
Ms Pouwhare comes from a whānau steeped in tikanga and āhuatanga Māori, based on a strong Tūhoe foundation. Those principles and values have influenced every decision and initiative that Ms Pouwhare has had to make throughout her life. Prior to moving to Western Australia to undertake senior roles in Indigenous health with the Health Department and then disability services with My Place, Ms Pouwhare was a member of the Senior Leadership Team in Te Kete Hauora (Māori Health). In her 11 years with Te Kete Hauora Ms Pouwhare led a number of projects that focused on supporting Māori to participate in the health sector as governors, practitioners and providers. She was the architect of groundbreaking governance training based on Te Ao Māori; drove the establishment of one national rongoā organisation; led complex and highly challenging negotiations for the transfer of contracts from Regional Health Authority to District Health Boards; was instrumental in facilitating hui for the development of the Māori Health Strategy and Action Plan; and successfully promoted the importance of Māori leadership and participation at DHB board elections. Ms Pouwhare subsequently accepted the position of Business Manager with Te Roopu Taurima o Manukau to establish it as a kaupapa Māori service which supported Māori with intellectual disabilities in residential care. This involved transferring individuals from a mainstream service to a kaupapa Māori service. She also formed and supported Te Korowai Aroha (a group of Māori elders to guide and support the first kaupapa Māori residential service for people with intellectual disability in NZ). Outside of her formal roles, Ms Pouwhare chaired the Queen Victoria and St Stephens School Board of Trustees for several years.
B.Psych., M.App.Psych., Ph.D.
Greg is a clinical and educational psychologist who has supported people with disability in their own homes, their own jobs and the wider community for 40 years. In 1984, as a result of his Master’s research he established Australia’s first open employment service for people with disability and contributed to the establishment of a further 100 such agencies around Australia and across the region. In 1987 he was appointed Director of Country Services with the Western Australian Disability Services Commission of Western Australia. During this time he established Local Area Co-ordination and expanded it across Western Australia over the ensuing seven years. Local area co-ordination, and its variants, now also operates across Australia and in several other countries. In 1987, Greg was the joint winner of the inaugural National Disability Research prize for his pioneering work in open employment for people with intellectual disability and, in 2010, was an inaugural inductee into the Disability Employment Australia Hall of Fame. Greg was formerly National President of the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (1995 - 1997) and of National Disability Services (2003 - 2005). He is currently Chairman of My Place WA: an individualised disability support provider that he co-founded in Western Australia in 1996 and which now supports more than 400 people with disability to live in their own homes with the individualised support they need and want.
Dip.Ed., B.Ed., Grad.Dip.Special Ed.
Born and educated in Christchurch, Peter arrived in WA in 1978 after teaching in country locations around New Zealand. Peter’s interest in disability was stirred after he commenced as a teacher in a large special education school in Perth. From within the school system, he supported students to have greater opportunities in the local and wider community. In 1985, was promoted to the position of principal at a regional special education school. A key focus of his tenure was to provide support to teachers of students with disability in regular primary and secondary schools to progressively integrate the students with disability attending the special school into their local primary and secondary schools. In 1988, Peter was appointed inaugural Local Area Co-ordinator with the Disability Services Commission to support people with disability and their families living in the Lower Great Southern region of Western Australia. In this newly created position, the forerunner to more than 200 such positions around WA, he pioneered the development and delivery of supports that were individualised and reflective of what people with disability and their families wanted. In 1994, Peter moved back to Perth to manage the expansion of Local Area Co-ordination in the metropolitan area. Two years later, he was appointed inaugural Managing Director of the newly established My Place in Western Australia - a position he held for 13 years. He continues as a Director of My Place and consults to like-minded organisation in Australia and New Zealand.
We are looking for people who would like to move in with a person with a disability in a comfortable, well-located and well-equipped house organised through My Place Aotearoa.
We are looking for people who would like to have a person with a disability live with them. My Place Aotearoa can meet the cost of any needed modifications, equipment or furniture.
We are looking for people who would like to spend several hours for one or more days each week, including week-ends, being a companion to a person with a disability as they pursue their own interests in the community.
We are looking for people who would like to become a mentor to a person with disability to help them make better decisions and take the right actions by understanding the consequences of not doing so. You will also help connect them to their local community, assisting them to develop useful skills and to fulfil valued roles in society.
If you feel the outlined requirements and duties at My Place Aotearoa are suited to you and would like to express your interest in a future position, please select either OPTION 1 or 2 .
Our PDF Acrobat expression of interest form is available for download to apply for a position as a personal assistant with My Place Aotearoa.
To apply online for a position as a personal assistant with My Place Aotearoa. Please use our electronic expression of interest application form.
My Place Aotearoa welcomes feedback about its services: whether they are queries, suggestions, commendations or complaints. Our PDF form is available for download by clicking the button below.
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