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Support staff workplace responsibilities -Trainer's guide

Chapters

Scenario 3 – Amela


Scenario outline

Amela has been working for Benrali Enterprises as a supported employee for the past three years. Over the past four weeks Sam, her supervisor, has become increasingly concerned about Amela's wellbeing. She has been turning up to work with bruises on her arms and once on her face. She has been unable to explain how she got them. She has also begun to say she does not want to go home at the end of the day.

Key points

This scenario is primarily about:

This scenario deals with a very sensitive issue – possible abuse of a supported employee by someone outside the organisation. Many issues might arise when this is discussed and learners may have experiences to relate. This discussion will need to be handled appropriately.

Be mindful that this is an emotive issue. People with disability have the right to be valued and treated with dignity and the way a supervisor manages situations like this must respect these rights.

It is important that you are aware of the legal implications and of your organisation's policies and procedures. Make sure you are clear about:

Workplace story

Amela - a supported employee at Benrali Enterprises

Photo of Amela

Sam - Amela's supervisor

Photo of Sam

Ronnie - a supported employee at Benrali Enterprises

Photo of Ronnie

Amela has been working for Benrali Enterprises as a supported worker for the past three years. Over the past four weeks Sam, her supervisor, has become increasingly concerned about Amela's wellbeing. She's been turning up to work with bruises on her arms and once on her face, and has been unable to explain how she got them.

Photo of Amela

Sam decides that she needs to investigate Amela's bruises. She begins by talking to Amela's co-worker Ronnie.

Photo of Sam talking to Rommie

[Sam]: Ronnie, has Amela said anything to you about her home life?

[Ronnie]: Nah. She keeps pretty quiet about it.

[Sam]: But what about how she gets along with her father.

[Ronnie]: I dunno, really – she hasn't said anything to me.

[Sam]: OK, thanks Ronnie. Ah, Ronnie?

[Ronnie]: Yes?

[Sam]: Have you noticed that Amela has been coming to work with some bruises?

[Ronnie]: Yeah – she told me she fell down some stairs.

Photo of Sam talking to Amela

Satisfied with what Ronnie has told her, Sam decides not to mention the bruises to Amela. As she is starting to close up for the day, Sam notices Amela lingering in the workshop.

[Sam]: Hey, Amela – you better hurry up or you'll miss the bus.

[Amela]: Um … OK, Sam, I'll finish up. Um, Sam? Could it be OK if maybe I worked a bit more today?

[Sam]: Not really, Amela – if you miss the bus there's no way for you to get home. Why do you want to work late?

[Amela]: Oh, it's just that I am not quite finished this work and I thought if I stayed for another half an hour I could get it done.

[Sam]: Well, that's really commendable of you, Amela, but it's OK to finish it off tomorrow. It's not due until the end of the week anyway.

[Amela – sounding disappointed]: Oh … OK then.

Sam is a little bit unsettled after her conversation with Amela. She decides that perhaps she needs to speak to Amela's parents and see if there's anything wrong at home.

Photo of Sam talking on the phone

[Sam]: Hello, Branco? It's Sam here from Benrali. How are you?

[Branco – on the phone]: I'm fine. Can I help you?

[Sam]: Well, it's probably nothing, but I've noticed that Amela has come to work with bruises on her arms. Apparently she said she fell down some stairs. Is that right?

[Branco]: That's right, but she's OK.

[Sam]: It's just that she seemed like she didn't want to come home today. Is there anything wrong at home?

[Branco – getting angry now]: No, everything is fine. I thank you to mind your own business.

Photo of Sam talking to Amela

[Sam]: Amela, what's happened?

[Amela]: Um, nothing.

[Sam]: But Amela, you look like you've been in a fight. Did your father hit you?

[Amela – defensive]: No. Why do you say that?

[Sam]: Sorry. I'm just worried about you, that's all.

[Amela]: Well, I'm fine, and please don't say things to my father like I don't want to come home.

Focus questions

Exploring the issues

Debrief questions

A useful resource for use with this scenario could be the abuse and neglect fact sheet and flipchart.

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