For Jacqueline du Boulay, Manager of the Disability and Development Team in the Clinical Practice and Professional Services section of the Department of Territory Families, Housing, and Communities in Darwin, a major benefit of the Public Sector Management Program was a better understanding of how government works and her role within that.
One particularly valuable research project she conducted as part of the PSMP was an exploration of restrictive practices with children and young people in out-of-home-care.
These restrictive practices include behaviour management techniques which are generally used with children and young people, and even adults, who have a disability; yet they may impact on that person’s human rights.
One of the most common types is use of medications prescribed for behaviour modification. Another is locking children and young people in a bedroom at night to stop them wandering around the house. Or gates might be locked to stop them walking down the street and becoming lost.
If they are not used well, such practices can impact adversely on the person, Jacqueline believes.
Since I started in this position a couple of years ago, I was hearing whispers about the issue of restrictive practices, but I probably didn’t understand how much of a concern it was until I started the project.”
About the same time as she started Module Three of the PSMP, she encountered through her work a young person who had very significant behaviours of concern, which resulted in restrictive practices.
When that person transferred interstate, Jacqueline received a phone call from interstate authorities to ask about the use of restrictive practices in the Territory, including policies and procedures. That gave her the opportunity to analyse those practices in the light of PSMP training.
“I found some of the procedures were not really helpful in providing advice for people. This was an opportunity to explore the practices further and be able to do something about the situation.”
She said the PSMP training made her feel a lot more confident about the right way to get things done.
There is a lot to be gained by this program, and for me many skills and knowledge resulted from it.”
Jacqueline talks about her workplace project here:
Tell us about your workplace project, and why you chose that topic.
So, my workplace project was around, kind of an exploratory piece, I suppose, looking at the use of restrictive practises with children and young people in out-of-home care
So, restrictive practises are behaviour management techniques that are used particularly with children and young people or adults as well who have disabilities, and they impact on that person’s human rights.
So, some common ones might be medications that are prescribed for behaviour modification or children and young people who might be locked rooms at night to stop them wandering around the house, there might be gates to stop them walking down the street and getting lost, things like that.
So, they’re kind of generally considered to be required at times but they do impact on the person’s human rights and if they’re not used well they can have very negative impacts on that child or young person
What sparked your interest in this space?
Since I started in this position a couple of years ago, I kept hearing whispers about this issue of restrictive practises, and that it was a big issue within job protection. I don’t think I probably understood how much of an issue until I started doing the project and I think I have probably have come to understand that even more further down the track, but I sort of serendipitously around the time I was doing module three, and had to choose a project,
we had a young person who had very significant behaviours of concern and restrictive practises and they transferred interstate, and people interstate called me asking about restrictive practises, and kind of how we, what our policies and procedures were and I went and looked at the policies and procedures not all there not really that helpful in terms of being able to provide advice to people, and so kind of, like all that, yeah so it had been something in the back of my mind anyway but then it was an opportunity to explore it further and be able to do something about it.
What was the highlight of your PSMP experience?
The highlight of PSMP for me, I think has been just a better understanding of how government works and my role within that, and which is, I think, made me feel a lot more confident in what I’m doing and achieving things and .the right way to get things done
What advice would you give to someone considering studying the PSMP?
I guess in terms of advice for people who might be considering doing the PSMP, I would strongly encourage them to do it I think there’s a lot to be gained and a lot of skills and knowledge to be gained through this process.