IHC will advocate for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with intellectual disabilities and support them to live satisfying lives in the community.
Our services include residential care, supported living, specialist support, vocational support and social housing.
We also lobby and advocate for the human rights of all people with intellectual disabilities at community, national and international levels.
We raise money and awareness of the issues facing people with intellectual disabilities through our charitable activities, our advocacy programme, social media and other communication channels.
Our charity work includes providing advocacy, information through Australasia’s largest intellectual disability library and friendship and skill-based volunteering.
We employ around 4500 staff and directly support approximately 4000 people with intellectual disabilities around New Zealand through our government funded disability services.
IHC’s property subsidiary, Accessible Properties, is New Zealand’s largest non-government social housing provider prioritising people with disabilities, older people and those on low incomes. Read more about Accessible Properties here.
Our Commitment to Children
IHC is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of all people we support.
In July 2014, the Government passed the Vulnerable Children Act putting extra responsibilities on those who deliver services to children, like us, to share information, work together and have measures in place to minimise the risk of abuse or neglect for vulnerable children. It also requires us to promptly act on safety concerns.
At IHC, we recognise our collective and individual responsibility for the safety and security of those we support. We believe all vulnerable people in our service, children and adults alike, have the right to a safe environment and to feel protected.
Accordingly, our staff and caregivers are held accountable whatever their role or responsibility. Our culture is based on responsiveness, support, inclusiveness and empowerment and our practices aim to embed these values. We endeavour to positively engage with our stakeholders, and work with other organisations to ensure the wellbeing of those under our care.
Our guiding principles in protecting those we support are that we will:
Work together so the safety of children and adults in our service is always a primary concern
Share information appropriately where necessary to safeguard the child or adult
Take extra care in the selection of support staff by implementing thorough recruiting and screening processes
Ensure staff are knowledgeable and skilled to recognise concerns around safety and protection of individuals and to take appropriate action
Act promptly on concerns about a person’s wellbeing and safety
Ensure the person’s best interests are kept paramount by including them (and family/whanau if appropriate) in all aspects of planning and decision-making
Take time to ensure that those who cannot communicate easily are given a voice and are heard
All staff who do, or may, work with children must complete safety checks. This means a police check (which must be completed by every single member of IHC staff and its subsidiaries), but we are rolling out a more complex checking system in the months ahead. The new safety check includes a risk assessment, identity verification, and exception reporting rather than just clean slate reporting.
Our Commitment to Health and Safety
IHC is committed to providing an environment that is safe for all staff, service users, contractors, volunteers, visitors and any other persons present in our work-places.
We will achieve this through:
Keeping people safe requires identification of anything that could put the health and safety of any person in our workplaces at risk. Our risk management processes will be used to ensure all likely hazards / risks associated with the work we carry out are identified and all reasonable practical measures to eliminate (or minimise) these risks are implemented and monitored.
Compliance with Legislation
All staff, contractors, volunteers, visitors and any other person(s) present in our workplaces must comply with the specific duties required of them under the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated regulations, codes of practice and standards. This includes ensuring their own actions never put the health and safety of themselves or others at risk and compliance with all IHC policies and procedures.
Individual Accountability – Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
- Any person in one of our workplaces is responsible for keeping themselves safe. This involves ensuring that none of their behaviours or actions (including inactions) do not put at risk the health and safety of themselves or others in the workplace.
- IHC will assist everyone to keep themselves safe by ensuring procedures are in place to identify all hazards associated with the work we carry out. People entering our workplaces will be made aware of hazards and the potential risks to their health and safety and include what they need to do to keep themselves safe.
- Early reporting of pain and discomfort is encouraged to ensure all staff who may be injured while at work can gain quick access to treatment and a rehabilitation plan for a safe, early and sustainable return to work.
Participation and Involvement
Managers will contribute to the creation of a healthy and safe working environment by encouraging open communication between themselves, staff, Health and Safety representatives and other workers on all health and safety concerns, initiatives, improvements and procedures. Open communication is seen as fundamental to achieving effective worker engagement and participation in health and safety.
- All staff, contractors and volunteers will be expected to contribute to a healthy and safe working environment by proactively raising any health and safety concerns and the identification of solutions for improvement.
- All staff, contractors and volunteers will be responsible for reporting all incidents, near misses, injuries and hazards in a timely manner.
Reporting, Monitoring and Continuous Improvement
- Managers will be responsible for ensuring that the controls that have been identified to prevent risks to health and safety are in place across the areas for which they are responsible.
- Managers will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of these controls and taking corrective action where risks are not being managed to the accepted level.
- Incidents will be investigated to identify contributing factors and formulate corrective actions.
- The performance of managers will be reviewed against their health and safety responsibilities.
- Continuous improvement in health and safety will be supported through at least two (2) yearly reviews of our safety performance, policies and procedures. This will include reviews to ensure compliance against relevant health and safety legislation, regulations, codes of practice and standards.
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