The Coalition on Provider Vulnerability
believes that everyone in crisis deserves support....unconditionally. An
allegation of misconduct by a caregiver, whether a licensed caregiver or
a parent, creates upheaval in many lives, and each of those people deserves
courtesy, accurate legal information, and support.
Topics to follow:
Guilty or innocent?
Guilty or innocent?
Guidelines for CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS
Discussion about support groups (August
'94 meeting notes)
VOCABULARY for caregivers in crisis
From Support Group to... Work Group
Innocence is a state of mind. It
may also be a matter of law or of fact, but a feeling of innocence, surprise,
betrayal, shock, disbelief, and outrage are common when accused of maltreating
a vulnerable person. This is true when the person accused is innocent,
and is also true when the allegation is only partly wrong. This feeling
of innocence is an element of self-esteem and a caregiver's self-image.
It is not possible to correctly
judge the guilt or innocence of caregivers who come to us for support.
We were not there, and we will never know. We are here now, and we know
that humane and competent support is needed now.
Guidelines for CAREGIVER SUPPORT
1. Everyone in crisis deserves support....unconditionally.
2. Support Group and Work Group
are two different functions, even if done at the same meeting.
3. Expect problems as a natural progression
of group management and growth.
a Support Group looks inward, encouraging
an insular "groupthink" that allows the wounded ego to heal.
a Work Group looks outward, encouraging
an unvarnished realism about goals, budgets, agencies, and volunteerism.
4. Goals must be clear and short-term.
Save long-term goals for the Work Group.
Intolerance. Discourage sidetracking
about non-relevant divisive issues that do not help you, such as religion,
abortion, and presidential campaigns. All people must feel welcome. Stick
to the group's mission.
Incompatability. Some people will have
a vision for the group that is different in such an important way as to
create factions, such as confiden- tiality, working with 'guilty' people,
and aggressive or conciliatory public stance. In addition to Mission, each
group develops a style and a reputation.
Incoherent stories. Patiently practice
the neutral vocabulary.
Turnover. For a variety of reasons,
people will drop out. Let them go.
Sabotage. Repeating stories as gossip,
dominating meetings. Do your best.
5. Simple leadership rules do work.
Develop knowledge of the grief process,
stress, self-esteem, and depression.
Practice personal stories until they
are clear and short with clean, neutral vocabulary (a 1-sentence version,
1-paragraph version, 1-page version).
HERE to return to the Coalition Home Page.
Brainstorming is a non-judgemental
discovery process for the whole group.
Reflective listening gives a healing
affirmation, modeling neutral vocabulary.
Consensus decision-making is time-consuming
but less divisive than voting. It does not require 100% agreement, but
allows negotiated agreements with an understanding of trial-and-error.
Decisions must be documented.
HERE to send mail to the Coalition on Provider Vulnerability. Be sure
to mark your letter "Attention Coalition".