Our Family Consultants, Amanda Watson and Jess Heslop, are here to help families express concerns and to act as intermediaries to improve communication between families and providers, ensuring the rights of families are championed across Discovery.
We created the Family Consultant role to ensure the voice of families is heard at every level of the organisation and beyond. It is varied and responsive; it can involve quality checking services, supporting local families and bringing a family perspective to Discovery’s strategy, policy development, service improvement and campaign work.
Amanda’s son is supported by Dimensions UK, in his Dorset home. He has autism and learning disabilities and communicates without speech. Amanda was one of the pilot team of ‘family expert’ quality checkers and will continue to fill this role alongside her family consultancy work. Amanda has personal experience of Needs Assessments, Direct Payments; Deputyship, and Best Interest decisions. She is also proud of her partnership with her son’s support team which has seen him blossom. This includes successfully advocating for her son to move closer to his family; to buy a home that better meets his needs; and to seeing significant improvement in his health and wellbeing. She has had to become an expert in managing risks associated with challenging behaviour.
Jess joined us from the Hft Family Carer Support Service. She has an excellent understanding of the law and can ensure that people we support and families know their rights. Jess is mum to Jude, a 10 year old boy with learning disabilities, autism, and epilepsy who is registered blind.
Using their own experiences, our family consultants are here to support families to work with our support workers and management to get the best possible outcomes for their family members. They can provide guidance on topics like Supported Living, Deputyship, Person-centred support and End of Life planning.
If there is anything that you are uncertain of, uncomfortable with, or curious about don’t hesitate to ask.