Feedback is often about giving people an account of their behaviour or actions as it relates to a certain criteria. In a communities and disability services context, feedback and advice form an important part of client service work, usually in the form of information, opinions, observations and suggestions offered by:
- the client in relation to the way their case is being managed
- the support worker and other people involved with the client about their progress.
You are discussing a case plan with your client. You have set up regular appointments at another agency, and he has failed to attend most of them.
His feedback suggests he thinks you did not listen properly to his concerns about not having access to transport.
You accept that this may have been the case. This time you listen carefully to his concerns, and work with him to revise the case plan.
Feedback may be provided formally or informally by:
- the client
- significant others (family members, carers, other workers, professionals, etc.)
- service providers
- your observations/experiences as the support worker
- your supervisor and/or co-workers.
A formal feedback process may be necessary where support workers are responsible for monitoring specific activities of the client's action or case plan. An informal process may be to discuss issues with the client and provide advice. When giving feedback you need to consider the following guidelines:
- Be flexible about when and how feedback is given.
- Be creative about the most effective ways to provide feedback.
- Be prepared to listen and consider the ideas, opinions and problems raised by the other person.
- Ask direct questions to clearly identify any problems or issues.
- Show that you respect and value the individual contributions of the other person.
- Provide feedback in such a way that people feel involved and believe contact with you is worthwhile.
- Practise good communication skills such as active listening, using appropriate language, explaining meanings and asking questions.
- Ask the other person for suggestions on ways to overcome any issues/problems you or they have with the action plan.