How Our Community Advisors Work
Our Community Advisors
Our Community Advisors are the backbone of the services WMS provides to people with MS and their whānau. They are full of knowledge, empathy and warmth and have a deep understanding of some of the challenges faced by people with MS.
The Community Advisors can help with:
- Accurate and up-to-date information about MS.
- Assessment and coordination of the needs of you and your whānau.
- Advocacy and support for dealing with employers, income support services, industrial discrimination issues, Kainga Ora (previously Housing NZ), doctors, specialists and any other specialists and any other services you need help with.
- Referral to, and liaison with, appropriate services.
- Organisation and facilitation of support groups.
- Support for you and your whānau.
- Total Mobility assessments.
- MS education to the public and other health professionals.
There are some things our Community Advisors can’t do. As much as we like to support people through every part of their MS journey there are some things we cannot do. They include:
× Providing personal care
× Providing therapy or treatment
× Providing an urgent or emergency service.
How Community Advisors Work - video on YouTube
If you have MS and would like to know what sort of support is available, this 20-minute video with our Community Advisors, will give you a great idea of how we work with people with MS. It’s friendly, informal and interesting, covering areas of information, education, referrals and advocacy.
Community Advisors’ Rights and Responsibilities
The Community Advisors, as employees of the Society, must be treated as an employee. Both WMS and the Community Advisors must comply with all regulatory Acts such as the Employment Contracts Act, the Privacy Act, the Health & Safety Act, Human Rights Act, Health and Disability legislation and the many other Acts that are now in force. The Society, as per legislative requirements, also has a complaints procedure, should any member have a complaint about the service they have received.
In addition to the Acts of Parliament the Community Advisors, as employees of WMS, have policies and procedures laid down by the Society that they must comply with. The Society has a document called the Wellington Multiple Sclerosis Society Handbook. This is a living document and is updated with changes as and when required.
The Community Advisors are responsible to the President, or Vice President in the President’s absence. A yearly appraisal is conducted by the President with each Community Advisor. The “Community Advisors Coordinating Committee” meets with the Community Advisors bi-monthly and works through any issues that may have arisen.
The Community Advisors also have supervision, given by a qualified, independent Supervisor with whom they can discuss any concerns they may have. These supervision meetings are strictly confidential between the Supervisor and the Community Advisor. Such supervisory sessions are compulsory for all Community Advisor/Social workers who deal directly with clients in the Field, allowing them to give guidance when dealing with a specific matter/client. Any matters between the client and the Community Advisor are confidential and not Committee business.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about the role and responsibilities of our Community Advisors.
Let Us Support You!
Our experienced and knowledgeable Community Advisors provide free help for you and your whanau throughout the greater Wellington region. (This covers Wellington, Hutt Valley, Kapiti and Wairarapa)
They provide private and confidential support, give great advice and can provide referrals for most issues related to MS. They can visit you in person or talk over a video call and can be contacted by phone or email.