Frontline Initiative Documentation

In Action: Community Support Skills Standards
Time Management and Documentation

I have been a floor supervisor at the local supported work program center for almost five years and I have really learned a lot. I used to dread the end of my shift because it meant hurrying up and getting the people I support ready to go home. Once everyone was gone and I had everything put away and counted, I would have to sit down and write something in each person’s daily log for the program manager’s monthly review. I needed to record how their day went and if there were any incidents. I also had to remember to write or call their family or group homes to make sure they were aware of any problems. I sometimes spent an hour or more just documenting in log books. My supervisor did not understand why it took me so long to do the daily logs and why I never had the individual production and piece rate counts ready when she wanted them. I kept telling her I just wanted to make sure what I wrote in the logs was accurate.

In one of our meetings I asked why all the logs had to be done at the end of the shift. I would be able to get done sooner and be more accurate if I could spread logging out over my work day and not wait until the very end. She did some checking and told me that we could try this to see if it would make better sense. I looked at the list of people I worked with and realized that by staggering their breaks and with a little help from the floor job coach I could get most of the logs done by sitting with the workers one-to-one when they were on break and asking them how their day was going. We have a quiet little corner in the break room where no one else can hear what we are talking about so I do not have to worry about privacy issues. In the beginning, I was surprised when a couple of the guys wanted to know what I was doing and when I told them they said they never knew I had to keep notes on them. We laughed and I asked them what they wanted me to write in their logs. They told me, and then I read to them what I had written. This system of log writing really works out well — they get one-on-one attention which really helps me build a good working relationship with each of them, and I get my logs done in a timely manner. I even get to learn about the kinds of jobs they want to work on. This was really helpful to the community support employment manager who is continually on the lookout for jobs in the community. Now when it comes to the end of the shift I have time to talk to the workers before they leave for home. They tell me jokes and once they are on their way home I get the work area cleaned up and leave for home in no time at all. My supervisor has asked supervisors in the other production areas to consider doing their daily logs in the same way because she gets better information about how the people we support are doing and what kinds of jobs they want in the community. I am glad this is working for all of us.

Community Supports Skill Standards

Competency Area 12: Documentation

 The community support worker is aware of the requirements for documentation in his or her organization and is able to manage these requirements efficiently. Skill Standard C: The competent community support human service practitioner learns and remains current with appropriate documentation systems, setting priorities and developing a system to manage documentation. 

Time Management and Documentation As a DSP, think of ways in which you can involve the people you support when you are writing the required daily logs. Is there a way to have them tell you about what their day was like from their perspective? Can you read to them what you are writing about them?