Being open to change is never easy. As parents who only want what’s best for their children, or as industry professionals who have been using the same methods for many years, it can be difficult to change your way of thinking. It can be especially difficult to ask yourself: Is there anything that I’m doing wrong?
It’s very easy for families and service system workers to adopt an “us vs. them” mentality when trying to work alongside each other. However, according to long-time service system advocate Chris Liuzzo, for any real progress to be made, it’s crucial that both parties see if there’s anything that they can change in their approach.
Chris joined me this week for the podcast to talk about what it means to “turn the beam of inquiry inwards”, and how it can better the relationship between service workers and families. Turning the beam of inquiry inwards means asking ourselves as parents and service workers if there is anything that we can change or stop doing altogether, as well as asking what’s working and what’s not working. Turning the beam of inquiry inwards means to swallow our pride, put our differences aside, and open our minds in order to focus on what really matters: helping the child.
Christopher Liuzzo is located in New York State doing work that is grounded in values informed by Social Role Valorization and person-centered practices. He has played numerous advocacy and administrative leadership roles since the mid 1970s. His work includes the co-founding of advocacy organizations dedicated to individualized supports. The New York State Independent Living Council honored him with its System Advocacy Award for his efforts in advancing supported employment. Among his major interests is the reinvestment of resources from congregate settings to individualized and self-directed supports. He retired from his role as Associate Executive Director of the Arc of Rensselaer County (New York) where he led initiatives to downsize and close congregate living settings. He is now a consultant to organizations especially interested in moving from congregate services to individualized supports.
Moving forward is never easy, but once you master turning the beam of inquiry inward, it becomes much easier to work alongside each other. Listen now for more on how changing the way you think can lead to more effective problem-solving!
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Special thanks to Chris Liuzzo for joining me this week. Until next time!