FABIC IN THE MEDIA
There has been recent media interest in FABIC. What has been presented in the media stories was based upon fabricated accusations that entirely misrepresent FABIC’s work and ethos.
If you look at our track record you can discern that the fabrications are just that, fabrications, and do not match what FABIC represents. We have offered and will continue to offer high-quality services ongoing, supporting lasting behaviour change for all, based upon evidence-based practice.
When the journalist from the ABC 7.30 Report approached FABIC, for “comment”, it was clear an objective story was not going to be presented and that the available and abundant material about FABIC had not been resourced. Instead, in what appears to be a grab for sensationalism, the sources the journalist used are: (1) a disgruntled ex-employee who has a personal vendetta against FABIC; (2) a mother and carer of an adult client of FABIC. The mother herself has never spoken or engaged with the FABIC behaviour team; and (3) other sources used have never had any interaction with FABIC.
Of note, the broadcast featured a Dr Sue Leraci saying FABIC was applying ‘unvalidated methods’ and implying FABIC was ‘unsafe’ for clients. Dr Leraci has no experience of FABIC or any professional contact with our practitioners. We can assure our clients that FABIC’s work is based on the Functional Behaviour Assessment which is a well-recognised, evidence-based process for collecting information to assess the reason why a person’s unwanted behaviour is being used and is consistent with NDIS practice standards.
Our work ethos provides a safe and supportive environment for all clients.
The programme contrived narratives to suit its planned agenda and made completely unfounded allegations about FABIC, including that because some FABIC employees were alleged to be part of a group, Universal Medicine, that this impacts upon FABIC’s services and further that FABIC had somehow been set up to abuse the NDIS system for the benefit of that organisation. Nothing could be further from the truth:
Our work at FABIC is based upon evidence-based practice.
FABIC has successfully provided behavioural services since 2006 and is a registered NDIS provider of such services.
We can assure you that all of FABIC’s work is based upon creating lasting behaviour change through the widely accepted and well-researched methodology of Functional Behaviour Assessment.
FABIC’s application of the Functional Behaviour Assessment in its work is consistent with the NDIS practice standards. The Body Life Skills Program as offered at FABIC is based on the founding principles and scientific method of Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA). The Body Life Skills Program presents a simplified process of Functional Behaviour Assessment, allowing accessibility and usability for all equally, supporting all on their path of lasting behaviour change.
FABIC Behaviour Specialist Centre consists of a team of experts and specialists in the fields of behaviour specialist and support, offering services in behaviour change, psychology, speech pathology, occupational therapy and mental health. Our goal is always ‘lasting behaviour change’. Many of FABIC’s clinical team are registered providers of specialist behaviour support services under the NDIS. All our clinicians work under the NDIS Code of Conduct and provide services consistent with the NDIS practice standards, while FABIC as a business meets all NDIS auditing compliances.
All FABIC’s behavioural team deliver quality evidence-based services to clients based upon Functional Behaviour Assessment.
Fabic always charges in line with NDIS guidelines
The broadcast falsely suggested that excessive amounts were spent at Fabic by a NDIS funded client. This followed the promotional video for the episode that included fabricated images of forged Fabic invoices for the amount $7,500 and $12,500, made to look like authentic invoices. Invoices for these amounts were never issued by FABIC.
The amounts claimed to have been spent at FABIC were vastly exaggerated. The billing for the entire 12-month period for all reports and specialist appointments was well under $7,000, not the substantial fabricated amounts claimed in the reports of a ‘large portion of $50,000’ or a ‘large portion of $5,000’ every fortnight and certainly nothing like the forged amounts in the faked invoices.
Appointments are always structured to suit a particular client’s needs and managed under their NDIS plan, there is no overservicing and FABIC meets all NDIS standards in terms of how it conducts and charges for its services and has been found compliant with NDIS audits which are conducted on a regular basis.
So just to be clear, the ABC’s 7.30 report based their promotions and programme on fake accounts and unsubstantiated material.
FABIC is an entirely independent business
FABIC is an NDIS registered provider of behavioural services and is its own entity that trades independently as its own business and legal entity, with its own marketing material, copy prints etc independent of any other business.
It is not an arm or ‘front’ for any other business.
FABIC does not “funnel” money to other businesses. FABIC operates as any independent business does, paying money for what is required for the practice of its trade and business operations (e.g., rents, electricity, business supplies etc.)
FABIC only refers clients to medical or allied health practitioners
FABIC does not “funnel” clients anywhere and it does not refer clients to Universal Medicine.
Significantly, where needed clients are only referred to medical and/or allied health professionals in line with NDIS guidelines and practice standards.
FABIC upholds fundamental human rights in all its work
Whatever association staff might have with other organisations, FABIC takes the fundamental rights of all individuals to pursue their personal religious beliefs seriously and FABIC does not discriminate against others in respect to disability, race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status. In this regard, FABIC considers the media slurs about staff being part of any organisation to go against this tenet.
FABIC upholds the worth, dignity and respect for all
In accordance with NDIS principles, FABIC upholds the worth and dignity of all its clients and treats all clients equally to realise their potential for physical, social, emotional and intellectual development.
In this regard, FABIC values all our clients. Our first and foremost ethos in all our work is that each person is valued for the amazing and lovable being that they truly are. Each of us is unique and each of us has something to bring.
Our work ethos provides a safe and supportive environment for all clients.
Karma and disability
The report suggested that FABIC director Tanya Curtis and FABIC staff ‘support’ someone who had been found to “vilify people with disabilities” and that they endorse such beliefs. Various statements were made to frame these alleged beliefs in the most disreputable way.
Notably support of someone, or even attendance at any event, does not mean you wholeheartedly endorse the presenter’s views or beliefs.
Michelle, a disgruntled ex-employee made various false allegations of a personal nature, some of them so ridiculous that the falsity of such accusations should be evident. The source of her animosity towards her ex-employer was not revealed. Michelle has held a long-term grudge against Tanya Curtis because she left FABIC employment when her work performance was found unsatisfactory because she had, amongst other things, bullied junior staff.
Tanya Curtis is surprised that someone who has not spoken to her for many years can attest to what she ‘believes’ and how she works. All of her work and FABIC’s ethos is that all FABIC clinicians work to maintain the dignity and quality of life for clients and are committed to upholding the rights of individuals from all walks of life including those with and without a diagnosed disability or mental health condition.
As an additional note, there is no basis to state that those that espouse beliefs in karma lack compassion or are morally unfit to provide disability services or could not provide care with the requisite level of dedication and commitment to their wellbeing that those with a disability deserve. Yet this is what this ABC report suggested. In this regard, it would never be suggested that Buddhists who believe that suffering disabilities is the result of karma or Christians who believe that the cause of disability is sin or punishment for transgressions, are not fit to work in the NDIS or provide services for those with disability.
Whatever beliefs a staff member may have, FABIC takes the fundamental rights of all individuals to pursue their personal religious beliefs seriously and FABIC does not discriminate against others in respect to disability, race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status.
Tanya Curtis and all FABIC clinicians place client care as their foremost concern and endeavour to support all clients to reach their full potential in a safe and supportive environment that values each client for the unique and amazing person that they are
Claims that the client’s condition did not improve
The report suggested that the named client did not improve. FABIC has successfully been providing specialist behavioural care to clients since 2006. The implementation of behaviour support plans can be a challenging process for clients and their support team. It is an obvious point that the effectiveness of any behaviour support plan requires commitment from the client and the clients support team to implement behaviour change and the effectiveness of any intervention is going to be mediated by a clients environment and the capacity and willingness of their support team to implement change as well as the client being receptive to that change.
If the claim that the client did not improve his condition is correct there may be a numbers of reasons for not ‘improving’. We noted that there may not have been sufficient engagement with the interventions offered to develop lasting change. We note that the individual only recently ceased using FABIC services and now appears capable of engaging in an interview on national television and able to articulate his concerns. Also noting that the reporter did not inquire of the individual’s previous condition, what his problem behaviours were said to be, and how he likes to engage his time.
FABIC does not provide support services
FABIC has not provided support worker services and is not involved in the costs of support services to clients. Clients engage their support workers independently of FABIC, either directly with service providers or through their support coordinator’s. FABIC does not receive any financial benefit from support workers. FABIC cannot comment on the billing for support worker hours except with the observation that with NDIS approved rates of pay and allocated support hours under NDIS plans, these amounts can add up, depending upon the hours allocated. These hours and fees are set by participants NDIS packages.
Why did FABIC not set the record straight and give an interview?
At FABIC we have had experience with the media in the past and their approach has been to only present what they have fabricated to suit their agenda rather than a full presentation of the truth. For that reason we have opted not to answer their requests for interviews or comments, as we know they have no intention of providing their audience with a balanced account.
FABIC has been operating since 2006 and has dedicated the last 17.5 years to supporting people with or without a disability and their support teams with lasting behaviour change – this will not change.
We have an extensive library of free resources on our website via blogs, articles, fact sheets, YouTube videos, quotes etc. that clearly outline our approach, methodology and ethos. We know this has not been portrayed by the media, but the information is there for those who choose to access it.
Some may consider this unfortunate or unlucky being dragged into this unnecessarily, at FABIC we see it is as irresponsible and a gross disservice to our NDIS community that the ABC or other media would rather report sensationalised lies, rather than the grassroots stories of the hardworking NDIS service providers, the great work of our therapists, and the families doing it tough but reaching new heights every day supporting their loved ones with many varied disabilities.
We are an open book
We are an open book and if anyone has any questions, concerns or requires clarification, please direct them to FABIC Director Tanya Curtis – tanya.curtis[at]fabic.com.au