Workforce Impact Collective (WIC)
WE MAKE INCLUSION HAPPEN by collaborating to build quality, capacity and sustainability of the disability frontline workforce required to contribute to people living with disability having greater choice and control to meet their lifestyle and choices.
The Workforce Impact Collective (WIC) initiative commenced in April 2017. Its aim was to ensure the community has the disability frontline workforce with the quality, capacity and sustainability required to contribute to people living with disability having greater choice and control to meet their lifestyle and choices. In this initiative, key people from different parts of the community were brought together to explore, design and trial new ways to achieve this and to widely share the learnings.
The ACT WIC initiative used a Collective Impact approach. This brings together and supports individuals and organisations with diverse perspectives, insights and ideas to collectively develop a shared vision and agenda for action, to pilot innovative workplace and worker system reforms, and share the learning.
The ACT Government (funded by the Commonwealth NDIS Sector Development Fund) tasked National Disability Services (NDS) to facilitate this process.
Since its inception, the Workforce Impact Collective has had involvement from over sixty ACT organisations in the disability community. It has also been supported by multiple ACT Government agencies through the Workforce Impact Collective Cross Government Steering Committee.
Six innovative pilot projects were showcased at a public event on 8 August 2019: Re-evaluating, Reimagining, Resolving: creative solutions for a sustainable disability workforce.
Watch this 7 minute video covering each of the six pilot projects:
(To watch full screen, click on the icon in the right hand corner to open the video in another page.)
The Mature Aged Workers Pilot
This innovative project aimed to encourage people aged 55 and above to consider frontline disability support work, regardless of their previous work experience.
Research shows that the secret to ageing well is staying active, connected and engaged in meaningful activity. Project leads David Hill and Susan Beaumont from Achieve by Design have demonstrated how the disability sector presents a great opportunity for mature aged men and women.
Communication - A Partnership with Service Users
This pilot has been led by Sharing Places, a specialist ACT organisation that helps adults with disabilities, including those with high and complex needs, to participate in community, social and civic activities. THe project aims to find ways to optimise communication between support workers and people living with a disability (and their families/carers).
The pilot has been testing a range of communication approaches with the aim of improving the quality, capacity and capability of the ACT Disability Workforce so that people living with a disability have greater choice and control. “The Key Workers model aims at increasing two-way communication between the family and the support workers who help them in their daily lives,” explains Kylie Stokes, Executive Director of Sharing Places. “Traditional models of care often involve support workers assisting as many as 15 clients each,” Ms. Stokes says. “The pilot project has allowed Sharing Places to group families and users – the Key Participants - with Key Workers. This means one staff member might have just two Key Participants who they get to know very well, including the activities the person likes and what their goals are”.
Roles Based Recruitment
Imagine More worked with NDIS self-managing participants and their families to provide information on effective practices of recruiting disability support staff.
Social role valorisation theory informs us that, in order for people with disability to experience the good things of life, we need to pay close attention to ensuring that both the person with disability and their support workers are seen in positive roles that society values.
Recruiting support staff for a particular role as opposed to a general role may help attract people into the sector who would otherwise not consider working as a disability support worker.
These specialised roles will enable people living with a disability to effectively develop skills necessary for them to achieve personal goals with the support of the specialised disability support worker.
User Support Network
This pilot brought together people with a disability and support workers to co-design a model for a user and support worker network, aiming to address the common goals of having:
- consistent supply of well-regarded support workers for clients (users),
- consistent work with well-known clients for disability,
- mutually respectful and rewarding professional relationships between clients (users) and support workers.
In this innovative pilot, Achieve by Design, has called upon plan-managed and self-managed people with a disability and disability support workers to assist in the co-design and testing of the model.
Pathways for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
This pilot aimed to help people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds become disability support workers. Increasing the representation of people with CALD backgrounds in the ACT disability workforce will also provide greater opportunities to match people with disabilities with workers from the same cultural background.
Managed by Uniting Care Kippax, the project focused on developing diversity in the disability support sector to better represent people with a disability, one of four of whom in Australia are from CALD backgrounds.
The pilot has helped people like Rojeh, a chemistry lecturer who fled his hometown in Syria in February 2019, to achieve his dream of helping others. It has also helped Tam Ant who moved to Canberra from Vietnam in February 2018 and wants to work with people with disabilities from Vietnamese and Asian backgrounds.
Some of the participants in this inspiring pilot will soon begin disability support work training at CIT - their first step towards a satisfying and rewarding career in the disability sector.
The objectives of this pilot led by the Summer Foundation were to train ACT disability & health sector professionals and support coordinators in the use of the participant-led video (PLV) process and tools, develop resources to guide participants in the most effective way to share and use their video, and develop a communication and engagement strategy to inform NDIS participants of PLVs and the support they need to make these in their NDIS plans.
Many people with a disability and cognitive-communication impairment are unable to provide direction and feedback to support workers ‘in the moment’. Participant-led videos (PLVs) overcome this barrier by enabling the person with a disability to tell their “story” to new support staff via a video that they have been assisted to create.
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