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Cross-sector collaboration to assist the rapidly transforming ageing, disability and mental health sectors

 

The Ageing, Disability and Mental Health Collaborative Panel was established in 2014 with the objective of building the capacity of the ageing, disability and mental health service sectors to:

  • Prepare for the transformational changes associated with Government reforms including the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the introduction of the Aged Care Gateway and related funding reforms.
  • Develop good practice in response to these reforms and for the future in relation to consumer led service delivery, develop new training approaches, share their experiences and collaborate on common challenges and opportunities.

The Panel was initiated and is supported by State Trustees Australia Foundation with representatives from the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, Carers Victoria, COTA Victoria, Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, National Disability Services, State Trustees Australia Foundation, Victorian Council of Social Service and Psychiatric Disability Services of Victoria (VICSERV).

The Panel has developed and prioritised a number of projects to help organisations across the ageing, disability and mental health service systems respond to the changing environment. It has identified four projects aimed at promoting the adoption of consumer led care and helping local service systems to navigate the transition to the NDIS.

Its first project was to complete a set of briefing papers to assist boards and senior managers understand the scale of changes, Community organisations in a climate of change.

Four new projects have just commenced:

1) Building Communities of Practice

This project will support local service systems to identify and collaboratively respond to the opportunities and challenges that emerge through the transition to the NDIS and National Aged Care reforms by investing in backbone infrastructure to support the development and operation of “regional transition networks” or “communities of practice”. The project will be implemented over four years.

The networks will provide a forum through which local service providers can access information, resources and support, share experiences and learning, build relationships and collaborate to respond to, and advocate for, local needs.

The establishment and operation of networks will be particularly valuable during the transition period as it will:

  • Allow service providers, consumers and carers to access an independent forum and extended practice network through which to work through transition opportunities and challenges, and;
  • Provide a constructive platform through which local service systems can engage in dialogue, through appropriate processes, with government about the evolving service system.

The project has been supported by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust and the State Trustees Australia Foundation .

2) Supporting Cross-sector Learning and Development

This project will explore options to promote more effective cross-sector learning and development through the establishment of a central, cross-sector clearinghouse style dissemination point. The clearinghouse will enable organisations that are producing resources and delivering training across different sectors to make prospective users aware of what is available, advertise training and information dissemination forums, run webinars and host collaborative and peer based learning activities.

In addition to providing a dissemination point for existing material, the clearinghouse could play a proactive role in identifying cross-sector training and development requirements, identifying gaps in existing resources and training offerings and working with training providers to commission or produce programs to meet those requirements. Doing so would allow the clearinghouse to:

  • Support service organisations to work through long term, reform driven changes that are currently impacting the service system (and are projected to continue to do so over the coming decade).
  • Support the ongoing professionalisation of the service sector, and;
  • Support consumers and carers to engage more effectively with the sector and to influence and inform ongoing service system design and service provision.

The project has been supported by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust and the State Trustees Australia Foundation .

3) Promoting the Exercise of Consumer Choice and Control

This project will help support the exercise of consumer choice and control and the adoption of consumer led service delivery models by working to develop and disseminate an integrated package of resources and training materials to:

  • Help boards and managers to identify and implement required cultural and business system based changes to support the adoption of consumer led service delivery
  • Help frontline service delivery practitioners to apply more consumer led work practices in the way that they undertake their day to day activity and
  • Help consumers and carers to build confidence and skills to exercise choice and control when engaging with service providers.

Doing that will also help:

  • Support consumers and carers to engage more effectively with the service sector and to influence and inform ongoing service system design and service provision and
  • Support the ongoing professionalisation of the service sector.

The project has been supported by the State Trustees Australia Foundation.

4) Good Practice Case Studies and Cost Analysis

This project will identify and work with ‘exemplar’ service providers that are applying good practice, consumer led service delivery models to:

  • Articulate what characterises best practice consumer led service delivery models
  • Help them to review their operations and work out how they can continue to apply those models in a more competitive market environment
  • Share the lessons with other service providers to support the broader based adoption of consumer led service delivery models and the genuine provision of consumer choice and control and
  • Provide an evidence based platform on which service providers can engage in dialogue with government about the evolving NDIS service definition and funding model.

The project has been supported by the State Trustees Australia Foundation .

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