We know that what most people want is to be supported by reliable, appropriately skilled workers who have the flexibility to respond to service user needs and their day to day choices. Yet often the reality looks very different – a revolving door of workers, rigid rostering systems and detailed procedures that make adjustments difficult or impossible.
A suite of projects is challenging this paradigm by redesigning support roles and introducing teamwork arrangements. Arrangements vary between projects but share features such as greater worker autonomy in decision-making to meet the needs of service users. The projects range across large services (Avivo) down to boutique providers (Community Living Project) and also reflect a variety of geographic locations including regional and rural settings (Amicus and Parkside).
There are another two projects in this group (Achieve and Synapse) where new physical contexts are demanding different models of service provision and ways of working. Achieve's project explores work and job design issues associated with locating clients in a new salt and pepper housing estate. This project looks for answers to questions such as 'how has this changed the support needed by residents?' and 'what does this mean for the role and skills of support workers?' Likewise, Synapse's project designs and tests a novel, positive service model in a residential rehabilitation facility established for Aboriginal people in Cairns.