Local disability service provider Amicus, will receive project funding from the government’s Innovative Workforce Fund to a new way of working to deliver services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Amicus is recognised internationally as a leader in the disability sector with their ‘One person at a time’ service delivery model, and the grant which is administered by National Disability Services, was awarded to four organisations nationally to explore alternative workplace and team formation models, with Amicus the only Victorian disability service funded in this stream.
The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Disability Services recently announced that 21 first round projects would receive grants of up to $200,000, with Amicus receiving $110,000 to support their new Small Leadership Teams framework and workplace model.
Chosen from 168 applicants, Amicus CEO Ann-Maree Davis advised that instead of using the traditional hierarchy management model, the new Small Leadership Teams framework empowers both employees and participants to form essential relationships, provides for continuity of staffing and develops better service management and delivery strategies.
“It is proven that continuity increases participant satisfaction and creates a better quality of life; and consistency with the right support team leads to increased happiness and empowerment”.
“A one-size-fits-all approach does not empower decision making or choice for our participants or team members; the Small Leadership Teams model focuses on a small number of participants at a time, to share each other’s skills, strengths and unique life experience to promote enhanced communication and peer support” advised Ms Davis.
Amicus now has 80% of their participants supported within a fully individualised service, choosing when and how they would like their supports delivered.
“We have successfully worked to de-congregate and de-segregate traditional disability day services, now offering a fully community based service model, working one person at a time with our participants”
“The Amicus mission is to provide each of our participants with access to the real-life experiences and community interactions that they are interested in as an individual” said Ms Davis.
20% of the Amicus team are working within the new model, increasing to 40% during the next 6 weeks. The funding provides access to training and leadership skills to staff, to those working with people in remote rural locations and will support the significant organisational transformation undertaken in past years.
“The new model will increase job satisfaction and allow our staff to have more meaningful work; there are massive organisational benefits” said Ms Davis.
“Our team comes from all parts of the community, across all types of skill sets and professions so that our clients have access to a diverse range of knowledge and real-life experiences” she added.
Over the past 9 years, Amicus has grown from 17 full time equivalent employees to 85, with a total of 135 employees.
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