Targeted Earlier Intervention Consultative Committee

A WayAhead Found

A WayAhead Found

October 17, 2017

A WayAhead Found

Illawarra Shoalhaven Partners in Recovery (ISPIR) and the Illawarra Forum have officially released the findings of an Illawarra/Shoalhaven Service Mapping and Communication Project. The project aimed to find out how people with enduring mental health conditions find and access services in the local area and what the most reliable source of information is in order to direct consumers, clients and carers towards this.

Illawarra Forum surveyed a range of consumers both in person and online to discover how they access information and the types of contact methods they look for when seeking out a new service. We also engaged with carers and professionals across the sector.

As a result, ISPIR and Illawarra Forum will now be promoting the WayAhead Directory, a service directory specifically focussed on mental health services, that can be used by community service organisations and the general public when trying to find support for people with enduring mental health conditions. Consumers can access telephone numbers as well as online contact details and all of the information is kept up to date.

To access the directory visit https://directory.wayahead.org.au/ or call 1300 794 991.

Highlights on Mental Health

Highlights on Mental Health

October 17, 2017

Highlights on Mental Health

Illawarra Forum were pleased to support the Highlights on Mental Health fundraising lunch held last Friday at Centro CBD as part of Mental Health Month. The audience were treated to a fantastic range of speakers including David Burroughs who challenged the audience to reframe their understanding of mental health, and the importance of everyone being proactive in the workplace to support each other.

The most recent findings from the University of Wollongong were showcased including their work on repurposing other drugs. Angry Anderson also told his story, highlighting how early childhood trauma and experiences affected his mental health journey.

Illawarra Forum was proud to provide a silent auction item of a Mental Health First Aid training session for the highest bidder to support understanding and action within the workplace which raised over $1000.

All proceeds from the day went to Highlights for Mental Health. If you would like a Mental Health First Aid course for your organisation please get in touch with us.

NDS provides NDIS Special Briefing in Kiama

NDS provides NDIS Special Briefing in Kiama

October 17, 2017

NDS provides NDIS Special Briefing in Kiama

National Disability Services (NDS) delivered an engaging and insightful seminar on the current NDIS climate on Monday 9 October at the Sebel Harbourside in Kiama, hosted by Illawarra Forum.

NDS provided local disability service providers and their board members with evidence based information regarding NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework, pricing and workforce development.

The speakers provided useful and practical presentations surrounding the complexities and opportunities facing disability service providers as NDIS implementation continues across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions.

For more information please contact Karen Kirk-Torresan, Policy & Project Officer Disability Services, Illawarra Forum on kkirktorresan@illawarraforum.org.au.

Human Services Agreement Update and NSW Benchmarking Tool

Human Services Agreement Update and NSW Benchmarking Tool

October 3, 2017

Human Services Agreement Update and NSW Benchmarking Tool

From 1 August 2017, all government agencies are required to use the new NSW Human Services Agreement, which is a standard contract, when procuring human services from NGOs and for-profit organisations. Agencies will also use the Agreement as existing contracts expire. This means that any organisation that has, or will tender for, a contract with any NSW agency will be subject to this contract. If you have not yet read the agreement, you may find it here.

Illawarra Forum Members have raised numerous concerns with both the process, and the final document including the limited consultation process which did not provide feedback on original submissions, and which resulted in the delivery of a final document with limited opportunity for comment.

The Illawarra Forum has pursued the matter directly with NCOSS – as co-chair of the Social Innovation Council and with the Dept Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI). This is what we have achieved.

  • The Human Services Agreement is currently being reviewed by Justice Connect, and will then go to a more thorough review. Both NCOSS and DFSI have agreed that the Forum can participate in the review process. Of course, when the review happens we I will share it with our membership and invite more comment.
  • Furthermore, DFSI have agreed to come to the Illawarra on a quarterly basis to discuss the various projects that the Social Innovation Council (SIC) are working on. This will be an open meeting with all members invited to attend. We hope to hold the first session before the end of the year.
  • The membership of the Social Innovation Council will be reviewed late this year, and we have requested that a broader representation from the sector be included.

The new Benchmarking Tool is currently open, and the date for completion has been extended to 9th October.  We urge local service providers to complete it, and to give feedback. Any organisation which completes the Tool will not only receive a report, but will be eligible for free training on Commissioning, Outcomes Measurement and/or Design Thinking. If we can get enough people locally to complete, DFSI have agreed to bring the training to our region. The Benchmarking Tool is available here.

Recruitment Project Aged Care

Recruitment Project Aged Care

October 3, 2017

The Community Services and Health Sector is the largest employer in the lllawarra and Shoalhaven.

In the aged care sector alone there are 200-500 new workers needed every year in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. The Illawarra Forum is responding to members concerns about the challenges of recruiting and retaining new staff by running a pilot recruitment project.

This project is in the scoping phase and we are looking for employers who are interested in tapping into new potential employees.

Please contact Sarah Gadd on sgadd@illawarraforum.org.au or phone 42564333 by 11 October 2017 for more information.

Have your say: NGO Benchmarking Tool  Copy

Have your say: NGO Benchmarking Tool Copy

September 19, 2017

Time is running out to participate in stage one of the NGO benchmarking model before it closes on 1 October 2017. It is important that as many NGOs as possible trial the tool and give feedback.

You can register here to complete the online self-assessment.

The NGO Benchmarking Model is a self-assessment tool that NGOs self-assess against ten capabilities to determine how customer-centric their organisation is in relation to other providers.

According to the Department, participation in stage one means your organisation will:

  • Benefit from the insights gained through the self-assessment process – they’ve heard from NGOs that they are using this information to guide their strategic plans and professional development programs.
  • Access the resource library – it includes resources on customer-centric service delivery, governance, outcomes measurement etc.
  • Be eligible to attend free training in October 2017 focussed on commissioning for outcomes, outcomes measurement or design thinking.
  • Provide feedback on how your organisation, and the broader NGO sector, want to use the NGO Benchmarking model from 2018 onwards.

For more information about the NGO Benchmarking Model or other Social Innovation Council initiatives to improve human services outcomes, see the website.

The Illawarra Forum will undertake the benchmarking, and will hold a session at our office from 9:30am – 12:30pm on 22nd September for any service providers interested in discussing the model or sharing their feedback. Please RSVP by clicking here.

Local Partnership Projects

Local Partnership Projects

September 19, 2017

Local Partnership Projects

The Tenant Participation Resource Service is launching a new project to assist organisations supporting social housing tenants and applicants on the social housing waiting list.

Local Partnership Projects provides resourcing and support to community groups and organisations for small initiatives that address the needs of this target group; supporting them to become engaged in their communities; and increasing their skills and resources to participate in community life.

Projects could include community engagement events, skills training or providing volunteering opportunities. Applying for funding through the Local Partnerships Projects is a very simple 3 step process. Simply submit a project idea on our 2 page form then complete your project and then tell us how it went. Feel free to contact TPRS to discuss possible projects or for more information click here.

Active Ageing Conference

Active Ageing Conference

September 18, 2017

Active Ageing Conference, Melbourne

Our Policy and Project Officer – Regional Issues, Amadis Lacheta, recently attended the Active Ageing Conference in Melbourne, which had a strong focus on Wellness & Reablement (W&R). The conference provided inspiration and best practice case studies to better support the uptake of W&R with service providers across Australia.

Throughout the day various presentations were conducted on the importance of open communication to tease out a client’s aspirations and strengths, how better questions can both inform the goals and care plans for elderly people to facilitate their best quality of life, and also improve the culture of service providers to adopt a more enabling approach.

Other presenters focused on person-centred measurement tools that complement the NASF (National Assessment & Screening Form), a comparison of how well W&R have been integrated into policy and practice in New Zealand, Denmark, the UK and Australia, the importance of resistance training exercise for physical strength, balance and better cognitive function, allied health support programs, the use of technology to support healthy mental and social activity, social reablement and volunteer programs and collaborative approaches to facilitating better outcomes for elderly people and the many organisations and groups that support them.

The Illawarra Forum will be offering programs to support CHSP service providers to better engage their elderly clients from a W&R approach. If you are interested in participating, please let us know via: amadis@illawarraforum.org.au

Industry Breakfast – Energy & Water Affordability

Industry Breakfast – Energy & Water Affordability

September 6, 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended our Industry Breakfast on Tuesday 5th September at The Woolshed, Yallah.

Participants enjoyed hearing from Helen Ford, General Manager of Governance, Awareness & Policy, Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW speak about the critical issue of energy and water affordability.

Governance training with Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group

Governance training with Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group

August 29, 2017

Sarah Wilson and Sarah Gadd spent a great morning last week with the Board of the Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group, helping them to refresh their knowledge of governance, and look at future improvements. It was a real pleasure to work with such a knowledgeable, committed and passionate group.

If you would like Illawarra Forum to run a session for your Board on Governance, Risk Management or Finances please get in touch.

Targeted Earlier Intervention Consultative Committee

Targeted Earlier Intervention Consultative Committee

July 26, 2017

Thank you to all of the services and the board members who attended our Targeted Earlier Intervention Program (TEIP) information events in the Illawarra and the Shoalhaven. It was great to hear from you, answer your questions and assist in addressing any concerns and information gaps.

The Targeted Earlier Intervention Consultative Committee (TEICC) are continuing to work on the District Planning Framework that includes the planning principles, people, places and outcomes.

The next step is to consult with services regarding the draft framework and embark on local planning with services funded under the TEIP.  This is an exciting time in the process when services get plan collaboratively on how to achieve the kind of communities wanted in the future. These place based planning sessions are due to commence in August.  FaCs will be informing services of dates and locations over the coming weeks.

NAIDOC Awards

NAIDOC Awards

July 26, 2017

Several Illawarra Forum staff members attended the annual Illawarra NAIDOC Awards held on Saturday 22 July 2017.

This inspiring event is an opportunity for communities, businesses and organisations to celebrate the contribution and achievements of Aboriginal communities in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven Local Government Areas. Congratulations to all the Award winners:

  • Young Achiever (Female)- Berrima Blakeney
  • Young Achiever (Male)- Mark Hudson
  • Worker of the Year- Kirili Saunders
  • Volunteer of the Year- John Keith Williams
  • Elder of the Year (Female)- Aunty Bev Armer
  • Elder of the Year (Male) Uncle Ivan Ardler
  • Organisation of the Year- Cullunghutti Child and Family Centre
  • Outstanding Contribution to Reconciliation- Djirang Dance Ensemble

We would also like to congratulate all nominees, including Joni Braham, a previous Illawarra Forum employee, who was nominated for the Outstanding Contribution to Reconciliation Award.