VAADA’s Sector Development program delivers a range of projects aimed to support the Victorian AOD sector and assist to build the capacity of the workforce to respond holistically to consumer needs. The program remains flexible to reflect VAADA’s strategic priorities and also ensure that the organisation is in a position to support the AOD sector throughout the sector reform process. Recent years have seen a focus on capacity building within the AOD sphere, along with our colleagues in the broader community and health services systems as we continue to engage stakeholders from the range of settings who are impacted by AOD misuse in their work with service users. We have a focus on ensuring that service providers from regional and rural Victoria have a voice and continue to proactively engage members of the Aboriginal health and AOD sector to enhance relationships between Koori and mainstream services.
The VAADA program is tasked with delivering ongoing initiatives, but also discrete professional development activities which seek to enhance worker understanding, knowledge and skills.
VAADA coordinates a number of network meetings aimed at supporting and strengthening the work of key cohorts within the AOD sector. These include a Non-residential Withdrawal Nurse’s Meeting; a CEOs and Manager’s forum; Catchment Planner’s meeting and an Intake and Assessment Meeting. The meetings also provide an opportunity for staff to share practice experience and network.
VAADA is presently consulting intake and assessment providers to understand the best form and function of the Intake and Assessment network meeting since the separation of the Intake function from the Comprehensive Assessment function in July 2017. VAADA is also looking at establishing a Specialist Pharmacotherapy Services Network meeting.
Recently VAADA has been focussed on advocating for an increase in workforce resourcing to match the investment in AOD treatment. Without attracting new staff to the sector, there is a risk there will not be the staff to fill the increasing number of roles likely to come on line in coming months and beyond. Further, VAADA is keen to see the existing workforce adequately supported through more sector development opportunities, training and education. To understand these issues better, VAADA coordinated a workforce roundtable with key sector agencies representing a mix of services and regions. The resultant report was provided to the Department of Health and Human Services to inform their development of a revised workforce development strategy.
Recently DHHS announced an immediate workforce lift totalling $2.5m to support the recruitment of new positions and to provide new workers with appropriate supports and professional development. As part of this, VAADA will re-design its website jobs board and develop a new education and training page to make it easier to see what education and training opportunities exist in the sector.
Service Provider’s Conference
DHHS funds VAADA to organise and facilitate a twice-yearly Service Provider’s Conference for funded AOD treatment services. The November Conference was titled ‘Change & Sector Intersections’. Approximately 280 staff attended. VAADA has begun work on the 2018 conferences including themes, content and speakers.
VAADA PHN Activity
VAADA is well-positioned to work with Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to support PHN-commissioned AOD treatment services by providing a range of workforce development and capacity building initiatives. VAADA is presently working with the North Western Melbourne PHN and the Western Victoria PHN on two workforce projects.
The Northern Western Melbourne project aims to build the capacity of service providers in the region via workforce development and sustainability initiatives. Having assessed workforce needs in the North Western region, VAADA is hosting three forums in the first half of 2018. The first is a forum on 20 February 2018 focusses on effective ways to engage with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities at both an organisational and therapeutic level. This will be followed by forums on Family Violence in April and LGBTIQ in June. These forums are aimed at agencies providing AOD services in the North Western PHN region, however subject to availability there may be opportunity for staff from other regions to attend. The forums will be augmented by skills based training on the same themes, creating the best possible opportunity for sustainable systems and clinical change leading to responsive and effective service provision to these priority populations. A crucial element of this project is in supporting individuals to translate skills gained in training to enhance workplace practice and by doing so, promote organisational capacity building and support retention of qualified staff.
The Western Victoria project has seen VAADA coordinating and supporting the PHN funded AOD services through network meetings and activities including stakeholder identification workshops and to assist agencies to identify regional pathways and develop strategies to integrate their models within the already existing service environment. VAADA will also support the region’s AOD services articulate and refine the primary health focussed service delivery model of a number of Brief Intervention programs designed to improve access to AOD services in the region, particularly targeting populations who would otherwise not be accessing AOD services.
For more information contact:
Scott Drummond – Program Manager