Purro Birik - 41

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)




Team Structure

It is proposed that a senior clinical coordinator be appointed for a fixed period of three years. This position would encompass the responsibilities of designing and developing the initial team process, involvement in the recruiting of staff, and the construction of the service delivery framework. Supervision of the trainee Koori Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellbeing workers (KSESW) (Whilst in the community) and ultimate clinical responsibility for the KSESW service.
Further, the Clinical Co-ordinator would be required to develop and implement the following required policies and procedures: to develop in close consultation with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative, the cross cultural in-service program, the Koori advocate program, and the conflict resolution process; to work in close co-operation with the Koori Mental Health Liaison Officer; to develop and implement Q/A measures and monitoring and review/processes; and to develop strategies and interventions to satisfy the appropriate standards within the National Standards for Mental Health services, as per the National Mental Health strategy.

It is recommended that the Clinical Coordinator be a qualified psychiatric professional.

The Clinical Coordinator would be responsible to the committee of management, which should comprise representatives from the Wathaurong Co-Op and incorporate consultation with mainstream services.

It is proposed that the SESW service comprise both male and female workers recruited from the local Koori community. These positions would be for Koori people specifically and would require an exemption from the anti-discrimination guidelines.

It is also proposed that there be a minimum of two workers for the community, it would be preferable to employ four workers to adequately cover the service on a 24hr basis and to allow for the training component of the positions. However it is acknowledged that there may be insufficient resources to allow for this. If this does eventuate the Koori advocate program and the role of the Koori Liaison Officer could be redesigned to allow for any gaps in service delivery.

It is important that the SESW workers have a sound knowledge of psychiatry and the psychiatric system, this will enable them to practice in an assertive and professional manner. More importantly it will enable them to act most effectively as advocates to ensure that all Koori clients receive the very best in care and that, that care is as culturally sensitive as possible in whatever environment it is being provided within.

The core concept of this team is that it will be client focused at all times. The workers will be free to move across the region and across services at will. Where-ever there is a situation which is considered to have influence over the SESW of a member of the community the SESW workers will have the capacity to liase, consult, provide advocacy, or intervene in the process assertively as required to protect and enhance the SESW status of the individual and/or family.

It is envisaged that the SESW workers would be able to provide a wide range of services to the local community. They would be able to either provide services and interventions directly or facilitate the provision of service from a mainstream service.

It is proposed that the workers develop relationships with clinicians and representatives of management from all mainstream organisations, including non-government services. Some examples of the types of organisations are: the Department of Human Services (particularly the Child Protection Agency); drug and alcohol services, community and mental health services, Bethany family services, Employability, and Centrelink.

It is also envisaged that the SESW workers would work very closely and develop close, supportive relationships with the officers of the Wathaurong Co-Operative. It is proposed that the SESW service would interact with the Health House, it's Co-ordinator and direct service providers, the Substance Abuse Officer, the Elders group, the Community Justice Panel, and the Wathaurong Men's Business group.

The SESW service would also have a role in providing health promotion and preventative programs specific to SESW issues. The service could become the focus of the development of parenting and relationship programs. It could interact closely and support the councillors providing the services relating to the "National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families." And could participate with the Elders' group in developing processes to promote community healing from a cultural and spiritual perspective.

It is proposed that (specifically within the Mental Health Services), the SESW workers would be involved in the assessment and access process, that they would act as the case manager within the acute inpatient unit and they would work with the mainstream clinicians to facilitate as brief admission as possible. Through providing extensive support and follow up in the community post discharge. They would liase extensively with the Koori Liaison Officer and the inpatient treatment team and would provide consultation and advice to the treatment team.

Please note that the clinical coordinators position is for a fixed period of three years, it is intended that at the end of that period one of the SESW workers would take on that role and another member of the community commence training.


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