Purro Birik - 47

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Purro Birik - (Healthy Spirit)



Appendix G: Best Practice Project No.5         


Employment Assistence Program - Workforce Placement Service and the City of Darebin  Koori Community.


Employment Assistance for People with Disabilities from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Communities...A work in progress.


Prepared for the Association of Competitive Employment (ACE) National Conference, Perth 1999, by Lucy Macali, Executive Officer, Work Force Placement Service, Melbourne.




Work Force has spent much time over the last few years building links with local Aboriginal services in order to provide employment opportunities to members of the local Aboriginal community who have disabilities. We believe in the work that has been done so far and also believe that it may be of value to others to hear about what is being done at a local level, in the hope that they may be encouraged to make partnerships in their own areas.


OVERVIEW - Work Force Placement Service


Work Force is a specialist provider of employment assistance to jobseekers with disabilities in the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne, with most jobseekers living within the City of Darebin. The key target group is people with psychiatric disability (75% of service users).


Employment assistance at Work Force is based on a 1:1 model of service delivery, that is, the jobseeker is allocated a single employment consultant who is responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of the individual employment plan. A coordinated approach to employment assistance may involve dealing with a range of mental health professionals, caregivers and service providers to address key issues relating to the employment goals of the jobseeker.


Work Force has a commitment to providing employment assistance to minority groups; primarily people from non-English speaking backgrounds (45% of service users), women (44%) and young people (24% between 18-25 years).


Work Force also works in close collaboration with members of the local Aboriginal communit~ with strong ties developed with key Aboriginal organisations. As a result, at a statewide level, Work Force currently has the highest rate of Aboriginal clients with psychiatric disabilities registered with its employment program (National Information Management System, May 1999).



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