(But first, a prayer: Lord, please let someone with common sense and power read this post, so that they might be filled with righteous anger and smite (repeatedly) the folk that have led us to this place, then may they with all haste restore a measure of sanity)
There are 2 types of Disability Employment Services.
Here’s the difference:
DES DMS provides services to people with temporary or permanent disability, injury or health conditions who are expected to require support that is occasional or not ongoing to maintain employment in the open labour market.
DES ESS provides services to people with a permanent disability who are expected to require ongoing support to maintain employment in the open labour market. Support under the ESS is provided at 3 levels:
•High - regular and ongoing support which is significant in hours and/or intensity, provided on average on a weekly basis.
•Moderate - regular and ongoing support which is relatively significant in hours and/or intensity, provided on average on a fortnightly basis.
•Flexible - sporadic or episodic support as required, up to 6 instances within a 26 week period.
NOVA provides DES ESS services
It is not my intention to say one is harder than the other but a mystery is occurring. Here’s what’s happening: People under ESS may enter a service either by referral via Centrelink or voluntarily through a direct registration.
Direct registrations are dropping off.
Broadly speaking service providers are not using this avenue to build their businesses and offer additional opportunities to people with disability – they aren’t canvassing for them and enabling more to enter the workforce.
More people = more money and more outcomes surely?
Why not take advantage of this opportunity???
A Mystery solved
Many of the services that worked hardest to cater to these type of job seekers (and yes, these folk are less likely to reflect the general needs of the population of all unemployed people, they have lifelong disability and/or more challenging barriers) were destroyed by the present funding body during their recent procurement process (all hail its fairness).
There was a subsequent skills exodus that saw people with decades of knowledge and skill developed supporting those with highest needs leave the industry.
At the same time the evaluation system used to measure ‘quality’ rewarded and continues to reward behaviours most likely to exclude the most needy. I believe that the present system actively discriminates against the provision of on-going support in the workplace. What’s rewarded is what we seeing achieved in the outcomes – casual small hour positions subsidised by eth provider until they achieve the statistical mark so desperately sought in the cut throat competitive world that’s been created.
That would be fabulous if it was actually making a spits worth of difference to people with significant barriers – it’s not. On-going support and meaningful long term employment are less likely to be provided and are more elusive today than at any time in recent memory.
This thing needs a shake if we are ever to see better.
Reform of the present system is vital - less administration, more job acquisition - meaningful KPI's that reflect job seeker wishes.
“The 10 Demandments” – a fidelity scale for everyone
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