I found out recently that we are amongst ‘the few’. -
A disability employment service that provides post placement support!
Stunned? - Me too.
I couldn’t imagine how it could be that other disability employment services could or would not provide post placement support (other than via phone).
Surely we were raised on the consequences of placing an unsupported person into a workplace and using prayer as the principle on-site aid? Wasn’t it Dr Marc Gold who proved that effectively delivered on-site help raised 6 month retention from 50 to over 80%.
But there was also the damaging effects of job loss.
American Psychologist Wolf Wolfensberger (truly) wrote extensively of the wounding effects of job loss on people with disability in his principles of social role valorisation. Raised on these 2 underlying truths Australian disability employment services set out to ensure that the people we supported were given assistance in the workplace by properly trained and resourced workers who were tasked with ensuring integration and competence within the workplace.
Australia ranked 5th in the world league tables for integration, remuneration and participation.
That this (on-site post placement support) is no longer the majority way came as a complete shock to me.
Why the change?
The entry into the marketplace of ‘for-profit’ providers who do not have the long term interests of people with disability first in their aims and an overarching management of the program by a department without a history of involvement in disability issues.
“Good” is now numbers of people in employment and that suits both ‘for profits’ and the funders who can say were doing 10, now doing 12 ergo a 20% ‘improvement’ has been achieved.
People with significant disability are screened out since they require post placement help and there’s no money in that.
Australia ranks 21st (that’s motherless last) in the world league tables for integration, remuneration and participation.
What to do?
Whinge about it – which I have done and have been doing for 7 years. Or, follow Dr Gold’s advice and (Drum Roll.......) “try another way”!
So that’s what I am going to do.
For a start I have called in an old friend of NOVA’s, Dale DiLeo (www.daledileo.com) to come back and help me train my staff on the best way to provide effective post placement assistance (just to make sure that we are up to date and in line with the world’s best) and then...
Approach the issue of disability employment in an entirely different way.
This is going to be terrific – stay tuned
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