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Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland _PDF 150KB_ - Questionnaire

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Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland _PDF 150KB_ - Questionnaire Powered By Docstoc
					Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland

           Submission

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AUSTRALIA

            June 2008




                                      Page 1 of 9
                                  Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland

 SUBMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS

                                 EMPLOYMENT SERVICES AUSTRALIA

                                                 June 2008



POSITION STATEMENT

Access Employment services (capped DEN Services) at the Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland (The
League) currently experience a number of challenges in implementing the Federal Government’s Job
Network initiative. In the wake of the Welfare to Work legislation and initially established to place large
numbers of unemployed people into scarce jobs, the Job Network role has vastly evolved since the
development of the legislation, to the point where it is no longer relevant in the current social, economic
environment. The Job Network now needs to focus on continued employability and trailing commissions for
services that enhance continuity of ongoing employment for clients.

Employment Access services at the League focus predominantly on people who have disability and access
employment through the DEN capped services and therefore this submission focuses on these people and
these services specifically.

JURISDICTION

The Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland (The League) is the largest non-government service provider
for Queensland clients who have physical disability and provides a range of services throughout the state.
Services are accessed by children and adults with cerebral palsy and related disabilities and their families /
carers. The League’s mission statement documents the core direction and purpose of the organisation as
follows:
     “The Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland will provide services and supports which enable
     and empower people with cerebral palsy and related disabilities to create and access
     opportunities to lead valued lives as respected and equal members of society within their
     family and community.” (Extract from the Corporate Plan 2005-2010)
The organisation has grown, from its initial small inception 1948 by a group of parents of children and
concerned citizens to one - sixty years on – being an organisation that expends some $54m on providing
vital services to assist some 10,000 (active and inactive) clients. Currently we assist 1,500 children and
1,500 adults and their families/carers to achieve their life goals.
The League employs approximately 1500 staff to assist in the delivery of innovative services to meet the
needs of our client population across the state with special consideration being given to the difficulties of
service access to those people who have disability and who are living in rural and remote regions and also
those people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
The League has seven regional centres for child and adult services and it also provides an outreach
program within each region and throughout the state. The regional centres are located at: Gold Coast,
South West; Brisbane South; Brisbane North; Sunshine Coast; Wide Bay, Townsville and Central
Queensland. League services are also provided in rural and remote places such as Mt Isa, Torres Strait and
Cairns.
Access Employment Services are based in Brisbane North, Brisbane South, Southport, Caboolture and
Ipswich.
The League recently achieved certification under ISO 9001, covering the whole organisation. In addition,
employment and business services are certified under the DES quality system. The League is currently
certified as a Quality Assured organisation under Queensland Disability Sector Quality System,
Commonwealth Disability Services Standards, and AS/NZS ISO 9001-2000.




                                                                                                      Page 2 of 9
CONTACT DETAILS

Chief Executive Officer:                       Chair of the Client Consultative Committee:

                                               Mr Terry Donaldson
Mrs Angela Tillmanns

Signature                                      Signature




Registered office:                             Contact Person
                                               Gabrielle ROSE (PhD) |Policy and Research Officer |
55 Oxlade Drive, New Farm
                                               Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland, 55 Oxlade Drive |
Queensland 4005
                                               New Farm | Brisbane |4005 PO Box 386 | Fortitude Valley |
Postal Address:
                                               QLD 4006
PO Box 386, Fortitude Valley
                                               Tel: 07 3358 8101
Queensland 4006
                                               Fax: 07 32541387
Telephone 07 33588011
                                               Web http://www.cplqld.org.au
Facsimile 07 3254 1291
Email exec@cplqld.org.au
Website www.cplqld.org.au

METHODOLOGY

The evidence for this submission has been gathered by:
       Consultation, focus groups and discussions with managers, supervisors, staff and clients of Access
       Employment, Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland;
       Document analysis from various Government and Community Reference Groups involved with
       providing employment services; and
       Research identifying international benchmarks.



Capped DEN providers-              Address                             DEEWR Star Rating
Access Employment Service
Outlets operating at Cerebral
Palsy League of Queensland
Access Employment Service          6 Edmondstone Road                  Three and a half (max of five)
Brisbane North                     Bowen Hills 4006
Access Employment Brisbane South   Shop 37 700 Logan Road,             Four and a half      “
                                   Greenslopes 4120
Access Employment Service          Suite 24-25 Kingsgate Centre 44     Three and a half     “
Caboolture                         King Street Caboolture 4510
Access Employment Services         Level 1 Rooms 13 and 6, WG
Ipswich                            Hayden Humanities Building, 56      Four and a half      “
                                   South Street, Ipswich 4305
Access Employment Service Gold     Level 2 34 High Street Southport    Four and a half      “
Coast                              4215




                                                                                                    Page 3 of 9
1.0         RECOMMENDATIONS
      1.1   Client
                1. Focus on employability and not just on getting a job;
                2. Reduce documentation and compliance issues;
                3. Make transition between DSP and employment easier;
                4. Rather than a focus on “have-a-job/don’t-have-a-job” it would be better to
                   look at employment across a continuum starting with those not connected
                   to the job market to those who are fully engaged in the labour market; and
                5. Ensure that productivity is also tied to worker quality of life and not only
                   economic outcomes.
      1.2   Funding
               6. Funding transparency between Capped and Uncapped Services;
               7. Better quality outcomes by restructuring payments to providers. Instead of
                   milestone payments at 13 and 26 weeks, pay a smaller up-front payment to
                   providers, followed by a monthly trailing commission for up to 3 years of
                   ongoing employment. Job Network providers would use this additional
                   payment to build employability through evening classes or periodic
                   weekend programs;
               8. Pay more for the service of moving the long-term unemployed people who
                   have disability into work. Evidence shows that these cases take time, and
                   this time requires money. Instead of capping payments at $6,600, we
                   should be willing to invest up to $23,000 (Half the annual value of a job) in
                   generating a $40,000 job;
               9. Quarantine a share of the existing Job Network budget to allow community
                   joint ventures to tender for seed capital. We must move beyond the one-
                   size-fits-all approach which pays providers from a simple fixed schedule for
                   placing an individual into work. We need to encourage innovative local
                   enterprise models, which allow existing operators to work creatively with
                   secondary providers of skills, training, housing support and drug
                   counselling; and
               10. Publish KPI3 scores on Job Network provider quality and include these
                   scores in the Star Ratings system. This would allow clients to make an
                   informed decision when choosing between providers and raise overall
                   service quality within the system.
      1.3   Policy and Practice Tensions
               11. Reforms to alleviate the tensions between the Welfare-to-Work policy and
                   the practiced implementation of this policy need to be considered at both
                   the departmental and organisational levels. At the departmental level, while
                   case-based funding may provide incentives for organisations to find
                   innovative ways of implementing the policy and delivering services, the
                   economies of scale that governments enjoy means they can provide more
                   generic resources rather than leaving this to individual organisations;
               12. Convert the role of Education Consultant to a mandatory qualification in
                   disability employment services;
               13. Underpin the role of employment service to professional standards;
               14. Professional development;
               15. Establish a debate on the appropriateness of the DEEWR portfolio to
                   deliver the Capped Job Network for people who have disability; and
               16. Ensure that policy initiative requirements are not in conflict with existing
                   standards at the state level as well as those of the organisation providing
                   the employment service.




                                                                                            Page 4 of 9
2.0         CHALLENGES TO EMPLOYMENT FOR THE CLIENT
      2.1        Generally, clients who have disability like to view the Employment
                 Consultant as more than a person to find a job for them;
                   A good Employment Consultant (EC) was one who could span across
                   several areas such as counselling; understanding the client’s limitations, job
                   matching, organizing appropriate workplace accommodations, employer
                   and co-worker liaison, education and support. A good EC was also one
                   who could understand a client’s disability condition;
                   There is no support in the workplace for a person who has disability.
                   People who have disability sometimes have different requirements for
                   ergonomic workplace space;
                   There is no funding available for awareness training for staff;
                   There is no funding available for “On the Job” training;
                   The differing levels, types and requirements of disability are not taken into
                   consideration;
                   There is no funding available for supporting a person in the workplace once
                   they access employment;
                   Supported employment should not be regarded as the final resting place
                   but instead a stepping stone to open employment;
                   For mental health and dual diagnosis there are community programs
                   although there is no case management and linking with employment
                   services;
                   There is too much emphasis placed on Job outcomes and not on processes
                   such as apprenticeship training etc.
                   Clients are subjected to the threat of losing their Disability Support Pension
                   once they access employment. Along with this clients fear losing the
                   assistance they receive while on DSP such as PBS, mobility, equipment
                   assistance etc; and
                   Once a person who has a disability and who gains employment, is placed
                   then they should receive tax incentives to maintain employment. The “deal”
                   has to be made attractive to the target group of the employment services.

3.0         FOR THE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE PROVIDER
      3.1        Service providers are competing against each other although this is not
                 necessarily in the interest of client outcomes. There is a fear of not
                 reaching targets and so providers focus on specific aspects to assist them
                 in reaching targets and not necessarily on outcomes for the client;
      3.1          Currently, in the one-size-fits-all there is no availability to create niche
                   markets and for organisations to specialise in what they do well. For
                   example our services provide access employment to people who have a
                   disability;
      3.3          The qualifications of the case workers does not necessarily match the type
                   of disability- e.g - a psychologist assessing a person with profound physical
                   disability;
      3.4          The overwhelming amount of paper work is pulling staff away from the front
                   line.
      3.5          There should be a standard qualification and professionalization of the
                   disability employment sector.
      3.6          With the relegation of the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Services to a

                                                                                             Page 5 of 9
                   competing Job Network provider a range of specialised skills are being lost
                   to the sector.
4.0         CHALLENGES FOR THE EMPLOYMENT CONSULTANT
      4.1   Breach of Agreement
                  The mandatory requirements for Capped clients to participate in job seeking
                  activities means that breaching is a necessary part of the daily choices of
                  Employment Consultants. The program and procedures that provide the
                  basis for the contract between DEN organisations and DEEWR outlines that
                  the organisation is expected to make at least two attempts to contact a
                  client who has failed to attend a scheduled interview. If the client cannot be
                  contacted the Employment Consultant much notify Centrelink using a
                  Participation Report. This report may trigger a breach of the Activity
                  Agreement by Centrelink. There is confusion about who has the authority
                  to authorise a Participation Report. This may have something to do with the
                  silo effect between FaHCSIA and DEEWR and internal policies may assist
                  this process.
      4.2   Amount of time spent with clients
                 There is disparity in terms of the amount of time spent with a client. Some
                 clients may require more time than others and this phenomenon is not
                 represented in funding in a one-size-fits-all scenario. For example people
                 who have profound disability may have communication challenges and may
                 require more time than say a person with a chronic illness.

      4.3   Access and Availability to Employment Consultants
                  Clients access to Employment Consultants varied across the services with
                  some services being inundated with new case interviews/assessments at
                  the cost of being available to clients who were already in the system.
                  Caseloads were high and this exacerbated the problem of client contact.
      4.4   Caseload
                  The typical size of caseloads for Employment Consultants is around 40.
                  Most Employment Consultants believe a caseload of between 25-30 would
                  be a more realistic and manageable load.
      4.5   Re-entry
                  Reentry requirements following a failed job placement is complex and
                  lengthy in terms of the time it takes for a client’s re-entry to the Job
                  Network.
5.0         CHALLENGES FOR THE NON GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION
            (NGO)SECTOR
                   As implementers of the Welfare-to-Work policy NGOs are known for their
                   commitment to the principles of social justice. Yet at the same time, with
                   funding short falls there is increasing importance on achieving paid
                   outcomes driven primarily by the new Uncapped contract. This is resulting
                   in a culture of increasing confusion at the service provider outlet level. This
                   feeling of incompatibility between the new contract with its mutual obligation
                   component is possibly a result of clashing culture’s between social justice,
                   commercial viability and DEEWR’s expectations of services in the disability
                   sector.
                   NGO’s tend to be mission oriented as opposed to outcomes oriented and
                   this is problematic in the Job Network as they are being forced to be
                   commercial in their approach to services instead of mission oriented
                   thereby making the Job Network “a tightrope walking exercise and a
                   significantly difficult act,” mixed with accountability.
                   Variations in practice and compliance are usually determined by a values

                                                                                             Page 6 of 9
             conflict.
             When perceived demanding administrative processes requirements are
             experienced this can compromise professional service delivery. Workers
             reported that up to 30-40% of their time was taken up with administrative
             requirements imposed on them from their organisation, state government
             requirements and from DEEWR.
6.0   LINKING ACROSS COMMONWEALTH AND STATE GOVERNMENT
      DEPARTMENTS
            The bureaucratic red tape required by the two departments (FaCHSIA) and
            DEEWR) reduces the effectiveness of the funding;
             Disability and employment access should be in the FaCHSIA portfolio.
             They have the specialised skills in this area;
             There was a perceived blurring of the boundaries within the vocational
             domain of human service workers and the requirements of DEEWR;
             Employment Consultants are required to practice in a complex environment
             where high levels of discretion and moderate levels of expertise are
             required. There is insufficient training, mentoring and debriefing capacity in
             the sector.

7.0   JOB ACCESS CARD (JAC)
           The generic Job Network has extra access to funding by way of a Job
           Seeker account whereas this is not the case with Access Employment for
           people who have a disability;
             The current system constricts participants as they go from
             Disability Support Pension to employment;
             The Auditing system is different across departments levels of government
             and there is no communication between FACSIA and DEEWR. This is
             problematic for disability employment services.

8.0   JOB CAPACITY ASSESSMENT (JCA) AND REFERRAL
           JCA’s determine the type of service. At the time of the JCA and
           subsequent signature the client signs to have their Disability Support
           pension reviewed and this is frightening for some of our clients.
             During the JCA it is not disclosed whether an involuntary treatment order
             has been issued. Therefore providers and assessors can sometimes be
             working without all the information required;
             The twenty business day timeframe to conduct a job assessment is difficult
             to achieve for providers. As a service we have our own targets to reach
             and this is not necessarily linked to the DEEWR star rating system;
             The Star ratings do not reflect the Disability Service Standards (QLD);
             JCA’s discriminate against older people because of the various hoops they
             have to jump to gain access to employment;
             JCA’s are not always done by Centrelink but instead are carried out by
             independent providers. It is generally in the outsourced assessor’s financial
             interest to refer people into employment rather than supporting them in their
             workplace. This inevitably leads to a reduced focus on employment
             maintenance because the financial reward and incentive is not there.
             JCA Assessors don’t always come with experience in disability and don’t
             necessarily know how to work with complex support needs;



                                                                                       Page 7 of 9
                     The weightings for disability types are not fair. There should not be a
                     proportional assessment;
                     Assessments are disparate across the disability domains. One size will not
                     fit all types of disabilities; and
                     JCA’s are carried out by inappropriate health professionals. For example
                     psychologists are assessing people who have a physical disability when it
                     fact it should be an occupational therapies, speech pathologist and or a
                     physiotherapist. Therefore there is a need to match disability with the
                     appropriate health professional.

9.0           PRODUCTIVITY ASSESSMENT
                   The Productivity Assessment process is a good start although more refining
                   is required. There is a need to develop machinery that accommodates
                   individuals who have physical disability;
                     Productivity based wage assessments were sometimes counterproductive
                     in the Business Services area for people with disability. Society’s
                     interpretation of productivity was sometimes very different to that of the
                     person with disability who saw simply participating in work as a positive
                     thing; and
                     Business Services are now driven by a policy agenda that rewards
                     commercial outcomes rather than client focused outcomes that were
                     sometimes not commercially viable.

10.0          DISABILITY SUPPORT PENSION
                    It is generally in the interests of the Job network to turn over the numbers
                    but not the quality outcomes for each person;
                     Our Access Employment services have the capacity but not the funding to
                     ensure high quality outcomes for a person who has disability and who is in
                     the workplace.

11.0          WORKPLACE MODIFICATION SCHEME
                   This system is not transparent enough. There are two levels of support,
                   some of which are not available to business services.
                   There is a focus on physical disability and not on mental health. Workplace
                   modification for mental health such as:
                a) Training for other staff
                b) Clients may need a pictorial outline of tasks
                c) Time out zones
                d) Behaviour support
                e) Speech and communication assistance
                f) Tape recorders for memory problems.
                   Moreover, workplaces are supposed to be medication compliant but this is
                   generally not the case.

12.0          RECOMMENDATIONS
       12.1   Client
                  1. Focus on employability and not just on getting a job
                  2. Reduce documentation and compliance issues
                  3. Make transition between DSP and employment easier
                  4. Rather than a focus on “have-a-job/don’t-have-a-job” it would be better to
                     look at employment across a continuum starting with those not connected
                     to the job market to those who are fully engaged in the labour market.
                  5. Ensure that productivity is also tied to worker quality of life and not only
                     economic outcomes


                                                                                               Page 8 of 9
12.2   Funding
          6. Funding transparency between Capped and Uncapped Services
          7. Better quality outcomes by restructuring payments to providers. Instead of
              milestone payments at 13 and 26 weeks, pay a smaller up-front payment to
              providers, followed by a monthly trailing commission for up to 3 years of
              ongoing employment. Job Network providers would use this additional
              payment to build employability through evening classes or periodic
              weekend programs.
          8. Pay more for the service of moving the long-term unemployed people who
              have disability into work. Evidence shows that these cases take time, and
              this time requires money. Instead of capping payments at $6,600, we
              should be willing to invest up to $23,000 (Half the annual value of a job) in
              generating a $40,000 job.
          9. Quarantine a share of the existing Job Network budget to allow community
              joint ventures to tender for seed capital. We must move beyond the one-
              size-fits-all approach which pays providers from a simple fixed schedule for
              placing an individual into work. We need to encourage innovative local
              enterprise models, which allow existing operators to work creatively with
              secondary providers of skills, training, housing support and drug
              counselling.
          10. Publish KPI3 scores on Job Network provider quality and include these
              scores in the Star Ratings system. This would allow clients to make an
              informed decision when choosing between providers and raise overall
              service quality within the system.
12.3   Policy and Practice Tensions
          11. Reforms to alleviate the tensions between the Welfare-to-Work policy and
              the practiced implementation of this policy need to be considered at both
              the departmental and organisational levels. At the departmental level, while
              case-based funding may provide incentives for organisations to find
              innovative ways of implementing the policy and delivering services, the
              economies of scale that governments enjoy means they can provide more
              generic resources rather than leaving this to individual organisations.
          12. Convert the role of Education Consultant to a mandatory qualification in
              disability employment services
          13. Underpin the role of employment service to professional standards.
          14. Professional development
          15. Establish a debate on the appropriateness of the DEEWR portfolio to
              deliver the Capped Job Network for people who have disability.
          16. Ensure that policy initiative requirements are not in conflict with existing
              standards at the state level as well as those of the organisation providing
              the employment service.




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