Diversity in community care

We support the capacity of Victorian councils to meet the needs of diverse Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (HACC PYP) clients.

The Commonwealth and Victorian governments specify the below 12 diversity characteristics (or special needs groups) for providers to focus on in their diversity planning and service delivery.  They note that people can identify with more than one characteristic, and that while here are similarities within groups, no two people’s lived experiences are the same.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people
  • People who live in rural, remote or very remote areas
  • People with mental health problems and mental illness
  • People living with cognitive impairment including dementia
  • People with a disability
  • Parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal
  • Care-leavers (people who experienced institutional care, eg foster homes)
  • People who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Veterans
  • Socio or economically disadvantaged people.

Alongside the assistance provided by regional sector development teams (including Diversity Advisers), we support councils and the local government sector specifically.  We offer individual support, review diversity plans, send ‘Diversity in Community Care’ eNews, facilitate training and professional development, showcase best practice, provide input into government policy and planning, and facilitate partnerships and networking.

Current priorities

Our support is currently focused on:

  • visiting individual councils to advise on any challenges, gather best practice and discuss the development of diversity plans
  • veterans, care-leavers (those who experienced institutional care), people with mental health problems, and parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal
  • enhancing the use of access and support services.

Current projects

Access and Support Service Campaign

We have partnered with the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) on a project to enhance connections between Access and Support Services and council aged care providers.

Committees and reference groups

We represent the interests of Victorian local government at meetings of the:

  • Diversity Working GroupMembers of this group are Commonwealth and State government funded sector development staff representing health, diversity / special needs organisations. Meetings often include a regional Aboriginal Development Officer and/or a Diversity Adviser, and key issues are shared with Department of Health and Department of Health and Human Services representatives.

  • Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV) Statewide Access and Support Peer NetworkThis network consists of access and support workers based in councils, health and ethnic organisations (generally all CHSP and HACC PYP providers).  Meetings include updates from the Commonwealth and State governments, particularly on operational matters likely to impact diverse clients / special needs groups.

  • Victorian Public Service (VPS) Diversity and Inclusion Community of Practice This is a community of VPS staff whose roles are to encourage and support diversity and inclusion, internally and externally. They represent various State departments and agencies and discuss operational issues, policy and best practice.

Resources

Local Government Guide for Diversity Plans (2016-17)

To support council aged care providers’ development of 2017-17 Diversity Plans, we put together resources, tips, key stakeholders and other information specific to each of the 12 special needs groups in this Information for 2016-17 LG HACC CHSP Diversity Plans (Word - 53KB).

Aged Care Diversity Framework

The Commonwealth government’s Aged Care Diversity Framework is designed to ensure that aged care service providers (including councils) better meet the diverse characteristics and life experiences of older people, for example when developing policies and procedures and working with clients.  It also supports the government, consumers, families and carers by addressing specific barriers and challenges faced by Australia’s diverse ageing population. The Framework complements the Department of Health’s diversity Information and Training Resources and Complementary Frameworks, and the establishment of three Action Plans: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, CALD and LGBTI.

ECCV Access and Support Service Directory

The ECCV maintain an up to date Statewide Access & Support Directory (PDF - 361KB) with the contact details of all staff in the Victorian Access and Support Network, along with their local government area and client target group. They also have a useful outline of the Access and Support Service.

Creating GLBTI Inclusive Home and Community Care Services

In 2014, we partnered with Latrobe University to publish the Victorian government funded The HACC Pack (PDF - 702KB) to assist HACC service providers develop awareness, guidance and confidence to provide GLTBI services.

Meeting the Needs of LGBTI HACC Clients; a Year On

Meeting the Needs of LGBTI HACC Clients; a Year On (Word - 122KB), reports on our 2015 forum for HACC staff to discuss and reflect on progress in LGBTI inclusiveness since significant efforts were made in the sector. It includes recommendations and best practice from councils.

Social Cohesion in Practice Portal

Our Social Cohesion in Practice Portal allows councils to browse the work that other Victorian councils are doing around social cohesion, which often involves a focus on diverse groups (most commonly multicultural communities). It also allows councils to easily showcase their own projects.

MAV Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement

In February 2018, our Board endorsed the MAV Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement, following our support of marriage equality as a human right, and for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community

Cultural Diversity

Various resources specific to meeting the needs of culturally diverse residents (not just community care clients) is available on our Cultural Diversity page, including our Statement of Commitment to Cultural Diversity (Word - 1.50MB) and presentations from past events.

Engage with us

Diversity in Community Care eNetwork

Aged and disability managers, team leaders, assessors, care workers and other staff receive fortnightly eNews with training, resources, statistics, planning support and other information to build their capacity to be inclusive of diverse CHSP and HACC PYP clients. The eNews is also used to showcase practices and request advice from other councils.

Multicultural eNetwork

This eNetwork relates specifically to cultural diversity and work done across all council areas. It includes the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN). For details, visit Cultural Diversity.

Further information

For more information, contact:

Currently under recruitment
Diversity Policy Adviser