CHP PhD Confirmation Seminar - Tara Harriden

Supporting disability support workers to provide culturally and safe and long-lasting care for Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people who experience psychosocial disabilities

Presenter: Tara Harriden

Date and time: Friday 5th of March, 11am-12pm (AEDST)

Via Zoom :
Password: 776650

At the centre of this proposed research are two groups of people: 1) Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants who experience psychosocial disabilities (PEPDs) and, 2) the psychosocial disability support workers (PDSWs) who work with and for those participants. The introduction of the NDIS, which provides individual finding packages to people with disabilities has seen a shift towards in-home support. This in turn  has led to dramatic changes in the role and responsibilities of disability support workers (DSWs) without a concomitant change in professional development or support for these workers.

Current literature/research shows that there is a growing demand for, and shortage of, qualified DSWs, particularly psychosocial DSWs. Retention of DSWs is a concern also, and is dependent on factors such as (but not limited to; “[p]ositive early workplace experiences…, quality supervision, learning and career opportunities…” (National Disability Services, 2020). To reduce PDSW job turnover, support workers need to be adequately and appropriately trained and supported to develop and maintain high levels of skill and confidence in their work. This in turn will enable to provide high quality support to PEPDs for a longer period of time by reducing job turnover brought about by burnout. DSWs who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian PEPDs could also benefit from cultural safety upskilling.

This research aims to co-design and develop, with Aboriginal Australian PEPDs, as well as their PDSWs and informal carers (families and nominees), an arts-based clinical supervision program to support and sustain PDSWs to remain in their disability support work, providing culturally safe disability support for Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders PEPDs for longer.

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