Research in Community and Clinical Health

Researchers in the Department of Community and Clinical Health are making a difference to health and wellbeing

Optimising delivery

Professor Lisa Brophy (pictured above) has led an evaluation of the enablers and barriers to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recovery-oriented psychosocial delivery support.

The report, commissioned by Mental Health Victoria, is part three of the NDIS Recovery-Oriented Psychosocial Delivery Support Project: Growing National Workforce Capability.

Parts one and two of the study outlined best practice in recovery-oriented psychosocial disability support and guidance for improving the NDIS psychosocial workforce.

In part three, Professor Brophy and her team explored the experiences of NDIS participants with a psychosocial disability and their carers, along with NDIS providers and organisations, to outline the barriers and enablers to support.

The final report lists over 20 recommendations in areas including workforce development and retention, coproduction, choice and control, rights and justice, evaluation and quality assurances and leadership and culture.

The project aims to build capacity of the NDIS workforce and improve service delivery, to enhance recovery outcomes of NDIS participants with mental health conditions.

The findings have been used by Mental Health Victoria to inform practice guides training for the NDIS workforce.

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Bingo risks

Bingo might seem like harmless fun, but higher stakes and new technology are making it more dangerous.

In this Conversation article, Associate Professor Sarah Maclean, Kathleen Maltzahn, Adjunct Associate Professor Mary Whiteside and co-authors explore how technological developments, large jackpots and locating bingo in the same venue as pokies bring new risks to players.

“Bingo’s innocuous reputation is due for a rethink,” they write. “Capping costs for games and jackpots, limiting the games that can be played on tablets and keeping bingo separate from other gambling opportunities would help retain the benefits it offers – and stop people from spending money they don’t have.”

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Closing the gap

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are ten times more likely than non-Indigenous children to be in out-of-home care, an over-representation that has increased over the last decade.

Indigenous children are far less likely to be removed for reasons of physical or sexual abuse than non-Indigenous children but are more likely to be removed for reasons of neglect, which can relate to poverty.

Researchers in Social Work and Social Policy are exploring the reasons for over-representation and removal by exploring the ways that processes of structural racism and continuing colonisation operate through child protection and out of home care in Australia.

“Our research is investigating the role that social systems and processes, that prioritise whiteness and promote its power, play in Australia’s child protection system,” explains Alex Bhathal.

“We are trying to understand whether and how we can shift the focus of child protection from removing children from their families, to supporting families in crisis.”

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Housing designed for people with disabilities

Jacinta Douglas and Di Winkler argue that housing designed for people with disabilities reduces the help needed.

Their research found specialist housing, that incorporates technology and communication tools, improves independence, health, wellbeing and community integration.

“New disability housing has enormous potential to improve the effectiveness of paid support and address housing and workforce issues,” Douglas and Winkler explain.

“We estimate $1.1 billion would be saved each year in disability support costs if National Disability Insurance Scheme participants were living in suitable housing, because they would enjoy increased independence and more efficiently delivered support.”

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Find out more about the Department of Community and Clinical Health on the website and LinkedIn.