News: Quarterly update from the IPS WORKS team

11 Dec 2023

Quarterly update from the IPS WORKS team

Over the last quarter, the IPS WORKS team have been busy conducting fidelity reviews and sites visits. In addition, Support and Evaluation officer Cindy attended the headspace national Work and Study Learning collaborative, which was an event to feature the IPS program, share best practice and recognise excellence with a new awards program.

In November, IPS WORKS & WAAMH’s submission on employment reform to the Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services was recognised by the Australian Government as an important contribution to its Inquiry, and some of the recommendations were reflected in the final report.

Headspace Work and Study Learning Collaborative and the IPS Awards

IPS WORKS Support and Evaluation officer Cindy Cox attended the headspace Work and Study Learning Collaborative in Melbourne. IPS WORKS is one of the program partners for the headspace IPS programs also known as the headspace Work and Study Centre Support and was invited as an event guest. The event brought together all vocational workers including IPS specialists, providing an opportunity to share learnings, and connect with each on best practice. This year saw the launch of the IPS Awards, including an Award for Excellence in Reflective Practice, Excellence Innovative Practice and Excellence in Celebrating / Promoting the IPS program.  

Pictured: headspace Work and Study Learning Collaborative Event in Melbourne 2023.

Employment reform submission recognised by the Australian Government

In response to the Inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services, IPS WORKS and WAAMH put forward a submission in May 2023, proposing a system redesign where a national IPS program could help overcome common barriers to employment for those experiencing mental health issues. 

The Committee Chair acknowledged WAAMH’s submission as an important contribution, and many of WAAMH’s evidence-based recommendations were represented in the final report titled Rebuilding Employment Services published in November 2023.

The Chair of the Committee acknowledged WAAMH’s submission as compelling: “The proposition you're putting to us is incredibly powerful. We've heard so many good things. We've seen great things about one-stop shops. We know from our former lives and community lives that citizens much prefer to go to one place and get all the things that they need. You can't do that with every human service; it's just not realistic. But with the mental health cohort, you've got some powerful evidence that they have to connect into that service to be well and stay well, so why not help wrap the vocational employment thing in with them?” said Labor MP Julian Hill.

Training and fidelity reviews

The team continue to provide fidelity reviews and training to 50 headspace sites across Australia, guiding vocational specialists through evidence-based practice to engage young people and assist them to achieve their employment goals.  

Head to Health funded by the Department of Social Services are undertaking an IPS trial in Head to Health Midland and Darwin which the IPS WORKS team support along with RUAH funded by the Mental Health Commission. Our fee for service base is also growing as we see organisations embedding employment into an individual’s recovery.  Some of the services the team supports with fidelity reviews and training are Youth Focus and Community Bridging Services who partner with Country Health SA and Western Adelaide Health to support those over 25 into employment utilising the IPS model.

The IPS WORKS team have been travelling across Australia to conduct fidelity reviews and site visits. Between September and December 6th  the team have completed 21 fidelity reviews and 33 site visits

The team continue to raise awareness of the benefits of the Individual Placement and Support model with organisations across a range of areas, including criminal justice and hope that 2024 will lead to further expansion of the program.

For more information:

Cassie MacDonald
Sector Development Manager

Roshani Shrestha
Project Lead – Individual Placement & Support