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Early intervention: fostering purposefulness and social connectedness

We believe in early intervention – in building people’s strengths and capabilities from the very start.

For children this means giving them the best possible start in life: by providing their parents and carers with the resources they need to enable a child to grow, develop and flourish; by identifying any educational or behavioural problems early and providing access to early childhood and health professionals; and by providing parents with community links, support and stability through work.

For young people early intervention means providing career counselling; advice; resources; and a belief they have choices and can follow their dreams, regardless of their circumstances, prior to them leaving school. If they fall into unemployment, it means providing them with worthwhile work experience to give them a sense of purpose, social connectedness and the opportunity to progress. It means identifying skills in demand in their local area and ensuring that relevant training is available to enable them to move into a job quickly.

For people on unemployment benefits early intervention means providing them with access to the resources and a self-belief that they need to move into work from day one of their unemployment. We believe in independence: we know that every day on benefits is another day of dependence; another day further from the labour market. We know the importance of a sense of purpose and connectedness and how quickly this can be diminished. While we have a proven track record of working with very long-term unemployed people, we believe that greater success can be achieved if people have immediate access to the resources and facilities they need to uncover their dreams, build on their strengths and capabilities and to enable them to move into work. Our 23 years of experience in providing welfare to work, recruitment and outplacement services have convinced us that every day counts.

We know the importance of early intervention for people with health conditions through our 17 years experience as one of the largest private providers of vocational rehabilitation, injury management and corporate health services in Australia, along with our extensive experience in providing welfare to work services for people on incapacity benefits. We believe that people are better off in work and are acutely aware of the impact of long-term unemployment on health. Functional capacity assessments, psychological support services and workplace modification alongside back to work services can enable people to get back to work more quickly.

Early intervention for people with health conditions can also mean working with employers to improve occupational health and safety standards to prevent workplace illness or injury.

Once in work, our employee assistance programs provide access to qualified, professional counsellors who assist with the resolution of work-related or personal concerns before they impact significantly on work performance or quality of work life.

For people in hospital early intervention can mean providing vocational rehabilitation services to enable them to reintegrate back into their homes and communities more quickly, linking them with relevant services in their community and connecting them to other people through social networks.

For mature aged people early intervention means addressing the needs of the aging population now. It means developing retraining and retention strategies, assisting individuals to use their skills and capabilities to stay in the workplace longer, providing flexible working conditions to enable people to address health conditions or to have a phased retirement from the workforce. We have a close relationship with the International Federation on Aging which believes in ‘generating positive change for older people throughout the world by stimulating, collecting, analysing and disseminating information on the rights, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life of people as they age’.

For those who no longer work, or are unable to work due to disability, early intervention can also mean providing them with access to appropriate care and facilities so they can continue to function optimally, and with dignity, in their own home.

For ex-offenders it means working with them prior to release to identify and work towards vocational goals, build a network of employers, and providing the means for them to reignite social connectedness and networks.

We believe in independence… we know the importance of
a sense of purpose and connectedness …every day counts.”