Employment Support Practice Guidelines – Released for Consultation 9 August 2017

Employment Support Practice Guidelines – Released for Consultation 9 August 2017

Access to secure employment is a high priority for disabled people, not just because of the increased financial security it can bring, but because of the difference it can make to people’s health and well-being. Paid work really matters and is essential to a good life. The employment participation rate for disabled people is half that of the general population. Disabled people are missing out and the labour market is missing out on the contribution that disabled people can make.

Employment support services are a critical investment by government, the disability sector and the community aimed at improving both the employment participation rate of disabled people as well as the economic and social benefits that accrue as a result – for disabled people and society as a whole. It is therefore essential that employment support services offer a level of quality that provides assurance that these outcomes can be achieved. NZDSN initiated a project to develop the Employment Support Service Practice Guidelines as one way of providing this assurance.

The guidelines are an essential “how to” for supporting disabled people to get the job they want. They are based on a set of principles and practices that are informed by evidence that has accumulated over many years of research, evaluation and endeavour. Developing the guidelines has been the result of a cross sector collaboration involving provider umbrella groups, disabled people’s organisations and government.

A large number of sector leaders, practitioners, academics and disabled people (including those who are or have used employment support services), have contributed to the development of the guidelines – as members of the project governance group or the project working group, and by critiquing and providing feedback on a series of draft consultation documents.

The project has been managed by Gordon Boxall who led the consultation, research and development process that has produced the final publication. He has shown extraordinary patience, perseverance and determination to see that the desired project outcomes were achieved. His generosity also needs to be acknowledged, given the actual time that he contributed to the project.

It is our hope and intention that the guidelines be used by all those who have a stake in high quality support services that achieve great employment outcomes for disabled people. The guidelines can be used by:

  • Providers to guide self-review and continuous quality improvement
  • Funders to inform service specifications and contracted outcomes
  • Disabled people and family members to inform and guide consumer expectations
  • Training providers as a resource for workforce development
  • Independent auditors and evaluators as a benchmark for service quality

The Governance Group has committed to ensuring that the guidelines become an ongoing touchstone for quality by actively promoting their use in whatever spheres of influence they have available. The guidelines documents can be found on the websites of each of the organisations that were members of the Governance Group.

The Employment Support Practice Guidelines were released for consultation at the inaugural NZDSN National Employment Symposium in Hamilton on 9 August 2017.    Those documents can be found below and please note these are all draft documents for consultation.

The consultation process will finish at 4 pm on Friday 29 September 2017.

If you are interested in discussing these guidelines in a forum, please see contact details below.

All feedback should be sent to the NZDSN Office via Sara Georgeson.  Sara can be contacted on 04 4734678 and sarag@nzdsn.org.nz.

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