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25 Jan 2024


How SSI and Hireup have filled the Focus Care workforce

Two ladies smile amidst many flowers

Aged care providers across Australia know firsthand the impact of the ongoing workforce shortages. Some aged care homes are working below capacity, meaning seniors needing care have no option but to remain in hospitals for extended periods. Overcoming this staffing gap is a collaborative effort across the sector.

As part of our Home Care Staffing Support (HCSS) initiative in NSW and the ACT, we’ve partnered with Hireup Australia’s largest NDIS-registered platform of support workers. Together, we’re working on cost-effective and flexible ways to connect more aged care providers with qualified care workers.

Focus Care Australia’s Service Operations Manager, Maria Paul recently shared insights into the benefits of the HCSS. She highlighted how key challenges are being solved to get more workers into jobs to care for Australia’s seniors.

Impact in action

“Focus Care provides in-home aged care, dementia care and disability support. We’ve experienced many different recruitment support programs across many regions. SSI and Hireup have been the ones that have made us the most hopeful by being the most effective solution for us,” Maria said.

She continued, “We’re a medium-sized company and passion is one of our biggest drivers – we thrive off it and promote that! The program has allowed us to be very responsive and given us the ability to maintain the consistency of our support to clients.”

Since joining the HCSS in June 2023, Focus Care has worked with approximately 30 different support workers, each helping to address their resourcing needs and working closely with case managers and Focus Care’s head office.

“Resourcing has been the biggest benefit for us. Our focus is always on building quality services, especially in terms of supporting our workforce as they carry out community care,” Maria said.

“Hireup makes that so much easier to do and has ensured our existing workforce isn’t spread too thin.”

“There are also financial benefits. SSI allows us to submit a 50 per cent rebate for the cost of paying Hireup support workers and with the money we’re saving, we can allocate more into helping both the people we support and our workers,” she added.

In a broader sense, the collaboration has given Focus Care a wider range of diverse expertise and personalities who can support clients. It has improved the quality of care that seniors receive and ensured that cultural contexts are considered when support workers provide aged care services.

Maria explained, “Almost 1,000 hours have been covered over the space of a few months. To us, that’s an unbelievable amount. If you think of it this way: without that workforce, that would be 1,000 hours where elderly people in our community would have gone without the fundamental care they need.”

In tandem with the Home Care Workforce Support Program (HCWSP), the HCSS has given aged care providers and workers a greater degree of flexibility in the hiring process and prompt job placement. The HCWSP ensures that all workers are trained and job-ready, while the HCSS pairs workers with providers in need of staff, both directly addressing staff shortages.

“Giving us options or solutions to tackle workforce challenges confidently – unbeatable! That’s what the HCSS has done, it’s a great partnership,” Maria said proudly.

How it works

As part of the government-funded HCWSP program, the HCSS provides flexible resourcing options for eligible Aged Care Providers by giving them access to the thousands of care workers seeking work via the Hireup platform.

SSI provides eligible aged care providers with a subsidy to cover 50% of the wages of casual workers hired through the Hireup initiative.

At the core, the initiative creates more opportunities and shifts for support workers. The knock-on effect is a job-ready pool of carers available to look after senior Australians.

Since partnering with Hireup in March 2023, we’ve seen both the HCWSP and HCSS continue to grow and actively contribute to the industry’s workforce shortage.


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