Twelve staff from SSI attended Northcott’s inaugural Cultural Competency in Diversity Conference last week held in Parramatta.
The focus of the two day event was to introduce an innovative model of cultural competency for the disability sector in NSW, with the launch of the Cultural Diversity Competency Framework (CDCF) and a range of tools to assist disability service providers to be more culturally competent when working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
The CDCF provides the foundation for a new approach to diversity for disability organisations and SSI staff at the conference felt that SSI was already well placed to deliver a culturally competent and inclusive model of Ability Links NSW (ALNSW).
ALNSW is a State Government initiative that supports people with disability, their families and carers to live the life they want, as valued members of their community.
SSI, in partnership with Uniting Care and St Vincent de Paul Society, deliver ALNSW across 44 LGAs.
Manager of Inclusion and Services Stephen O’Neill, said there are always challenges and lessons to learn when it comes to cultural competency, and in particular in relation to the disability sector, but SSI is in a good position.
“From our CEO through to our reception staff, the 500-odd staff of SSI is encouraged to practice the SSI values of respect, diversity and social justice,” Mr O’Neill said.
“In particular, our staff working in the ALNSW program shows great passion for social inclusion, and through their work of supporting people with disability to live the life they want, SSI Linkers help facilitate community engagement and help foster a more welcoming society.
One of the benefits of ALNSW is that there are no KPIs and it is not case management. The program is based on relationships, community connections, and working with participants on their options, at their pace.”