Making Your Service Complex Needs Capable
This section discusses working with clients with complex needs from an organisational perspective. The main points are that:
Ongoing training and education are a key component of any service's professional development and continuing quality improvement. It is particularly important in regard to clients with complex needs. This section covers workforce development and managing organisational change.
There is overwhelming evidence to support the implementation of universal communication practices in drug and alcohol services to support people with complex needs. For implementation to be consistent and the impact of changes measurable for clients and staff, there needs to be an organisation-wide approach with the support of management.
A review of your service's eligibility, intake, and assessment policy and practice will identify if people with complex needs are inadvertently screened out at any of these stages when trying to access drug and alcohol treatment at your service.
When working with clients with complex needs, it's important to make use of supports beyond your service including families, carers, other services and referrals.
Stress, burnout and staff retention are all challenges for the drug and alcohol workforce, so having practices and actions in place to support a worker's effectiveness and wellbeing is essential.
Quality improvement is the ongoing process of a service self-reflecting and developing systems and service delivery. With a focus on outcomes, processes and people-based improvement, the objective is to improve the quality of care for clients.
Case studies from The Lyndon Community, We Help Ourselves and Karralika Programs Inc. describe how these three drug and alcohol services have managed change within their organisations to become complex needs capable.