Making it work: a workforce guide for disability service providers

27 June 2013

This guide provides strategies for disability service providers to draw upon when creating and sustaining a workforce of support workers to meet the aims of DisabilityCare Australia and implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. In particular, the Guide is designed to assist providers develop a workforce strategy that will enable support workers to:

i)    support the independence and social and economic participation of people with disability
ii)    provide reasonable and necessary supports, and
iii)    enable people with disability to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and the planning and delivery of their supports.

The essence of DisabilityCare Australia is to be supportive, responsive, flexible and creative. This Guide offers a wealth of ideas and practical suggestions without being prescriptive. It includes ideas relating directly to support workers as well as to their interactions with service users and their employing service provider, and there are varying cost implications. The Guide does not attempt to provide one integrated workforce management strategy. Instead, it is intended
that providers will take away ideas to develop their own unique workforce strategy relevant to their environment and provider type. The aim of this guide is to contribute to the development of enthusiastic, competent and satisfied workers who will embrace the aims of DisabilityCare Australia and provide excellent support to people with disability.

The Guide is organised around the following themes:

  • Communication
  • Organisational culture, values and expectations
  • Recruitment
  • Flexible, responsive and creative work
  • Training, mentoring and support
  • Recognition and incentives
  • Career Pathways

Authors: Dr Carmel Laragy, RMIT University Associate Professor Paul Ramcharan, RMIT University Associate Professor Karen Fisher, Social Policy Research Centre, University of NSW Karen McCraw, CEO, Karden Disability Support Foundation Robbi Williams, CEO, Purple Orange (Julia Farr Foundation)

Publication Details

Resource Type: 

Cite this document

Suggested Citation

Carmel Laragy, Paul Ramcharan, Karen R. Fisher, Karen McCraw, Robbi Williams, 2013, Making it work: a workforce guide for disability service providers, Social Policy Research Centre (UNSW), viewed 25 October 2016, <>.

Page Shares