look 'Forward to'...
A Wellbeing Plan:
The Oasis Townsville has qualified advocates in the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) [ext]. We take a holistic view of each individual and refer individuals and families to those organisations we have learnt are best at helping our community; or we provide direct support where appropriate or necessary.
We are developing a database of Townsville organisations to which we can refer clients for specific support, inclujding everything from GPs and specialists to housing experts and for help with legals or accounting. Our advocates have access to this and will use it during their research and interview to find the right services.
We've also developed a listing of many of the ESOs in Australia. It's not got them all but from what we've found online, its the best single listing available.
We are transitioning to a different model for advocacy, for a number of reasons, so the transition may appear a little confusing. It's not really. We'll keep referring to Advocates for Wellbeing and Compensation, but eventually we want to go to a model at the heart of which is a Wellbeing Navigator to help with all of the relevant wellbeing domains, one of which is income and finance which will be referred to our Compensation Advocates. Simple.
If you need advice to complete a DVA application, or you don’t know where to start, our trained volunteer advocates can help. We will establish the details of your claim, do much of the behind-the-scenes research, and help you complete and lodge the necessary paperwork. While your claim is being determined, our advocates will keep in touch with you, providing updates and reassurance.
Sufficient and Qualified Advocates; and
A comprehensive knowledge of what services are available in Townsville to which our advocates can refer members of Townsville's Ex-ADF Community.
One of the key focuses for everyone involved is the process of transitioning from the ADF back into the civilian world and our communities. As soon as you contemplate for the first time that you might make the transition out of the ADF, we'd like to see you. And if you haven't reached that point yet, at least have a look at these references which will help with the decision and preparation.
However, you may have been out of the ADF for years and would just like to see a compensation advocate to help with a DVA claim or any other general wellbeing issue. We'll look after you.
We'll help all of the ex-ADF community whether you are still serving and thinking about getting out, through to a veteran who has been out for many years.
A big issue for DVA and our community is the likelihood of a reduction in the numbers of advocates when advocates trained under the system prior to the introduction of ATDP are no longer covered by VITA insurance [doc] to practice. There are specific activities that require ATDP accreditation [doc] and we will have to manage this aspect carefully. This is an area we are particularly concerned about. The Townsville Community of Practice has been raised and will lead the campaign to improve services for the ex-ADF community in Townsville.
A Reality Check!
If you think you'd like our support for a wellbeing navigator / advocate there are a few expectations we'd like to manage so you understand the service we provide:
All of our advocates are volunteers.
Many of our advocates are in training under the relatively new Advocacy Training Development Program which is a competency based system for Wellbeing and Compensation Advocates. There are rules around what each level advocate can do. We will manage that aspect among the advocacy team.
All of our advocates have personal lives and sometimes that gets in the way of dealing with cases as quickly as some might expect. We encourage advocates to ensure they do not take on too much workload to the extent they may burn out. We consider it far better to do a good job and enjoy helping fellow veterans than to overdo it and need to take an extended break, which causes additional stress in the advocacy team.
As a consequence of the above, our policy is not to assign an advocate to a case, instead we assign a lead advocate. That means the case will be professionally documented in our Case Management Database (called ChilliDB) and clients may find they see a different advocate occasionally. Rest assured there will be a high level of continuity across all cases. All advocates are supervised by case managers.