Bendigo-based disability service provider Amicus receives $110,000 for new model

An Amicus staffer helps a client. Picture: SUPPLIED
An Amicus staffer helps a client. Picture: SUPPLIED

A Bendigo-based disability service provider is implementing a new approach, following a $110,000 grant.

Amicus chief executive officer Ann-Maree Davis said the Small Leadership Teams framework and workplace model was selected from 168 funding applicants.

She expected both staff and participants would benefit from the new model.

“A one-size-fits-all approach does not empower decision making or choice for our participants or team members,” Ms Davis said.

“The Small Leadership Teams model focuses on a small number of participants at a time, to share each other’s skills, strengths, and unique life experience to promote enhanced communication and peer support.”

About 20 per cent of the Amicus team has already adopted the new model.

The roll-out is expected to rise to 40 per cent in the next six weeks. 

Amicus received the grant as part of the first round of the NDIS Innovative Workforce Fund.

Twenty-one projects were funded to “develop new ways of boosting the disability workforce”.

A further eight projects received funding in the second round.

“These grants are fostering new ways of delivering services and expanding the workforce under the NDIS, exploring and developing good ideas from across the sector,” National Disability Services chief executive, Ken Baker, said.

Assistant Minister for Disability Services, Jane Prentice, said the sector was expected to increase to an estimated 162,000 full-time equivalent workers in the next three years, from about 73,000 workers in 2013.

“Supporting this jobs growth through new ways of working is crucial to the success of the NDIS,” she said.

“There are currently more than 100,000 NDIS participants, and this will grow to about 460,000 when the scheme is fully operational in 2020.”

Amicus employs 135 people – about 85 full-time equivalent staffers.