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More work to do on LGBTI training, as project nears end of funding

The national training program to upskill aged care workers to provide inclusive care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) seniors is providing benefits to staff, but the rollout has been patchy across the states, an interim evaluation shows.

Participants who undertook the one-day workshops reported feeling more confident in providing inclusive care and showed greater awareness of the care needs of LGBTI clients.

However, almost three quarters of workers who participated in the workshops and the program’s e-learning module were in NSW and Victoria, the evaluation found.

The three-year government funded national training project is currently funded to run until June 2016.

The project provides a free one-day workshop – covering areas such as health and ageing issues for LGBTI, social stigma, and inclusive practice – as well as an e-learning module designed to complement the face-to-face training and reach staff unable to attend the workshops.

The evaluation into the LGBTI training project

The evaluation into the LGBTI training

The training was a key part of the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy launched by the Labor Government in November 2012.

The interim evaluation report, which covered workshops from February 2014 to June 2015 and e-learning modules from July 2014 to June 2015, included findings from 3,027 participant surveys.

It found that after completing the one-day training, 95 per cent of participants said they felt they knew how to make their workplaces LGBTI inclusive – up from 44 per cent before.

The number of participants who felt that LGBTI clients had different care needs increased from 47 per cent before the workshop to 75 per cent after, the evaluation found.

Uneven uptake nationally

However, the report noted that of the 208 workshops that had been held at the time of the evaluation, Victoria and NSW accounted for 71 per cent of participants.

Similarly, of the 1,293 individuals enrolled in the e-learning module in the 12 months, 76 per cent were in NSW and Victoria.

Of those, 734 completed the e-learning module, representing a 57 per cent completion rate.

Discussing the low completion rate, the report noted that ACON, the agency managing the implementation of the module, had reported some aged care staff were enrolled in advance by their employers and had “voiced their displeasure about this often directly to ACON.” The partners believe this may be due to lack of staff time or internet access to participate in the training.

The agency had also speculated that employers may not reimburse staff to complete the training out of work hours, according to the report.

“The alliance should discuss with all partners how to better promote and market the module,” the report said.

Sustaining the program

Ollie Hand, project coordinator of the aged care training project at the National LGBTI Health Alliance, said the interim evaluation reinforced that participants valued the workshops, the delivery by experts in the field, and the open and non-judgmental environment in which they could ask questions.

Asked what would happen when the program’s funding runs out in June, Ms Hand said the project partners were hoping to secure further government funding to continue the program.

They were also exploring ways to “build in some sustainability” into the training, she told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“We’re trying to get a champions model off the ground in the next six months, so that people in aged care services have a sense of responsibility to be advocating for the cause of LGBTI,” Ms Hand said.

The partners have also been working with a private training organisation to develop and release a free e-module.

“The evaluation talks about 3,000 people being trained, since then another 1,000 have undergone the training. Certainly we haven’t reached any saturation point in terms of this training, so I’m really hoping we’re able to roll it out over a longer term and get it out there a bit more,” she said.

More information on the training is available at the National LGBTI Health Alliance website.

Want to have your say on this story? Comment below. Send us your news and tip-offs to editorial@australianageingagenda.com.au 

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One Response to More work to do on LGBTI training, as project nears end of funding

  1. Fernando Lopez February 13, 2016 at 11:35 am #

    Good day, AAA:

    I hope that you are well.

    As a Coordinator/Trainer & Assessor for Aged Care, HACC & Disability Vocational Education and Training at Southern Cross Education Institute in North Melbourne, I can identify several aspects of Professional Development that require attention by Residential Aged Care Staff.

    As highlighted by this 3 year Program, Sensitive Care tailored to LGBTI Residents is one area of improved skills and knowledge that has been targeted.

    There is no doubt that On the Job Training and External Workshops can sustain and promote this PD process, so embedded in the Accreditation Standards and Expected Outcomes of our Industry.

    Nevertheless, it is essential that the VET Sector and all Registered Training Organisations initiate this process from the moment we enrol our Students in the relevant Industry Entry Level Qualifications.

    Over the years, the most commonly utilised Core and Elective Units of Competency have been Support individual health and emotional well being ( CHCICS303A) and Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and coworkers (HLTHIR403C), within which the topics of tolerance, acceptance, non-discriminatory, non-abusive and non-imposing attitudes towards the diversity of clients (including sexuality preferences) have been implemented in the Classroom as essential knowledge and skills of the candidate to proceed into a Work Place Training and Full Qualification as a Support Worker, such as Certificate III in Aged Care (CHC30212), Certificate III in Home and Community Care (CHC30308) and Certificate III in Disability (CHC30408). Further Qualifications at Certificate IV and Diploma also include these type of Electives in the Training Package.

    Therefore, it is fair to say that the intention, desire and attempt to improve understanding, awareness and in turn a strong sense of empathy towards diverse clients have always been of paramount importance to the professional, compliant and ethical Trainer & Assessor and the RTO delivering the Unit. The questions remains: “Has the student received the adequate Education and Training to achieve the required level of competency to execute their care role in the Industry?”

    The answer to this question may be well identified and the next generation of Students who will now enrol in the latest relevant Qualification Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) which will deliver optional career paths into Aged Care, HACC and Disability, yet it will ensure that the candidate generates competent understanding of the CORE Unit of Competency Work with diverse people (CHCDIV001).

    This new Qualifications and Core Unit of Diversity will ensure the following aspects of candidate’s learning and competency though attainment of Essential Knowledge Evidence:

    • concepts of cultural awareness, cultural safety and cultural competence and how these impact different work roles
    • concepts and definitions of diversity
    • own culture and the community attitudes, language, policies and structures of that culture and how they impact on different people and groups
    • features of diversity in Australia and how this impacts different areas of work and life:
    • political
    • social
    • economic
    • cultural
    • legal and ethical considerations (international, national, state/territory, local) for working with diversity, how these impact individual workers, and the consequences of breaches:
    • discrimination:
    • age
    • disability
    • racial
    • sex
    • human rights:
    • Universal declaration of human rights
    • relationship between human needs and human rights
    • frameworks, approaches and instruments used in the workplace
    • rights and responsibilities of workers, employers and clients, including appropriate action when rights are being infringed or responsibilities not being carried out
    • key areas of diversity and their characteristics, including:
    • culture, race, ethnicity
    • disability
    • religious or spiritual beliefs
    • gender, including transgender
    • intersex
    • generational
    • sexual orientation/sexual identity – lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual
    • key aspects, and the diversity, of Australia’s Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultures, including:
    • social, political and economic issues affecting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
    • own culture, western systems and structures and how these impact on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and their engagement with services
    • potential needs of marginalised groups, including:
    • protective factors
    • physical, mental and emotional health issues/care needs

    As you can appreciate, the holistic approach of diversity now also delivers specific and well identified areas of understanding of the topics in question (LGBTI).

    Let us all continue to progress further in our levels of awareness and empathy, compliance and tolerance.

    I hope that the “roll out” of this great program can overcome the NSW and VIC boundaries and also be extended beyond June 2016.

    We need it; we want it.

    In the Classroom, in the Workplace and in Open Society we still have a long way to go. We can all contribute within our resources and positions; and we will refuse not to foster and deliver this knowledge.

    Thank you,
    Fernando Lopez
    Coordinator/Trainer & Assessor
    Aged Care, HACC & Disability
    Southern Cross Education Institute

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