Evaluation of the Bringing them home and Indigenous mental health programs
11.3.3 Develop national guidelines for all four programs
Another key area for suggested future action is developing national guidelines for each program. This is a particularly critical need for the BTH Program and the SEWB RC Program.
For the Link-Up and BTH programs these guidelines could include guidance on, for example:
- their aims and intended target groups
- examples of standard protocols which should be developed around key issues (eg referral between Link-Up and BTH services, case closure, archiving standards for records management eg definitions of 'active' and 'inactive' clients)
- staff skills required
- human resources issues such as Occupational Health and Safety, time in lieu etc
- good practice principles and models in service delivery, including models to facilitate skill-sharing between team members who do not have all the skills/ qualifications ideally required for their positions
To complement the national guidelines, a national or State-level training program should be implemented (tied to other training forums where possible) to educate program staff about the guidelines and their requirements.
State OATSIH Offices should also be more proactively involved in monitoring and supporting the funded services, in order to encourage adherence to the above guidelines.