Drug workers need more than charity!
22 December 2003 at 12:12 pm
A new report funded by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation reveales the need for an overhaul of current working conditions for alcohol and drug program workers in Australia.
The report entitled “Alcohol and Other Drug Workforce Development in Australia: The assessment of needs and the identification of strategies to achieve sustainable change’ is the product of a joint collaboration between peak alcohol and drug bodies and the peak training body for the alcohol and drug sector.
The report highlights a growing divide between the increasing demand placed on alcohol and drug professionals and the levels of salary, terms and conditions required to attract and retain staff capable of fulfilling these demands.
Other findings highlighted by the study include:
– Lack of access to professional training and development for workers
– Lack of supervision and support for workers
– Increasing complexity of workers roles
– Lack of quality improvement programs for agencies
– Stigma of drug users leading to limited support for the sector by governments.
AERF Deputy CEO, Tracey Purdam says the Foundation recognises the difficulties faced by Alcohol and Drug Program workers and hope this report is the first of many initiatives designed to increase the knowledge, skills and working conditions of Alcohol and Drug Sector workers.
According to Carol Bennett, Executive Officer of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association (one of the collaborating project Team) the report demonstrates a need for affirmative action to make the alcohol and drug sector more appealing for workers.
Bennett says those that help people overcome drug problems make a big difference to the whole community which will pay a price if alcohol and drug workers are under-resourced, underpaid and under- trained.
To download the report on a state by state basis go to www.vaada.org.au/Publications.htm.