Victorian aged care service providers will have a greater knowledge of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and their issues following the announcement today of funding for LGBTI training programs.
In December 2012 the Australian Government released the first National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy (www.lgbtihealth.org.au/ageing). This Strategy, the first of its kind in the world, considers a number of goals including the need for training for Australia's aged care workforce.
The Australian Department of Health and Ageing provided funding to the National LGBTI Health Alliance to coordinate a national training project in collaboration with ACON, to increase LGBTI awareness for the aged care sector. This funding and the ageing and aged care portfolio are now managed through the Department of Social Services.
The aim of the Project is to deliver a national rollout of the LGBTI aged care awareness training to a broad range of residential and other aged care providers and/or associated aged care staff.
Transgender Victoria (TGV) and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV) will be responsible for rolling out the LGBTI training to aged care service providers across Victoria over the next 2-3 years.
"While the training is targeted at aged care services we believe there will be many flow-on effects," said TGV Executive Director Sally Goldner.
"The program aims to reach all of Victoria which means building connections between metropolitan and regional/rural services across the state. Further, aged care staff in some services will be able to pass on information to colleagues working in areas such as youth and housing, enabling greater understanding of LGBTI issues and possibly opening avenues for further training in the longer term."
GLHV Director Liam Leonard said, "The collaboration between TGV and GLHV offers a unique opportunity to deliver professional development to aged and community care workers that is inclusive and representative of older LGBTI Victorians. It will assist in improving the quality of aged and community care provided to older LGBTI people".
"We are excited about bringing together the wisdom and skills of our nation-wide membership base to help
aged care service providers to truly support the health needs of LGBTI Australians," said Rebecca Reynolds, Alliance Executive Director.
"Increasingly, service providers understand achieving the best outcomes in service provision requires different approaches for different people, and that to 'treat everyone the same' is not effective. This will assist staff,clients and many others and is a huge step forward for all involved," concluded Ms Goldner.
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