Western Australia Corrective Services
Building Workforce Capacity
The facilitators were extremely responsive to the attendees and very committed to what they were delivering.
Western Australia Corrections staff member
The Western Australia Department of Corrective Services is an organisation which provides support to the justice system and community of Western Australia. The Department has five divisions: Office of Reform, Adults Justice Services, Youth Justice Services, Operational Services and Corporate Support. It manages more than 5,000 adults at 14 public prisons, two private prisons and five work camps, and over 4,000 adults at 26 community corrections branches across Western Australia. It has legislative responsibility for the security of all adult prisoners and young persons in detention regardless of whether they are under contract to the Department. It also manages over 150 young people in detention and over 1,000 young people at 26 Youth Justice Service branches across the State.
During 2009 WADCS were experiencing significant challenges around both quality programs and skills within their program facilitation workforce. The quality of interventions and integrity of delivery has a direct bearing on program outcome, which in the case of correctional programs translates into community safety. Creating engaged participants who are doing change work as opposed to doing time, along with retention is associated with program outcome. A skilled program facilitation workforce is therefore a significant investment in community safety.
During the past six years HMA has spent four weeks per year supporting and upskilling facilitation staff in the delivery of programmes for offenders. The project has been based on a staged approach to building internal competency. Stage one was to provide foundational and advanced facilitation skills in order to create a baseline across the organisation.
Stage two was to develop more bespoke training which was more needs dependent on particular program delivery and sites. The range of workshops that have been delivered including:
- Case formulation
- Supervision training
- Working with female offenders
- Supporting offenders in change work
- intensity programs
- Family violence programs
- Group work with personality disordered offenders
- High-intensity programs
- Motivational interviewing for correctional staff
- Program design skills
- Advance group work with complex offenders
HMA’s contribution is around specialist skills and we continue to support key work undertaken by WA DCS in delivering its range of programs and services across a large geographical area.
The Return on Expectation
Having had a long term involvement with the program branch from WA DCS has meant that we can contribute to a growing workforce. From when we started to now, we have had the opportunity to work alongside a range of up-and-coming and experienced facilitators to enhance their practice. HMA has a belief in being generous with practice knowledge and skill. In this way we have been able to support learning transfer back into the workplace and support staff with evidenced based tools to deliver in programs. Having been involved now for the past six years we are able to continually build competency over time and build in innovation into the program delivery suite.
Take a look at what else people had to say:
The training itself was really good, and I liked the practical tips that we got from the program about managing resistance etc. I also liked the little interludes about creating safety.
The work we did on utilizing values as a way to form guidelines was great. I have used these after the training in group and they have been very useful!