Professional Development

Family Life believes that effective workers and volunteer management is essential for quality services and must include a focus both on guiding performance and ensuring the continued professional development through formal and informal training.

Professional Development

Professional Development is the formal and informal training that enables professionals to gain knowledge and skills.

  • Family Life aims to exceed quality standards required by funding bodies for training and professional development to improve the personal and professional skills of workers and their capacity to deliver the services of the Agency.
  • Professional Development is recognised by Family Life as having both personal and strategic drivers.
  • Strategic professional development enables Family Life to shape the skills within the organisation to respond to environmental trends, opportunities or needs.
  • Personal professional development is negotiated between the individual worker and their supervisor. It enables an individual to keep up with practice changes and develop new skills which are relevant to their own learning objectives and benefit the organisation.

Every effort is made to balance the requirements of both approaches within budgetary constraints, and Family Life makes budget allocations for each purpose.

Every manager/supervisor and worker must take an active role in ensuring that personal and professional development is addressed during workers’ supervision meetings and the annual Performance Development Program ( appraisal meetings).

Every attempt is made to ensure that Professional Development opportunities are offered transparently and fairly across the group of workers.

Core Training is a compulsory part of Professional Development.

Family Life provides all workers with regular opportunities to participate in ‘Core Training’ within their first six months employment.

All training undertaken by workers must be logged in an ongoing central register that is maintained by Human Resources.

Performance Development Program

All staff must participate in an annual Performance Development Program (Appraisal) Review meeting with their manager/supervisor.

This meeting is used as an opportunity to:

  • Reflect on the performance and achievements of the previous year
  • Discuss and set broad work-plan objectives for the forthcoming year
  • Evaluate learning and development undertaken during the previous year
  • Establish professional development objectives for the future
  • Consider longer term development and career aspirations
  • Review the position description

The Performance Development Program (Appraisal)Review Form must be signed off by a manager senior to the person with line management responsibility.

Worker Supervision

Worker supervision occurs within the context of regular meetings between managers/supervisors and their line reports.

Worker supervision is for:

  • Ensuring quality services
  • Reviewing operational issues, achievements and progress against performance targets that track against annual objectives
  • Updating and creating new targets for the next review period
  • Discussing professional development objectives and activities

The format for workers’ supervision is the Family Life workplan.

Workers’ supervision applies equally to paid and volunteer workers.

Professional Supervision

Professional Supervision is part of the support provided to all direct services workers that is delivered by the manager or supervisor during the workers’ supervision meeting and also during peer supervision sessions.

The purpose of professional supervision is to:

  • Fulfil Family Life’s Duty of Care with respect to the welfare of workers and their clients
  • Promote development of supervisee’s professional identity and competence through case discussion
  • Fulfil the supervision requirements of professional certification and/or accreditation where such certification/accreditation is required by the agency (eg Family Law Act)

Definitions

  • Volunteer: Any person registered as a volunteer with Family Life and who does not receive financial remuneration for their work at Family Life.
  • Worker: Any paid or unpaid person (employee, volunteer or student) who does permanent or temporary work on behalf of Family Life.,
  • Direct Service Worker: A worker who’s main role involves therapeutic, support or educational contact with clients or participants of Family Life, in a one-to-one or group work setting (such as services employee, mentor or family support volunteer).
  • Indirect Service Worker: A worker who’s main role involve actions that support the objectives of Family Life but do not involve therapeutic, educational or support contact with clients or participants (such as corporate services staff, opportunity shop or events volunteer.
  • Staff: Any paid person employed directly by Family Life who is not a contracted employee.

This policy applies to all Family Life workers.

Chief Executive Officer: Performance Development Program

The annual appraisal is conducted by two members of the Executive sub-board (nominated by the President) and at least one worker (nominated by the Chief Executive Officer).

Development of volunteers

The professional development of volunteers is included in the above information.

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