Is this aged care provider CQ’s ‘super employer’ of 2020?
AMONG other local businesses nominated for this year’s Queensland Community Achievement Awards, CentacareCQ employs 334 people to take care of the region’s suffering and sick, disabled and poor.
It has been nominated by two grateful clients for the Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award in recognition of its staff’s efforts in providing support which enables people to remain living in their own homes.
These various staff include regional managers, case managers, service coordinators, a clinical nurse consultant, support workers, a transport team, the social support team, and a home and yard maintenance team.
Centacare CQ’s Robert Sims said the nomination was earned for introducing “complex and sophisticated processes” to its rostering.
“We are particularly blessed with a workforce that has embraced the shift to consumer choice, and which is willing to have open communication with us about what they can and can’t do in terms of flexible working hours,” he said.
“We undertook a Support Worker Availability project, in order to be able to better provide clients with consistency in terms of the group of workers who are coming and going in their home.
“Many of our staff have young children or are grandparents with some caring responsibilities for their grandchildren. Our Support Worker Availability processes allow these workers to schedule their working hours around these other responsibilities, without having to regularly explain why they can’t work certain hours or days.”
During 2020, the added complexity of COVID-19 has resulted in CentacareCQ’s workforce adapting in order to safely continue to support its ageing clients in the community, taking on additional precautions such as pre-service checklists to determine whether any household members are showing symptoms, sanitising vehicles between client trips, and learning to effectively use additional PPE.
In 2020 Centacare CQ partnered with CQUniversity to pilot the Mindful Self-care and Resilience program, which provides participants with strategies and skills to manage stress, avoid compassion fatigue and understand the impact on their own wellbeing if they don’t develop good self-care strategies.
Mr Sims said while the planning for this initiative was in place well before the emergence of COVID-19, the timing had been “fortuitous”, with the importance of a strong, resilient workforce to deliver home care services being vital in this period.