Answering your questions about the transfer of Victorian Government services to Aruma (formerly House with No Steps).
After our forums we updated our FAQs to reflect the great questions we received.
The planned transition of services to Aruma will be as follows:
The decision to transfer disability accommodation and respite services to non-government supports expansion, sustainability and diversity in the disability sector. This helps all Victorians with disability to have greater choice and control.
To meet the increasing demands as a result of the NDIS, the Victorian disability sector needs to grow and develop with more organisations providing a range of diverse and individualised services.
More information is available on the Victorian Government website.
People with disability and their families
For people with disability and their families, you will continue to receive information by post, through staff and online.
Aruma will meet with you at the provider roadshows in September. This will be a great opportunity for us to tell you more about Aruma and for you to ask questions.
We will continue to keep you updated throughout the process and provide multiple opportunities and platforms for you to get more information and give feedback.
We also will use the time leading up to the transfer date to get to know you better. We will work closely with transferring staff to ensure that they are able to effectively support you through the transfer process.
We have a dedicated hub on our website which contains useful information. We also have a transfer hotline (1800 931 934) which you can call during business hours, Monday to Friday, to ask any questions and get more information.
For staff, there will also be several opportunities for you to meet with Aruma staff,, learn more about us, our systems and processes, and network with others in the organisation. This will kick off with the provider roadshows in September.
We will ensure that you have the tools and resources to support people with disability and their families through the transfer process.
Our People Service Centre will provide support via phone or email for staff questions about the transfer process and employment related queries. They can be contacted on 1300 266 320 or by email. We will also keep the website updated with important information relating to staff.
Aruma guarantees all staff will transfer across to employment at Aruma. We hope that most people choose to stay with us after the transfer, and into the future.
Transferring staff include Disability Support Workers, House Supervisors and Operations Managers.
This means your current management structure will continue up to the level of Operations Managers, who will report to the Aruma Cluster Managers. The Cluster Manager then reports into a Aruma Regional General Manager.
No-one will be asked to move. A requirement of the transfer is that none of the residents would have to move.
Aruma supports this approach as it provides security for people with disability and their families, as well as greater choice and control in services (since people can choose to leave).
We also subscribe to the transfer principles, which means that Aruma will be accountable to government, even after the transfer has taken place.
We use a system called RITEQ for scheduling shifts and managing staff availability. RITEQ is a web-based platform which is available online. Employees can use vein scanners or an app on your smart phone that allows you to log your start and finish times. You will receive training on how to use this system.
We use a system called Periscope. It is an online system used for reporting hazards, staff injuries and incidents. You will receive training on how to use this system and have access to a 24-hour support hotline number to assist with reporting.
If you have a concern or an issue with the current services you are receiving, you need to discuss this with your House Supervisor or Operations Manager as soon as possible and follow existing complaints processes.
These roles are not transferring as part of this process, but we are exploring the best options for how to manage this process post transfer.
Aruma has strong policies in relation to supporting residents to manage their money and providing safeguards when required. We believe in empowering residents to manage their own money, providing support with finances as it relates to their specific needs and individual plan and we only use resident’s money with their consent and as they have intended. We have systems in place to ensure that our resident’s money is managed, protected and accounted for.
Yes, the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (DHHS) and Aruma will work together to make sure we balance privacy and record keeping regulations with the need for continuity of supports.
Essential or copies of essential records will transfer to Aruma.
Following in the footsteps of the government (the co-design process), surveys will be held with people we support and their families to measure how happy they are with the transfer to Aruma. These will take place at mandated intervals after the transfer occurs.
We also welcome direct feedback from the people we support, families and employees at any time. This can be done informally – for example, by telling us how you think we’re doing at one of the planned engagement sessions—or more formally, through our established complaints and feedback process.
Aruma uses different systems to DHHS such as Periscope for incident reporting and SCOUT as our client information system. Our rostering system is RITEQ and our HR system is Chris21. We use Office 365 for email and Skype for Business as our telephone system. We have an internal intranet known as Wattson which contains a wide range of useful information, links to key applications and systems as well as news and stories about what’s happening at Aruma.
During the months before secondment, you will receive appropriate training on the systems you will need to use, where to access these and where to find useful help guides, tips and quick links.
We have a very comprehensive IT support desk at Aruma. The IT helpdesk team can be reached via Skype, email and telephone. The helpdesk also has a support page on our intranet site, Wattson that answers a lot of frequently asked questions. We will provide you with all the IT Helpdesk contact details closer to the transfer.
Like DHHS, Aruma has a comprehensive suite of policies that guide our work and practice. Core policies will be covered in your training and induction program, so that you are ready to follow these from your first day at Aruma in mid-2019. You will get induction and reference materials to refer to.
We plan to phase in the remaining Aruma policies in the 6 months after transfer – so that you have the opportunity to know and understand all our policies and procedures before you’re required to follow them, and so that you’re not having to learn everything all at once, while continuing to deliver services. Where Aruma policies have not yet been phased in, we will expect staff to continue to work to DHHS policies and procedures. Your manager will communicate with you when DHHS policy and procedures are to be replaced in alignment with any enterprise agreement obligations.
Training will be held in the local area and will be a combination of online learning, face to face sessions and self-learning tasks. In some circumstances we will put additional measures in place. For example, you will be provided with a 24-hr support hotline number to assist with incident reporting.
Transferring employees will be supported to learn how to use the Aruma systems applicable to their role. This is being developed in consultation with government and HACSU, and this training is being carefully prioritised and scheduled over time so that staff are not overburdened and are able to perform their work effectively.
We believe that regular communication is an essential ingredient for us to get to know each person we support and their specific needs and preferences. We are committed to engaging with you either through letters or face-to-face over the coming months to ensure that you are fully prepared for the transfer. You will have opportunities and different avenues for asking questions, raising concerns or giving feedback before, during and after transfer date.
We will spend as much time as necessary to get to know residents and families to ensure that we understand individual needs and preferences.
We will also ensure that we provide communication in accessible formats such as Easy English and in languages other than English where that is identified as your preference.
You will be able to access information through the Aruma website and we will update this information as we progress through the process.
We have a dedicated transfer hotline (1800 931 934) that you can contact from Monday to Friday during normal business hours to get more information.
Aruma does provide salary sacrifice for eligible employees. Whilst you remain an employee of DHHS, which is up until 31 December 2020, you will maintain your current arrangements. On 1 January 2021, you will become a Aruma employee, which means that you would then be eligible to access relevant salary packaging provisions provided by Aruma and the salary packaging provider.
Prior to 1 January 2021, Aruma will ensure that we communicate with you and provide you with appropriate information to assist you to make informed decisions regarding salary packaging for when you are directly employed by Aruma.
Only to the extent of Victorian Government salary packaging arrangements (eg. superannuation). While you are seconded to Aruma you are technically still an employee of the Victorian Government. More salary packaging options will be available when you are a direct employee of Aruma.
Current services and supports are expected to remain the same. Transferring staff are expected to continue in their roles and people with disability will continue to receive the services they are currently receiving.
Changes may be made if someone’s needs and preferences change, and where the NDIS planning process identifies a need for change. Otherwise, all supports will remain in place.
When we recruit new staff, we are assessing for many different factors such as skills, qualifications and experience. In our experience, what we have found is absolutely fundamental is that there is a values match with the individual and the type of work that we do. You can always teach skills but if a person’s heart is not in the role then it is not likely to be a successful recruitment or relationship. We also undertake our due diligence and perform a range of pre-employment checks.
Yes. We have a detailed mandatory training policy which sets out the required training for each role. Each year we ensure staff meet the mandatory training requirements for working in the disability sector. Staff are paid to complete mandatory training requirements.
Aruma is passionate about developing our people and recognise the need for continuous learning. In readiness for the transfer, we are planning learning, development and induction for staff that is focused on change management, as well as what staff need to know to be ready to join us.
All new staff at Aruma – whether transferring or newly recruited – learn about working with us through an online staff induction program called iInduct. We also have a face to face induction program which is currently under review.
We have a detailed mandatory training policy which sets out the required training for each role. Each year we ensure staff meet the mandatory training requirements for working in the disability sector.
In addition, we deliver specialised training in response to the needs of the people we support – and their families. We have recently delivered a Customer Service program across Aruma and have subject matter experts on practice leadership, human rights, behaviours of concerns and other related topics. We will support our managers and leaders through the development of a structured management and leadership program.
We will have a comprehensive learning and development plan in place in the months before and after transfer, starting in the first quarter of 2019. Transferring employees will be supported to learn how to use the Aruma systems applicable to their role. This is being developed in consultation with government and HACSU, and this training is being carefully prioritised and scheduled over time so that staff are not overburdened and are able to perform their work effectively.
Training will be a combination of online learning, face to face sessions and self-learning tasks. In some circumstances we will put temporary measures in place. For example, until you receive the appropriate training in the Aruma incident reporting process, you will be provided with a 24-hour support hotline number to report all incidents.
We will also provide each home with a comprehensive folder of reference materials that will complement the training provided and support the training you will receive in the lead up to the transfer.
By agreement with the Victorian Government we will not make any roster changes for the first 3 months after transfer, unless change is required to meet the needs of customers.
We do work to a rolling 4-week roster wherever possible. From time to time there are changes and these will be managed in accordance with the DSEAV, including consultation with HACSU.
As a general guide, we expect services to look and feel as they did before, including supporting customers and families to maintain connections with families and community or to attend appointments. Where there are specific questions around a local service, these will be handled on a local basis in consultation with Area Managers. Managers, within their delegation of authority have responsibility for ensuring necessary resources needed for agreed client support and a safe working environment whilst managing their budgets.
Yes, we offer many flexible family work arrangements such as flexible hours, job share opportunities, and part-time work. Many of our staff describe how they are able to easily manage their work and family commitments whilst supporting our customers in a way that meets their needs.
Yes. People with disability will continue to be supported by the staff they know and trust.
You can find the presentation here and the associated video here.
You can find the presentation here and associated video here.
On call information will be supplied as part of training and induction next year. The on-call procedures we put in place will be in line with the DSEAV. We are currently working with Government to review the current on-call process.
During secondment you will still officially be an employee of the Victorian Government, but you will be paid by Aruma. There are vigorous processes in place in the lead up to the transfer to ensure successful payment. It is one of the milestones that the Government needs to be satisfied with prior to the transfer. Aruma pays on a fortnightly basis and emails your payslip to your nominated email address.
Your pay slip may change a little, but it will likely include all the key details that you currently have. In the lead up to the transfer we must satisfy the Government of our ability to ensure successful payment which includes providing you with a suitable payslip. We will ensure that we communicate what will change and what will stay the same on your payslip. We will provide information on what your payslip will look like, and how it compares to your current payslip layout prior to transfer.
Yes. Aruma values the relationship that part-time and casual staff have with their customers. Our priority is to have a more permanent workforce that suits the need of our customers. Our priorities are permanent full-time, permanent part-time and casual staff. Our least preferred option, and last resort, is use agency staff to fill shifts as there is no continuity for our customers.
Aruma has been allocated 62 SIL group homes and 5 STAA (facility-based respite) services as part of this transfer. You will be able to pick up shifts across these 67 allocated services, on the same conditions and entitlements.
As part of the transfer process, DHHS is currently considering this matter in consultation with HACSU and will provide advice to DHHS employees as soon as this information is available.
At Aruma, we have a centralised scheduling team who are responsible for filling shifts for our existing services. Transferred services from NSW Government are co-ordinated by line managers. Ad hoc shifts are often filled at service level. We will determine what the process will be for you when you can join us in mid-2019, and explain this clearly in the lead up to the transfer.
As a general guide, after the transfer you can expect arrangements to look and feel like they did before. Aruma wants to ensure that we have the staffing mix to provide continuity of service to our clients. This includes having a portion of casual staff along with our full time and part time employment arrangements. We use agency services as a last resort. We expect that rostering will and should adjust over time according to the needs of the people you support.
Aruma values the relationships that part-time and casual staff have with their customers. Our priority is to have a more permanent workforce that suits the needs of our customers. Our priorities are permanent full-time, permanent part-time and casual staff. Our least preferred option, and last resort, is to use agency staff to fill shifts as there is no continuity for our customers.
Yes, we have a work health team that is responsible for workplace and occupational health and safety issues. We call the Health, Safety and Wellbeing team.
Where there are specific questions around a local service, these will be handled on a local basis in consultation with Area Managers. Managers, within their delegation of authority have responsibility for ensuring necessary resources needed for agreed customer support and a safe working environment whilst managing their budgets. These types of decisions are subject to approval and customer and operational needs are taken in to consideration.
The paid leave entitlements outlined within the Disability Service Agreement Victoria (DSEAV) will continue to apply to you as a DHHS staff member, including those relevant to parental leave.
Transferring staff will have access to Aruma career opportunities, which we advertise internally each week on our intranet. We are a large organisation and vacancies for roles do appear from time to time. Conversations between staff and managers around career development can occur at any time.
As a general guide, after the transfer you can expect arrangements to look and feel like they did before.
When the secondment period commences in 2019, if you are currently seconded to another role, or department within the Victorian Government, it is anticipated that these arrangements will continue to apply in accordance with what has been agreed between yourself and either DHHS or the Victorian Government. From 1 January 2021, you will be offered employment with Aruma.
Providing our customers with great quality health support has to be a team effort. It involves supporting our customers to choose a great GP and allied health professionals, who understand and respect their specific/individual needs.
Staff are provided with a mix of mandatory training that helps you to do your job well and then specific training that relates to the individuals that you support. There are also regular team meetings and supervision to make sure that the team is aligned, consistent in their approach and able to debrief and give feedback on what works well and what might need to be adjusted.
We conduct an annual Performance Development Review process that ensures people are given regular feedback on how they are performing, celebrate achievements and set goals for the coming year.
The majority of performance issues are managed locally by the manager with support from our local HR Team. However, under the terms of the transfer agreement we will establish an Employee Performance Unit (EPU).
The EPU will work alongside our Victorian HR team. Any serious performance matters are required to be processed through the EPU and we are required to inform the Department of any matters which might result in dismissal. Over the next few months we will be developing how this unit will function.
Aruma understands and acknowledges its obligation to consults with HACSU on workplace matters that arise as part of secondment. Aruma will arrange to meet with the Union on a regular basis and work to resolve and manage issues in a collaborative way.
The following charts give you an overview of the organisation’s structure and the further details on the structure as it relates to this transfer.
The government has been very clear that the model of service delivery for the transfer includes a house supervisor, responsible for one house, and based at the house. After the transfer you can expect arrangements to look and feel like they did before. Aruma wants to ensure that we have the staffing mix to provide continuity of service to the customers you support.
Yes. It will be business as usual as we are aiming to minimise the disruption to our customers. If we find in the future that we need to make any changes these will be made in consultation with any staff affected by the changes and HACSU in accordance with the DSEAV.Houses
Your house will continue to be managed as it currently is. We have a comprehensive process designed to upskill you in the Aruma processes, systems and policies. Beyond this will be business as usual.
For the most part this process will remain the same. There will obviously be some processes involved in setting up financial relationships between the people you support and Aruma. Once this is established we anticipate that this will work as it currently does. We do encourage the use of online grocery accounts for food and housekeeping. House Supervisors will receive information on this and other finance and purchasing procedures as part of their induction in 2019.
The transfer is for the service provision – Supported Independent Living (SIL). The accommodation provider will not change in this process. Either the Victorian Government or your current Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider will be the accommodation provider and will remain responsible for all maintenance responses. The Victorian Government is the SDA provider for most group homes.
Aruma encourages residents and families to have a say in how houses are run, we encourage regular feedback from families/residents, we also invite residents and families to be on recruitment panels when recruiting to staff vacancies in the houses.
In advertising vacancies within the house we look for customers that have similar interests, skills, hobbies, etc to make sure it will be a good fit for the household. Our existing customers compile a list of what they would like in an ideal house mate. Once we have suitable candidates we organise meet and greets with the current household customers and their families.
Ongoing reflection and review of outcomes and supports is part of everyday practice at Aruma. We constantly challenge staff to provide ideas and new ways of doing things that positively impact the lives of the people we support.
The people we support, and families are included in the way we run our services and feedback is always encouraged to ensure individual needs are always met. We have various approaches to providing feedback including independent surveys, and regular face-to-face interviews which track performance against key life domains that are important to clients. In addition, weekly and/or daily conversations are held with people we support to check in on goals and outcomes, adjust support where necessary, maintain service quality, share information and highlight any risk or safety issues.
We also have a comprehensive feedback and complaints policy to ensure that issues are raised and actioned quickly.
Part of the transfer we have made a commitment that current transport arrangements will remain in place. We are currently looking at all transport needs for both staff and residents to ensure that we can maintain transport commitments. As part of the transfer, we have also included the purchase of additional vehicles where needed.
We are currently looking into appropriate options for respite bookings. We want this process to work well for our customers and their families. When we have more information on how this process will work we will provide further information.
Yes. All bookings will be honoured.