Australian media regularly reports concerns about the over-use of drugs to treat our most vulnerable. However, what this reporting has missed is the subtle but underlying trend toward medicalisation in public policy.
Over the last few years, there has been growing interest around school-led community initiatives to respond to challenges in areas of entrenched disadvantage. It is not as though community hubs are a new idea, while place-based projects have been around for over a decade. But it raises the question of what the research says about how to make these place-based projects successful and sustainable?
For many years, professionalism in social service delivery meant being caring but not immersed, empathic but not emotional, and rational not religious. Increasingly academic research is showing the importance of spiritual leadership, mindfulness and personal belief in sustaining social service workers and quality of care.
For some time now, health and social service providers have pointed to the contradiction of being funded by the number of services they deliver for programs that espouse better client outcomes. Now, with increased Commonwealth Government interest in outcomes based approaches, is this a case of be careful what you ask for?