Diversity Planning and Practice
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) introduced the diversity planning and practice initiative into the HACC program in 2011.
Diversity is a concept that recognises that each person is unique and has different beliefs, values, preferences and life experiences. For some people these differences may result in barriers to accessing or using services. For example, a lack of confidence, a lack of information or a belief that a service will not respond to their needs may impede a person’s willingness or ability to access a service.
Diversity planning and practice aims to improve access to services for HACC eligible people who are marginalised or disadvantaged due to their diversity, and to improve the capacity of the service system to respond appropriately to their needs.
Diversity planning and practice recognises the different characteristics of communities, groups and individuals, including, but not limited to diversity of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, faith and spirituality, and socio-economic disadvantage.
Diversity planning includes a particular focus on the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) identified special needs groups which align with those identified under the Aged Care Act 1977:
• People from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
• People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
• People who live in rural and remote areas
• People who are financially or socially disadvantaged
• People who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless
• People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex
• People who are care leavers (Forgotten Australians)
• Parents separated from children by forced adoption or removal.
The concept of special needs within the CHSP is not intended as a principle for generally prioritising access to services for an individual client over another. Rather, the identification of particular groups recognises that each person is unique and has different beliefs, values, preferences and life experiences, and that for some people these differences may result in barriers to accessing or using services.