The DEN Programme is designed to work with people who have an identified reduction in their capacity to work full time.
On a daily basis, case managers meet with job seekers to work through the barriers they have to employment. Job seekers will come to the office and work with their case manager to apply for positions and prepare for the interview, then prepare for starting work.
The scanning project:
One successful project created by the DEN program was the formation of a social enterprise project through which thousands of ACSO files have been scanned and stored electronically.
Participation in this project has provided vital work experience for job seekers.
One of the participants was John. Through the efforts of ACSO staff, he had recently gained employment and had been very successful in his first 10 weeks in his new position.
However at that time, his employer learnt of his offending history and mental health condition, and he was not offered any more work. This was devastating for him and he began to lose hope.
Another participant was Ruby, who suffered with a condition in which her hands would swell painfully if placed under too much strain. Working in the scanning team meant that shifts could be tailored to her capacity. Ruby loved working again, and the companionship that entailed.
For the 15 people involved, this venture provided a rare opportunity to obtain work experience, training, new skills, references and new friendships.
This project was completed so successfully that plans are being formed to make this an ongoing business venture.