“Rather than being in that clinical space … where they [injured workers] are the passive recipient at times of constant care, we’re a space where it’s their job to give care because the rescue animals really need their help”
– Zoe Black, CEO and co-founder of Happy Paws Happy Hearts
Disempowerment through direct medical care can be an unintended consequence for injured workers in the workers compensation system. Volunteer programs, such as those facilitated by Happy Paws Happy Hearts, can help to address this issue, building the confidence needed for injured workers to re-engage with work and their broader community.
Due to the wide understanding that volunteering may benefit injured workers in their return to life and work, ISCRR conducted an Environmental Scan for WorkSafe Victoria to better understand the current strategies for recruiting, implementing and sustaining volunteer programs for rehabilitation and recovery.
Social prescribing is one approach described in the scan to facilitate the matching of an injured worker to a suitable volunteer program for their tailored benefit. A number of programs were outlined as case studies including the Primary and Community Care Services’ Social Plus program.
The scan identified a number of recommendations for specific stakeholders to consider:
The full research report is available to download from the ISCRR Clearinghouse.
For further information, watch our ISCRR Learning Series webinar on Social Prescribing for injured workers.