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Earlier this month, Berry Street was awarded the Leading Return to Work Practice Award at the 2022 WorkSafe Awards in Melbourne.

This award recognises the significant work we’ve undertaken to support our staff impacted by vicarious trauma and occupational violence and aggression (OVA). Berry Street’s focus on early intervention includes proactive support for our staff that allows for natural recovery, trauma-informed psychological support, and an early return to productive and meaningful work.

Congratulations to our Early Intervention and Injury Management team, part of our Work Health Safety team, and our people leaders across the organisation involved in supporting our staff to return safely to their work with the children, young people and families we serve.

How we’re supporting injured workers back to work safely

Berry Street has more than 1,400 staff across Victoria who support more than 35,000 children, young people and families experiencing poverty, violence and abuse.

Previously, we’d partnered with an external agency to support our injured workers – but it was no longer the best solution for us, or more importantly, our workers.

In July 2021, we implemented a new in-house care model that has seen return to work rates significantly improve.

“We [now] have an incident reporting system so when something happens in the workplace our injury management consultants will triage every incident. They’ll contact [the injured] staff member, and they’ll make decisions about what sort of support they need... we make sure that staff are given psychological support within about 24 to 48 hours of an incident,” said Debra Smith, Head of Work Health & Safety, Berry Street.

“Our staff come in and do very challenging work and I think we owe them the opportunity to recover,” said Ms Smith.

We’ve also educated our leadership team on the importance of effective return to work systems of support and the positive impact this has on staff and performance.

“I’m incredibly proud to work for an organisation with an unwavering commitment to reducing workplace harm and improving outcomes for injured workers,” said Georgie Dwyer, Executive Director, People & Culture, Berry Street.

Learn more about working at Berry Street

Working at Berry Street means being part of a passionate and supportive team with a strong focus on supervision, professional development and reflective work practices. This approach ensures we are always learning and improving our practice. We value individual contributions and encourage open communication among our staff.

Berry Street staff are driven by our purpose and committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our service users, to make a real and measurable difference in their lives.

Browse our current vacancies or search for a specific position that is suited to your skills and experience. We have job opportunities across Victoria in metropolitan and regional areas.