Supporting workers overcome complex barriers to returning to work

As a social insurer, icare invests in ideas and innovations through icare Foundation that help to prevent injury, improve recovery and enhance quality of life for people and their families seriously injured at work and on our roads in NSW. To achieve this, we co-design solutions with organisations to maximise the impact of our social investments.

icare Foundation’s WorkUp fund is a $5 million investment to support workers overcome complex barriers to returning to work.

We would like to introduce the eight organisations selected as our partners and invite you to reach out to them. 

Organisation Project Organisation description
CoAct Holistic Intensive Support for Motivation and Work

CoAct’s HISM+Work program uses an intensive and tailored case management model to holistically support individuals with a workplace injury to return to work.

The program also provides pre- and post- placement support (26 weeks); sourcing employers and vacancies; and assisting employers in the successful onboarding and retention of these individuals over the long term.


Happy Paws Happy Hearts Happy Paws Happy Hearts for injured workers

The specifically designed training programs connect socially isolated workers with animals through animal rescue shelters. Participants meet like-minded people and learn about both the animals and themselves, giving a ‘sense of purpose’ leading to an increase in work-readiness.

The first program is operating at Rutherford in the Maitland area, with a second program planned for Western Sydney in 2020.

Happy Paws Happy Hearts

Primary & Community Care Services (PCCS) Plus Inclusion

Plus Inclusion is a design-led project which aims to deliver tools, resources and methods for engagement that can improve the post-injury experience and outcomes for injured workers with significant language barriers.

The project also devises and tests methods for dissemination that are culturally responsive.

Primary and Community Care Services

Rumpus Skillshare Makeshift

Makeshift connects injured workers with creative routines for Return-to-Life recovery. Through a structured program of activities participants explore, develop and cultivate creative routines and habits.

They learn how and why these activities support positive mental health, reduce symptoms and foster social connections, self-efficacy and positive self-identity.

The Rumpus

Settlement Services International Transitional Pathways and Placement Service (TPPS)

Transitional Pathways and Placement Service for injured workers uses established SSI social enterprises and offices as a vehicle for transitional employment.

The trial will upskill injured workers and help them to find a job while at the same time also providing work experience. This model has been successful with other groups SSI works with.

Settlement Services International

University of Newcastle  Developing Compassion Focused Digital Tools

Researchers from the University of Newcastle are developing digital tools using a new compassionate mind training model to boost wellbeing, strengthen social relationships and protect the mental health of workers with injury, helping to promote recovery and reduce time away from work. 

The digital tools will be tested with a select group of injured workers. This is the first application of the compassion based model within a workplace injury context.

Uprise Workable

Uprise is trialling a digital wellbeing program for injured workers guided by a dedicated coach, using an evidence-based, stepped care approach.

The eight-week online program is a replication of a successful Dutch protocol which reduced claims duration and treatment costs. Injured workers learn science-based resilience skills to help prevent secondary mental health issues and support their recovery over time.

Uprise Workable

WithYouWithMe Project Evolution

Project Evolution is an adaptation of a redeployment program used for military veterans that assesses and trains people who have been injured at work for new tech forward careers, while meeting the needs of employers by providing employees for their tech roles.

We use an innovative testing platform to discover people’s talents, and then use bespoke training to help to prepare them for a new career in the tech sector.