The Deadly Liver Mob programs involved Aboriginal staff (such as Health Education Officers or Aboriginal Sexual Health Workers) as front-line staff. It is important that other staff (such as Harm Minimisation Coordinators, Hepatitis C Health Promotion Officers, managers of Need and Syringe Program (NSP) services etc.) are available to provide day-to-day project management and support. Other NSP staff were available to support the program as required (such as for covering periods of leave) and sexual health service staff were involved in caring for people who took up the referral to the sexual health service.

A central element of Deadly Liver Mob is the ownership of the program by Aboriginal workers within the health service. The consistency of workers is also important to build trust with program clients and to address other issues (see the troubleshooting section). Planning for leave coverage is also important. Although the Aboriginal workers may be most well-known and trusted by clients of the program, having non-Aboriginal staff who are regularly present when the program is operating will allow clients to be aware of these staff members and increase the likeliness of their acceptance by clients if they are required to cover periods of leave when no other Aboriginal worker is available. Having the Aboriginal Deadly Liver Mob workers involved in decisions about which staff members will be best placed to cover leave will ensure ongoing Aboriginal involvement and ownership of the program. For NSPs without Aboriginal staff, partnering with Aboriginal Sexual Health Workers may assist in building the staffing profile required for Deadly Liver Mob.

‘The clinic itself is very proactive in terms of engagement with the Aboriginal community and we are and have a reputation within the community as being solid, respectful, culturally appropriate support service, but we are not all Aboriginal and it makes it as you know, an incredible difference to have Aboriginal staff directly engaged with the population group.’

Staff Member

Managers of the host service (such as a Needle and Syringe Program) services should be aware that Deadly Liver Mob workers will, at times, be fully consumed with program work and hence, additional staff will be required to undertake routine work such as provision of NSP services.