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How We’re Improving Services for our Financial Administration Clients

Talking with the colleagues

Being able to put yourself in the shoes of those experiencing hardship is the first step in an empathetic onboarding process at State Trustees. Our Client First Program Director, Kerry Ashbrook, talks about the changes we’re making and the importance of understanding the individual needs of our financial administration clients.

Each year, State Trustees manages the financial and legal affairs of over 9,500 Victorians. Our relationship with our clients begins after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hears their story and appoints us as their financial administrator. For our clients, this is often in incredibly difficult circumstances – they may have recently experienced illness or injury, be struggling with addiction or be living with disability.

As part of State Trustees’ change program, Client First, we are improving the way we welcome our financial administration clients when they begin their journey with us. Over the past 12 months we’ve introduced some changes to the way we onboard new financial administration clients, including a revamped, plain language welcome pack and improvements to our communications to clients when we are first appointed as financial administrator.

Client First Program Director, Kerry Ashbrook, said making our clients feel supported was a key part of the onboarding process.

“Our people begin this process by putting themselves in the shoes of a person who may be going through incredibly tough circumstances, often without family support,” Ms Ashbrook said.

“We also need to recognize the unique journey these clients have been on. For example, we have over 3,000 clients who have dementia and may be in an aged care facility or vulnerable to elder abuse. Their needs will be very different to one of our 1,400 clients experiencing mental illness. Those experiences, coupled with the loss of financial independence, mean our clients may be feeling particularly vulnerable when we first get in contact.”

“For our people, the onboarding process is our first chance to understand what’s important to that client – do they have a support network, what are their hopes and aspirations?”

“We then have teams who specialise in making sure those clients get the support they need, whether it’s their pension entitlements from Centrelink, applying for NDIS funding or liaising with aged care facilities.”

We are currently piloting further enhancements to the way we welcome our financial administration clients. While these changes are mostly behind the scenes and may not be visible to our clients, it’s all part of our Client First program, which will continue to improve the way we deliver services to our clients.

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