Vision - SoFA's vision is of a society in which workplaces are accessible to people of all abilities, and in which everyone has the opportunity to secure fulfilling and durable employment.
Mission - SoFA creates durable employment for people with a mental illness or disability by developing social firms and related activities. SoFA’s priority is supporting people with a mental illness to get and keep a job.
Scope - SoFA provides assistance with the commercial expertise required to establish and grow viable social firms, and the expertise in the adjustments required to assist employees with a mental illness get and keep a job. The team at SoFA is made up of professionals from both the commercial and allied health sectors creating a seamless transition from support with business development to assistance with vocational rehabilitation and workplace adjustments.
SoFA works in partnership in all areas of its work, and its core areas of activity are:
- Social Firm Development: SoFA assists organisations to establish businesses to operate as social firms. Approaches used include acquisition, replication, start up and conversion or development of existing enterprises.
- Social Firm Support: A network of social firms is being developed and SoFA offers expertise with the business’s growth and development, training to staff in best practise approaches for a mentally healthy workplace, and support with the workplace adjustments required for employees with a mental illness.
- Workplace Supports: SoFA has a range of training and support services to assist employers, support workers and employees with a mental illness understand their respective rights and responsibilities, as well as the range of adjustments and supports that can be used for people with a mental illness. Evidence based best practise approaches are promoted.
- Research and Evaluation: SoFA works in partnership with Social Ventures Australia to provide a Social Return on Investment analysis (SROI) on social firms. SoFA works in partnership with the Psychosocial Research Centre to measure the impact of durable employment on the quality of life for people with a mental illness. SoFA encourages and supports research in to strategies which improve the employment outcomes for people with a mental illness.
- Innovation: Through direct experience in social firms and sector consultation SoFA identifies the barriers that prevent people with a mental illness getting and keeping a job. SoFA develops innovative approaches to removing these barriers in all areas if its work.
- Advocacy: SoFA advocates for appropriate support and employment opportunities for people facing barriers to employment as a result of mental illness, including lobbying for more effective government policies.
- Promotion: SoFA promotes and disseminates the lessons learnt through forums, seminars, training, publications and the media.