Welcome to UnitingCare Gippsland
UnitingCare Gippsland is an agency of the Uniting Church, incorporated under the Uniting Church in Australia Act 1977. We have over 350 staff provide community based services such as foster care, family counselling, family day care, youth work, family support, and financial counselling.
Please click here to view a copy of the pamphlet – Your Rights and Responsibilities as a client of UnitingCare Gippsland
Click on the picture to download a copy of the Annual Report 2015
A New Vision for UnitingCare
UnitingCare will create one of the largest community service organisations operating in Victoria and Tasmania under a new single governance structure aimed at strengthening its ability to support people in need throughout the two states.
It follows a decision by the Uniting Church’s Synod Standing Committee (SSC) last year to establish a single skills-based Agency Board which will govern 18 UnitingCare agencies and Wesley Mission Victoria (WMV). The Board will be supported by regional advisory committees, local support groups and clinical governance committees. Currently, the agencies and Wesley Mission Victoria are all governed by individual boards.
Alternative models of support are being considered for smaller agencies. A model of support for congregations and presbyteries currently providing local or regional community services will be developed.
At the weekend the SSC approved the appointment of former Victorian State Health Minister Bronwyn Pike to chair the single Agency Board. It also appointed a further four initial directors to the new Board.
“I am deeply honoured that the Uniting Church has asked me to chair this new organisation as I share their commitment to making Victoria and Tasmania fairer, compassionate and inclusive,’’ Ms Pike said.
UnitingCare Project Control Group (PCG) Chair Bob Hodges said the new governance structure will build on UnitingCare’s reputation as leaders of the provision of high quality community services across both states.
“It will make the work of client facing staff more effective by creating a structure that helps them to share ideas and learn from the innovative work currently being undertaken throughout the organisation.” Mr Hodges said.
UnitingCare agencies and WMV operate in metropolitan, regional and remote parts of Victoria and Tasmania offering a broad range of services and advocacy to support thousands of vulnerable people.
With a combined annual budget of approximately $237 million, 3,500 staff and 4,000 volunteers, UnitingCare and WMV‘s services include emergency relief, financial counselling, housing and homelessness services, employment services, early childhood services, child, youth and family services, disability services, mental health services, non-residential aged care, alcohol and other drugs services and Lifeline.
Ms Pike said UnitingCare agencies have supported vulnerable Victorians and Tasmanians for decades and have been a voice for social justice in our community.
As one unified agency of the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania this vital work will now be expanded and strengthened as we address the new challenges in caring for people in great need,’’ she said.
The new single Agency Board will assume governance when all funders have formally agreed to service contracts continuing under the proposed new structure. This is expected to occur before the end of the year.
The new Board will have up to 11 members including the Chief Executive Officer as an executive director.
Following handover of governance, it will be business as usual in the first instance for all agencies, with existing CEOs reporting into the new executive structure.
Existing boards will be encouraged to remain in place to assist with the transition to the new governance structure.
“We would like to continue to work alongside our current boards who will play an invaluable role in providing input and advice to the new Agency Board,” Mr Hodges said.
“On the day of handover, there will be no change to the work that each agency is delivering in local communities. The same people will provide the same services to the same clients at the same locations are they are today.’’
Mr Hodges said major funders had been notified of the proposed changes.
“Our largest funder is the Victorian DHHS and we are working closely in partnership with them to provide the information they require.’’
UnitingCare embodies the Church’s ethos of compassion and care for the vulnerable within our communities.
Communities for Children – Expression of Interest
In 2014, the Federal Government announced further funding of the Communities for Children program, as part of the Government’s commitment to deliver strong outcomes for Australian families and focus on early intervention and prevention. UnitingCare Gippsland, the Facilitating Partner of the CfC Program, are calling for expressions of interest to deliver activities. Funding is currently available to deliver activities from July 1st 2015 – June 30th 2017 through an open Expression of Interest Process. To receive an EOI Information and Application Pack, please contact the CfC team directly on 51529600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can download the supporting documents below, that form part of this EOI process. - Attachment 1 CfC Governance Diagram - Attachment 2 East Gippsland Early Years Plan - Attachment 3 Service Access Guidelines - Attachment 4 Autism Support Pilot Report - Attachment 5 Community Profiles - Attachment 6 Scoping Parenting Strategy - Attachment 7 Father Inclusive Practice Audit Report - Attachment 8 Family Engagement in Schools Please note that this EOI process is open from Wednesday 8th April, 2015 and closes on Friday 1st May, 2015. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Practical Guidelines to Improve Service Accessibility for Families Written by East Gippsland Service Access Working Group click here to download The East Gippsland Early Years Committee – Service Access Working Group recently launched the ‘Practical Guidelines to Improve Service Accessibility for Families’. The guidelines were developed in recognition that there are families that don’t access services readily for a range of reasons and it is the way in which services are delivered which makes a difference to how accessible they are. There are a number of individual circumstances that create barriers to accessing support through services which can include; difficulties in communication, fear, resistance/lack of support from family members, complexities and challenges faced that take time and energy to deal with (Cortis, Katz and Patulny, 2009). To label clients as ‘hard to reach’ puts the responsibility on clients, rather than the service. Services are funded to provide support and need to make sure they are accessible to families and children who need them the most. Eleven principles and actions to improve service access have been collated from a range of sources. • Meet Parents Needs • Start where the Family is at • Every family is different • Support To Access • Accessible Locations & Times • Coordination of Services to Meet Family Needs • Availability & Response • Build Relationships • Comfortable Setting • Parents Know Service Is Available • Affordable Service An important component in the development of the guidelines was to get feedback from families across East Gippsland on their experiences of accessing services for their families. 58 parents and carers (mothers, fathers, young parents, Aboriginal parents and parents with children with additional needs) provided feedback through interviews (via phone and in person), surveys and group focus groups. The guidelines include a self-assessment checklist designed to get agencies to reflect on current practice around service access. The checklist can be used to identify what organisations are committed to changing/improving. Contact the Communities for Children East Gippsland team for more information about this document. References Corits, N., Katz, I. & Patulny, R. (2009), Engaging hard-to-reach families and children, Department of families, housing, community services and Indigenous Affairs, (FaHCSIA) Occasional Paper Number 26, www.fahcsia.gov.au
UnitingCare Gippsland Eco Resource Kit 2013
The Eco Resource Kit aims to provide educators, families and the wider community with consolidated information and resources about sustainable practices that can be promoted within families’ homes, early childhood settings and the wider community. The Eco Resource Kit aims to assist with linkages to environmental agencies that will promote local knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues and resources in your local area. The Eco Resource Kit provides a fun, socially responsible and consistent message around the importance of sustainability and the environment. This in turn, can enhance a deeper understanding and respect by children of their environment and will foster an understanding around the importance of our world and the impact that we all have on it. This is a guide to help support your journey in sustainability. Please click here to download (PDF 1.6mb)
UnitingCare Gippsland has a vision for a healthy Gippsland where inequity and disadvantage are challenged. We strive to include all children in early childhood programs as a way to promote healthy early childhood development, support children to reach their full potential and strengthen their connections to community.
Independent Living Units for Over 55′s Open for Inspection- Monday to Saturday - various times & by appointment Corner of Niel & Tyers St, Stratford Click here for more information.
Foster Carers needed in Gippsland Region!
UnitingCare Gippsland provides quality Family Day Care in the Gippsland Region! Please click here for more information.