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Emergency Relief Sector Support Program

The Emergency Relief Sector

The Emergency Relief (ER) Sector in WA consists of nearly 300 agencies and their outlets, providing direct services to clients in financial crises, in the form of material and financial assistance.

Government departments that provide support through funding, training and resources, as well as the agencies that refer to emergency relief services, are also important stakeholders.

These include:

  • Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;
  • Centrelink;
  • Department for Child Protection;
  • Department of Communities;
  • Lotterywest;
  • and a range of crisis support, financial counselling and social welfare services throughout the State. 

Capacity Building

WACOSS has received ongoing support from Lotterywest since 2006 to deliver the Emergency Relief Sector Support Program, which enables us to provide dedicated support to the ER Sector.  

The ER Sector Support Program provides: information, resources, support and guidance to ER services and outlets in WA.

Previous and ongoing activities include:

  • Development of a State Emergency Relief Committee (SERC).

  • Executive and administrative support to the SERC.

  • Facilitation of a monthly Emergency Relief Forum.

  • Newsletters, web based communication, support and training material.

  • Negotiation of sponsorship for utility assistance schemes and administrative support and planning for these schemes which is currently valued at around $100,000 per year.

  • Planning and organising the bi-annual Emergency Relief Conference, that provides opportunities to examine new and innovative approaches to working with clients in financial crisis.

  • Development of vital resources including the Essentials Advocacy Kit and Emergency Relief Services Directory

The ongoing relationship building, which has been made possible through this project, has aided in the development of strong networks among ER services and between these services and Government, the business sector and other community services.

Professional Development

WACOSS provides training, support and resource development specifically tailored to the needs of the Emergency Relief staff and volunteers. 

Networks and Forums  

The WACOSS Emergency Relief Forum is held on the first Wednesday of every month. The Forum is an information sharing and networking opportunity to which guest speakers are regularly invited to attend. The forum attracts a variety of agencies, including ER services, funding bodies and government agencies.

The Forum starts at 9.30am and is held in: Conference Room 7, at Lotteries House, 2 Delhi Street, West Perth.  Everyone is welcome.

Further information and up-to-date minutes are available here, as well as the locations of local network meetings held around Perth.