20 April 2020

Community Services COVID-19 Update #17

We are committed to providing the WA community services sector with crucial information and high level resources as necessary, until the pandemic subsides.

Content from these updates will be posted on the Community Services Resource page on the WACOSS website.


Michelle Andrews, Director General, Department of Communities issued an update last Friday, which has acknowledged the challenges some community services are experiencing with the approach to partnerships in the relevant Taskforces that the Department is trying to achieve. Therefore, this Tuesday at Twelve Webinar will discuss the taskforces, and feedback is being sought on these three key questions, which will be discussed during the webinar: 

  1. How will you judge that your taskforce has been successful (i.e. what does success look like)?
  2. What are the behaviours we want to individually and collectively commit to as we work together in the Taskforces?
  3. Are there any other burning issues that need addressing to enable the Taskforces to be successful?

WACOSS strongly encourages the sector to provide feedback for the Department of Communities during the webinar tomorrow. Tuesdays at Twelve takes place at 12noon each Tuesday via Microsoft Teams. Click this link to join the webinar each week:

Read the full update from Department of Communities.

The State Government has expanded COVID-19 testing locations, so that anyone with a GP referral can then attend one of the 11 participating pathology collection centres to be tested for COVID-19. This is in addition to the existing COVID-19 clinics across WA - of which there are 7 in the metro region, and two in regional WA. Read about COVID-19 clinics and pathology collection centres here or phone the WA COVID-19 information line on 1800 020 080.

Postal services are now available for people who inject drugs to order sterile injecting equipment (needles, syringes, with disposal containers and swabs) at no cost, as a strategy to prevent transmission of blood-borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. This was provided in an update from the Department of Health. Read more here.


The Australian Council of Social Service has shared their COVID Community Hub, which details the response and advocacy their members are undertaking, in relation to the current pandemic. Read more.

In addition, ACOSS have extended their updated JobKeeper survey (which we sent in our update last Friday) until COB today, Monday 20 April. Complete the survey here.

The Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub has provided a series of Recovery Matters webinars to get to the heart of key issues in disaster recovery. How do you support communities in recovery? What can you expect on the journey ahead? What about the needs of particular groups? Watch the webinar series here.

In addition, the AIDR has a collection of resources that support pandemic preparedness, response and recovery from a disaster resilience perspective. Read more.


Red Cross has received a grant to support people living in Australia on Temporary Visas, which will help provide emergency relief and casework support, after they were left out of any Federal Government support. Read more.

The Home Hub has launched Homes for Good to help match available properties with people looking for housing or accommodation particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. The platform is a whole-of-community response to the current housing crisis in Western Australia, and will support long-term systems change. Visit The Home Hub.

Cahoots, in partnership with the Department of Communities, is launching a new Essential Shopping Delivery Service to help people during COVID-19. Cahoots Connects assists those living with a disability, people facing other exceptional challenges, and older Australians with their shopping, so that they can get all their essentials delivered to your door by trained staff and volunteers. The service will launch on Monday 20 April. Register your interest here.

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