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.
STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES
The Funding and Contracting Services Bulletin released today has important updates for the sector, of high importance is an update on personal protective equipment (PPE) for community services, guidelines for the use of PPE, and how to make a request for PPE to the Department of Finance.
COVID-19 restrictions are easing in a staged process. Starting Monday 18 May, Phase 2 will commence, lifting restrictions on the number of people in areas of work, travel, and local services (places of worship, libraries, community centres. Read about Phase 2 restrictions.
As part of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the State Government will require businesses and organisations to prepare a COVID Safety Plan. WACOSS is seeking advice and and support from the State Government to provide guidelines and information for the sector, and we are working on getting some examples to provide in future bulletins - if your organisation is happy to share their plan with the sector please let us know.
The State Government have made it easier for people experiencing FDV to seek restraining orders electronically, to protect victims at a time of increased risk because of isolation from the community. Penalties for breaching family violence orders has also been increased. Read media release.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITIES UPDATES
On Friday 8 May, Rachael Green, Acting Deputy Director General Community Services provided an update on access to ICT equipment for children in Out of Home Care (OOHC) services enrolled in a public school, but participating in at-home schooling due to COVID-19. Applications for equipment for Round 2 are open until 22 May 2020 - services can apply on behalf of a child to their school by 22 May 2020. Read the update here.
Michelle Andrews, Director General, Department of Communities provided an update last Friday 8 May, and in this week's Tuesdays at Twelve Michelle was joined by Susan Hunt from Lotterywest. You can watch the webinar here.
A third Taskforce Partnership Update has been shared by the Department, on the work done to refresh the approach of the taskforces.
WACOSS, the Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services, and Stopping Family Violence continue to work with the Department of Communities COVID-19 FDV Taskforce. The latest Taskforce communique was shared on 7 May 2020.
More than 60 organisations across Australia have advocated for women on temporary visas experiencing violence, writing an open letter to the Federal and State Governments urging immediate action to ensure that they have access to social security, healthcare, housing, legal assistance, interpreting services, and other supports to be safe during and post COVID-19. Read the open letter.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Last week recommendations were released on the Senate Inquiry into the Adequacy of Newstart in this report, which supports JobSeeker (Newstart), Youth Allowance, and Parenting Payments being increased once the Coronavirus supplement is phased out. In a National Press Club Address last week, Treasurer Frydenberg said that we must ensure "a safety net which is underpinned by a sense of decency and fairness".
In an announcement on 5 May, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $63 million package for the legal assistance sector, including community legal centres, with a focus on matters involving domestic violence. Read the announcement.
RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
Today is the last day for organisations to apply for Event Cancellation Relief and Sector Support Resilient Organisations grant programs through Lotterywest. Read more.
Cancer Council WA is continuing to provide vital support for people in WA who are affected by cancer. If you or someone you know is affected and needs assistance, call Cancer Council WA on 13 11 20. There is more information about practical and financial help during COVID-19 on the website. Read more.
Impact100 has changed their 2020 grants program to respond to COVID-19. Read more here.
Anglicare WA has updated its announcement trackers as of 11 May 2020. Read the State Government and Federal Government announcements.
The WACOSS Pilbara Manager prepared fact sheets about services available during COVID-19 for the Pilbara regions including Newman, Onslow and Tom Price, Hedland, and Karratha.
Domestic Violence Response Training, DV-alert, is now available online and for free, for health, allied health, and community frontline workers. Learn how to recognise, respond, and refer.