20 May 2020

Community Services COVID-19 Update #26

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.


Community service organisations may find Department of Health Social Distancing in the Workplace guidelines helpful as restrictions are eased and we begin the transition back to the workplace.


A new leadership structure has been announced by the Department, with the aim of providing lines of accountability and integrity, and will be organised into seven divisions:

  • Governance Integrity and Reform
  • Aboriginal Outcomes
  • Strategy and Partnerships
  • Community Services
  • Assets
  • Chief Finance Officer
  • Chief People Officer

In an email sent today, the Department is encouraging support for victims of family and domestic violence, through a video campaign. Get involved in the campaign.

In a Department update on Monday, Director General Michelle Andrews clarified that the requirement for businesses to develop COVID-19 Safety Plans prior to re-opening does not apply to community sector organisations, however the safety plan template may be useful for organisations to consider, along with the Government's safety plan advice. We are collating examples of safety plans from our members, which services may also choose to use as a guide.

Tips for transporting children and supervising contact in a child protection context were shared last week by Rachael Green, Acting Deputy Director General Community Services, along with further information around the easing of restrictions this week, and the impact of this on children and people with disabilities.


Social Reinvestment WA has been advocating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on a number of key social justice issues:

  • Fine Default reform – SRWA had worked for cross-party support for fine default reform prior to COVID, but for progress has slowed. Social Reinvestment WA has written to the Legislative Council offering their support for the FPINE Bill, and asking for it to be a priority to stop people going to prison for unpaid fines (WA is the only state that continues to implement this)
  • COVID-19 Justice Working Group – a working group has been established that represents Aboriginal and non-Government organisations working in the justice sector with the Department of Justice, for communication and collaboration on justice matters in response to COVID-19. DoJ has released new guidelines for changes to contracts and service delivery during COVID.
  • Youth Task Force Working Group – creating a youth diversion model for partnership between WA Police and youth workers to support young people in high risk of entering the justice system. 

100 Families WA has explored the newly-introduced social policies and changes to our welfare system in response to COVID-19 and how they alter the way we view the social security safety net and the people who are, or are not caught by it, and has suggested ways in which they could and should shape it post-crisis. Read more.

CREATE has been advocating for young people throughout COVID-19, most recently in the media actively calling for governments to assist young people leaving care.

Consumer Protection WA is encouraging the community to read the latest information about their consumer rights during COVID-19 - in particular rights around residential tenancies, and commercial tenancies.


Chorus Kitchen is an initiative to put people first and help those experiencing hardship through COVID-19 by providing fresh healthy meals. Volunteers deliver the meals Monday to Friday. Read about Chorus Kitchen, and if you or someone you know needs some assistance accessing healthy meals, contact 1800 8/61 617.

Anglicare WA has updated its announcement trackers as of 18 May 2020. Read the State Government and Federal Government announcements.

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) is now seeking nominations for membership. Use your knowledge, experience and networks to help WAPHA understand your community, what their unique health needs are, and the ways in which their world is changing. Nominate before 5pm Monday 8 June 2020.

WAAMH has launched their state election campaign Prevent Support Heal, to ensure quality mental health care is available to all West Australians, not just those who need hospital.

The eSafety Commissioner has provided global online safety advice for frontline workers supporting women.

YACWA has released a snapshot of the feedback from the COVID-19 Youth Survey, shedding light on the impact that COVID-19 has had on young people in WA.

It's National Volunteer Week 2020, and Justice Connect has prepared a range of resources that will assist volunteering organisations.

Do you know someone who is experiencing hardship during COVID-19? Consumer Action is keen to hear stories from people who have had a tough time, so that they can understand the impact and ensure government and industry is aware too.

COVID-19 Resources
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