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28 May 2020

Community Services COVID-19 Update #27

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.

DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITIES UPDATES

The Department has developed guidelines for community service sector workers returning to the workplace, which complements the dedicated webpage on the Government's COVID-19 website advice for community service providers which is separate to the business and industry advice

To develop a Safety Plan for your service or office, follow the steps in the WA Government's Safety Plan pack. Some examples have been provided by WACOSS member and are available on the COVID-19 Resource page

The Department is also monitoring the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on the WA community. This presentation is a summary of the areas of concern.

STATE GOVERNMENT UPDATES

The McGowan Government has announced that the disability sector will receive a $2 million boost for workforce skills development. In a statement over the weekend, the funding will aid an increase in proficient positive behaviour support (PBS) practitioners.

An urgent review of skills, training and workforce development announced, in response to COVID-19's impact on the workforce.

The Government has published the Premier's Circular on Rent relief for small business and not-for-profit entities affected by COVID-19.

In a recent media statement, the State Government announced they will bring forward the $150 million Housing Investment Package, which includes construction of 500 social and affordable homes.

WACOSS UPDATES

WACOSS has been announced as a member of the State Recovery Advisory Group to guide WA's recovery from COVID-19, and will be joining a number of representatives from across the community services sector, each of whom will bring a range of experience to the table.

COVID-19 ADVOCACY

ACOSS has called on the Federal Government to extend JobKeeper and JobSeeker to ensure nobody is left behind, in a media release this week. The most effective ways of doing this is by:

  • Immediately extending JobKeeper, JobSeeker, and Medicare to temporary migrants.
  • Continuing the JobSeeker payment of $560 per week until a social security system is put in place that keeps everyone out of poverty.

Supporters of Raise the Rate in WA are encouraged to register for the online campaign meeting at 2:00pm, Tuesday 2 June to discuss how we can build support, pressure, and momentum, and bring together ideas moving forward.

RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

Injury Matters has developed CONNECT.ed to help break barriers of social distancing by providing a networking platform while many of us work from home. CONNECT.ed is a free platform that matches participants together bimonthly for a 15 minute chat to help build professional networks at a time when making new contacts isn’t always easy.

Volunteering WA has developed resources for volunteer involving organisations to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Step-by-step guides provide organisations with information on resuming volunteering programs, and the process to re-engage and mobilise volunteers safely.

Anglicare WA has updated its announcement trackers as of 25 May 2020. Read the State Government and Federal Government announcements.

BCEC this week released a report on the impact of COVID-19 on work and mental health. This is part of a suite of commentary and analysis about COVID-19 on the WA labour market and economy.

Relationships Australia has launched Connect for Mental Health resources for parents, teachers, and carers who care for children, to help them develop an understanding of child mental health issues.

Woodside has set up a COVID-19 Community fund to support community organisations responding to COVID-19. Read more.

OTHER NEWS

It's National Reconciliation Week between 27 May and 3 June. The theme is #InThisTogether and there are a number of virtual events that you can take part in, and resources to share to show your support for and strengthen relationships between non-Indigenous people and First Nations people.

The Australian Council of Social Service in partnership with University of New South Wales has today released a new analysis of poverty in Australia, which has found that being unemployed remains the greatest poverty risk factor, and that the single rate of Newstart (now known as JobSeeker) in January 2018 was $117 below the poverty line.

Can your organisation host an intern this winter? The McCusker Centre for Citizenship at UWA has a high number of quality internship applications for its June-July round. If your organisation has a project or body of work that would benefit from an intern, contact Internships Coordinator Sam Andrews on 08 6488 7553 or [email protected]

TRAINING

Our Community is holding a free webinar on Wednesday 3 June from 10am WST. Register now for Managing the return to workplace transition event.

The Federal Government has free infection control training for care workers across all health care settings. Register to complete the training.

Child Wise has announced new dates for virtual classroom training in June. Training is recommended for staff and volunteers who deliver services to children and young people. Register for one of the upcoming events.

COVID-19 Resources
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