Extensive Media Coverage for the Launch of the Economic and Social Impact Survey Report "Your help made this report possible"
In the last enewsletter we thanked all staff for their wonderful support with arranging for clients to complete the Economic and Social Impact Survey. We had a fantastic response, 1,700 completed surveys (from across both territories) were returned to us for analysis and reporting.
A report detailing the results of the Economic and Social Impact Survey was launched on 16 May (please see link to this report below). This report has had significant media coverage and clearly demonstrates the desperate circumstances that many of our clients face on a day to day basis.
Every one of you has contributed to this report. It is your hard work and support with arranging for clients to complete the survey (and getting them back to us for analysis) that made it possible. Nici Lhuede (the person who managed this project) and everyone at THQ in AUS and AUE send their thanks for your support in gathering this significant research.
Click here for Economic and Social Impact Survey Report
Clarification of Emergency Relief support services for Vulnerable Migrants
Requests have come into Territorial Headquarters (THQ) for clarification on assistance that can be provided to Vulnerable Migrants who present at our Community Support Services (CSS) and Emergency Relief Sites.
I have included below an extract from a THQ ‘Policy on Working positively with Vulnerable Migrants’ document as a guide – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy of the full policy document.
Extract: The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Policy on Working positively with Vulnerable Migrants
Vulnerable migrants include:
- Asylum seekers;
- International students;
- Skilled migrants; and
- Sponsored migrants.
Statement of Policy:
The Salvation Army Community Support Services within the Australia Southern Territory will endeavour to assist all people experiencing financial disadvantage, presenting for Emergency Relief. A high quality of service that demonstrates the inherent value and dignity of every person, regardless of the issues with which they present is to be provided.
Salvation Army Community Support Services staff will provide assistance to vulnerable migrants, despite the fact they do not hold a Centrelink Pension Card or a Health Care Card. Vulnerable migrants will be provided with the same level of assistance as any other client group. Given this group of people are likely to be experiencing a greater level of disadvantage, consideration will be given to the provision of additional assistance. The following forms of identification may be available: passport, Red Cross identification card or identification card from another migrant service organisation.
Resource – Information sheet to support CSS and ER staff when Interviewing Asylum Seekers.
The Asylum Seeker Support Service in Melbourne Central Division (Major Karen Elkington, Manager) has recently distributed the attached information sheet as a resource to support CSS and ER staff when interviewing asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants.
Click here for Information for CSS Emergency Relief Interviewers to Assess and Assist Asylum Seekers
Feedback from the ACOSS National Conference - Sydney
The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) conference held earlier this year in Sydney had a theme of "Sharing the wealth of the lucky country" and had a focus on highlighting areas of inequality within Australian communities. Of particular relevance to every TSA Emergency Relief site was the analysis of the impact of current cost of living pressures.
Cost of living pressures - impacts on low income households
The presentation by Gavin Duffy, Manager of Policy and Research, St Vincent de Paul Society, provided clear insight into the detrimental impact of increases in cost of living for anyone on low fixed incomes and/or allowances (i.e. Newstart Allowance). Graphs presented illustrated the increasing gap, between fixed incomes (that have not changed or kept pace with) and the ever increasing costs of items such as rent, utilities, food and transport. Link to the full presentation and all graphs is provided below, as they can be a useful tool, in any discussions you may have, to illustrate the pressures on low income families and why the number of people seeking support from Emergency Relief centres is increasing.
To view the complete Gavin Duffy power point presentation: Cost of living pressures - impacts on low income households go to:
The full range of Conference Papers are available at:
Development of Territorial Doorways (CSS and ER) Policy and Procedures Manual.
The Doorways Reference Group confirmed development of a territory wide Doorways (CSS and ER) Policy and Procedures Handbook (which is aligned to the ACOSS Emergency Relief Handbook – 4th Edition) as a priority activity. This new manual will replace the current Community Support Services Emergency Relief Manual.
Pamela Hanney will be overseeing the development of this handbook in close consultation with all divisions. It is highlighted that in recognition of need to provide for differing Divisional specific policy requirements it is proposed that the manual’s design concept will support a three level (cascade) framework, i.e:-
- Territorial Headquarters will develop the territorial Policy and Procedures Handbook that details all policies and procedures that apply across all Divisions.
- Divisions can, if they wish, augment this handbook by developing their own divisional specific policies manual as a separate document or as an attachment to the territorial handbook.
- The final level would be the development by all sites of a ‘site specific’ Operations Manual, detailing unique aspects of operational delivery for that site guided by and aligned to the territorial and divisional policy framework.
We will keep you informed on progress of this project
Advance Notice: Research Project – Positive Impact of Financial Counselling
Alerting all sites that The Salvation Army is undertaking a joint research project with Swinburne University to capture and demonstrate the benefits, from a client’s perspective, of their participation in financial counselling support sessions. More detailed information has been sent directly to all centres involved in delivery of financial counselling. This project will be undertaken throughout the month of July.
The support of financial counsellors in encouraging clients to participate in this research (i.e. completing surveys) is the most critical aspect of all the research we undertake – these surveys provide the data to substantiate the wonderful work you do.
We know what we do in emergency relief, case management and financial counselling is making a difference in the lives of the clients we support. We need the weight of formal research to enable us to talk to Government and potential funding sources and have our claims backed by creditable evidence. The goal of all of this research is to capture the life changing differences we are making in the lives of our clients and to gain more money/resources (staff) to expand the range of supports we can provide under the Doorways delivery philosophy.
Food Distribution – Different Approaches/Names and Distribution Methods
Across the territory there are multiple approaches to how food is distributed from our Emergency Relief sites. I am including a number of variations in this enewletter for your consideration and am requesting that if you have another approach that is working well for you that you send it through to me so that I can share in the next newsletter.
Descriptor: What do we call our food distribution processes?
“Food parcel” and/or “food package” are terms that have been used for many years and in some ways are more aligned to the older “welfare” delivery model. In recognition of the change in demographics of the clients seeking support from ER, some sites have been exploring different descriptors.
“Pantry pack” - David Ramadge, Manager, Plenty Valley Site, MCD mentioned at a recent CSS Managers meeting that at their site they have adopted the term “pantry pack” as it is a more accurate descriptor of what is distributed.
“Over the counter pack” is the term used by Bendigo Community Support Services.
If your site/division has introduced a different approach, I request that you send these through to me to share across the territory.
Pantry Pack Contents/Selection Models
Many sites have reported that they have moved to a system of providing clients with a list of available food/pantry items so that they can select what they need. Sites report that this method is welcomed by clients as they can tailor choice around preference and dietary needs.
Models vary, some examples are:
- The person undertaking the initial ER assessment will determine the number of pantry items the client can select – the number allocated may be increased, following a case management interview.
- List is based on a “$” (dollar) value per item (i.e meat items at higher value than packet of flour) – ER assessment nominates a total dollar amount a client can spend.
- Shopping list is enhanced by inclusion of photos of each item offered on the list to assist clients who, for multiple reasons, may not be able to read the English names of products available.
I have attached a sample of a range “shopping list” templates currently used by sites as an examples of this approach.
Click here Grocery List with Acknowledgement Bendigo
Click here for Cranbourne - Food list
Click here for Shepparton Shopping List – Dollar Value