CSF AR2018 Annual Report - Final-2018 - Page 18

CSF Casework school costs ($449), clothes ($200), medical costs ($60) and accommodation ($600). Food assistance was another important source of support. Food parcels were provided to more than half of clients at some period during their casework engagement, while over one-third of clients were recipients of food vouchers (the most common form of emergency relief). Almost three-quarters of clients did not receive any financial brokerage or emergency relief (ex- cluding food parcels), emphasizing the importance of other types of support such as advocacy, budgeting assistance and referrals to external agencies. Table 1. Types of support provided to 31 casework clients Support Type Volunteer Caseworker, Amy Lee Overview This has been my first full year as CSF caseworker and I have continued to enjoy working with a variety of clients while balancing my family life, work, and (almost!) completion of post graduate studies. For me, the end of the year brings the opportunity to look back over the year as a whole, as well as to revisit some of the highs and lows experienced by the individual clients I have worked with. This is a valuable opportunity for reflection and planning. Listening to each client’s story and individual goals has provided me the opportunity to continue learning about the needs of our local community. In particular, mental health issues, significant financial difficulties, and lack of appropriate and affordable housing continue to be brought up repeatedly by casework clients as issues impacting them. The year has also emphasised a number of local service gaps that negatively impact upon our clients. A total of 31 clients were seen as a part of the CSF casework service this year. Of those, 4 clients successfully addressed their goals or were referred to a service suited to assist them to meet their goals, 10 continued to engage with the casework process and work towards their goals, and 17 disengaged from casework before their needs or goals could be fully addressed. The following sections provide a summary of the types of support provided to these 31 clients along with an overview of the issues they experienced. Support provided A variety of different types of support were provided to casework clients (see Table 1). Financial brokerage totalled $2,109 and included brokerage towards utility bills ($530), car registration or other associated costs ($270), 18 It takes a community % of clients receiving Total Amount Financial brokerage Food parcels Emergency relief Food vouchers Meal vouchers Laundry vouchers Telstra vouchers Fuel vouchers Kmart vouchers Chemist letters Referrals Advocacy: Support Services Advocacy: Consumer Services Budgeting 19% 58% $2109 37 occasions 35% 3% 3% 3% 13% 0% 6% 39% 10% 26% 32% $1510 $15 $45 $400 $450 $0 3 occasions Casework client characteristics An overview of the issues experienced by casework clients is provided in Figure 1. Clients were considered to be ex- periencing each issue if it was present during the period of casework engagement, or if it was thought to be contrib- uting to the client’s current presentation. Mental health issues were the single most frequent issue experienced by casework clients, followed by significant financial issues and homelessness/risk of homelessness. A vast majority of clients experienced multiple issues (28 out of 31), with the average falling between 3 and 4 issues per client. The significant level of co-occurrence between issues highlights the complexities that impact a client’s day to day life, and begins to give an idea of the challenges and barriers clients face when working towards their goals. Figure 1. Issues experienced by CSF casework clients