WCC Annual Report 2014-15 - Page 13

SOCIAL WORK CASEWORK SERVICE HOUSING BROKERAGE AND SUPPORT PROJECT Our casework service aims to support people who present to us with more complex issues including family violence, homelessness and other housing problems, mental health and asylum seekers needing access to specialised supports. With Jenny Smith, CEO of the Council to Homeless Persons as our guest speaker, WCC was pleased to launch the Evaluation of the Housing Brokerage and Support Project. Authored by Dr Sharon Parkinson, the evaluation investigated the success of the project to date, and included interviews with clients and other key stakeholders. A number of recommendations were made which WCC is committed to implementing. A copy of the full report can be found on our website. We continue to facilitate the Whittlesea Emergency Relief (ER) Network, which brings together local ER providers and other interested parties in the City of Whittlesea to share knowledge and resources, and create an avenue for advocating for the needs of our community. Highlight: The Whittlesea ER Network’s Christmas drive was a huge success in 2014 with a number of schools, local business and community members donating toys and non perishable items so that local providers were given a boost to help with demand on their services over the Christmas and New Year period. TAX HELP The program run by the ATO and supported by WCC continues to run successfully in ensuring people on low incomes can successfully complete their tax returns. Thank you to our fabulous volunteers, many of whom return to us each tax season, for their contribution. “ The support staff are so understanding and you do not feel judged. They treat you with respect and they are polite. They never look down on you – they try to make you smile Housing Brokerage Client WHITTLESEA VOLUNTEER RESOURCE SERVICE The WVRS faced a number of challenges this financial year, including staffing gaps due to a lack of surety around funding. Thankfully, the WVRS was funded for another 12 months, and Michelle Newton moved from the Settlement Team and stepped in to the role of Volunteer Resource and Training Worker. We assisted community members with access to and information on volunteer opportunities, provided local volunteers with training across a range of topics including food safety and handling, manual handling, first aid and emergency response training. Highlights: With a Community Grant from the City of Whittlesea, the Whittlesea Partnership on Volunteering and Community Engagement developed the Volunteers of Whittlesea video, showcasing some of the volunteer opportunities available in the area and promoting volunteerism across the municipality. The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=asHCJjhUObY 13