WCC Annual Report - Page 26

Client Services Report We continued to facilitate the Whittlesea ER Network this year. Several local ER providers attend the network as well as representatives from the office of Harry Jenkins MP, Epping Centrelink and Plenty Valley Community Health. The network aims to work collaboratively to advocate for and continue to support clients in the City of Whittlesea. As a network we organized our first Christmas drive to assist vulnerable families in the City of Whittlesea during the often difficult period of Christmas. The local community was extremely generous in their donations and with their help, we were able to boost resources for the area over the Christmas and New Year period. CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICE The case management service continues to provide case management support to clients who present to the ER service with complex needs. The case work service saw 181 clients with complex needs in 2011-12 and assisted clients with issues including: housing; utilities; family violence; mental health and inadequate income. Funded through FaHCSIA and the Danks Trust, the case management service has continued to be a useful tool and is now a key component of the ER service delivery model. It provides clients with additional support and advocacy to access specialised services and to work through complex issues. A small of team of volunteers and Social Work placement students have been trained and supported to extend the capacity of this service. TAX HELP The tax help service continues to run successfully at WCC with many volunteers returning year after year to assist local people with their tax returns. The Australian Taxation Office trains volunteers to assist people on low incomes to complete their tax returns or education expenses claims and this year we assisted 366 people. Fourteen volunteers took part in the service, 8 of whom were returning from previous years. Appointments were made available each day of the week, and our night service on a Thursday evening continued to cater for those that were unable to attend during the day. Our volunteers spoke 9 different community languages, increasing our capacity to assist people with English as a second language. Telephone interpreting services were also made available. Whittlesea Community Connections 25