The extended lockdown meant some of our work was put on hold while we stood up other initiatives to support the sector during the month of August. Here’s a wrap-up.
- Our CEO attended Minister Alister Henskens’ Sector Leaders meeting and met with him separately. We used the meeting to raise the issues you have brought to us during our weekly conversations and advocated strongly for an injection of brokerage funds for services to directly purchase pre-paid data to give to households who aren’t connected.
Fams was thrilled when the Minister announced the release of the final $5.5 million Social Sector Transformation Fund to support small-medium NGOs. We will keep you posted as more information is received about the distribution of this money.
- Our weekly In conversation during lockdown online forum was stood back up. Anthony Shannon, DCJ Director Early Intervention, Volunteering and Youth, has joined us every week to provide updates and answer questions on issues raised by you.
Because of the rapidly changing Public Health Orders and requirements on the community sector, Fams is very pleased that Minister Henskens joined us. We look forward to welcoming him back to future forums with the sector.
Other experts who we welcomed to the forum are:
- Angus McFarland, Assistant Secretary of the ASU NSW & ACT Services Branch; and
- David Prior, Workplace Relations Specialist at Jobs Australia.
- 438 people from the sector participated in our survey on COVID-19 vaccinations.
Our thanks to respondents for giving us the tools we need to be your voice. The survey demonstrated that the majority of the sector is willing to take up priority vaccinations. Only a handful of respondents had access to Rapid Antigen Testing, and thankfully the government has withdrawn this requirement.
- We were invited to meet with the NSW Ombudsman’s Office to discuss their current review of performance information in the NSW child protection system.
- Fams was invited by the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office to provide feedback on their Privacy impact assessment – development of a Privacy Code of Practice and Health Privacy Code of Practice for the Human Services Dataset. This builds on our previous work with Their Futures Matter and earlier advice on future use of the dataset.
- We were invited to join the Advisory Group for the Toward Access and Equity for Parents with Intellectual Disability study being conducted by Research Centre for Children and Families, University of Sydney.
- We are part of the Community sector organisations in resilience and recovery research group – a partnership between CSOs engaged with resilience building and recovery from disasters and academics at the University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. The focus is on CSO’s engaged with resilience building and recovery from disasters through the provision of psycho-social casework and family support.
- Fams participated in the annual gathering of the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing convened by Families Australia.
- Our CEO attended a Governance for Social Impact course. The team attended training in human rights approaches hosted by NCOSS, and AbSec’s Responding to Trauma training.
- Fams held talks with Simone Walker, Deputy Secretary DCJ, about the latest COVID-19 restrictions and impacts of the sector.
- We continue our participation in the DCJ Commissioning Co-Governance Group and Working Group in relation to TEI.
- We continue to hear from you regularly through our fortnightly Practice Conversations.
- We continued our sector support work through:
- Family Preservation Program meetings
- Brighter Futures Lead Agency forum
- SSESNS district: Preventing and responding to ROSH working group
- SWS district: Child and family leadership group
- We continued our project work with:
- Thriving Together
- NSW Children’s Week Council
- Children’s Week Council of Australia
- The Every Child campaign
- We provided individual support to organisations on issues that matter to them, including using DEX.