Earning the trust of individuals, families and communities as a valued partner in addressing systemic and social inequality is crucial to our mission.
Throughout the year, we were involved in several alliances, collaborations and events that specifically aimed to raise awareness of social issues and advocate for systemic and policy change.
100 Families WA
Uniting is a collaborating partner in the 100 Families WA research project – to better understand the lived experience of people experiencing poverty, entrenched disadvantage and social inclusion.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs)
At Uniting, we recognise the value of ACCOs taking the lead in partnerships, and we’re working towards achieving this in existing and future collaborations.
In partnership with Kinship Connections, Uniting provides support and assistance to family carers. Over the past 4 years we’ve also partnered with Wungening Aboriginal Corporation, along with Centrecare, in the Beyond Youth Justice service. This has delivered lasting positive outcomes for young people involved with the justice system and their families.
Financial Counselling Network
Uniting is a lead member of the Financial Counselling Network – a partnership of not-for-profit organisations and local government across Perth committed to reducing the causes and impacts of financial hardship in our community.
Perceptions of Poverty in WA
Uniting is in a coalition with Anglicare WA, Foodbank WA, Ruah Community Services, Communicare and WACOSS to advocate for tackling poverty. The coalition commissioned the Perceptions of Poverty in WA study conducted by Painted Dog Research from 17-29 June with 1,043 adults living in Western Australia.
Social Reinvestment WA
We worked with Social Reinvestment WA on some key initiatives throughout the year, including gaining cross-party support for fine-default reform to prevent people from going to prison for unpaid fines. A COVID Justice Working Group was also formed to represent Aboriginal and non-government organisations working with the Department of Justice. This group collaborated on justice matters in response to COVID, leading to the release of new guidelines for changes to contracts and service delivery during the pandemic.
Uniting Church Social Justice Commission
Our ongoing partnership with the Uniting Church Western Australia in addressing social inequality was strengthened throughout the year. Our Practice Lead for Community Engagement has been a guest attendee of monthly meetings of the Uniting Church Social Justice Commission, and we’ve worked together on co-branded engagement activities such as Reconciliation Week 2020.
Partnerships and advocacy — achievements in brief
- Took part in UnitingCare Australia Community Services and Disability Support Networks
- Advocated for children and young people with the Department of Communities
- Involved in the Out of Home Care reform, Child and Family Alliance WA and the WACOSS Children’s Policy Advisory Council
- Informed a WA Police consultation on how WAPOL can improve their interactions with family and domestic violence victims and their children
- Partnered with Warrawee Women’s Refuge to build their knowledge and capacity to conduct ongoing group work sessions
- Partnered with Ruah Community Services to open 24/7 during Homelessness Week 2019
- Established coordinated outreach meetings between state / local government and specialist homelessness service providers
- Aboriginal workforce training scheme with Aboriginal-owned employment agency Impact Services in the Great Southern – made possible with $20k in funding from the Boosting the Local Care Workforce (BLCW) program
- Partnered with Befriend to focus on inclusion principles and to equip teams to deliver contemporary evidence-based practice
- Delivered the LOVE BiTES program at Banksia Hill Detention Centre
- Strengthened partnerships with other Community Housing Providers and peak bodies
- Partnered with the Emergency Relief & Food Access Service (ERFAS) to deliver ER