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Catholic Welfare urges Govt support for non-commercial welfare programs

Catholic Welfare Australia has welcomed increased Federal Government support for the Personal Support Program (Choices PSP), but warned that commercial operators are dropping out and that if the Government is truly committed it will need to provide more funding

Under the program, Catholic Welfare Australia (CWA) member organisations provide individualised care and assistance to over 4000 Australians who find social, vocational and economic participation in the community difficult.

"The demand for this program has been consistently high and these additional places will go some way to meeting community need," said CWA chair Fr Joe Caddy. "We know these places will be filled as quickly as they are released so it will be interesting to see when and how the Government intends to roll out other places within the program - especially given its success and the positive outcomes it is achieving."

"It is important to note that this program is not an easy one to deliver - as the mass exodus of commercial providers earlier in the contract indicates," said Fr Caddy. "We believe that we are successful because it is central to our mission, that many of our delivery agencies offer a range of complimentary services and we have great contacts on the ground within the communities we work in."

"A big congratulations must be extended to all of the service providers within this program and the very committed and responsive team we deal with within the Department of Family and Community Services," said Fr Caddy. "However, if commercial operations cannot survive within the structure of the program - I can only confirm that it is tough going - and if the Government is truly committed to this program - then more funding needs to be provided."

"The decreasing availability of free and low cost services in the community means there is an ever-increasing demand on program funding for brokerage services," said Fr Caddy. "Access to a Job Seeker Account similar to that which is available to the Job Network would ensure participants received the support and early intervention required to 'help them move forward' in the way it was envisioned in the Government's Australians Working Together welfare reform initiative."

CWA welcomes more Choices for Personal Support (Catholic Welfare Australia 24/8/04)

Catholic Welfare Australia
Personal Support Program
Centacare Sydney: Choices PSP
Centacare Melbourne: Choices PSP
Providing Personal Support to the most disadvantaged in our community (Catholic Welfare Australia media release 27/5/02)

25 Aug 2004