News

22 Apr 2015

Pastoral care workers take out top awards

“Annette attends many of our team meetings and she is always ready to share ideas and explore opportunities for our workers to engage and improve upon their communication techniques and style.  She is always gentle in her approach and she has an air of enthusiasm which is contagious. Passionate and dedicated to her work whether this be with clients, or staff who need that little something to make their world a better place.” “Brad has been supportive and non-judgemental in all my discussions with him.” “I have had no hesitation in referring clients to Brad.” “I have not worked in a service with pastoral care/chaplaincy before. Working with Brad has shown me the value of having someone who can listen, support and assist clients spiritually if that is their need.”

01 Apr 2015

Gateway a Lifeline for Young, Single Father

Damon was just like any other 16 year old in Hobart. With a cheeky smile, sense of humour, and a passion for all things automotive, the world was his oyster. However, Damon’s typical world was turned upside down when he became primary carer for his infant son, Blaze. To further compound the stresses involved with being a single parent at such a young age, Blaze was born with cerebral palsy. What followed was a steep learning curve in things most teenagers are yet to discover: nappies, baby formula, childcare, and caring for someone with higher needs. But the extra responsibility that came with being a single father hit Damon harder than most – he was no longer able to afford his accommodation, and he and Blaze was at serious risk of falling into homelessness. “I felt like I had lost control of my life and was just completely overwhelmed. Everything was spiralling out of control quickly,” Damon said. “People were trying to give me advice, telling me to do this and that; but being so young and new to that world, I had no idea who to listen to or what to do.” But then help arrived, as Damon was introduced to the Tasmanian Gateway program – a joint initiative between Mission Australia, Baptcare and the State Government. Damon is one of more than 11,000 Tasmanians whose lives have turned around since encountering the Gateway program, which has helped an estimated 2,500 children avoid the child protection system. The program works by providing individuals and families with appropriate information and advice, brief intervention and referrals to relevant services. Damon says this level of holistic support really made the difference when it came to getting back on his feet. “Gateway gave me so much more than just advice about where to turn for help, and my caseworker Rachel really went above and beyond to make sure Blaze and I where looked after. She’d make sure I had the right appointments, provide transport there and back, and follow up on everything. “Just knowing someone is fighting in your corner is a massive confidence boost. I wasn’t alone anymore and all of a sudden I felt like I could breathe again. “I used to wake up terrified, thinking ‘how am I going to pay for the basics, let alone give Blaze the life I want him to have?’ Now - two years later - I have a new partner, a newborn daughter, a stable income and home, and Blaze is growing up with the chance to succeed that every kid deserves.” Gateway is this week celebrating five years of service to vulnerable Tasmanians. Noel Mundy, Mission Australia’s State Director, says the program has been instrumental in helping struggling Tasmanian families keep their heads above water. “Mission Australia has a long history of supporting families, and ensuring children are given every opportunity to grow and thrive – the Gateway program continues that proud tradition. “Over the course of its five years, the program has helped over 600 families facing or experiencing homelessness receive support, while over 4,000 parents have used the service to improve their parenting skills. These are great results, and highlight the importance of holistic support programs such as Gateway.” On top of its work with parents and families as well as young people at risk, the program also provides support for those with disabilities. Baptcare General Manager for Family and Community Services, Marita Scott, says the Disability Gateway Service has been has been fundamental in the work the organisations are able to do with individuals and families in Tasmania.. “We’re extremely proud to be celebrating five years of the program, knowing the difference that it’s made to so many lives. “The Gateway program is aligned with our core principal of working together with the individual, carers, family, and other service providers to give greater choice and individual control to people living with a disability, and we look forward to continuing to help vulnerable Tasmanian’s get the support they require.” Gateway’s fifth anniversary is being acknowledged with the production of a special commemorative book, which demonstrates the strength and success of the program through stories like Damon’s. The book was launched by the Minister for Human Services Hon Jacqui Petrusma MP at an event on Thursday, April 30. You can view the book here. Baptcare is a community services organisation, founded in 1945, and currently works across 34 sites in Victoria and Tasmania, offering residential and community care for older people, support to children, families, and people with disability, financially disadvantaged people and asylum seekers. Mission Australia is a non-denominational Christian community service organisation that has been helping people to regain their independence for over 155 years. We offer a wide range of integrated solutions over the long term, through homelessness initiatives and affordable housing, early learning and youth services, family support, and employment and skills development.
Magazine About newsletter Autumn 2015 cover photo

07 Mar 2015

About magazine - Autumn 2015

Magazine About newsletter Summer 2013 cover photo

07 Sep 2014

About magazine - Spring 2014

06 Sep 2014

Melbourne Symposium challenges dementia assumptions

Speakers: Steven Sabat is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University in Washington DC, an expert on enhancing communication between people with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers. The title of his book The Experience of Alzheimer’s Disease: Life though a Tangled Veil (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001) demonstrates that recognising the importance of the subjective experience of dementia is central to caring for people living with the disease. Steven will present on how the term, "memory loss" is truly incoherent and unhelpful in connection with people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Daniella Greenwood is National Strategy and Innovation Manager for Arcare. Key areas of responsibility include:  change management; research; stakeholder engagement in the development of new organisational values; development of Arcare's dementia strategy; development and implementation of a Relationship-centred model of care; development and implementation of Dedicated Staffing (consistent staffing assignment); re-development of Arcare’s lifestyle offering to embrace their new focus on the development of deep and respectful relationships, rather than on the management of ‘problems’. With a background in music composition and performance, Daniella graduated with distinction in 2011 with a BHlthSci (Leisure & Health). Daniella is passionate about celebrating - rather than pathologising - the gift of old age. Daniella will present on a relational approach to supporting people living with dementia as they continue to live their lives, grow and experience continued joy and connection with others.

06 Sep 2014

Baptcare foster carers shortlisted for Robin Clark Memorial Awards

FOR the third consecutive year, Baptcare is proud to have two foster carers shortlisted in the “Carer of the Year” category of the Robin Clark Memorial Awards. The Robin Clark Memorial Awards are the official launch event of Child Protection Week, which in 2014 is celebrated from the 7th to the 13th September. The Awards recognise service provision and leadership of the highest standard that improve the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families in Victoria and awards are dedicated to the memory of Robin Dennis Clark (1936–2001), a visionary and leader who has greatly influenced current practice in Victorian child, youth and family services. In 2013, Baptcare foster carer Bev Brierty was the deserving winner of the acclaimed award. Ms. Brierty is a strong advocate for child protection and foster carers for the part they play in providing safety and security to vulnerable children, and has, over the past few years, been a strong supporter of Baptcare’s campaign to recruit more foster carers across the Western suburbs of Melbourne. Ms. Brierty said, “I am very passionate about foster care and of the precious children foster care helps and provides homes to in times of need. Child Protection Week and the Robin Clark Memorial Awards are wonderful initiatives that help promote the need for services such as foster care. There are so many children who desperately need foster care and I am so happy to be able to provide them with a home, safety and love.” “I congratulate those foster carers shortlisted this year and wish all nominees the best of luck at the award presentations this week,” she added. Winners and recipients of the Highly Commended awards will be announced following the award presentations on Tuesday September 9th. Facts about child abuse in Australia Child abuse and neglect is one of Australia's most significant social problems. Last year over 35,000 Australian children were proven to have been abused or neglected. In the past year, there has been a 20% surge in reported cases of abuse and neglect against children Overall in Australia, there were over 39,000 children in foster care in 2011/2012 An average of 100 cases of children being abused or neglected in Australia were reported daily In Victoria, there are over 6,000 children placed in Out of Home Care annually, a figure which is rising by an average of 20% per year Child abuse can be: Physical – non-accidental aggressive act towards a child including slapping, shaking, punching, kicking etc. Psychological – includes rejecting, ignoring, terrorising and/or not providing emotional support and care. Sexual – any sexual activity between a child and an adult or older person (5 or more years older). Includes fondling, oral or anal and vaginal penetration, exposing or involving a child in pornography, voyeurism etc. Neglect – failure to provide for a child's basic needs, including not enough food, shelter, clothing, supervision, medical attention etc. Children's exposure to Family Violence – a child being present, either hearing or seeing, while a parent or sibling is subjected to physical, sexual or psychological abuse or is exposed to damage caused by the abuser.
City Switch Awards 2014

20 Jul 2014

Baptcare wins second CitySwitch Award

07 Jul 2014

Baptcare supports International Day for People with a Disability

ON Wednesday, 3 December, Baptcare will join the international community in celebrating International Day for People with a Disability (IDPwD). IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being. Baptcare is proud to be at the forefront of disability services in Tasmania, through its work as part of the Tasmanian Gateway and its involvement in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) launch site in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Gateway has been in operation for five and a half years, connecting families with vulnerable children and people with disability to mainstream and specialist family and disability supports. There are currently four Gateways across Tasmania, operated by community service organisations, Baptcare and Mission Australia. Baptcare operates in the North and South West regions and Mission Australia in the North West and South East regions. Gateway is an intake, assessment and referral service that provides a clear point of contact for children, young people, their families and people with a disability, seeking information and support services in their local community and access to specialist family and disability support services. Gateway also manages the needs registers for disability accommodation, respite, community access and individual support packages. Baptcare is proud to have been a part of the significant reform of service provision in disability services, informed by a belief that achieving the best outcomes for people with disability involves taking a shared approach to planning and service delivery, which places the person with disability at the centre, and is inclusive of carers, family and other service providers. Baptcare supports and encourages greater choice and individual control for people with disability through its Gateway and Local Area Coordination (LAC) services and through its involvement with NDIS trial site. Nearly 18 months after the rollout of the NDIS trial, Baptcare is confident that it has yielded significant successes. Mary D’Elia, State Operations Manager for Baptcare in Tasmania said the first year of NDIS has been extremely positive. “Participants are now able to consider what supports they need, and choose how that service might be delivered. Funding is individualised, so people can afford to meet their own needs the way they want to.” A key success of the program has been the Local Area Coordinators (LACs). Once clients have been assessed and a plan is agreed, the LACs can support them to implement their plans, find and access services, and explore opportunities to participate in education, training and the community. Ms D’Elia said the LACs are fundamental in helping clients take control of their lives, to find their voice and to make real choices. “Having these roles embedded in community service organisations has helped to keep a strong community focus and partnership,” she said. Marita Scott, Baptcare General Manager of Family and Community Services said the Gateway model puts clients at the centre of care, to give them choice and control. “The Tasmanian trial is a success not only for people with disabilities, but for their carers and the communities they live in,” she said. “The success of NDIS in Tasmania is proof that it’s a better system than what was in place before. Rather than expecting people to take what they can get, it gives people with disabilities choice.” “I am also tremendously proud of our Tasmanian staff and of Baptcare’s role in transforming the disability services system.” The Tasmanian Gateway has been in operation for five and a half years, connecting families with vulnerable children and people with disability to mainstream and specialist family and disability supports. There are currently four Gateways across Tasmania, operated by community service organisations, Baptcare and Mission Australia. Baptcare operates in the North and South West regions and Mission Australia in the North West and South East regions. Gateway is an intake, assessment and referral service that provides a clear point of contact for children, young people, their families and people with a disability, seeking information and support services in their local community and access to specialist family and disability support services. Gateway also manages the needs registers for disability accommodation, respite, community access and individual support packages. Baptcare is proud to have been a part of the significant reform of service provision in disability services, informed by a belief that achieving the best outcomes for people with disability involves taking a shared approach to planning and service delivery, which places the person with disability at the centre, and is inclusive of carers, family and other service providers. Baptcare supports and encourages greater choice and individual control for people with disability through its Gateway and Local Area Coordination (LAC) services and through its involvement with NDIS trial site. Nearly 18 months after the rollout of the NDIS trial, Baptcare is confident that it has yielded significant successes. Mary D’Elia, State Operations Manager for Baptcare in Tasmania said the first year of NDIS has been extremely positive. “Participants are now able to consider what supports they need, and choose how that service might be delivered. Funding is individualised, so people can afford to meet their own needs the way they want to.” A key success of the program has been the Local Area Coordinators (LACs). Once clients have been assessed and a plan is agreed, the LACs can support them to implement their plans, find and access services, and explore opportunities to participate in education, training and the community. Ms D’Elia said the LACs are fundamental in helping clients take control of their lives, to find their voice and to make real choices. “Having these roles embedded in community service organisations has helped to keep a strong community focus and partnership,” she said. Marita Scott, Baptcare General Manager of Family and Community Services said the Gateway model puts clients at the centre of care, to give them choice and control. “The Tasmanian trial is a success not only for people with disabilities, but for their carers and the communities they live in,” she said. “The success of NDIS in Tasmania is proof that it’s a better system than what was in place before. Rather than expecting people to take what they can get, it gives people with disabilities choice.” “I am also tremendously proud of our Tasmanian staff and of Baptcare’s role in transforming the disability services system.”
Outstanding African Australians, Baptcare Employee

20 Jun 2014

Baptcare’s Belinda Wandabwa takes home Captain’s Award

07 Apr 2014

Baptcare takes home Better Practice Award

BAPTCARE was today presented with another Better Practice Award from the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. The latest award, Baptcare’s ninth in four years, recognises the organisation’s implementation of its ‘Psychotropic Medication Use Evaluation and Review Program’ across its aged care sites in Victoria. Baptcare General Manager Aged Care, Michael Wilson accepted the award on behalf of the organisation at a small gathering at Baptcare’s Peninsula View Community. Mr Wilson said Baptcare was honoured to be recognised for this program. “We underwent an organisation wide review of all our sites to assess the use of antipsychotic medications and to introduce processes to assist in appropriately managing areas of risk and identifying opportunities for improvement. “As a result, we implemented an updated approach to monitoring and use of psychotropic drugs across all sites. This has seen a 67 percent reduction in the use of these medications and a 40 percent improvement in compliance with therapeutic guidelines and prescribing patterns over the past two years,” he said. The Better Practice Awards was introduced four years ago and recognises innovation, quality improvement and better practice in aged care on an annual basis.

02 Apr 2014

Baptcare joins ACOSS delegation to Federal Parliament

Baptcare joined representatives from other Australian community service organisations in an Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) delegation to Federal Parliament to express deep concern about the changes to social security payments that are currently being considered as part of the Federal Budget, as these changes will severely impact those who are the most vulnerable in our society. The delegation called on parliamentarians to reject plans to deny income support to people under 30 who are genuinely seeking work and the transfer of 22–24 year olds from Newstart to the lower Youth Allowance. Additionally, they declared that the proposed cuts to Family Tax Benefit B will leave low income and sole parent families in an even more precarious position and increase child poverty. Furthermore, raising the eligibility age for the Age Pension to 70 will keep seniors on the lower Newstart income and increase the number of aged poor. ACOSS believes that the 2014–15 Budget departs from Australia’s historical commitment to a social safety net, universal health and education. While a number of Budget measures will affect households on high incomes, these are largely short term or marginal in impact. By contrast, the budget will introduce cuts to social security supports for those living on low incomes which will have long-term and severe impacts. AIHW Child protection Australia 2012-2013 (No Image) The increased number of child abuse notifications that were reported in the recent Child Protection Report released on the 25 July 2014 by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare are a positive reflection of the increase in community awareness around vulnerable children. The increasing awareness of child abuse has been fostered by the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and other inquiries in the states into vulnerable children and institutional abuse. This is a positive thing for vulnerable children, especially those under four years who are the most vulnerable. Although Tasmania has the low rate of investigations into notifications of child abuse, this is the result of two factors. Firstly, the increased rate of reporting, a consequence of the factors noted above, and, secondly, strong support and referral services for children at risk. The Gateway in Tasmania that has been operated by Baptcare since 2009, helps to address both of these factors by offering a contact point for people who are concerned about abuse, while also acting as an efficient and effective assessment mechanism that provides family support and monitors the welfare of children at risk.

17 Mar 2014

Baptcare records strong financial result

Community Service Organisation, Baptcare has today launched its 2013–2014 Annual Report, recording a strong financial result. Baptcare Chief Executive, Graham Dangerfield said the organisation is committed to helping the disadvantaged and a positive financial result is vital. “A good financial result makes it possible for us to invest in our vision and strategy for serving the disadvantaged of our community.” Baptcare, the welfare arm of the Baptist Church of Victoria, was founded in 1945 and now works across 34 sites in Victoria and Tasmania. Baptcare supports children, families, people with disability, financially disadvantaged people and asylum seekers, and provides residential care and community care for older people. Mr Dangerfield outlined key highlights over the past year and commended the over 1600 staff members and more than 500 volunteers who deliver Baptcare’s services across Victoria and Tasmania. Baptcare Chairman of the Board, Philip Curtis outlined the organisation’s vision for the future under the theme for the Annual Report – Building our Future Together. Mr Curtis said it is crucial for the organisation to remain true to its initial values of providing care to residents and clientele. “Today, we reach more people, with more services than ever before, but we still have a long way to go in meeting the changing needs of many vulnerable and disadvantaged people.” Mr Curtis said the organisation will focus on four key goals in the next five years: Living our Christian Ethos through putting people first.Getting ready for a contestable market through a care-centred approach with a great customer service experience.Providing Independence at home through offering choice and delivering accommodation to suit lifestyle and budget.Building integrated communities through redevelopment of existing structures and building new communities under the Baptcare Affordable Housing subsidiary.Key achievements: Baptcare’s quick response and handling of the Morwell fire emergency that saw residents from out Baptcare St Hilary’s Community evacuated.Baptcare Affordable Housing (BAH), a Baptcare subsidiary company, was registered as a housing provider under the Victorian Housing Act.Baptcare received planning approval for the Baptcare Strathalan Community at MacLeod which is now at Stage 1 of construction.Baptcare received planning approval for redevelopment at Wyndham Lodge in Werribee. Number of available beds will expand from 60 to 150. Construction on this project is due to start in November.Baptcare received planning approval for the Baptcare Templestowe Orchards Community at Doncaster East which is now at detailed design phase.In 2013 Baptcare was appointed as one of the agencies to provide Local Area Coordinators in Tasmania for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Baptcare met all its key performance indicators for the first 12 months of the trial.Baptcare launched MIcare in Tasmania – an innovative mental health outreach program.Baptcare initiated a one-year pilot project for case management and parenting services for culturally and linguistically diverse families and groups.