As if the provision of Baptist Care SA ongoing services doesn’t present us with enough challenges, the last few months seem to have taken us to another level.
- We are still trying to emerge from beneath the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic
- SA’s Homelessness Sector has been completely restructured and re-contracted
- With great courage and conviction, our Pathways to Home team has dived into an innovative new contractual ‘Toward Home Alliance’ with Lutheran Care, The Salvation Army, Mission Australia, Sonder and several Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
- We have established the new Wardli-ana (‘Toward Home’ in Kaurna Language) team that is now responsible for supporting hundreds of Aboriginal people experiencing homelessness in the Adelaide CBD, Hills and Southern metropolitan area
- Along with Aboriginal Family Support Services, we are now overseeing four (x4) Residential Youth Homelessness Services (directly managing x2) and doing case management for all young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in this expansive region.
- Our Care Pathways team is continuing to accommodate and support around 80 children and young people (under State Guardianship) who have experienced trauma and abuse
- Our Adventure Pathways Team has embraced Wirraway Homestead and moved through a challenging period including Award Re-alignment and another COVID lockdown
- Disability Pathways continues to support hundreds of people living with disabilities, some of whom have high and complex needs, whilst keeping everyone Covid-safe and maintaining compliance with increasingly rigorous service standards
- Our Family Pathways team is providing amazing support for struggling families across the Adelaide region via the Family Wellbeing Service (FWS) whilst also preparing a bold new Foster Care model
- The Church Pathways team has identified 5 additional Baptist churches to embark upon exciting new Collaborative Community Projects, some of which will be enriching the lives of children referred by the FWS
- Our dedicated Community Pathways Team has sustained daily support for rough sleepers in the city via WestCare, established the new Community Connections service model and the Flexible Learning Options (FLO) team has sustained active support for well over 400 students in individually tailored learning programs whilst completing a major tender for future expansion!
Although this list is by no means complete, it’s both exciting and exhausting to write down!
AND… there’s more!!
- Just for good measure, we have suffered and been revived from a cyber incident that has challenged both our systems and our patience!
BUT… “the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
I extend sincere thanks to all staff, volunteers and students on placement for your patience and perseverance. The reality is that despite the challenges, the lives of groups and individuals are continuing to be transformed by the work of our staff every day.
SO… be encouraged!
We are growing stronger as we work together to overcome the challenges and harvest the opportunities:
- After our giant leap forward… our Information Systems will soon be at the leading edge of modern technology
- We have grown by another 10-15% this year, which created more jobs and career development opportunities
- We are living and working in one of the (COVID-19) safest places on the planet
- Hopefully, will see rapid vaccination rollout as we look to keep each other safe and get on with a good life!
- Our exciting new Southern Pathways Centre will be officially opened at Christies Beach by Hon Michelle Lensink, Minister for Human Services in the next few weeks. This facility will be a leading example of interagency collaboration as our Toward Home Alliance partners co-locate with our own staff and announce Baptist Care SA’s presence as a strong service provider in the outer southern Adelaide region.
Blessings to you all!
Chief Executive Officer