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What you’ve told us and what we’re doing

Thank you to those of you who have let us know what you see as the key issues we can approach central government about to seek their support.  The key issues that have been identified are:

  • Family violence/child abuse
  • Poverty
  • Fragmentation of social services.

Family violence/child abuse

It was noted that central government is investing and making changes in the way they address family violence and child abuse, locally Tauranga Moana Abuse Prevention (TMAPS) are holding a Ripple Effect conference in May 2020 which will focus on child abuse prevention.  SociaLink are happy to facilitate engagement with central government to progress whatever recommendations come out of the conference.

Poverty

SociaLink has invited the Child Poverty Action Group to visit Tauranga in February 2020 to meet with the social sector and let us know about the issues they are working on and to see if there is interest in establishing a regional child poverty network which SociaLink would be happy to support.   We are also supporting work Social Service Providers Aotearoa is doing to lobby government on the back of their research on the funding gap for social service providers of $630 million.

Fragmentation of services

SociaLink is supporting a number of organisations to work together to achieve greater impact.  This includes Co-Lab in Te Puke, organisations providing services to people who are homeless, organisations that work with people with autism and organisations working together in relation to food supply, called Kai Western Bay.  We are also working with social service providers to explore the feasibility of establishing a centralised hub to deliver services in the areas of family harm and older people.  We are also in the process of establishing a network for Māori providers.  Work is also being undertaken to assess the feasibility for some kind of entity that would enable community organisations to access shared back office services, what this space!

If you have other ideas of how SociaLink can help address the above issues please let us know, contact Liz Davies, General Manager liz@socialink.org.nz or 022 461 9104.

2020 and beyond

I’m pleased to announce the establishment of a Community Insights Laboratory (CIL) following the feasibility study to determine the need for such a facility, for which there was a lot of interest.  The Community Insights Lab aims to make available ‘big data’ or any kind of data to help inform decision making and planning for the community and social sectors.   We are very excited to have employed Liz Flaherty who is starting in mid-January 2020 to do more detailed planning for the CIL, build relationships with holders of data and start using data to help the sector.  Many of you will know Liz Flaherty, she has extensive experience in the social sector, particularly in the area of family harm, including being an experienced researcher.

 Pay equity campaign

Following local research into pay equity, or the lack there of, for workers employed by non-government organisations and at the request of the social sector, SociaLink is going to embark on a campaign to raise local community awareness and to lobby central government.  For example, social workers being paid on average $30,000 per year less than their colleagues in government is not just very unfair, it has significant impacts on the recruitment and retention of workers.

Legalisation of cannabis

Most of you would see the impact of cannabis on your clients and our communities.  To help inform the public and the sector in voting on the referendum we plan to hold a forum to hear the pro’s and con’s for the legalisation of the personal use of cannabis.

Central Government elections

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we had the 2017 elections but yes, it’s coming around again.  SociaLink will hold a local candidates forum so you can hear directly from candidates and ask questions.  We will also let you know political parties positions on key issues impacting on the social sector to help you make informed voting choices that have a considerable impact on the people you provide services to and of course how social services are funded.

I wish you all a very meri kirihimete with whanau and friends and a very well deserved break to recharge the batteries after a very busy year, be safe and look after yourself and enjoy your whanau and friends.

Liz Davies

General Manager