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Putting relationships at the centre of services: Anglicare Australia launches Our Better Selves

Nov 25, 2019, 00:01 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia is today releasing its 19th State of the Family Report, Our Better Selves. The report finds that strong relationships must be at the centre of human services.

“Relationships are the key to Anglicare Australia’s work. This report shows us how we build those relationships – and the impact they can have when they’re strong,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Over the past 18 months, five different services across our Network have taken an in-depth look at the best of what they do. They found that strong relationships between service users and staff are the essence of that work. They also told us that to create those connections our services need to be open, welcoming, and flexible.

“What you pay attention to matters. Our Better Selves makes it clear that focusing on people’s strengths and interests opens the door for them to contribute to the community – and builds their skills and confidence.

“This is at odds with many of Australia’s welfare and social service systems. They only offer conditional support, see people as problems to solve, or are run as a series of business transactions. They frame care and support as a cost or a burden.

“Our Better Selves shows it’s time to change government rhetoric, policies and contracting practices. It’s time to make them about co-producing services with the people who use them instead.

“This report is full of stories of people who have overcome major challenges because their wisdom and potential has been recognised – and harnessed to make change. Our Better Selves offers a raft of ideas that we can take back into our membership to strengthen those relationships, our impact and our work together,” Ms Chambers said.

Our Better Selves is Anglicare Australia’s 19th State of the Family Report. It is based on inquiries into five services from across the Anglicare Australia Network:

  • A Place to Belong, Anglicare Southern Queensland
  • The Child and Parent Centre, Anglicare WA
  • Next Step, St John’s Youth Services
  • Recovery Point, Samaritans Foundation
  • Alice Springs Housing Support Services, Anglicare NT

The report is available to download online.