A YANGEBUP family centre manager says she is devastated that many free and low-cost programs provided to the community for 25 years could be at risk because of reforms.
The sector’s peak body, Linkwest, believes up to 50 local neighbourhood centres, including the Yangebup Family Centre and South Lake Ottey Family and Neighbourhood Centre, are under threat because the Department of Local Government and Communities is planning funding cuts of up to 30 per cent and changes to how money is accessed, including the introduction of an open tender process.
Yangebup Family Centre manager Sam Williams said the changes would be disastrous.
“Our centre is a meeting place for our community and we are devastated that after 25 years we may no longer be able to provide these services,” she said.
“We welcome everyone and celebrate diversity, with over 500 families and individuals attending the centre every week.”
Linkwest chief executive Jane Chilcott said the |cuts were a massive threat |to the community.
“While neighbourhood centres do offer some intervention and crisis management services, they operate primarily in a preventative space by giving local people a place to belong,” she said.
“They build on what is strong, not what is wrong in neighbourhoods across WA.”
A DLGC spokeswoman said there had been no funding cuts and the proposed Supporting Communities Program would combine three existing programs, with access to a larger funding pool worth $9.4 million.