Financial help at hand


Anglicare WA’s Samantha Whiting, Margaret Muntinga, of Unitingcare West, Helena Jakupovic, of The Spiers Centre, and City of Wanneroo’s Helen O’Sullivan. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d448869
Anglicare WA’s Samantha Whiting, Margaret Muntinga, of Unitingcare West, Helena Jakupovic, of The Spiers Centre, and City of Wanneroo’s Helen O’Sullivan. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d448869

Following the reduction in funding for financial counsellors and change of responsibility to the Department of Local Government and Communities last year, a group of 10 organisations won a tender in November to deliver services across Perth.

Four fulltime counsellors have been employed to provide free services through Anglicare WA in Joondalup, City of Wanneroo with outreach centres in Alexander Heights and Merriwa, The Spiers Centre in Heathridge with outreach centres in Merriwa, Butler and Joondalup and UnitingCare West in Merriwa.

“The Metropolitan Financial Counselling Service will deliver a local and integrated network of high-quality financial counselling services,” The Spiers Centre chief executive Helena Jakupovic said.

“The approach developed by the 10 partners is an exciting way forward focusing on innovation and co-design to deliver improved outcomes for the community.”

Anglicare WA executive general manager for service operations Mark Glasson said the collaborative approach would allow counsellors to offer clients high quality support.

“This approach is breaking new ground in WA,” he said.

“By bringing together the resources and expertise of 10 organisations in a unified network, we can improve the quality of the service and thus the outcomes for our community at large.”

Mrs Jakupovic said the service provided a more flexible, efficient, effective and capable network and the consortium could connect people with broader range of services if needed.

“Our intent is to provide a local service where possible or to give clients the flexibility to see someone where it is convenient for them,” she said.

“It allows for far greater service integration and collaboration in meeting the needs of service users than the previous model.”

Despite the new model, Mrs Jakupovic said demand for financial counselling services still outweighed supply.

“We believe greater investment in this area would help to ensure WA families have the support they need to avoid spiralling into financial crises,” she said.