Social Futures is looking to fill the following vacancies.
- Team Leader – FCS
- Full-Time Fix Term Contract until 27/05/2022
- SCHCADS Level 6 plus Generous Salary Packaging Options
- Location: Lismore
This position is for an initial six months to cover maternity leave, with possible opportunities to extend for a further six months. If you are passionate about child safety, practice approaches, risk mitigation and leading a large team with a positive culture then this could be the position for you.
- Local Area Coordinator Participant Experience Officer
- Two x Full-time – 38 hours Week positions
- SCHCADS Level 4 plus Generous Salary Packaging Options
- Location: Tweed Heads
Our Social Futures’ Participant Experience Team is expanding! If you are passionate about supporting people with disability to achieve their goals, then a role with our LAC Participant Experience Team may help you achieve yours! As a LAC Participant Experience Officer you will work within our centralised and fully accessible South Tweed Heads office to support NDIS Participants and Customers.
- Program Manager – Suicide Aftercare
- Full Time – 38 hours per week
- SCHCADS Level 7 plus generous salary packaging options
- Location: Kempsey – Relocation Assistance available
Due to recent growth we have an exciting opportunity for a dynamic leader to join our Social Futures team to lead a new program. The Care Connect Program Manager leads the Suicide Aftercare Program across Kempsey and Bellingen LGA. This key role supports the implementation and delivery of short-term psychological intervention and support to people at risk of suicide or self-harm.
- Program Manager – Youth
- Full time
- SCHCADS level 7 plus generous salary packaging options
- Located in Lismore
As a result of an internal promotion we have an exciting opportunity for an experienced and passionate people manager to lead multiple teams across a diverse range of youth programs. Reporting to the Senior Manager, Youth and Health Services, this position will see you as part of the leadership team, offering you an opportunity to use your management and leadership skills in conjunction with your knowledge of the issues pertaining young people within the area of homelessness, group and individual counselling, plus technology and education based programs.
The Australian Council of Social Service has found that eighty-five percent of people receiving some form of income support are locked out of receiving any extra Covid Disaster Payment, pushing people on the lowest incomes to the brink of their ability to survive.
ACOSS released the latest update of its ‘Living in Lockdown’ survey, which finds that almost all of the 216 respondents (96%) were seriously struggling with the cost of living and almost half (41.5%) were at risk of homelessness because of the high cost of housing.
“Compared with last year when everyone receiving unemployment and related payments was provided extra support, this year more than 80% are seriously struggling to survive,” said ACOSS Program Director – Social Security, Charmaine Crowe.
“When people can’t afford to cover basic costs like food, rent, electricity, medicine and public transport, they find it harder to travel to get vaccinated and are more exposed to the risk of COVID-19,” said Ms Crowe.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:
“The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that there were four times as many deaths from COVID-19 in the lowest socio-economic group (which includes most people on social security payments) compared with the highest socio-economic group. It is unconscionable to leave behind people who most need support.
“Even the OECD is recommending that Australia lift our appallingly low level of unemployment payment – at $44 a day it’s the very lowest rate of all comparable countries. People on Youth Allowance and Austudy are at an even lower rate of $36 a day.
“The Federal Government must urgently extend Disaster Payments to all people on social security or without other incomes including those on temporary visas. As soon as Parliament is recalled, it must pass legislation to lift social security payments to above the poverty line including JobSeeker, Commonwealth Rent Assistance and family payments.”
“The biggest stress people on low incomes face is housing costs – with the highest rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance for a single person without children at just $70 a week when people in Sydney can’t find rental properties for less than $340 a week (and up to $540 a week in the city).
“ACOSS urges the Federal Government to increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by at least 50% to better support people afford private rentals.”
Living in Lockdown – Key Findings:
- 96% are struggling with living costs
- 85% are ineligible for the COVID disaster payments
- 41.5% are at risk of homelessness
- 40% feel less safe
- Immediately extend COVID Disaster Payments to lift incomes for all people without paid work to at least $600 per week, including those in receipt of social security and those without any other income source at all.
- As soon as Parliament resumes in August, pass legislation lifting working-age income support payments (JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, parenting payments and related income support) to the pension rate, which is just above the poverty line (at least $475pw for the single rate). See further below for increases to supplements needed for specific groups.
- Index all income support payments twice per year in line with wage growth as well as prices.
- Extend income support to all affected by inadequate paid work, including people on temporary visas.
- Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 50%.
- Provide supplementary payments for people with disability or illness, and single parents, recognising the additional costs they face.
- Invest in social housing to address the critical shortfall of supply.
Download the Locked Out in Lockdown survey report here
The NSW Audit Office is conducting an audit on the NSW Police responses to domestic and family violence. The audit aims to assess the effectiveness of police responses with a focus on training and development, workforce and other capability planning resource allocation, performance monitoring and service quality.
DVNSW invites you to contribute to this audit by taking part in a survey to provide evidence on how your organisation works with your Police Area Commands when responding and supporting clients experiencing domestic and family violence.
DVNSW acknowledges feedback that there is the inconsistency of response of Police across different areas, so this survey will provide you with the opportunity to comment specifically on up to five Police Area Commands (PAC)
Please note all data will be anonymised, however, some services may be identifiable to an extent based on police area commands.
You will be able to comment on up to five Police Area Commands (PAC).
The survey will take from 10-30 minutes to complete, depending on how many Police Area Commands that your organisation works with and chooses to comment on.
CHS Training in Grafton have a number of courses starting in October. Through professional and accredited training their vision is to help people and organisations achieve their full potential.
To see which courses are beginning soon, visit their website.
CHS Training can be contacted on 02 6642 5559 or email [email protected]
The Residential Tenancy Support Package applies to eligible COVID-19 impacted tenants and landlords. It includes a freeze on evictions and assistance for landlords who reduce rent.
Please note, the online application process for claims up to $4,500 will be available from 24 September 2021.
Eligible COVID-19 impacted tenants
To be eligible for the new measures, a tenant needs to demonstrate that they are a member of a household impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A “household” means any tenants or other persons living together in the same residential premises.
A household is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic if:
- any 1 or more rent-paying members of the household*:
- lost employment or income, or have had a reduction in work hours or income, as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, or
- had to stop working (or materially reduce their work hours) because they or other members of the household were/are ill with COVID, and
- show that the household’s weekly income** has reduced by 25% or more (including any government assistance received) compared to the weekly income received in the 4 weeks prior to 26 June 2021.
*A “rent-paying member” of a household is any person who regularly contributes towards the rent payable under a residential tenancy agreement. This includes a member of a household who regularly contributes to the rent but is not named on the rental agreement (e.g. an adult child who contributes to the rental payments of their parent/s).
**household’s weekly income is the net income earned (after tax and/or business-related expenses). It includes any government assistance that is received – either before and/or since COVID support payments were introduced by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments. Savings and superannuation are not included in weekly income.
Freeze on evictions
Eligible COVID-19 impacted tenants who cannot meet their residential rent payments will be protected from eviction during the moratorium period starting on 14 July 2021 and ending at the end of 11 November 2021.
The protection against eviction for rental arrears applies to all residential tenancy agreements within the meaning of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (the Act), including oral agreements.
To be protected from eviction during the moratorium period, the impacted tenant must:
- be able to show the landlord that they are an impacted tenant, and
- continue to pay the landlord at least 25% of the rent payable under the residential tenancy agreement.
A landlord or agent may continue to seek termination in other circumstances including:
- sale of premises
- illegal use of premises
- serious damage to the premises
- hardship to the landlord
- end of fixed-term agreement
- ‘no grounds’ terminations.
The usual notice periods apply in these circumstances.
What happens after 11 November 2021?
Following the end of the freeze on evictions, a transitional period will run from 12 November 2021 until the end of 12 February 2022.
During this time, COVID-19 impacted tenants who accrued arrears during the moratorium period (14 July 2021 and 11 November 2021) are exempt from provisions that would allow them to be evicted for those arrears unless:
- if the landlord and tenant have agreed to an arrears repayment plan:
- the tenant fails to make repayments in the amounts and at the times required by the plan on two or more consecutive occasions, and
- it is otherwise fair and reasonable in the circumstances for the tenant not to be exempt.
- if the landlord and tenant have not agreed to a repayment plan:
- the landlord and tenant have participated in good faith in a formal arrears repayment negotiation process with NSW Fair Trading, and
- it is otherwise fair and reasonable in the circumstances for the tenant not to be exempt.
In considering whether it is fair and reasonable in the circumstances for the tenant not to be evicted, the Tribunal must have regard to:
- the steps taken by the landlord and tenant to negotiate a repayment plan
- any payments made by the impacted tenant towards the arrears
- the nature of any financial hardship experienced by the landlord or tenant, including the general financial position of each party
- the availability and affordability of reasonable alternative accommodation for the tenant
- whether the landlord has applied for or received any financial assistance or land tax rebates available to landlords who reduce rent, and
- any special vulnerability of the tenant.
The freeze on evictions does not apply to social housing tenancies as these have their own processes for dealing with arrears.
Financial support for rent reduction
A landlord can claim either this payment or the COVID-19 land tax benefit (which is an offset of the land tax liability equal to the rent reduction granted), but not both.
The Residential Tenancy Support Payment has been increased from $1,500 and now provides up to $4,500 per tenancy agreement. Landlords who have already claimed up to $1,500 or $3,000 can make a further claim for reduced rent up to a total of $4,500.
Important: Applications will open from Friday, 24 September 2021 for additional payments of up to $4,500. If you have already lodged an application for $4,500 it will be held and processed from 27 September.
This payment will be available for landlords who agree to reduce the rent for COVID-19 impacted tenants from 14 July 2021.
The amount for each landlord will be capped at the rent reduction that is passed onto the tenants, or $4,500, whichever is the lower.
Landlords can make separate claims for each premise they own.
Landlords cannot ask tenants to repay the reduced amount of rent that has been paid to them under the residential tenancy support payment or land tax benefit.
Eligibility for support payment:
A landlord is eligible for this payment where:
- there is a residential tenancy agreement with a tenant. As proof, you will need a rental bond number and/or a written tenancy agreement
- the tenant is an eligible COVID-19 impacted tenant
- the landlord has entered a written agreement with the tenant to reduce or waive rent payable from 14 July 2021. A copy of this agreement will be required with a claim for payment, and
- the landlord agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions for the payment.
Social and community housing tenancies, share-housing, boarding, lodging or sub-leasing arrangements are not eligible for the support payment.
A landlord can agree to vary the rent for a period that goes beyond 11 November 2021. Rent reductions beyond 11 November 2021 may be claimed as part of the payment.
A landlord can also:
- reduce or waive rent in excess of $4,500
- reduce or waive rent arrears that accrued before 14 July 2021
- agree to vary the rent for a tenant who is not an eligible COVID-19 impacted tenant, or
- defer rent
but these arrangements cannot be claimed as part of the payment.
There is also a range of other financial supports available. See nsw.gov.au.
What happens with arrears owing from the previous moratorium period?
In March 2021, the Government put in place the following measures to assist COVID-19 impacted tenants who accrued rent arrears between 15 April 2020 and 26 March 2021 (the previous moratorium period):
- Landlords are only able to evict for these arrears if they have first attempted in good faith to negotiate a repayment plan. It also has to be fair and reasonable to evict.
- The tenant cannot be evicted unless they have failed to meet the agreed payment on two consecutive occasions.
- Tenants and landlords will continue to be able to apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) to terminate tenancy agreements on the basis of hardship.
- Existing agreements about the waiver or deferral of rent payment are not affected.
- Landlords cannot evict using the ‘no grounds’ eviction process unless it is fair and reasonable to do so.
- Tenants are permanently protected from being listed on tenancy databases.
These measures end on 26 September 2021.
Under the freeze on evictions, if a tenant is currently COVID-19 impacted, the landlord is unable to take action to terminate the tenancy for arrears accrued during the previous moratorium period until after 11 November 2021.
For more information, visit this webpage – https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/publications/coronavirus-covid-19/property/moratorium#60days
There are some great resources available to support families with children and young people returning to school on campus after lockdown. Please find downloadable children’s activity booklets and other links below.
NSW Education – care and connect page
Supporting children returning to school – Nip in the bud fact sheet
BRAVE – online program for the prevention and treatment of anxiety in young people
If you or anyone else needs support click here for a list of 24/7 emergency contacts
Healing Pathways is a 10-week group program for female survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Due to COVID restrictions this program will be online, held on ZOOM.
The next program starts on Friday, October 8. Due to high demand for this online group, another group is scheduled to start on the October 8 and will run through till December 10.
Human Nature Adventure Therapy is seeking an Adventure Therapist to join their collaborative team of mental health professionals. Human Nature Adventure Therapy combines professional intervention and physical adventure in nature, work with innovative nature-based adventure therapy programs and provide meaningful support for vulnerable young people
Are you running a small business and feel like you would like to connect with like-minded women in the local area for support?
CHESS Connect are hosting a FREE Women In Business Group connecting women in the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Surrounds.
If you would like more information. contact Emily on 0448 615 726
Meetings are to commence in October.
The North Coast is continuing its trajectory towards having 70% of the eligible population vaccinated against COVID-19.
The latest figures, as of 12 September, show 69% of the target population have had their first vaccine dose, while 40% have had their second.
First dose vaccination is just over the national average of 68% but lower than the NSW average. The disparity between regional and state figures is due to the significant push and increased dose supply supporting Sydneysiders to get vaccinated.
In the Mid North Coast area, 74% of people have had their first jab – 6% higher than the national average. Comparative figures for the Coffs-Grafton and Richmond-Tweed areas are 69% and 65% respectively.
First dose vaccination by local government area shows Port Macquarie-Hastings, Ballina, Bellingen and Nambucca sitting in a 70–80% band. In the 60–70% band are Kempsey, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Tweed, Lismore and Richmond Valley. Byron Shire LGA is in a 50–60% band for first doses.
Overall rates in our region continue to increase about 4–5% a week, which is on par with national vaccination trends.
The Vaccine Eligibility Checker is the best way to make a vaccination appointment. As Pfizer supplies increase this month and next, it will be updated to reflect additional appointment availability.