From time to time Camcare commissions research to identify needs and gaps in services at the locality level consistent with our Organisation’s Mission. We also consult community members, professionals and people impacted by issues about their service requirements and issues with obtaining appropriate services.
Community Needs in the City of Boroondara.
Recently we have funded a small research project to identify current and projected community needs that fit within Camcare’s strategic intent. The research project, undertaken by Dr. Janet Stanley from Monash University, has:
- Identified, collated and evaluated all existing relevant data and studies that relate to the needs of citizens (all ages, ethnicities, religions and gender) of Boroondara and compared these with neighbouring municipalities Monash and Whitehorse, where Camcare also provides some programs.
- Identified information gaps and unmet needs
- Made recommendations as to the unmet needs that best fit with Camcare’s Vision, Mission and core business
This information is being used to consider further programs and services which Camcare might offer in response to identified needs, make submissions and negotiate service partnerships with other organisations.
Recently, we have participated in consultations and community engagement activities to ascertain current and prospective service user’s needs and concerns. Examples of this include:
- Identifying parenting information and support requirements in Ashburton . Inviting mothers who live on the Ashburton public housing estate to come to discussions over lunch where they can talk about their needs for parenting information and support. This initiative is supported by the Bendigo Bank and will involve provision of parenting groups and the creation of informal peer support networks for these women.
- Needs of Women and Children Impacted by Family Violence. Consultation with women who have been impacted by family violence and professionals in specialist family violence services. This work was funded by Tattersall’s George Adams Trust and led to the establishment of a supported playgroup for these women and their children facilitated by Camcare in partnership with Eastern Domestic Violence Service.Further small scale research into the issue of financial literacy among women impacted by family violence (“Talking About Money”) led to identification of the low level of financial information and capability among many of these women. Indeed, the research confirmed that financial vulnerability among these women often leads to decisions to stay in violent relationships in order to maintain standards of living and education arrangements for their children. It was also found that many of the professionals on whom the women relied to assist them with the violence and its impact on them and their children lacked confidence in discussing financial matters and options with them. There are also few financial resources available for women impacted by family violence.
- Fresh Food Market and Community BBQ . Since moving to a new Camberwell Office in August 2010, we have created opportunities for our Emergency Relief clients to select fresh food in a market style distribution and attend community barbeques where they can meet others and a range of professionals from local services. In this way information is exchanged and people using our services can access informal support.
- Participation in Local Research Projects. Camcare also participates in research projects and community consultations undertaken by other organisations including the City of Boroondara. Two such examples are:
- Recruiting women over 55 years at risk of or homeless to participate in in-depth interviews on their experiences of homelessness and the factors that have contributed to this
- Providing an opportunity for clients from diverse ethnic backgrounds to participate in a focus group on their understanding of and access to municipal services.
Camcare is committed to strategies which engage the local community and our service recipients in order to better understand their needs and provide services to cater for these.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on our results via contact us.