Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Charity considers major staff cuts as demand intensifies

Charity considers major staff cuts as demand for services intensifies.

The Salvation Army faces losing a third of its budget advisors as demand for their services in the most disadvantaged communities continues to climb.

The Salvation Army goes into its annual Red Shield Appeal today facing historic demand for its social services and a significant cut in resources where they are most needed.

The Government’s temporary Community Response Fund (CRF), aimed at helping social service NGOs cope with the demand bought on by the recession, ends in July.

This money helped provide an extra 20.5 budget advisors at Salvation Army centres. It allowed the Army to increase its provision of budgeting services by 230 per cent from the start of the recession in 2008 to the first quarter of this year. In the past year, budgeters helped 4500 families.

Salvation Army Social Services Secretary Pam Waugh says the reduction in staff inevitably means a cut in services. Families in financial strife are usually reluctant to seek help and often arrive at The Salvation Army in deep financial crisis. Helping clients to work out a realistic family budget and negotiate with creditors to pay off debt without incurring crippling penalties is often complex and time-consuming work.

The positions of a number of CRF-funded social workers, who case manage clients with complex cases, are also under review.

“The most worrying thing is the knock-on effect,” says Major Waugh. “If families are unable to get sufficient assistance to balance their household budgets and clear debt, then their situations can easily deteriorate to the point where they face eviction, homelessness or overcrowded living conditions.

“As a nation, we know all too well the effects this can have on children’s health and their prospects for the future,” she says.

Major Waugh says the Army is looking at innovative ways to maximise the effectiveness of the reduced budgeting services. Some efficiencies can be made by providing more budgeting sessions for groups of clients but the reality is we will not be able to offer the same level of service, she says.

“But the bottom line is that we will not see families go hungry,” Major Waugh says.

At the same time, demand on services in some of the most disadvantaged communities has begun to rise dramatically after a couple of years of steady demand. The provision of food parcels in South Auckland jumped 34.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to a year ago. West Auckland saw an increase of 28.6 per cent for the same period, Whangarei 26 per cent and Dunedin 31.5 per cent.

The Red Shield Appeal runs from April 29 to May 5.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news