18 September, 2020
CASSOWARY COAST COMMUNITY TALKS COVID IMPACTS
A rise in domestic violence, job seekers and a shortage of foster carers were topics of concern raised at this week’s first post-COVID-19 Cassowary Coast Community Sector Network Meeting.
Hosted by Cassowary Coast Regional Council and attended by 28 organisations from throughout the region, the meeting was held to encourage support for organisations through connection and collaboration to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on services.
Council was pleased to see the Community Sector Network Meetings continue under social distancing guidelines, following a six month pause during which Council’s Local Disaster Recovery team undertook regular community meetings via conference call to keep a pulse on COVID-19 impacts affecting community services.
At Wednesday’s meeting ‘Job Active’ providers reported an influx of clients throughout the pandemic period and warned of more to come following a decrease in Job Seeker payments scheduled for later this month.
In line with reports of a national spike in domestic violence due to COVID-19, Cassowary Coast family service providers also recorded an increase in cases, with local crisis accommodation at capacity.
In receiving a summary of the meeting Cassowary Coast Regional Councillor for Community and Culture, Trudy Tschui expressed her gratitude to the organisations who play vital roles in assisting our community, and asked that everyone do their part in supporting neighbours, co-workers and even strangers who may need help.
“The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 could act as a wedge in our community, or it could bring us closer if we choose to be involved in supporting those less fortunate than ourselves,” said Cr Tschui who was particularly concerned by the deficit of foster carers in the region.
“Our child safety support officers desperately need foster carers who are willing to welcome teenagers into their homes and while I understand this can be a challenge, I’m forever grateful to anyone who has a big enough heart and home to help these kids.”
Council plans to continue to hold the monthly Community Sector Network Meeting, which is open to the public and designed to share information as well as help the community stay informed of current services and activities offered throughout the region.
Each event hosts a guest speaker, followed by a round table discussion and invites attendees to share information which promotes collaborative partnerships.
To express interest in attending a future meeting contact council on 1300 763 903 or call firstname.lastname@example.org.