This is the second COVID-19 update from WACOSS, and we are committed to providing the WA community services sector with crucial information and high level resources at least once a week, until the pandemic subsides.
Content from these updates will be posted on the Community Services Resource page on the WACOSS website.
The leadership team continue to communicate with relevant State Government departments, and are attending further meetings this week to raise some of the concerns that have been brought to WACOSS by the sector. We will coordinate efforts with our colleagues from other peaks in the sector at a meeting this Thursday.
We are also continuing to advocate for State Government line agencies to increase their communication directly to the sector.
At a national level, the Australian Council of Social Service has published a letter to the Prime Minister with recommendations on the COVID19 response to support people who are most vulnerable at this time. Read the letter here.
RELEVANT COVID-19 MEDIA COVERAGE
On Monday 16 March, the State Government announced that they would freeze household fees and charges at their current level, and doubled the Energy Assistance Payment, as two of the measures to support the state's economy. While WACOSS welcomes the announcement, we are concerned that there has been no announcements for frontline services who will play a crucial role in looking after those most at risk from the coronavirus. Read our media release here.
Additionally, WACOSS joined 30 community service organisations across the country to call on companies providing essential services such as energy, water, finance, rental housing and telecommunications to take additional steps to support their community during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the joint media release, and the media coverage on WA Today.
Employer Assist has provided an Employers Guide to Coronavirus, which is a current update as of 16 March 2020 (more updates to come).
NEW RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
The Australian Institute of Community Directors has produced a free Epidemic/Pandemic Policy template that you can download and tailor to your organisation's needs. Download the template here.
The Australian Government has provided resources which have been translated into different languages. They can be downloaded here.
The Federal Department of Health have recently added a new online infection control training module, on how to protect yourself and the people you are caring for from infection with COVID-19. New users will need to register here to complete the module.
Child Australia are offering a free webinar on Thursday 19 March to help child care services and providers prepare for COVID-19. Register here.
We will continue to update a dedicated page on our website with relevant resources and information as it becomes available.
WACOSS STAFF WORKING REMOTELY
Later this week we will close the WACOSS office, and staff will begin to work remotely. We are lucky to be in a position where this is feasible, therefore we are encouraging all staff to work from home and self-isolate. If you have a scheduled meeting with someone at WACOSS, it will likely still go ahead, and additional options will be provided for you to dial into the meeting via your computer or phone. Staff will be available via email and you will be able to reach someone via 08 6381 5300, or through the Contact Us form on the website.