UnitingCare Australia

UnitingCare Australia


 Being Left Out Hurts our Kids

Poverty, social exclusion and disadvantage are complex and persistent. Child social exclusion means lost opportunity, disengagement and the risk of leading lives of unfulfilled potential.

Today, at the start of Anti-Poverty Week, UnitingCare Australia in partnership with The University of Canberra’s, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, launches a Report which captures the multi-dimensional nature of disadvantage in Australia and its impact.

The report “Poverty, Social Exclusion and Disadvantage in Australia, analyses the 2016 Census and other data using the Child Social Exclusion Index, giving us a unique perspective through the eyes of the child.



You can find the report by clicking here. (28MB Download)

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 17:14

UnitingCare Employment Project

UnitingCare Australia has been working in partnership with the Australian Government and UnitingCare service providers across Australia to implement a national values-based employment model since 2015.

The model aims to select, train, mentor and support people into employment in community service roles with UnitingCare organisations. The program is specifically targeted at people who have been long-term unemployed, and seeks to provide them with an employment pathway in the growing community services sector.

The model is implemented with an emphasis on attracting job seekers with personal values and attributes that align with UnitingCare organisations to enable delivery of quality services. Jobseekers accepted into tranches of the program are equipped with the requisite training and skilling, through on-the-job and formal training (toward completion of full qualifications) to undertake employment in a community services environment.

Click here to read more about the Employment Program.

Click here to view the Employment Program model.


UnitingCare Australia has co-developed a resource with the Commonwealth Department of Jobs and Small Business on Making Values-Based Recruitment Work for Your Organisation. Click here to download the resource.  


UnitingCare Australia worked in partnership to deliver an Employment Project with UnitingCare West, creating pathways to meaningful work for jobseekers. Watch the video below:



UnitingCare Australia delivered another innovative employment project in partnership with Wesley Mission Queensland using a values-based recruitment approach to employ jobseekers into meaningful roles. Watch the video below:




UnitingCare Australia today welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission into aged care.
National Director Claerwen Little stated that the services of the Uniting Church in Australia supports action to ensure the safety of older people in our community, and all people in residential aged care settings.

UnitingCare welcomes new strategy to support the aged care workforce

UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the fourteen Strategic Actions announced today by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt, as part of A Matter of Care: The Aged Care Workforce Strategy.

The actions, which form part of the broader Strategy, aim to support investment in workforce planning, creation of job pathways and career progression, support for leadership across the industry at all levels and strategies to attract and retain skilled workers into the sector.

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to submit to the Department of Jobs and Small Business as part of its consultation process on the Next Generation of Employment Services.
We support the need for design and implementation of a user-centric system that recognises the diverse experiences of jobseekers. We acknowledge and support the findings of the Department-commissioned research undertaken with jobseekers, which identified that many complex life issues can impact on jobseekers’ motivations and their ability to participate in work. We agree that the systems and support structures that jobseekers engage with presently are often highly complex and can impose administrative and emotional burdens, in turn, impacting their ability to secure sustainable, meaningful work. The future employment services system that supports people into jobs must therefore make provision for these issues and be designed with a client-outcome focus at its heart.

UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the introduction of Cathy McGowan’s private member’s bill, seeking to establish a new Social Security Commission that would introduce greater transparency and integrity into the setting of minimum levels for social security payments.

“Ensuring our social safety net provides adequate support for people in need is integral to addressing social inequality and allowing people to live in dignity”, said Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

“Independent scrutiny of payment levels is well overdue, and it is time that attention is focussed on ensuring that our safety net can adequately provide for those most in need”, said Ms Little.

UnitingCare Australia has previously advocated for the establishment of an independent commission to develop evidence-based benchmarks to ensure that income support payments are adequate for people to live a decent life.

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018 (CDCT or ‘the trial’).

In our Submission of 29 September 2017 on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017, we said:

It is our view that evaluation of the card’s implementation in the trial sites provides

inconclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of the card’s introduction alone in

reducing levels of harm associated with alcohol consumption, drug use and gambling within the target communities.

and named the following issues of concern:

• Insufficient information regarding how people using the card will be managed off it;

• Stigmatisation of card users;

• Limited ability of card users to purchase goods that are second-hand due to

quarantining introduced with the card, preventing people’s access to cheaper cash


• Complexity of evaluating the card’s effectiveness when card users may move out of

the trial locations. The ORIMA evaluation does not include a longitudinal study that

tracks trends based on, and following through with, the initial sample group;

• Flawed assumptions underpinning the card, particularly that alcohol, drug use and

gambling are the primary causes of financial insecurity and poverty in the target communities.

Up to 10% of older Australians could experience Elder Abuse this year.


On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018, UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the need for greater awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse in our community and our shared responsibility to look out for each other.

It is likely that between 2% and 10% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year, and the prevalence of neglect is possibly higher[1]. This figure indicates that we need to do more to strengthen the connections that build safety and security within our community.


[1] Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., & Rhoades, H. (2015). Elder abuse: Understanding issues, frameworks and responses (Research Report No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

UnitingCare Australia
Submission to the Closing the Gap Refresh
April 2018
UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the Uniting Church’s network of community service providers, one of the largest in Australia. With over 1,600 sites, the network employs 40,000 staff and is supported by the work of over 30,000 volunteers. We provide services to children, young people and families, people with disabilities, the poor and disadvantaged, people from culturally diverse backgrounds and older Australians in urban, rural and remote communities. We also deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia and work with those communities to ensure that these services are integrated and responsive to need.

UnitingCare Australia Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia May 2018UnitingCare Australia Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia May 2018

UnitingCare Australia is pleased to provide a response to the Senate Inquiry into accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia. UnitingCare Australia is the national office representing the network of community service organisations of the Uniting Church in Australia (network). Our network operates nationally across more than 1,300 sites in metropolitan, rural and remote Australia, delivering services to people across the life course. Network experience in delivering mental health services in rural and remote Australia provides us with on the ground visibility of the challenges to accessibility and quality of mental health services in these locations. Comprehensive input to this submission was provided by the following organisations from our network: • Uniting Country SA • Uniting SA • UnitingCare Queensland (including Australian Rural and Remote Community Services - ARCCS) • Uniting NSW.ACT • Frontier Services • ARDS Aboriginal Corporation