The Department of Communities (Communities) works with a range of stakeholders to support many Western Australians.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government, community services and private sector organisations have strengthened their relationships to ensure vital services are delivered to people we support. We will continue to improve and develop these relationships. This page will keep you informed about the work that Communities and its partners are doing.
COVID-19 Vulnerable Cohort Taskforces
Vulnerable Cohort Taskforces were set up in March 2020 to combine the efforts of community sector service partners and the State Government to ensure the most vulnerable people in Western Australia were supported through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Communities worked with Nous Consulting in 2020 to help us develop a plan to build and improve relationships.
The report from Nous, ‘Strengthening Partnership: A program for partnership development’ recommended that we develop and deliver partnership goals and help our staff and others to partner better.
We are currently:
- implementing a Partnership Framework – this document talks about our goals in partnering and how we can achieve these goals;
- developing tools to help our staff and other partners
- testing some of these tools and ways to partner with government, community services and private sector organisations through ‘partnerships in action’ projects
- making sure our approach is culturally appropriate.
Our Goal: In bringing our partners together we want to improve the social outcomes of people and communities across Western Australia.
Agency Capability Program
The work that Communities is doing to strengthen partnerships is linked to our Agency Capability Program.
Working better with our partners can help us to achieve our purpose, which is to enable many Western Australians to lead their best life.
Communities’ Partnership Framework
The Partnership Framework will document our partnership vision. This includes our goals in partnering and how we can achieve these goals.
We have been building relationships with government, community services and private sectors. The quality of relationships will affect our ability to deliver and achieve our goals. Achieving our goals will result in better outcomes for many Western Australians.
We will work better with Aboriginal people, communities and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.
The Partnership Framework was launched recently by Communities Director General Michelle Andrews and WACOSS Chief Executive Officer Louise Giolitto. A video of the launch event is available to view below. Captions for the video will be available soon.
Community Partnerships Roundtable
The Community Partnerships Roundtable will assist Communities to partner better with the community services sector.
The Roundtable first met in October 2020 and includes senior staff from Communities and the community services sector peaks.
The Roundtable is co-chaired by Communities’ Director General and the Western Australian Council of Social Service Chief Executive Officer.
Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference describes the purpose of the Roundtable and how members work together.
The Roundtable Terms of Reference were endorsed at the May meeting.
Meetings and work plan for 2021
The Roundtable met in February to discuss priority areas for 2021.
These priority areas are:
- commissioning of services
- service integration within Communities and the community services sector
- building capacity in the sector to respond to emerging and unmet needs.
2021 meeting dates
- Meeting 1 – 19 February. Theme: Identify 2-3 priority areas of focus for 2021
- Meeting 2 – 5 May
- Meeting 3 – 16 September
- Meeting 4 – 17 November
Communities' Regional Partnerships
District Leadership Groups
District Leadership Groups and Regional Human Services Managers Groups are cross-agency collaborative networks at a local level.
Some of these groups have been in place since 2012. There are 17 groups across Western Australia.
All of the groups collaborate, share information, address local problems and work together to improve outcomes for their community.
Membership is determined by the needs and priorities of the group, but can include representatives from all levels of government, the community services sector, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and industry.
The District Leadership Groups (and in some instances Regional Human Services Managers Groups) embody regional collaborative practice and are an important part of Communities’ partnership plan.
For more information please contact DLGs@communities.wa.gov.au.
Early Years Networks
Communities supports more than 40 Early Years Networks across the State. These Networks rest on multi-organisation collaboration and play a fundamental role in supporting better outcomes for children and their families in local communities.
Early Years Networks have been operating since 2007-08 and were fundamental to the West Australian Early Years Strategy launched in 2003.