As Australia’s first charity we have been giving people with disabilities, children, families, older Australians, and carers a helping hand since 1813. Our vision is for a just society where all Australians can live their best life.
In 2016, The Benevolent Society launched its Strategic Plan for 2016-19. As part of this plan, we outlined our vision for at least doubling the size of the organisation and pursuing a national growth strategy to increase the reach and impact of our work.
We have proudly achieved this goal. The Benevolent Society was announced as the successful bidder for the NSW State Government’s Disability Community Support Teams (CST). The transfer of these services from the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS) to The Benevolent Society took place on 1 August 2017.
The transfer of disability services from the government to the non-governmental sector is required under the NDIS funding agreement between the Federal Government and State and Territory Governments.
Scope of the Transfer
On 1 August 2017, FaCS transferred approximately 700 staff and 7,000 clients with disability to The Benevolent Society. This represents all NSW State Government community support to people with disabilities across metropolitan, regional and rural areas.
The transferred staff members are highly-experienced allied health professionals including psychologists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, registered nurses, and physiotherapists who provide specialist therapeutic support to people with a disability. Additionally, qualified case management staff, behaviour specialists, therapy assistants, administration and management staff have also officially joined The Benevolent Society’s new team.
Our new clients are people with disabilities who have a wide range of individual goals that our team support them to achieve. While there is no such thing as a typical client, the primary presenting issue is usually intellectual disability. They may be living independently, in group homes or in a small number of large residential centres.
The Benevolent Society’s Approach to the Transfer
The Benevolent Society is investing significant resources to ensure continuity of quality services to people with a disability and an excellent employee experience from day one of the transfer.
The Benevolent Society CEO, Jo Toohey, said there are four main areas of transition.
“The first one is ensuring that we maintain continuity of service delivery because we don’t want clients to feel any disruption during the workforce transfer,” she said.
“Property factors and efficient data migration are also key elements of the transition. This is not a take-over or an acquisition; we are bringing together two organisations and we needed to find new homes and to support the transition of 700 staff to new systems.
“The Benevolent Society has funded the transition. We made the funding commitment last year when developing our strategy for national growth, recognising the resources required to ensure we could do it well and that we had the capacity as an organisation to achieve our growth targets.
“Furthermore, we appointed a dedicated transition team to ensure the smoothest possible merger without disrupting any active or planned initiatives and our day-to-day operations. The team continues to play a crucial role in the success of this major transition,” Toohey added.
In line with its growth, The Benevolent Society recently launched its BE LOVED campaign to reinforce to all Australians that when that moment comes, we’re here. The campaign is designed to let Australians know that there is a point in life when we all need help. It could be as we become older; or help with a disability; or a family situation. It could be about supporting your children or just needing some help with care for someone you love.
If you are interested in our services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit benevolent.org.au. If you wish to support The Benevolent Society, contact email@example.com or call 1800 793 180.