The Hon Simone McGurk announced the COVID-19 Financial Counselling Package earlier this year.
COVID-19 and associated economic instability is expected to add to financial pressures on families, which will add to the existing unmet demand for financial counselling services across WA.
Mortgage stress, increasing household debt, increased unemployment rates, and an economic downturn will be compounded by the changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments.
A financial boost to financial counselling service providers of $3.25 million, will assist in improving response to the anticipated COVID-19 related increase in demand for services and increasing complexity of clients.
Up to an additional 25 full-time equivalent financial counsellors will be employed for one year. Financial counselling service providers in metropolitan and regional locations have been allocated funding based on the demand for their services.
Anglicare WA, on behalf of the Financial Counselling Network, will receive $420,000 to employ additional small business financial counsellors. This face to face and phone service will be targeted towards metropolitan and the Peel regions to address the significant levels of COVID-19 demand for financial counselling.
The sector peak body, Financial Counsellors’ Association of WA will deliver additional professional development, supervision, legal support services and mentoring support to the financial counselling workforce through an allocation of $180,000. Support will flow across the State to enhance service delivery in an increasingly complex time.
This one-off funding package is intended to support the community services sector to deliver financial counselling services so that individuals and families can develop skills and knowledge to more effectively manage their financial situation.
The Department of Communities is responsible for leading the State’s social recovery from COVID-19. If you have any queries please email WARP@communities.wa.gov.au.