The Department of Communities (Communities) works in collaboration with Western Australia's community services sector to oversee the delivery of programs and services that support and strengthen the State's diverse communities. It is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for seniors, young people, women, volunteers, carers, children and families.
Communities provides grants and annual funding of nearly $30 million to more than 130 community sector organisations and local governments to deliver a range of services and programs throughout Western Australia.
Funding is allocated towards more than 150 services in the following areas:
It also coordinates the $3.6 million Cadets WA program, which involves more than 8,000 young people across Western Australia.
Communities approves and monitors education and care services through Education and Care Regulation. The unit (ECRU) ensures that all services are informed of their compliance roles and responsibilities, while providing them with appropriate support. Subscribe to stay up-to-date with the latest enforcement actions and ECRU updates.
The Department also partners with the community services sector to provide State-wide universal parenting support and programs to parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years. Part of this is support for the Early Years Networks which are integral to supporting the State Government's priority to increase by 10 per cent the number of children who are developmentally on track on all five domains of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) by 2027.
Communities plays a leading role in encouraging a coordinated response to the implementation of the State Government's policy priorities for seniors. It also manages the WA Seniors Card Centre which provides information on discounts benefits for seniors across the State. As the lead agency for the overall coordination of the State Government’s response to elder abuse, Communities is also developing WA’s first Elder Abuse Strategy and funds the WA Elder Abuse Helpline and Older People’s Rights Service.
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About 80 per cent of West Australians donate their time and effort to volunteer work. The Department helps to build and strengthen volunteering in Western Australia through its programs and policies.
Communities develops programs and policies that meet the needs of West Australian young people aged 10 to 25 years, working with young people, community groups and government agencies at local, State and national levels to meet the diverse needs of young people in a variety of ways.
Communities works to address the under-representation of women in senior positions, including in board roles, and to support women's economic independence. The Department partners with women, community groups and other government agencies to strengthen the positive profile of women through a range of initiatives.
Western Australia was the first Australian jurisdiction to extend legal recognition to carers with the enactment of the Carers Recognition Act 2004, which aims to recognise the role of carers in the community and provide a mechanism for involving them in the provision of services that affect carers and their role. The Carers Advisory Council reports on compliance with the Carers Act and provides advice to the Minister for Community Services.