The Victorian Branch is a dynamic and active branch with over 3,200 members, managed by a voluntary Branch Management Committee (BMC) elected by the membership and staffed part-time.
We host a range of workshops, webinars, and events throughout the year as do our sixteen active Practice Groups.
We work closely with our many committees, sub-committees and working groups to support Victorian members.
We are actively involved in responding to critical social justice issues, developing policy submissions and advocating for Victorian social workers.
There are many ways to get involved - we welcome your engagement!
We welcome you to contact us via phone or email.
28 September 2020
Member Campaign - Seeking Local Council Support for Raise the Rate
Victorian local council elections will be held in October 2020. All councils will have elections except Casey City Council, South Gippsland Shire Council and Whittlesea City Council. Voters in each council will receive a ballot pack in early October.
Now is the time as Victorian social workers to write to your local government council candidates to encourage them to support the need to advocate once on council for the rate of Jobseeker payments to be maintained. We can share the direct benefits that the increased amount of this income support this year has had for people that we work with and services addressing need in their communities.
By increasing the spending power of those on low incomes, extra funds have circulated through local businesses. It has also reduced the strain on Council community services assisting the growing number of people experiencing hardship, particularly homelessness.
We have developed a template letter, available below to download, to make it easier for our members to take action. We encourage you to take a few moments to send this letter to your local candidates.
17 September 2020
Return to Face-to-Face Allied Health Care Under Certain Circumstances from 28 September
Victoria's Chief Allied Health Officer has confirmed an easing of restrictions for allied health and other health care providers in metropolitan Melbourne during the second step, commencing Monday 28 September.
This decision will allow AHPRA registered allied health professions as well as audiology, dietetics, exercise physiology, orthotists and prosthetists, social work and speech pathology to provide essential face to face services under the following circumstances:
• to prevent a significant deterioration in functional independence which would result in an escalation of care needs (such as increased frequency in treatment, significant increase in pain, specialist input, or substantial increase in recovery time as a result of delayed care)
• for assessment and diagnostic purposes for those people whose care has been delayed during stage 4 restrictions, and where further delay likely to result in deterioration (e.g. diagnostic imaging and assessment for prescription of assistive technology)
• to provide essential pre-operative or post-operative elective surgery care
When metropolitan Melbourne reaches the threshold for step 3, indicative modelling suggests this will be around 26 October, people in metropolitan Melbourne will be able to recommence seeing their allied health provider or other primary health care provider for all elements of their health care needs, except for indoor group classes.
All allied health services as well other primary health care services will continue to remain open as per step 3 restrictions in regional and rural Victoria, with the exception of indoor group sessions. However, outdoor classes in groups of up to 10 are permitted.
Further information will be forthcoming and we will keep members informed.
14 September 2020
HeadtoHelp | New Mental Health Hubs in Victoria Open Today
Last month, the Prime Minister announced $31.9 million in funding to create 15 new mental health response clinics across Victoria and to enhance essential mental health supports during the Covid-19 pandemic.
These hubs, known as HeadtoHelp, have been rapidly established through a collaborative effort by the six Victorian PHNs have opened today.
Insight drawn from regional planning consultations, which had extensive stakeholder input including from hundreds of consumers, clinicians and providers across the region has been very informative to development of the hub model. The HeadtoHelp hubs will continue to evolve over coming months.
People will access HeadtoHelp by calling the intake, advice and referral line on 1800 595 212. Trained mental health professionals will then assess their needs and connect them with the most appropriate local services, including the new mental health hubs as well as existing services.
Read more about the HeadtoHelp hubs here.
An interim landing page, headtohelp.org.au is also live (full website in progress).
28 August 2020
We are now calling for Life Membership nominations.
The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) awards Life Membership to members who have made an outstanding contribution to the profession of social work and to the AASW.
You can use the following links to the nomination form and the guidelines:
2020 Guidelines: https://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/13060
2020 Nomination Form: https://www.aasw.asn.au/document/item/13061
26 August 2020
Raise the Rate National Day of Action
The Victorian Branch is a proud supporter of the ACOSS Raise the Rate for Good Campaign.
Some of our Branch Management Committee (Melissa, Jaryd, Kate and Aaron) are pictured above participating in the social media campaign today on the National Day of Action for this campaign.
Right now the government is deciding the long-term level of support for the 1.6 million people currently without paid work and the millions more facing uncertain futures.
Now is our chance to send a clear message to our elected representatives that we cannot go back to the old Newstart rate of $40 per day that left people without enough to cover the basics like food, housing, and healthcare.
Find out more about the campaign and how you can join us in taking action on this critical issue here
18 August 2020
Contribute to the Victorian Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020-2023
The Victorian Branch is encouraging members to contribute their professional perspective and experience to inform the development of the Victorian Family Violence Reform Rolling Action Plan 2020-2023.
Ten key priority themes have been identified. Feedback is via a brief online survey. Opportunities to provide more specific, detailed feedback also available. Consultation closes 31 August 2020. Please share among your networks.
6 August 2020
Covid-19 Updates for Victorian Social Workers
For COVID-19 information for social workers in Victoria, including restrictions, service provision, PPE, COVID-Safe Plans and Better Access, visit the Victorian restrictions update page.
29 July 2020
Victorian Member Consultation: Victorian LGBTIQ Strategy
We're keen to hear from Victorian members to inform our submission on the new Victorian LGBTIQ Strategy.
Join our upcoming Zoom conversation on Tuesday 4 August at 5:30pm.
Gain CPD hours, connect with colleagues, and contribute to social policy in Victoria!
More information and registrations here.
29 July 2020
Victorian Mental Health System - Workforce Survey
Victorian social workers are urged to contribute to a critical survey as part of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.
The survey is open to all frontline mental health workers, including lived experience workforces who provide mental health treatment, care and support within Victoria's mental health services. Volunteers are also encouraged to participate.
The survey may take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete depending on your role, and the survey can be completed in more than one sitting. The survey closes at 5pm Monday, 10 August 2020. Please share among your networks.
28 July 2020
A Message from DHHS
On Friday 24 July, Premier Dan Andrews announced that the Department of Health and Human Services will be distributing 2.1 million reusable face masks to vulnerable Victorians and Aboriginal Victorians.
Vulnerable Victorians who will be offered reusable masks include people living in public housing and crisis accommodation, people living with a disability, individuals using family violence services and Aboriginal Victorians.
Reusable face masks are now available for service providers to order to distribute to clients. People who are eligible to receive a mask should use a face covering until they receive their reusable mask.
The first lot of reusable masks will begin to be distributed within the next week. To help bridge any gaps, providers who apply will be sent single-use masks immediately with reusable masks to follow. While waiting on your delivery, scarfs and bandanas are also acceptable face coverings, as some protection is better than none.
Please note, if you do not receive the full allocation of reusable face masks requested, please be assured we will make every effort to meet your full request in subsequent weeks.
Further information including the eligibility criteria and the process for ordering masks can be found online https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/reusable-face-masks-covid-19.
For any queries not addressed via the information available at the above link please email Covid-19ReusableMasks@dhhs.vic.gov.au
Masks for workforces:
Please be advised: It is now a requirement for any person delivering community services that you wear a face mask at work. This requirement applies to workers throughout Victoria (regional and metropolitan areas).
For those in need of face masks to continue providing vital services to the community, please complete the request for PPE form online. Demand for PPE is very high and all requests will be triaged with priority given to facilities and programs where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.
There are FAQs for community services workers about wearing face coverings on the department’s coronavirus website. An updated version of this document will be available shortly.
- Information about face coverings, including the order form for reusable masks for vulnerable clients
- Workforce mask request for PPE form online
- Updated FAQs for community services workers about wearing face coverings
- Guidance about how to wear a face mask correctly
- Guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) planning in the community services sector (Word)
- Updated restrictions for Victoria
- Department’s information about face coverings
The department regularly updates information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and we ask you to continue to check the coronavirus website for all up-to-date information.
Contact the Victorian Branch
Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050
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