Victorian local government has been a player in the provision of home care services to their communities since South Melbourne Council offered the first meals on wheels service in the 1950s. Since that time local government has become the largest single provider pf home care services in Victoria. The range of services offered by local government stretches beyond meals on wheels, and includes domestic assistance, personal care, home maintenance, monitoring client’s wellbeing, and broader social activities to keep elderly residents connected to their communities.
With the changes to funding in home care in local government, Councils across Victoria are making decisions about what to do with in home care this year. ASU Organiser Hayley Davies has attended 4 home care team meetings at City of Port Phillip this month to discuss the ASU’s campaign with members and explain the importance and the ASU’s commitment to keeping these services within Council and how they can help support our campaign. Members say that the continuity of care is crucial to their clients as they have established a trusting relationship which is essential when workers are entering homes of clients that require intimate care.
Members are becoming more engaged and this has led to an increase in membership within home care, with the members electing new delegate Jackie Mahon. This is a great start to building a strong membership in home care at City of Port Phillip.
The ASU recently wrote to the City of Port Phillip CEO Peter Smith to question the council’s intentions to 2020 and beyond with regard to their home services and was pleased to hear that Council intend to continue to provide the services up until June 2020 and will consider any future changes close to the time when more is known.