A team of 12 Flinders University social work students have provided invaluable service for Baptist Care SA’s WestCare Centre, stepping in to fill the gap when volunteers needed to be released from their work due to COVID-19 restrictions.
WestCare Centre is an inner-city service run through Baptist Care SA that provides a range of services to assist people who are homeless, unemployed or socially isolated, and it feared that services would have been discontinued without additional help.
Thanks to the efforts of Flinders Field Educator Jo Brown, students were redirected from other placements that had ceased due to COVID-19, and immediately commenced work alongside WestCare staff to keep services running, including supporting the ongoing operation of the Community Food Hub, the Day Centre meals service and other emergency relief services.
Some of the students worked closely with other Baptist Care SA staff supporting people normally sleeping rough, who had been accommodated in city hotels and motels. This included well being checks and other support.
Baptist Care SA Community Development Manager Craig McGlone said “we couldn’t have managed and continued our services without the Flinders students”. This sentiment was echoed by other staff at the WestCare Centre.
Having seen the great value that Flinders students provided for some of the community’s most vulnerable people during the pandemic, WestCare Centre has now offered 12 regular placements for Flinders Social Work students, having previously offered only three.