A video of a presentation by Bridget Tehan and Sharon Tortonson during the Community and Social Recovery Stream of the 2016 People in Disasters Conference. The presentation is titled, "Community and Social Service Organisations in Emergencies and Disasters in Australia and New Zealand".
The abstract for this presentation reads as follows:
What happens when support services for issues such as mental health, foster care or homelessness are impacted by a disaster? What happens to their staff? What happens to their clients? The community sector is a unique, valuable and diverse component of Australasian economy and society. Through its significant numbers of employees and volunteers, its diversity, the range of service and advocacy programs it delivers, and the wide range of people it supports, it delivers value to communities and strengthens society. The community and social services sector builds resilience daily through services to aged care, child welfare and disability, domestic violence, housing and homelessness, and mental health care. The sector's role is particularly vital in assisting disadvantaged people and communities. For many, community sector organisations are their primary connection to the broader community and form the basis of their resilience to everyday adversity, as well as in times of crisis. However, community sector organisations are particularly vulnerable in a major emergency or disaster. Australian research shows that the most community sector organisations are highly vulnerable and unprepared for emergencies. This lack of preparedness can have impacts on service delivery, business continuity, and the wellbeing of clients. The consequences of major disruptions to the provision of social services to vulnerable people are serious and could be life-threatening in a disaster. This presentation will review the Victorian Council of Social Service (Australia) and Social Equity and Wellbeing Network (formerly the Christchurch Council of Social Services) records on the impacts of emergencies on community sector organisations, staff, and clients. From the discussion of records, recommendations will be presented that could improve the resilience of this crucial sector.