BROPHY will develop a new children and family services hub in Warrnambool to cater for major growth in its programs.
The agency is leasing the Palais building on Koroit Street which has been vacant since the relocation of Sinclair Wilson accountants to new premises.
“We will be providing all children’s and family services from that hub,” Brophy chief executive officer Francis Broekman said yesterday.
It comes as Brophy moves to cater for a 30 per cent growth after funding was transferred by the Department of Human Services from Community Connections Victoria (CCV) last year, meaning Brophy now employs more than 100 staff across the south-west.
“It’s a whole new chapter for Brophy,” Mr Broekman said. “We are providing services to over 500 young people across the south-west of which 300 are homeless young people.
“With the changes over the past 12 months, Brophy will be now be venturing into providing services to the most vulnerable children in Warrnambool and their families through a number of different services.”
It will operate the foster care program in conjunction with MacKillop Family Services. Both agencies have received funding for 41 child foster care placements with Brophy gaining extra money to run foster care for 22 adolescents.
It will also run the Child First program, providing community-based intake services.
“It means all the referrals for children and families in crisis who need assistance will be assessed for support. We can then engage with Bethany, Warrnambool City Council and Mpower to provide more specific family services.”
Mr Broekman said Brophy was also one of the family services as well and had appointed four staff as part of the consortium. The agency has just won a tender for a social housing advocacy and support program which will help to keep public housing tenants in their accommodation.
Mr Broekman paid tribute to the foster carers who were disrupted by the change in service providers. Sixteen staff from CCV’s foster care program also transferred to Brophy under the funding change.