The Standing Committee recently approved a new strategic direction for the UnitingCare agency network as part of the broader strategic review of all activities and operations of the synod.
A new agency board will be established to oversee delivery and support functions of community services across Victoria and Tasmania.
Governance of the UnitingCare network will subsequently move from the Commission for Mission to the new agency board. The new board will be a skills-based board that will connect the many specialist skills of UnitingCare staff and volunteers and allow agencies to share best practice and expertise.
A project control group will be established to work on the detail and implement the new direction.
UnitingCare agencies included in the new strategic direction span both metropolitan and regional settings throughout Victoria and Tasmania.
The agencies cover a diverse range of speciality services areas including emergency relief, housing, financial support and treatment for alcohol and other drugs.
Agencies outside the scope of the new strategic direction include Uniting AgeWell, Wesley Mission Victoria and Uniting Housing. These agencies are outside the scope of the new ‘agency board’ as they have different governance structures that already report directly to the Synod and its Standing Committee.
General Secretary Rev Dr Mark Lawrence said reviewing the Church’s community support operations has been a focus of the Major Strategic Review since October 2014.
“The work of UnitingCare agencies is a vital expression of mission within the Uniting Church,” he said.
“Through this decision, the Standing Committee has confirmed the Church’s commitment to effectively address disadvantage in our community well into the future.”
The strategic direction will be implemented over the next 12 to 18 months.
All agencies and service delivery will continue to operate as normal during this transition process.