Chinchilla Family Support Centre’s mission is to facilitate the opportunity for positive change within Chinchilla and surrounds through the provision of facilities, services and any other assistance designed to aid and support all members of the community, to promote improved socio-economic status and well-being within the population.
Where We Came From
The first Family Support Centre meeting was held on the 31st January 1979. Chinchilla Family Support Centre has survived and flourished because the community had the volunteer base and dedicated staff members willing to support and access funding to keep the Centre open. There were times in the initial years when interviews with clients were done in the back seat of a car, and volunteers delivered food parcels and milk for babies. Many volunteers have provided services within these walls and some services spent their embryonic years auspiced by Chinchilla Family Support Centre until they had sufficiently matured and become entities in their own right (such as the Family Day Care, and the Rural Support Service).
Chinchilla Family Support Centre is an integral part of the community structure. As a source of information and referral in the community for the past 35 years, the Centre’s reputation is solid and recognised as providing ethical, non-judgmental information, assistance and referral.
Through the years there have been many changes and Chinchilla should be very proud of the achievements in the developing of this freehold venue into the hub of information and referral it is today. There are always crises, needs and people who have nowhere else to go. CFSC is the first port of call and with a kind word and helping hand, the staff and volunteers work with other services to empower and achieve the optimum outcome for the client.
Who We Are Today
What we do
The Chinchilla Family Support Centre is a Neighbourhood Centre providing services within our community. CFS operates using the continuous improvement model delivering core services and proactively responding to emergent needs within the community.
At CFS we respond to the needs of the local community through community development work and the provision of a range of services such as information and referral, a Centrelink agency, crisis support, and community education in order to facilitate and enable personal and social development.
The Chinchilla Family Support Centre is a not- for-profit organisation owned by its members and controlled by a Board made up of targeted, skilled community members. The recruitment process is set out in CFSC’s Policies and Procedures. The Board sets the strategic direction of the Centre, and then liaises with the Centre Manager on operational matters. The Centre Manager oversees the day to day operations of the Centre, and reports directly to the Board.
CFSC is an inherently stable and long-running organisation, as outlined above, becoming incorporated in August 1986. The advent of GST in 2000 saw CFSC become an ABN holder, as well as PAYG and GST registered, and endorsed as Charity, and deductible gift recipient in June 2000. These registrations remain current.
Annual Financial Reporting is conducted according to CFSC’s Model Rules, with the reporting year being 1 July to 30 June.
Why Neighbourhood Centres are Important
Neighbourhood Centres play an important role in strengthening communities and generating social well-being, as strong communities are linked with good outcomes for people and families working towards cohesiveness, sociability and connection to the community.
Neighbourhood Centres are particularly important to service provision for people who may not be able to access other services, and are often the last port of call for people who do not fit the criteria or target group of other services. As Neighbourhood Centres are flexible and dynamic, they may have capacity to move beyond crisis-related, problem based and siloed services, towards a more holistic and integrated approach.
Other benefits of Neighbourhood Centres include: creating a sense of community and developing social cohesion; providing local solutions to local problems and issues, being able to quickly identify areas of need in the local community due to their local focus; and can be cost effective as centres often focus on prevention and early intervention rather than more complex models and much work is often done by staff working unpaid overtime and skilled volunteers.
The literature identifies Neighbourhood Centres as key to the building of Social Inclusion through building social capital. With respect to social services, social capital building assists communities to develop and maintain civil norms and social networks. Neighbourhood Centres have a role in promoting social inclusion through their ability to actively encourage individuals’ involvement in their communities.
Neighbourhood Centre Initiative Review, August 2011: Benefits of Neighbourhood Centres Pg 11-12