As South Australia’s largest social services provider, AnglicareSA has upgraded its response to COVID-19 and the measures we’re implementing to safeguard the protection of our customers, employees and volunteers.

To ensure we stay ahead of the issue, we’ve implemented measures to help protect our customers, employees and volunteers. These include; strict self-isolation protocols; no interstate business travel; and no non-essential events and meetings across our sites.

Based on the best possible medical advice, we will continue to safeguard the health of our customers, employees, and volunteers.

The need for our support services in the community remains urgent, and we ‘ll continue to be there for our customers – South Australians who need it most.
 

Live Updates to our Support Services

We appreciate there are concerns following the current coverage, through the media and social media, about how people might be impacted by COVID-19.

The situation is changing rapidly and, as a result, we will be responding responsibly with regular online updates. Please access tailored information to our specific services below.

Aged Care

We’ve made amendments to the precautionary measures we’re taking to support the containment of the virus in our residential aged care homes.

We make these changes in the best interests of older loved ones in our care – their health and safety is our priority as is the health of our staff who provide the dedicated support.

As of March 28:

The South Australian Police have enacted new restrictions to all aged care sites.

This means that any resident who leaves the site for any purpose other than essential medical or dental appointments will not be permitted to return to the site until the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. 

Only the following visitor exclusions apply:

  • where a resident is receiving end of life support
  • or where a resident is required to attend an urgent, scheduled external medical appointment

Our residential care workers meet the new criteria for COVID-19 testing and are following strict protocols in the case that any symptoms arise. All employees are being temperature tested at the start of their shifts.

All aged care workers can access online training from the Department to support them in dealing with COVID-19.

AnglicareSA’s annual flu vaccination program for staff starts this week, and will commence for residents in the coming weeks.

As of my May 1, any visitors (exempt from COVID-19 restrictions) to our residential aged care homes, will need to show proof of vaccination.


All other restrictions on our six residential aged care homes continues, and are now backed by the new government-imposed restrictions. 

At this stage, this means:

  • stopping all external visitors to the site, including family and friends;
  • restricting movement within the home;
  • and postponing visits from non-essential external providers.

Essential visits and services from external providers, including GPs and dentists, will continue at this stage.

Where we can, we will work to use technology to help families stay in touch with their loved ones.

At this stage, these restrictions will be in place until March 31. This will be reviewed on a daily basis to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect our residents.

We’re very aware of the impact of these measures, and have informed all relatives to contact the manager at their relevant residential care home with any questions or concerns.

Disability & Mental Health Services

We’re working across the organisation, as well as following government guidelines, to implement safe and practical procedures to reduce the risks associated with this virus.

As of March 19:

We’ve made some significant changes to our Disability and Mental Health Services.

We make these changes in the best interests of loved ones living with disability and/or mental health struggles — their health and safety is our priority as is the health of our staff who provide the dedicated support.

Accommodation Services

At this stage, changes include:

  • stopping access to sites for all non-essential external providers, external visitors, including visits from family and friends;
  • pausing participation in all group programs and ‘Day Options’ activities;
  • taking extra care to actively manage and encourage personal hygiene (including additional cleaning services);
  • sourcing additional personal protective equipment, including personal and site cleaning;
  • continuing essential visits to and from external providers, such as GPs and behavioural support staff as required;
  • continuing respite services with additional precautions in place;
  • and actively supporting families to keep in touch through technology.

Group Programs

At this stage, changes include:

  • suspending all group programs (with the exception of our early learning services);
  • and contacting all customers affected by this and offering alternative forms of support where required.

Outreach Services

While some individual support services have been suspended, for example those based in schools and some accommodation services, all other individual supports to customers will continue. At this stage, changes include:

  • continuing individual support services face-to-face, and using alternate means such as video/phone calls where appropriate;
  • sourcing additional personal protective equipment, including personal hygiene products;
  • contacting all customers prior to visits to ensure they’re physically feeling healthy and not experiencing any symptoms of illness;
  • and suspending services for two weeks in circumstances where customers or any other household members are experiencing symptoms of illness — further checks will then occur before home visits continue.

These restrictions will be in place until further notice.

We appreciate that this is a stressful and difficult time for many in our community. We’ve informed all families to contact our Disability and Mental Health Team with any questions and concerns.

Housing

We’ve implemented some simple measures to help keep our housing tenants and the community healthy and safe.

For the time being, our tenancy office is following strict social distancing protocols and is only open for essential visits (for tenants that don’t have access to a phone).

We’ll  continue to be there for our tenants  – who we’ve  provided  with the appropriate numbers for tenancy queries and maintenance requests. Any lease renewals will be sent via post.

In the case where a  tenant urgently  needs to visit one of our offices, or our staff/maintenance contractor  need to attend a tenant’s home, we’ll be clarifying prior whether:

  • the tenant  or any  person(s) they  live with have been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • the tenant or any person(s) they live with have  been overseas in the past 14 days
  • the tenant or any person(s) they live are displaying any flu-like symptoms

We appreciate that this is a stressful and difficult time for many in our community. We’ve informed all tenants to contact us with any questions and concerns.

Homelessness Services

We’ve implemented some simple measures to help keep those who access our homelessness services healthy and safe.

In keeping with strict social distancing protocols, we’ve recommended reducing time in our reception areas and  only  visiting  our offices if it’s essential. We’re  currently contacting those who access our services  to discuss how they’d  prefer to be supported during this time

In the case where a  person urgently  needs to visit one of our offices, we’ll be clarifying prior whether:

  • the person has  been interstate or overseas in  the past 14 days
  • the person has been diagnosed or has been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • the person is  displaying any flu-like symptoms

Despite the circumstances, we  remain committed to serving those need it most. We’ve  encouraged people to contact their case manager or our Homelessness Gateway Service to discuss their individual needs and concerns.

Emergency Assistance

Our emergency assistance services are here to help South Australians in need.
 
These services include assessment, referrals, financial counselling and material assistance such as food, clothing and other essential items for those in financial crisis.
 
Working with government and medical advice, our aim is to keep all essential emergency assistance services open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
We’ve adapted the way we’re delivering these services in line with social distancing and hygiene protocols to safeguard the health of our customers, staff and volunteers. This includes:

  • conducting emergency relief interviews over the phone;
  • and packing up boxes/bags of required food, rather than encouraging people to browse our food rooms.

We’ve already experienced an increase in demand for our emergency assistance services. This demand is expected to grow as people begin to experience extreme difficulties in meeting commitments on the job seeker allowance (formerly Newstart), despite it having been doubled.
 
We’re currently working towards a mobile Emergency Assistance service. This will enable the delivery of cold goods and fresh produce, and allow us to expand our service to more people in the community and AnglicareSA customers who access our other programs. More information will be provided as it begins operating.
 
As of now, our services offered at St Mary’s Picket Fence Community Centre will merge with our Outer Southern Hub.
 
This will ensure we have appropriate staffing numbers on site to provide safe working environments and ample support to people who need it most. Those who accessed St Mary’s will be covered through our new mobile service, as will the community that was accessing the St Bede’s drop-in centre in Semaphore.
 
We make these changes in the best interests of all those approaching us in need – their health and safety is our priority as is the health of our staff who provide the dedicated support.
 
As South Australia’s largest social services provider, the need for our support services is now more important than ever before. We’ll continue to be there for our customers — South Australians who need it most.

Casual Employees

As of March 18:

We appreciate there may be community concerns in relation to any financial impact on our casual employees.

Put simply, AnglicareSA’s casual employees will not be financially disadvantaged, should they be directed to self-isolate.

However, each employee’s circumstance is different. We will work with our casual employees to assess their situation on an individual basis.

We value the dedication and hard work of all our employees, particularly during this important time.

While this situation is dynamic, we will continue to safeguard our all employees’ safety and wellbeing as well as support them to offer the best possible care to those we serve.

How you can help keep our community safe

We’ve implemented visitor guidelines to help ensure all AnglicareSA sites are protected from COVID-19.

When visiting any of our sites, please consider the following and help us keep our customers, employees and volunteers healthy and safe.

We have also translated this poster into 5 other languages;

Arabic

Farsi

Hindi

Swahili

Vietnamese

 
 

Useful COVID-19 Resources

 
Australian Government

The official site of the Australian Government is regularly updated with the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from government agencies across the country.
 
South Australian Government
The official site of the South Australian Government provides state-specific COVID-19 news, updates and advice.
 
Official ‘Coronavirus Australia’ App

Download the official government app for iPhone (iOS) or Android.
 
Official ‘Coronavirus Australia’ WhatsApp Service
Join the official government WhatsApp channel for iPhone (iOS) or Android.

How to use the WhatsApp service:

1) Download WhatsApp onto your phone.
2) Add the government’s WhatsApp number into your WhatsApp contacts (the number is +61 400 253 787)
3) Send the WhatsApp account a message.
4) You will receive a message back.
5) Follow the instructions to get the information you need.
 
How to apply for the Jobseeker Payment (formerly Newstart)

If you’ve lost your job, been stood down, or suddenly find your business without customers — you might be tackling Centrelink for the first time, or the first time in a long time. 
This ABC article gives a step-by-step guide that may help reduce the stress.
 
Getting financial assistance

Are your financial circumstances changing as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds?

This Australian Banking Association webpage has a wealth of helpful information on what to do and what relief your bank can provide you based on your individual circumstances.

You can also call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 for free and confidential advice from professional financial counsellors. The hotline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.


AnglicareSA fully anticipates that the COVID-19 impact on the community will be significant. Through our 1,800 staff and 600 volunteers, we make a positive difference to the lives of more than 65,000 people each year.

We take our ability to adapt to change very seriously. We’ll continue to respond practically and compassionately to social injustices and public health issues today and well into the future.