CatholicCare has operated in the Hunter and Manning region for over 50 years, providing services in counselling, foster care, disability care, youth services, relationship education and refugee support. The expansion of the organisation to rural communities such as Gloucester is a milestone for CatholicCare and in line with its mission and values.
Services on offer include counselling, mental health support services (PHaMs), targeted early intervention services (Brighter Futures), youth services and disability support services.
The office, located in the heart of Gloucester at 47 King Street, has been fully refurbished and opened its doors to the public last month. The new facility will allow CatholicCare to develop further its programs currently offered in Gloucester from Taree on an outreach basis. In addition, CatholicCare is able to increase its capacity to assist people requiring support and strengthen its service delivery.
Other organisations which provide complementary services have expressed interest in co-locating on the premises. The Leadership Team of St Joseph’s Parish, Gloucester, will also occupy a space on site, modelling a unique holistic approach to pastoral care. This concept has potential to add value to the Gloucester community as it can offer a wide variety of services, all in one location.
Like many small rural communities, Gloucester has significant needs in the areas of social and counselling services. CatholicCare has the capacity to provide counselling in the following streams: Medicare, Victims of Crime, WorkCover, Employee Assistance Programs, Carer NSW support, Supervision and funded counselling (income-based). These will give Gloucester community members access to a vital service that is sure to be well-utilised. Furthermore, people who are vulnerable will no longer have to travel long distances to seek the help and support they need.
The Gloucester office is open Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm. There is a full-time Intake and Administration Assistant, and staff from other services will see clients through an appointment booking system. CatholicCare is delighted to bring new social services to the residents of the Gloucester area and looks forward to being engaged with the community for many years to come.
Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries, Teresa Brierley, is enthusiastic about this development. “It’s always gratifying when CatholicCare can expand its services, especially where rural communities are concerned. “The co-location of the parish office with CatholicCare is a first in the diocese, with local parishioners providing the face of the church while CatholicCare provides service delivery.”