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Doorways to freedom

21 February 2014

Doorways to freedom

An innovative holistic welfare model known as “Doorways” has been developed by The Salvation Army to help long-term clients break free from welfare dependency.

Kianna Spicer, Doorways Assistant Coordinator, says the program which is currently being piloted in Eastlakes, Liverpool, Penrith and Coffs Harbour, has been developed to help “increase participation of welfare recipients into mainstream economic and social life”.

Through case management, mentoring and building wider connections into Salvation Army corps, services and other applicable local programs, Doorways aims to offer holistic support to individuals and families in need.

Although it is already the philosophy of Salvation Army emergency welfare services to move clients into independence and address underlying issues, Doorways aims to provide an even greater focus on identifying and working to solve the issues contributing to long-term economic hardship.

The program also offers material for client assessment and case management training for staff.

“There has been some research that suggests 70 per cent of the clients accessing our centres are only a one-off, or for a definite period,” Kianna says.

“They may have lost their job or fallen sick and simply need one-off or shortterm assistance to get back on their feet.

But the other 30 per cent are the ones who keep coming back again and again and again, and they very often come from a background of generational unemployment and/or poverty.

“In those cases, it is important for the client to really understand they have the capacity to achieve more, they’re not trapped. Doorways offers empowerment by using all resources available such as training, rehabilitation, education, mentoring and the building of healthy social relationships.

“We’ve already seen amazing outcomes in one year and the feedback from clients has been very, very positive.”

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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