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Innovative new program to combat social isolation

2021-07-01

South Australians at risk of social isolation will receive targeted support to make and strengthen their social and community connections, under an innovative new State Government program.

Following extensive consultation with the community services sector, the South Australian Government will focus its efforts on assisting people who are disconnected build social networks and community connections to help gain their independence.

About the program

The Community Connections program will link isolated adults with the right connections at the right time to improve individual mental health, independence, quality of life and overall health outcomes.

The State Government will deliver $41.7 million over the next two years to fund 12 weeks of targeted support to those who need a little extra help to live full and independent lives.

A competitive tender process was held to select not-for-profit organisations to deliver the Community Connections program across the state.

Community Connections will be delivered across metropolitan and regional South Australia by not-for-profit organisations:

  • Anglicare SA
  • Anglican Community Care
  • Baptist Care SA
  • Carers SA
  • Catholic Family Services
  • Centacare Catholic Country SA
  • Community Access and Services
  • Lutheran Community Care
  • MarionLIFE Community Services
  • Morella Community Centre
  • Mount Barker Community Centre
  • OARS
  • Royal District Nursing Services (RDNS)
  • Skylight Mental Health
  • The Hut Community Centre
  • Uniting Communities
  • West Coast Youth and Community Support.

The State Government will also partner with regional local health networks, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, community passenger networks and carer support organisations in the delivery of services.

Social inclusion is linked to better health

There is strong evidence that social inclusion – having supportive relationships with people and groups outside the home – is linked to improved quality of life and better health outcomes.

Support provided will take many forms and could be as simple as helping somebody join their local library, transporting or accompanying them to activities outside the home to build their own social skills, or providing in-home help while they regain their independence.

Through the program, trained and dedicated staff will work to the specific needs of each client to leave them better-off, more capable and less likely to require government support in the future.

Ongoing support for South Australians

Community Connections sits alongside federal reforms including the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), My Aged Care and National Carer Gateway, which serve an important purpose in providing ongoing support for vulnerable South Australians.

The program was designed hand-in-hand with leading sector organisations across South Australia, who are experts in community services and have first-hand understanding of the kinds of help people need to get back on their feet.

The State Government will measure outcomes from the new services and work with providers to adjust the program as needed.

The program will commence from 1 July 2021.

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

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