One area of focus for the Major Strategic Review over the past nine months has been the mission and operation of agencies across the UnitingCare network.
From October 2014 the MSR team has met and talked with people across the network. Much valuable information was collated and made available to the Synod Standing Committee (SSC) during this process before they considered the final MSR report and recommendation at their 24 June 2015 meeting.
At this June meeting the Standing Committee approved a new strategic direction for the UnitingCare agency network, affirming the Church’s ongoing role in the delivery of community services as an expression of God’s mission in the world.
The new strategic direction moves overall governance of community services provided within the UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania network from the Commission for Mission Board to a single governance body (‘agency board’). This new board will be responsible for overseeing delivery and support functions for Uniting Church community services in Victoria and Tasmania.
This change provides significant opportunities for the network. It allows for a single governance board to better champion the capacity and skills of the network as a whole. It will allow the network to work and speak as one unified voice for social advocacy and to share best practice and specialist skills across a range of agencies.
The SSC resolution acknowledges the importance of developing a clear ethos and culture of practice for Uniting Church community services within Victoria and Tasmania. The proposed changes provide opportunities to enhance connections to the whole of church. The new ‘agency board’ will be required to develop a model of support for congregations and presbyteries currently providing, or seeking to provide, community services in their local community or region.
A Project Control Group will be established to oversee the changes needed to achieve the envisaged changes. More information is available at: www.victas.uca.org.au/unitingcareupdate