30 May 2018
Bega Valley Shire Council will establish a Tathra and District Fire Recovery Support Service (RSS), thanks to $387,723 in funding secured under the NSW and Commonwealth Governments Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Council will engage 2.5 full time equivalent staff (including two Recovery and Resilience Officers) to operate the RSS that will offer free, confidential and personalised case management to households and individuals impacted by the bushfire disaster.
The Recovery and Resilience Officers will be qualified local human services workers, with skills in support and welfare work.
Both roles will be based in Tathra and will also have the capacity to perform home outreach, ensuring that the services provided to the district are accessible and responsive to local people’s needs.
Once established, the Recovery and Resilience Officers will work with any Tathra and District residents or visitors needing support following the fire event.
People can access the RSS by contacting the Recovery Hotline or by referral from other support agencies.
Council’s Manager Community Connections, Kristina Brenner, said among the features of the RSS are that the Recovery and Resilience Officers will act as a single point of contact for individuals and households who have been affected by the Tathra and District fires.
“Our Recovery and Resilience Officers will understand the services available to people and the best way to access them; they will listen to people’s recovery needs and be able to assist clients to link in with a wide range of financial, mental health and other services as required.
“For more complex situations our Officers will be able to develop longer term action plans, organise letters of support, facilitate meetings and help with practical matters such as replacing key documents.
“We have designed the RSS to be a flexible service with the focus on empowering people as they continue in their recovery.
“Everybody’s timeframes for recovery are different, and we want people to know that even if they don’t need any specialist assistance right now, they are very welcome to make contact with us later down the track if they would like some extra support,” Ms Brenner said
The RSS is funded for 12 months, after which time transition plans will be put in place for people requiring ongoing support.
For more information on the Recovery Support Service, please contact the Bega Valley Shire Council Recovery Hotline on (02) 6499 2475.