Uniting Wimmera

Wimmera UnitingCare is now part of Uniting Vic.Tas – the community services arm of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania. We are 24 Uniting Church agencies that have come together to combine our resources and experience for greater change. We work alongside people of all ages in local communities across Victoria and Tasmania. Working together we can do this more effectively for more people.

We provide a range of services throughout Wimmera and Southern Mallee including Hindmarsh, Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera, Yarriambiack and parts of Ararat Rural City and Buloke Shires.

Our services

Our Alcohol & Other Drug counsellors work alongside people who have problems with alcohol and other drug use, as well as their loved ones.

We walk with people on the journey towards wellness and recovery, providing a range of services to support their personal recovery goals including:

  • Confidential counselling and advice
  • Care and recovery
  • Long term-treatment plans
  • Family intervention
  • Support for friends or family members
  • Family Reunification

Individuals or their families can access this service by contacting ACSO on 1300 022 760 or by contacting our intake team on 1800 195 114.

Child FIRST

Child FIRST is the first point of contact for families with children aged up to 18 years, who need some assistance with the day to day upbringing of their children.

The Child FIRST program aims to:

  • Ensure that vulnerable children and their families receive priority access to relevant services to support the child’s healthy development and improve parenting capacity.
  • Promote earlier and more appropriate referral pathways within and between services to connect vulnerable children and families with the services and supports to address their needs and prevent inappropriate child protection intervention.
  • Provide access to a range of services to address the needs of the family that positively improve the outcomes for children and young people.
    Child FIRST is the referral pathway into Family Support and Family Counselling.

Child FIRST Interim and Family Violence Support

Interim support provides a bridge between Child FIRST and Family Support with an aim of ‘getting in early’ to prevent further escalation of issues or crises. A key element of the program is to provide a prompt response to the urgent needs of families.

This program also provides a specialist family violence response to families referred to Child FIRST.

This service works closely with other family violence services and Victoria Police to ensure that appropriate supports are introduced, and families achieve better outcomes.

Early Parenting Support

Early Parenting Support provides information and support to families who are having a baby and assists in linking them into appropriate supports available locally. 

We provide support to parents who need a little extra help for a number of reasons which can include multiple births, mental wellbeing, isolation or lack of support, medical condition or history, past trauma, relationship difficulties, intellectual disability, financial difficulties or family violence as well as previous or current Child Protection history.

Finding Solutions

Finding Solutions is a rapid response program for youth aged 12-16 years and their families, who need assistance to avoid family breakdown.

We help family members to work together to negotiate solutions.

Contact Child Protection in Geelong on 1800 075 599 to discuss your concerns and access this service.

Out Of Home Care 

Caregiver Recruitment, Training and Support

This service is responsible for the recruitment and training of potential foster carers and providing support for current carers to be able to carry out their roles.

This includes supervision and training opportunities as well as providing additional support to carers who are experiencing problems with a placement.

Home Based Care - Foster Care

Home Based Care - Foster Care provides a safe, nurturing home for children who are unable to live with their own family.

Fully trained foster carers provide short, medium or long-term periods of care and are supported by a foster care worker.

There are many different Foster Care options including therapeutic (Circle Program), respite, short term, long term, permanent, and emergency.

Foster care case managers support the placement and case plan for children who are in Home Based Care.

Kinship Care

Kinship Care provides support to families who are caring for a child of a relative or friend who is unable to live with their own family.

Circle Program 

The Circle Program is a therapeutic approach to Foster Care which aims to create better outcomes for children and young people in care through early intervention.

Voluntary Foster Care

Voluntary Foster Care is where current foster carers provide additional voluntary short term and respite care for children that are not on statutory orders.

Better Futures

Better Futures assesses the needs of young people leaving care without family support and assists them in the transition to independence.

Therapeutic Residential Care

Our Therapeutic Residential Adolescent Care Unit is for young people aged 12 to 17 who have lived through neglect and abuse in their day to day lives.
Four young people live in the home at any one time.

Integrated Family services

Generalist Counselling

Generalist Counselling offers counselling services to families who have children under the age of 18 years.

Our experienced counsellors work with children and parents individually.
All sessions are goal-focused and hold the best interest of the child at the forefront.

Family Support 

We provide a range of services to support parents-to-be and parents with children up to 18 years of age.

We can assist children, young people and families experiencing the impacts of multiple (or co-occurring) issues.

These issues may include attachment with children, behaviour management, limited school attendance, family violence, mental illness, alcohol and substance use, disability, unemployment, debts, poverty and housing instability or homelessness.

School Focused Youth Service (SFYS)

SFYS deliver interventions and empowerment programs to schools to enable them to support and engage young people from grade 5 to year 12 who are at risk of disengaging from school.

Young people can access these programs through their school.

Senior Early Childhood Development (SECD) Program

The SECD program aims to strengthen the integration, linkages and partnerships between early years’ service providers and ChildFIRST and Integrated Family Services.

SECD works to maximise the opportunities for vulnerable children and families to access and remain engaged with universal and secondary early years’ services.

Wimmera Wellbeing Centre

The Wimmera Wellbeing Centre offers a welcome space where children, young people and families can take part in group programs in an informal atmosphere, with a focus on improving their mental wellbeing.

A range of group programs are offered at the Centre by both Uniting and other service providers.

Address: 28 Urquhart Street Horsham

Youth Family Reconciliation and Mediation Program (YFRMP) 

Family Mediation is for families and youth aged 15 to 25 years.

It encompasses two programs, Reconnecting Relationships and Mediation, which both assist families to work through issues which may be putting young people at risk of homelessness.

Reconnecting Relationships

Our Reconnecting Relationships program provides a safe environment for families and those in close relationship to find ways to sort out worries or problems.

We work together to create an environment where every person has a chance to be heard.

Mediation 

We facilitate mediation with young people aged 15 - 25 and their families or caregivers, allowing participants to tell their story and be heard without interruption, and work to negotiate solutions.

Youth Outreach

Youth Outreach supports young people aged 15 to 25 years who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

We assist young people with finding suitable, safe, secure and affordable accommodation and help them to develop living and life skills.

We aim to assist young people in becoming independent and to establish supports and connections within their local community.

We also focus on the young person’s emotional and mental health that may have been impacted due to their current situation or previous trauma.

Emergency Relief is available for anyone in immediate financial crisis.

We can assist in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and encourages self-reliance.

Assistance is generally in the form of:

  • Vouchers of a fixed value (for food, transport or chemist)
  • Part-payment of an outstanding account (rent/accommodation, utility)
  • Material assistance such as household goods, food parcels or clothing
  • Budgeting assistance
  • Information, advocacy and referrals

For general emergency relief enquiries contact Uniting Wimmera on 1800 195 114 or directly contact Christian Emergency Food Centre on 5381 2311 or Stawell Interchurch Council on 0408 038 949.

Disability Day Programs

Our Disability Day Programs are based in Horsham and are available to people with approved NDIS plans who live in the Wimmera.

Darlot House 

Darlot House is a Day Program accessible for people who require a high level of care.

The program is based at a beautiful house in the centre of Horsham fitted out with appropriate equipment for participants with high care needs, including wheelchairs.

Participants are supported to get out into the community and often visit the library, shops, town hall, parks and other relaxing or interesting community spaces.
Darlot program runs from 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday.

Baillie Street 

Our Baillie Street program encourages exercise, performing arts and adventures, we also offer a varying arts and crafts program for anyone who attends.

We largely focus on social inclusion. Participants enjoy regular outings and excursions, attend swimming and gymnasium, they also perform in concerts around the community.

Baillie Street runs from 8.45am to 3.15pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Learning For Life Capacity

Learning for Life Capacity is a two-year capacity building program for people aged 18-22 years.

The program is designed to assist participants to develop independence by learning life skills for inside and outside the home.

Cooking, shopping, navigating computers, exercise, community involvement and volunteering are just some of the important skills participants will learn.

Learning for Life is a centre-based program which runs from 8.30am to 3.15pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Disability Groups

Our Disability Groups are based in Horsham and are available to people with approved NDIS plans who live in the Wimmera.

Autism Social Group 

The Autism Social Group is facilitated by workers who understand the needs of participants who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Young people are a part of a group environment where they have the opportunity to engage with children their own age and interact in a safe space to develop social skills to make friends and build relationships.

Learning through and using activities such as role play, team building and social interactions, participants improve their emotional recognition, ability to read non-verbal cues and increase flexible thinking towards sharing and cooperation in team environments.

The group meets weekly from 4-6pm.
Monthly gatherings are held from 5.30-8.30pm.

Men's Group 

Men’s group is for people who identify as male and are aged 18 years and over.

The group provides an opportunity for participants to engage in activities socially and recreationally.

It’s a fantastic outlet to socialise, make new friendships and gain skills to achieve personal goals.

Monthly gatherings are held from 5.30-8.30pm.

Women's Group

Women’s group is for people who identify as female and are aged 18 years and over.

The group assists participants to engage in activities socially and recreationally.

It’s a fantastic outlet to socialise, make new friendships and gain skills to achieve personal goals.

Disability Long Term Housing

This long term housing program enables people with disabilities to live independently. Some longer term accommodation options are also available for eligible and approved clients without a disability. Properties are located in Horsham, Stawell, St Arnaud, Nhill and Ararat.

Disability Short Term Accommodation 

Short term accommodation is an assisted living program, for people with disabilities, that stimulates a shared accommodation environment.

Participants have the opportunity to develop skills to build self-independence and assist in building their capacity through allowing choice and control.

The program includes independent living tasks such as grocery shopping, money handling, helping to cook, washing dishes, doing laundry, making their beds and personal hygiene.

Participants also work alongside other participants in a social environment for them to share their successes and help each other achieve their goals.

There is a waiting list for this service, and you are encouraged to attend groups during the waiting period.

Shared Supported Independent Living Residential House - Thornley Street

Thornley Street Residential House is a 5-bedroom purpose built Supported Independent Living House staffed 24/7.

Our supported accommodation opens the door to new possibilities. Residents are enabled to explore their interests, be social as well as achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

The large house offers private bedrooms, several lounge areas, kitchen, dining and outdoor living including a vegetable patch.

Support Coordination 

Support Coordination is delivered to support you to know more about the different parts of your NDIS plan.

Coordinators can link you in with your chosen providers and support you to work towards turning your goals into outcomes.

Towards the end of your plan your Support Coordinator will also assist you to prepare and get ready for your next plan review.

Support Coordinators can help you identify goals that are suitable for you.

Although our Support Coordinators work for Uniting, they will help you connect with any service provider of your choice.

Tri State Games

Tri State Games is an annual competition for adult aged athletes with a disability living in SA, NSW and Victoria.

The annual event includes participation in a number of sports. Athletes compete as part of a team, normally supported by a disability service organisation, local parent support group or other community group.

We support participants to attend in a number of ways. From meeting weekly for training sessions leading up to the event.

Wimmera Strengthening Parent Support Program

The Wimmera Strengthening Parent Support program is for families who have a child or children aged up to 18 years of age that have an intellectual disability, physical disability, developmental delay, sensory or an acquired brain injury.

The program offers opportunities for families to regularly connect with other families in their community for mutual support; to share experiences, ideas and attend information sessions and hear from guest speakers on relevant topics and to receive regular updates and news.

Early Learning

Child Care and Kindergarten 

Uniting operates childcare services in Horsham, Warracknabeal, Balmoral, Hopetoun and Kaniva.

Childcare services provide education and care for children aged six weeks to school age.

Horsham Community Childcare Centre
Warracknabeal Early Learning Centre
Balmoral Early Learning Centre
Hopetoun Early Learning Centre
Kaniva Early Learning Centre

Family Day Care

Family Day Care services provide education and care for children aged six weeks to 12 years of age. Available for various days and locations (in-venue and in the family home).

Find out more

Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS)

Kindergarten Inclusion Support builds capacity of funded four-year-old kindergarten programs to support the inclusion of children with a disability.

Pre-School Field Officer (PSFO)

The supports the access and participation of children with developmental concerns and additional needs in four-year-old funded kindergarten, through consultation, resourcing and advising teachers and families.

Creating Connections

Creating Connections is a specialised program for young people aged 16-25 years who are experiencing homelessness.

We walk alongside the young person and provide the support and help they need so they can achieve their goals.

We assist in linking young people into the private rental market, education & training.

Also assisting them with the skills to help them find jobs and further develop their living skills so they can live independently.

Crisis Housing Support Program

Crisis Housing Support Program provides intensive support to individuals aged 16-64, and families who are homeless.

Entrypoint

Entrypoint assists people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness through referrals, to a range of support and supported accommodation services.

Services include supported accommodation, advocacy, links to health, education, employment services and outreach support.

Housing Establishment Fund (HEF)

The Housing Establishment Fund is used to assist people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
This includes crisis accommodation, rent in advance, rent arrears, bonds, travel and storage.

Immediate financial assistance for households to access secure accommodation or intervene where private tenancies are at risk.

Emergency accommodation is provided to people that are homeless with no other options.

Mature Persons Long Term Accommodation

Mature Persons Long Term Accommodation supports older persons with long term accommodation in a comfortable and secure environment.

Tenants must be on a low income or in receipt of age or disability pension.

Prison Exit Program 

This program provides specialist housing support to prisoners exiting correctional facilities at Hopkins, based in Ararat and Langi Kal Kal, based in Beaufort.

Assistance with Office of Housing enquiries and applications is also provided.

Transitional Housing

Transitional housing provides crisis and short- term housing assistance to individuals and families as a result of homelessness or impending homelessness.

We will assist you to establish and maintain appropriate, secure and sustainable housing.

Mental Health support is based in Horsham and available to people with approved NDIS plans who live in the Wimmera. You can also access support through other avenues such as Early Intervention Psychosocial Support or fee for service. Please enquire about the appropriate option for you.

1:1 Mental Health Recovery Support

One-hour individual skill development and recovery focused sessions can be delivered weekly, fortnightly or monthly dependent on the participants needs.

These appointments are usually delivered in our offices but if the participant is unable to get to this location alternative arrangements can be made.

Early Intervention Psychosocial Support

Early Intervention Psychosocial Support helps people who are having difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing. People who are already accessing support through Wimmera & Southern Mallee Mental Health Services can access this program.

Support is provided for each participant as they learn more about the effects of their mental illness.

The support is planned and provided using a personalised and consultative approach with each individual and other relevant people such as family members, carers, close friends, care coordinators and other support services.

headspace Horsham 

headspace Horsham is a free and confidential service for young people between 12-25 years promoting wellbeing in health – including mental and sexual health; alcohol and drug issues as well as work, training and study.

A Youth Reference group advises Horsham staff and consortium on projects and programs. A LGBTI support program is also available.

headspace Horsham is located at 77 Hamilton Street Horsham or you can get in touch by calling 53 81 1543.

Mental Health Groups

Our Mental Health Groups are based in Horsham and are available to people with approved NDIS plans who live in the Wimmera.

Community Participation Activities

Individuals can participate in a range of social activities in the community to build skills, confidence and social connections.

Recovery Group

Participants can learn, develop and practice a wide range of strategies and skills to help increase positive thinking, improve optimism, develop a sense of self-worth and create positive change.

Skills Building Group

Participants can learn skills to gain an understanding of and manage difficult emotions and behaviours throughout challenging life situations.

Through this group they will also learn communication and relationship skills.

Hearing Voices Peer Support Group

Our Hearing Voices Peer Support Group meet regularly and provide a safe space where voice hearers can share their experiences, learn new ways to understand, cope and live with voices.

Our locations

We provide services across the Wimmera and Southern Mallee including Hindmarsh, Horsham Rural City, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera, Yarriambiack and parts of Ararat Rural City and Buloke Shires. We offer many services through outreach, online or via phone. Please contact us on 1800 195 114 for support.

Contact us for general enquiries
Phone: (03) 5362 4000
Email: wimmera.info@vt.uniting.org