As the financial year ends, CSMC is celebrating having balanced the budget in 2016-2017, as small organisations do, and is scrutinising our budget for 2017-2018 to ensure that every dollar is put to work.
As I also reach the end of my first year as CEO, I am delighted to have achieved this breakeven point. Even with this positive financial outcome, we are urgently raising funds to contribute to our emergency relief fund in order to manage the unprecedented need. Additional funds are needed to assist single mothers overwhelmed by a high energy bill or school costs, an unexpected crisis or the costs of securing housing. You can donate to make a difference to single mother families in crisis.
In this year, we have re-branded to emphasise the strength, vision, endurance and wisdom of single mothers. Our new website is loaded with valuable information for single mothers on topics such as parenting solo, government benefits, dealing with government agencies, housing, family violence, managing money, work and study, and much more. Having this information online will suit women who need information late at night when the kids are in bed, or on a weekend. They can now turn to our website and email us with any questions they have.
Our telephone Support Line continues to be a key resource for single mothers and is available during school hours. Here single mothers can discuss any topic with our professional Contact Workers, who are also single mothers themselves.
We have completed a Strategic Plan 2017-2020 that grounds our work in the structural barriers that single mothers continue to encounter and how CSMC, as a small organisation, can best address them. We will focus our work on six priority areas that affect single mothers in Australia:
- Secure and sufficient income
- Flexible employment and study options that accommodate caring responsibilities
- Safe, affordable and appropriate housing
- Equitable Family Law processes and adequate supports
- Fostering the wellbeing of single mothers to ensure they can thrive, parent to the best of their ability, and build a good future for themselves and their children
- Securing a fair go for their children.
This strategy will shape our work over the next three years and we will collaborate with other community organisations, government, philanthropic bodies and individuals to maximise our impact. While the Strategic Plan officially kicks in on 1 July, this exciting next stage is already underway.
In reflecting on our progress this year and the health of the organisation – our plans, our strong and capable team and the incredible history on which we build – I feel optimistic that we have another great year ahead. I know that CSMC will continue to reinforce the resilience of single mothers, share their joys and challenges, and have a significant impact on single mother families in Victoria and across Australia.
Jenny Davidson, CEO