NEW HOME: In the DOCS building are client services manager Michael Buckley, and regional director Susan Priivald. Picture: JACK
NEW HOME: In the DOCS building are client services manager Michael Buckley, and regional director Susan Priivald. Picture: JACK

New home helps lift DoCs profile

By EMMA O'NEILL

PICTURES of jigsaw pieces feature on the walls of the new NSW Department of Community Services building in Lismore.

And according to regional director of the Department of Community Services North, Susan Priivald, the new building will allow more case workers to help clients piece their lives back together.

"The new building will accommodate an additional 24 case workers. It's also a lot closer to public transport and across the road from the police station and the courthouse," she said.

The new building was first proposed for Lismore in 2005, following the Government's $1.2 billion DoCS enhancement package.

According to Ms Priivald, DoCS was in need of the new building in Zadoc Street and more case workers due to the area's high demand for its services.

She said that Lismore had the biggest demand for DoCS assistance in NSW outside metropolitan areas.

Initiatives such as DoCs' Early Intervention Program would greatly benefit from the new building because it had designated family rooms, she said.

Ms Priivald said having additional case workers operating in Lismore, and using the new custom-built rooms, would assist DoCS establish trust within the community and encourage more people to ask for assistance.

"DoCS is a professional service and people should feel they can approach us for help. This new building helps us achieve that," she said "We have heard cases of people avoiding DoCS, but we want people to approach us when they need help."

Ms Priivald said the fact that DoCS had employed 10 Aboriginal case workers assisted with establishing this sense of trust within the Aboriginal community.

"When people approach DoCS for help we know we've doing our job correctly," she said.



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