For a long time I’ve been concerned about care services getting bound up by bureaucracy; when the person in need becomes secondary to the smooth functioning of welfare delivery. This was born out by an experience I had the other day.
The phone rang with a desperate plea for help. The man at the other end needed assistance in lots of complex ways. He needed help to stay off the streets. He needed help getting food and he needed help with Centrelink. Not to mention psychological and medical support. It’s exactly the sort of thing my Rev. Bill Crews Foundation specialises in, but the man on the phone was in another state.
Finding help wasn’t easy
Surely there’d be organisations just like mine who could help this person? Alas, that was not the case. Many agencies told me: “We only deal with one type of assistance not the multiple needs of this man”. They tried to sweeten things by saying they could refer him on to other agencies for other types of help, but I knew that wasn’t good enough.
In my experience people in desperate need shouldn’t be sent from place to place to get help, they need wrap-around support. When they get it their lives are transformed. That’s why my Foundation doesn’t just give meals to those in need, we offer counselling and a plethora of support services. It’s a proven pathway back to the straight and narrow.
As I searched desperately for an organisation to provide this sort of care, I realised how loving compassion had been railroaded by bureaucratic welfare delivery.
Caring has become a welfare profession
Over the years welfare has become a job, rather than a calling. Indeed, agencies now compete for government funding. They have key performance indicators and accountants who decide how much and what sort of care can be given to each individual. It’s the monetisation of caring.
What it fails to appreciate is that well-functioning human beings are more than the sum of their individual parts. Indeed, when a person is damaged, fixing one thing in isolation doesn’t work. Loving compassion, not to mention logic, demands we address the needs of each individual as a whole.
However, there is not much room for loving compassion when care services and welfare delivery have become a monetised profession.
As for that desperate man on the phone; thanks to some help I was able to get him to Sydney so my Foundation could give him the real care he needed.