This month, the FCRC Board adopted its new Strategic Plan for 2019-2021, which has been the result of a consultative process with our members. The plan acknowledges the need for sector expansion, while ensuring the wellbeing of our financial counsellors.
Through the development process, we were able to identify areas of priority such as achieving reliable and sustainable funding, and establishing value and respect for financial counsellors and the profession. These are not new areas in the organisation’s goals – having formed part of our expiring Strategic Plan of the past three years – they are indicative of the level of ongoing work that still exists for FCRC to address these points. It is worth noting that the plan was drafted with a tone of optimism ahead of the federal election outcome, and that we maintain a positive outlook for the capacity and recognition of the sector in the future.
FCRC will be focused on developing new collaborations with other sectors. We are currently drafting our submission into the Mental Health Royal Commission to highlight the mental health co-morbidities of financial stress and vulnerability, and the need for financial counselling to form part of a holistic response to mental health treatment and prevention. We will continue our work in the Aged Care and Health Care sectors, through Bernadette Pasco’s work on Elder Abuse Prevention and Integrated Models of Care (IMOC).
Sector standards is an area where FCRC will carry on its leadership role under the new plan. Having adopted the National Standards for Membership & Accreditation under our previous Strategic Plan, our focus will now shift to maintaining that high level of professionalism, with adequate supports in place to ensure quality and consistency of service delivery as we head towards expansion. Sector standards will also provide practitioners with safeguards against the risks of stress and burnout.
FCRC’s next major piece of work will be its report on sector wellbeing, in regards to worker stress and workloads. This is an area of vital importance to our members – who made detailed submissions to our survey – so we are taking our time to ensure that the information and recommendations we deliver are thoughtful and effective. Drafting of the report is now in its final stages.
All of this work, and the organisation’s strategic direction, ties in well with our conference theme for this year: Expanding Horizons. We are excited to share with you all of the new opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for the sector. Registrations are now open, and we hope you can all join us in Ballarat in October.