A leading LGBTI counselling service may lose its funding in the next few months after the NSW government found it did not meet criteria for “community building” and should be defunded.
The Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW – which is run by Twenty10 – was named as one of at least seven community organisations that should be stripped of funding by the state government in a review conducted by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
Twenty10 managing director Rebecca Reynolds said she had no idea how it would fund the life-saving operation in the long-term if funding was cut.
“We understand the need to review priority areas and think that our organisation is a really good fit for Community Services and our advocacy is we work with young people and families and we are hopeful that the money will be retained,” Reynolds told the Star Observer.
“I think because we have the capacity to fundraise, no services would be immediately threatened but that’s not a long term solution. We really need the funding to cover our workers’ salaries, it’s really difficult to pay people through fundraised money because its not secure and that’s where the anxiety comes in.”
Reynolds said the approach was surprising in how narrow its scope and definition of community was.
“Their definition of community building is very different. It really leaves a lot of things that don’t fit into that and there is an absence of things that will meaningfully meet those needs,” she said.
A spokeswoman for the department said no final decision had been made and that it was still assessing the review’s recommendations.
“As part of reforms to the child protection system, 830 services funded under the department’s Community Services Grants Program, of which the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service was one, were recently streamed into one of two new programs,” she said.
“A small group of CSGP services did not fit the models for either of these programs.
“In line with our commitment to working better and smarter to improve services and lives, a review of this small number of services was undertaken last year. The aim of the review was to determine which of the services align with our priorities, particularly in relation to child protection, supporting children and families, and having a focus on early intervention and prevention.”