General Announcement – Social Program Review

Outcome of Social Program Review

An announcement from Lt. Col. Lyn Edge

We are well underway in our transformation towards becoming one Australia Territory to fulfil our national vision, of transforming the lives of Australians one life at a time.

Since May 2017, The Salvation Army has started a review into its social service offerings, to identify those areas where we are strongest and where we are able to achieve the greatest missional impact throughout Australia. In the past, The Army was known to offer a wide spectrum of social services over many sectors. A working group of Officers and staff with a national focus started reviewing social services last year, to understand what it is that we do, what we are best at and what we are known for in Australia.

We undertook the Social Program Review to contribute to The Salvation Army objectives of becoming one Territory:

  1. Aligned Vision – a clear and consistent mission strategy and mission culture across the whole of Australia, ensuring our efforts and resources are being used for greatest effect
  2. Increased Innovation – improving our capacity for innovation and strategic thinking by building on the best of each territory
  3. United Voice – the ability to speak and act with a single voice for greater impact on matters of national interest, including social justice, care for the vulnerable and other matters of spiritual and community significance
  4. Stronger Partnerships – the ability to build stronger national partnerships with other denominations and Christian organisations, government, news and media, business, peak bodies and other community organisations
  5. Better Stewardship – releasing more personnel and financial resources for front line mission by reducing duplication and streamlining systems and processes
  6. Greater Impact – a unified national strategy for solving the spiritual and social issues that affect vulnerable Australians.

The key driver to review our social programs has been a refocus of resources within our organisation with the purpose of achieving greater impact to the Australian community. Mission fit, community needs, quality of service, sustainability and impact of exit were taken into consideration to discover the key areas in which we are strongest and where opportunities for greater impact are significant. A refocus of social services will contribute to a positive change towards achieving a greater Missional impact. This however, also means that we move away from certain services.

The Salvation Army will focus on and be known for the following services

In line with our national vision and strategy, our national focus will be the following services:

  • Accommodation & Homelessness Services, including Family and Domestic Violence
    (Residential Homelessness, Homelessness Support & Outreach, Family and Domestic Violence Support)
  • Alcohol, Drugs and Other Addictions – ADOA
    (Transitional Housing, Residential Services, Residential Detoxification Services, Non-Residential services, Gambling Services, Other non-AOD Addictions)
  • Chaplaincy
    (including Red Shield Defence Services)
  • Community Engagement
    (Local Community Responses including Corps-based Social)
  • Doorways
    (Doorways Case Management, Emergency Relief, Financial Counselling, Financial Literacy, NILS – No Interest Loans Scheme)
  • Strategic Disaster Management 
    (Salvation Army Emergency Services, Response and Recovery)

By focusing on these key areas nationally, we are able to maximise our resources and make a significant, visible and measurable difference in improving lives. Trends and forecasts show that these needs are significant for the next 10 years.

Activities within these key services will be subject to further assessment to define opportunities for improvement and growth. This deep dive review process of services will commence in 2019. In the meantime, current department and/or teams delivering these services will be reviewed as part of the Mission Department Design throughout 2018.


Territory and/or State-based services that need further review

The following services are subject to further assessment to determine if the services continue, upscale, transition to other providers or partners, or if they are reallocated within The Salvation Army:

  • Disability Targeted Services
    (Day Programs, Disability Respite, Home Support, Residential)
  • The Freedom Partnership
    (Advocacy, Community Support, Outreach Support Services, Residential Support)
  • Out of Home Care (under 18)
    (Foster Care, Leaving Care, Other OOH Care Support, Out of Home Care Brokerage, Residential Services)
  • Supported Education & Training
    (Drive Training Programs, Independent Schools, Vocational Training and Enterprise)

This assessment will commence from March 2018 and will involve consultation of key business stakeholders to further understand how this service fits within our national vision. Until further notice, these services will continue their valuable work and remain in their current capacity without ‘upscaling’. The outcomes around the future of these services will be shared by the end of year.


Services that will no longer be the focus of The Salvation Army

In line with our national vision and strategy, The Salvation Army there will be changes to the following services:

  • Counselling
    (Generalist Counselling, Christian Counselling, TSA run Employee Assistance Program)
  • Family Tracing
    (Family Tracing, Special Search, Post Adoption Search) – The Family Tracing Operations within Australia will cease, with the mission support funded service closing by 30 June 2018. New cases will no longer be accepted from 19 March, except those under contract.
  • Health
    (Clinical Services) – The following services will undergo further review to determine the ongoing requirement of the service:

    • Healthlink Allied Services, South Australia
    • Independent Living Units, Western Australia

Our number one priority is to care for the needs of the vulnerable people we serve, which means that no person currently receiving our services will be left without the support they need. We are working through what this means for our services and people that are directly affected by this decision, including reallocation of the services. Dependencies with other social services, impact to the community and reallocation of service components will be taken into consideration.

The project team is working closely with the impacted teams and volunteers to ensure they are fully supported throughout this process. We ask you to be mindful of their circumstance during this time.


For further information

In support this announcement, further material available to you including:

  • Social Program Review Video
    Hear from the National Secretary for Mission, Lt.Col Lyn Edge who speaks about the change and what this means for The Salvation Army
  • Social Program Review Factsheet
    A summary of the review process and outcomes
  • Questions and Answers
    Providing answers to your questions. If you need further clarification, please refer to the below support options.



We recognise that this is a significant change to some of us. A support team is available for those that are directly affected and they are informed on who they can reach out to.

There are a number of support options for you, including:

  • Talking to your Human Resources Business Partner
  • Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for staff, volunteers and their families. EAP is a national support available to all employees and their families.  This support is also available for Officers within NSW, ACT and QLD. Contact EAP via:
    1300 687 327   |
  • For VIC, TAS, SA, NT and WA: Pastoral Care is available for Officers – call (03) 9813 1917
  • Please be mindful of potential media attention. In this instance, please do not respond to any questions or inquires directly. Simply, direct them to our  National Head of Media Steve Speziale on 03 8878 2423
  • Please refrain from posting any details of this announcement on any outlets of Social Media.
  • For other queries, please send an e-mail to:   |

Join ‘A Chat with Lyn’ on 19 March 11am -12noon AEDT.

During this live chat Lt.Col Lyn Edge will be online to provide a brief update on Mission Delivery (Social Program Review, Local Mission Delivery Operating Model, Mission Department Design). All are welcome – Officers, staff and volunteers throughout Australia. You will have plenty of opportunities to ask your questions…no question is off limit!

On the day, join the chat by clicking

Password: LynEdge

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