Publication Details

Winkworth, G. & Camilleri, P. (2004). Keeping the faith: The impact of human services restructuring on Catholic social welfare services. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 39 (3), 315-328.


Church related agencies are major providers of community services in Australia (Lyons, 2001:34-35). While the history of church related welfare service provision is not well known in Australia it is asserted that many have a long tradition of outreach and service provision to marginalised groups regardless of the government social policy of the day (ACSWC, 2000; Mendes, 2003). This paper examines the current environment of human services restructuring and the impact of the shift to contractualism on one church related provider: Catholic social welfare provision in Australia. It explores the significance of the church's social teachings and history on concerns that service innovation, diversity and advocacy are currently under threat. Finally it calls for greater appreciation of the distinctive contribution of church related agencies and what they have to offer in service delivery and as contributors to the social policy discourse.