CEO Andrew Bickerdike told the 63rd Annual General Meeting last night that federal funding for counselling and family dispute resolution was cut by 5% and 3% respectively, effective from July 2011. In addition, Family Relationship Centre funding had been reduced by 4%, effective from January 2012.
The CPI increase of 1.9% was also well below inflation for the second consecutive year, effectively an additional cut in funding.
Dr Bickerdike said the cuts had led to service reduction, with waiting lists at client centres. There had also been some staff reductions, "not easy for an organisation such as ours".
"I am pleased that despite these challenges, we have been able to maintain the quality of our services as evidenced by the good feedback from our clients and the sector generally.
"We have also been able to retain and recruit quality staff and are regarded as an employer of choice in the sector."
Dr Bickerdike said RAV had responded well to sector reform, which would see a greater focus on delivering services to Indigenous, disadvantaged and vulnerable clients.
"As a result, we are well positioned to pursue new opportunities and expand our services to meet the increasingly diverse needs of Victorian families."
RAV President Judi Anderson told the meeting that the Board was as committed as ever to growth to ensure RAV's long-term future.
"Naturally we are disappointed that our funding is going backwards after several years of strong growth. Our challenge will be to implement the cost savings without diminishing the range and quality of our services to clients, who rely on us for support.
"We are determined to diversify our revenue sources as a means of increasing our income, and are working on strategies that will enable us to identify and pursue new funding opportunities in the government and corporate sectors," she said.
More information is available in the 2010/11 Annual Review.
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