Jesuit Social Services Strategic Plan 2018 – 2023

Our Vision

Building a just society.

Our Mission

Standing in solidarity with those in need, expressing a faith that
promotes justice.

Our Values

Welcoming – forming strong, faithful relationships.

Discerning – being reflective and strategic in all we do.

Courageous – standing up boldly to effect change.

Our Purpose

Jesuit Social Services is a social change organisation working to build a just society where all people can live to their full potential. We do and we influence.  We accompany people and communities to foster and regenerate the web of relationships that sustain us all – across people, place and planet; and we work to change policies, practices, ideas and values that perpetuate inequality, prejudice and exclusion.

The work of Jesuit Social Services is informed by Catholic Social Teaching and our Jesuit tradition of respecting the preciousness of each human being, walking with the disregarded, and caring for the earth.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we live and work on Aboriginal lands. We value and respect the knowledge and living culture that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to our communities. We walk alongside them as we strive together for justice.

Overview

Jesuit Social Services accompanies and works with people and communities who are excluded and isolated.

Our starting point is one of gratitude for all we have received, including the gift of life itself. We understand the interconnectedness of all life and that we are all held and sustained in a web of relationships – across people, place and planet.

Our work with people on the margins draws our attention to the multiple and interrelated factors that cause disadvantage, push people to the margins, diminish communities’ capacity to shape their future, and damage the natural environment we all depend on. This understanding challenges us to take account of these challenges in our accompaniment and our advocacy. We bring together ‘doing’ and ‘influencing’ to ensure our programs and advocacy are shaped by our practice wisdom, evidence and
rich heritage.

We understand that many significant relationships – with self, family, school, community, culture, God – have fallen away, have been violated, or damaged. This calls us to reconciliation – to heal and regenerate these vital bonds.

Context

Jesuit Social Services strives to tackle entrenched, stubborn problems with an innovative way of thinking and operating. We are solution finders. Our efforts extend to working with our colleagues in the Jesuit network within and beyond Australia, supporting them in our shared mission. Our priorities are informed by Catholic Social teaching and our Jesuit heritage and align with a range of international human rights and social development frameworks.

Our context is characterised by declining trust in society’s major institutions, disengagement from participatory democratic processes, increasing divide between rich and poor, and the growing isolation of many people. At the same time, there are signs of hope emerging – at the grass roots and across organisations as people find new ways to connect and work for change.

The community sector is also facing significant challenges – decreasing resources, a competitive operating environment which has constrained collaboration and muted advocacy, new funding models that do not always take account of the value of community connection, increasing regulation, and focus on risk management sometimes at the expense of responding to need.

Our world is changing rapidly and civil society is being weakened. In the face of this, at Jesuit Social Services we are asking ourselves – who are we called to be at
this time?

Who we work with

We work with people with significant barriers to participation and social and economic inclusion.

We accompany them, address their needs and partner with community, business and government to support them onto a pathway to education, training and employment.

Our doing and influencing span the following people and communities.

  • Disadvantaged and marginalised communities
  • People with multiple and complex needs
  • People involved or at-risk of entering the youth and adult justice systems
  • Boys and men who are in trouble or causing trouble
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • People and families seeking asylum.

Organisational Priorities

Underpinning Principle

Build and promote healthy relationships between the interconnected ecosystem of people, place and planet which, when damaged, lead to disadvantage, poverty, inequality, prejudice and exclusion.

Our five priorities


Appendix

Our priorities are informed by Catholic teaching and our Jesuit heritage, and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  Click here to see how we will contribute to the achievement of these.