1. Access and equity
LWCHC works to provide accessibility and appropriateness of its services to women and will aid women’s access to other services. It is therefore necessary to recognise and address the needs and specific issues of women of diverse backgrounds and the barriers faced in accessing services. This means that:

  • the proportion of women from particular communities, backgrounds or lifestyles using the centre will be reflective of the broader community
  • specific strategies will be developed to address barriers preventing equitable access to these groups of women
  • the centre will specifically address barriers to women on low incomes, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, older women, Aboriginal women, lesbians and women who have sex with women, women with disabilities and other groups of women that may experience disadvantage
  • some of the strategies may include low or no cost services, outreach clinics and health promotion, targeted strategies for access to some services and the employment of bilingual staff. Strategies will depend on the capacity of the service but we attempt to provide options, information and, if necessary, referrals to other services.

2. Organisational capacity building
Capacity building describes a range of strategies which in combination enhance an organisation’s capacity to meet its intended outcomes. In the case of Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre, this is the organization’s capacity to increase women’s access to high quality services and improve women’s health outcomes as stated in the vision statement. The comprehensive approach to integrating workforce development, organisational development and resource allocation ensures capacity building is effective and sustainable.

Key components of our organisational capacity building include:

  • planning and evaluation processes
  • use of best practice policy and procedures
  • innovative service delivery
  • staff members’ professional supervision, training and annual performance appraisal
  • effective leadership using feminist principles
  • commitment to meeting community standards, ethical codes and accountability requirements
  • commitment to continuous quality improvement

3. Community capacity building
Key components of our community capacity building efforts include:

  • developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships with other organisations
  • building networks between people and organisations
  • consultation and participation in decision making

In summary, the services provided by Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre:

  • recognise the social, environmental, economic, physical, emotional and cultural factors which influence women’s health
  • recognise the challenges and effects of sex role stereotyping and gender discrimination on women’s health and well being
  • reflect the whole of women’s lifespan, their various and challenging roles and responsibilities, not just their reproductive life
  • actively encourage the empowerment of women in both the personal and social aspects of their lives
  • values women’s own knowledge and skills and their right to make informed decisions about their health
  • promote the participation of women in debate and decision making about health issues, their own health care, service policy, planning, delivery and evaluation
  • recognise women’s rights, as health care consumers, to be treated with dignity, in an environment which provides privacy, informed consent, confidentiality and safety
  • provide appropriate health care to women in local communities within a state wide, coordinated approach in partnership with other health agencies
  • ensure equality and accessibility of services without financial, cultural, geographic and other barriers
  • ensures effective community management and operation of the centre by women
  • ensures that services are accountable and meet independent community standards