Our Beginnings

   As a response to a 1989 survey of community needs, Blaxland Uniting Church established the Lower Mountains Family Support Service ( Now Gateway Family Services) which has now been serving families of the lower Blue Mountains for 23 years.

In 1990 a grant from Wesley Mission, complemented by funding from the Church, paid for a full time Coordinator. After 1992 the Church fully funded the Service and with a small grant from the NSW Department of Community Services a group worker was employed for 1½ days a week. The Service quickly developed a reputation for quality work with families.


 The Service was housed in office space in the Blaxland Uniting Church building until late in 1991, when it was relocated to ‘The Cottage’ next door to the Church.

 

The Service Expands

The Service quickly exceeded its initial goals. LMFSS rapidly developed into a credible welfare agency and by 1993 employed 2 workers and offered a range of programs & services to families in the lower mountains. The activities & scope of the Service continued to expand as it responded to the needs of families under stress or in crisis. The Service now employs an Executive Officer and 21 staff & is supported by 4 office volunteers and over 30 other volunteers who assist in a variety of ways.

 

Gateway  manages various government funded  projects including outreach parenting group programs, early intervention family support programs including Families NSW projects and Brighter Futures Projects. Gateway has also auspiced 2 Nepean area wide projects.

From 2006, Gateway  expanded its work into the Penrith LGA, providing Family Support programs, parenting groups and "it takes a village" projects as well as working collaboratively with Penrith City Council to support families attending local Child Care Centres.

While its primary responsibility is to provide family support services and emergency relief to families under stress or in crisis, the service now is able to offer complementary services across the Penrith and Blue Mountains areas that include support for parents of young children experiencing difficulty and outreach group work and community hub programs and has initiated work with the children's services sector to support families in those settings.

IN 2010, LMFSS officially changed its name to Gateway Family Services as a reflection of the increasing provision of family services in areas beyond the lower mountains. In 2012 Gateway incorporated ENRICH- the Gateway Family Enrichment Project which is based in Katoomba into its suite of services.

Gateway has developed many strategic partnerships and collaborations which supports the work of keeping children safe and enhancing their well being. Gateway is a founding member of the Blue Mountains Consortium and the Blue Mountains Stronger Families Alliance and the Penrith Local Collaboration Working Group.


All this has come from the vision of Blaxland Uniting Church to reach out to people in need in the community, as they believe Jesus himself would. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengthening Families, Strengthening communities
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