Strengthening Family & Community

Our Story

As a response to a 1989 survey of community needs, Blaxland Uniting Church established the Lower Mountains Family Support Service (now Gateway Family Services).

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 obtained a small grant from the NSW Department of Community Services. Initially housed in office space in the Blaxland Uniting Church building it was relocated to ‘The Cottage’ next door to the Church in 1991. LMFSS, rapidly developed into a credible and respected welfare agency as its activities & scope expanded. 

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 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 is now able to offer complementary services across the Penrith and Blue Mountains areas that include support for parents of young children experiencing difficulty, outreach parenting groups and community hub programs and has initiated work with the children's services sector to support vulnerable children and families. 

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 further expansion included the Family Enrichment Project based in Katoomba.

After the 2013 Bushfires, Gateway was funded by the Ministry for Police and Emeregency Services to set up the Step By Step Bushfire support project. This project was widely lauded for its innovative aproach to disaster recovery and Gateway has now developed 'WalkWith' an innovative Disaster Recovery resource for use across any jurisdiction and approriate for any disaster event.

Gateway employs an Chief Executive Officer, 21 staff and is supported by 4 office volunteers and over 100  volunteers who assist in a variety of ways.

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

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. 

 

Gateway encourages, supports & respects diversity in families & communities. Our doors are open to everyone.
We acknowledge the Gundungurra and Darug people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work and we pay our respects to their Elders, both past and present.

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Gateway Family Services is committed to building a stronger community through helping to build stronger families.