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Community Services

Community Services

ACOSS develops policy and advocates for the improved and effective provision of social services

Non-profit organisations provide essential services for a wide section of our community, including some of the poorest and most socially isolated Australians.

Services range from emergency relief and crisis accommodation to financial counselling, community development and healthcare. Yet there are considerable challenges for those operating community services in the non-profit sector, including:

  • Outdated and unclear laws and regulatory frameworks;
  • Overly demanding application and reporting requirements by governments and other funders, which can take vital time and resources away from service provision; and
  • Inadequate funding leaving staff with little or no supervision and programs unable to run in the long-term regardless of their demonstrated benefits for the community.

ACOSS and community services

Many of the organisations providing these vital services are members of ACOSS. We develop policy and advocate for the improved and effective provision of social services in the interests of our members and service users.

The needs of service users are particularly important for ACOSS, as we work to ensure the adequacy of support for people on low incomes or facing problems that bring them into contact with social services.

Examples of ACOSS work on community services include:

  • The development and sustainability of non-profit social services in the face of tightening funding from government and others, and as private enterprise increasingly looks for profitable opportunities in the social service sector (see for example ACOSS' submissions in 2009 to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the not-for-profit sector and the Australia's Future Tax System review );
  • The regulatory framework of charities and non-profit organisations, particularly where it entails overly strenuous requirements that many non-profit organisations cannot sustain; and
  • Participation in the development of a Compact between the non-profit sector and the Australian government.

Read our Publications on Community Services here.

See all ACOSS Media Releases on Community Services >>

ACOSS and the Equal Remuneration Case

ACOSS is involved in the equal remuneration case for social service workers and the campaign for funding of any pay rises that follow.

Click here for further information and campaign materials.