Community services help people experiencing poverty, hardship, discrimination and disadvantage. Community services include crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence, emergency relief to help people address basic needs in times of crisis, and food relief . Community services provide financial counselling, child care, health clinics, aged care and help develop vibrant, multicultural communities. Community services have experienced deep funding cuts and are struggling to help everyone who needs their support. We need government to ensure a secure future for these much-needed services.
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.
There are considerable challenges for those operating community services in the non-profit sector, including:
- 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;
- The regulatory framework of charities and non-profit organisations, particularly where it entails overly strenuous requirements that many non-profit organisations cannot sustain; and
- Work on the relationship between community services and government, including funding and contractual relationships.
Our work on sector development looks at the range of issues facing the sustainability and development of the social service sector. These include workforce issues, funding viability, career support and development for workers, innovative practices, and relationships with government and other funders. The primary objective of the sector development portfolio is to inform ACOSS advocacy in the interests of our members and on behalf of people on low incomes.