The Councils of Social Service are providing a range of resources for the community sector in response to the crisis. For information on state and territory government programs in response to COVID-19, please find summaries of their resources below and visit the Council of Social Service website in your state or territory.
ACTCOSS – Australian Capital Territory Council of Social Service
ACTCOSS are working with our members, other peak bodies, ACOSS, the ACT Government and the Federal Government to advocate for people experiencing disadvantage during COVID-19. We are communicating regularly with the ACT Government and welcome input from all ACTCOSS members. ACTCOSS have published COVID-19 Update ebulletins for members and subscribers, with back issues available at the ACTCOSS COVID-19 web page. The ebulletins include editions for community organisations supporting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Information includes COVID-19 related advocacy, updates from ACT and Australian governments, resources and services for people experiencing disadvantage due to COVID-19, resources for community organisations, and service updates. ACTCOSS hold video conferences with members on various focus areas (e.g. disability; housing and homelessness; human resources) to discuss advocacy and share information and resources. Members are welcome to contact ACTCOSS about how to join these video conferences.
NCOSS – New South Wales
NCOSS has developed a COVID-19 Community Sector Resource that provides the latest information and updates to help plan for service continuity, specifically for community services in NSW. They are working with the Department of Communities and Justice and NSW Health to ensure that advice specific to different programs and service types, addressing the particular issues and challenges each face, is developed and widely distributed. It includes important information including: advice for diverse groups, planning for isolation, work health and safety, service continuity during a pandemic, important considerations for your organisation, financial support and information for not-for-profits, financial support for people impacted, legal advice, mental health, digital literacy, tools and tips, examples of innovative practice, and relevant research. NCOSS has also joined DCJ to communicate via regular video updates to address sector concerns and uncertainty, and how to navigate this rapidly changing situation. A dedicated email address has been set up for organisations to send their specific questions, where topics will be addressed in the weekly videos.
VCOSS – Victoria
VCOSS has developed a resource list containing general advice and links to official and reputable resources for the community sector. There is also a comprehensive list of responses from both the Victorian and federal government to the crisis. Resources listed include information around health, hygiene and safety, workplace and IR issues, legal support, mental health, as well as diverse language and accessible resources. VCOSS is working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to stream a series of information and Q&A sessions for the community sector. VCOSS has also been engaged by the Victorian Government to help design a $500 million scheme to match unemployed workers with jobs that need doing in the fight against COVID-19, and retrain other workers for new opportunities.
QCOSS – Queensland
QCOSS has created an online information hub on the Community Door website of all the COVID-19 resources, tools, and information that are most relevant to the community services sector. The hub is continuously updated to ensure that the sector has access to the latest information and can find answers to their most pressing issues all in one place. As well as answers to frequently asked questions impacting organisations and the communities we serve, there is information for service providers on a range of issues, and details about the supports available for clients. In addition there are resources, guidelines and templates to help organisations keep vital services running during this crisis.
SACOSS – South Australia
SACOSS are working with their members, other South Australian human service peak bodies and the South Australian Government to provide access to trusted information and resources. SACOSS have provided a list of resources that provide information for coronavirus resources, good hygiene, simple steps to stop the spread, advice for employers, and advice for aged care. There is also a list of trusted information resources for general information as well as the sector, and have provided details on how to compost a contingency plan for your organisation. In addition to this, SACOSS has a new, weekly COVID-19 update & eBulletin for the South Australian community sector. People can subscribe here: www.sacoss.org.au/ebulletin-subscribe
NTCOSS – Northern Territory
Remote communities are particularly at risk during this global pandemic. NTCOSS have listed coronavirus advice for Northern Territory remote communities, outlining advice on what can be done for these communities, what the Northern Territory government is doing, and how to limit transmission and infection. NTCOSS have also provided a list of additional resources to provide the sector with more information about COVID-19 in remote communities in Australia and around the world.
WACOSS – Western Australia
WACOSS have listed key Community Services COVID-19 resources to provides general health advice and links that community service organisations may find useful. The list is comprehensive; covering trusted information sources, advice on health, care and safety, advice for Aboriginal communities, advice for homelessness services, advice for the alcohol and drug sector, advice for the alcohol and other drug sector, advice for the mental health sector, advice for the youth sector, financial counselling advice, advice for residential care facilities, advice for volunteers, advice for neighbourhood and community resource centres, Centrelink advice, advice for employers, family and domestic violence advice, relevant training, fact sheets, contingency planning, sector communications from the WA government, advocacy, travel alerts, and self-isolation guidelines.
TASCOSS – Tasmania
TasCOSS created preparation and advice for COVID-19, including a list of trusted sources, resources and fact sheets applicable to the community services industry. The resources provided cover health advice, helplines, advice for employers, advice for aged care, advice for employees and job seekers, advice for boards, federal government resources, state government resources, and state and federal support packages.