ACOSS 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 low income service users. Current work in the portfolio is outlined below.
We are developing a glossary of terms and their meanings to encompass the breadth of sector development work currently underway. For example, the following terms are used in different parts of the country and are often interchangeable: individualised service agreements; direct service delivery; consumer-directed purchasing; personalised social care; self-directed funding; individualised funding; individualised care packages; personalised budgets; individualised support packages; self managed care; direct funding; and consumer choice. Developing a glossary also provides an opportunity to summarise for the sector some of the key issues that many of our colleagues are aware of in vague terms, but with very little detail or information.
From this glossary we will examine which and how many of these issues are relevant in states, territories and nationally. While this is not the usual role ACOSS would play in policy development, in the area of sector development it is important and useful to have a picture of how these issues are unfolding nationally.
Using the results of the inaugural ACOSS Operational Issues Survey (initiated in 2009) and our mapping of sector development issues, ACOSS will identify priority areas to target in our sector development work. Priorities will be set based on the work already underway in the sector and where the gaps are, either in terms of a national focus or in areas that have been overlooked to date. Emerging priorities include industrial issues (pay equity and award modernisation) and the impact of consumer-directed funding on 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.