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 CommunityPlus+ West End Community House 

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Supporting the social services sector

 

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Capacity building

In 2021-22, QCOSS delivered capacity building activities that proactively equipped the sector with the skills and knowledge to do their work, but which also responded in a timely way to emerging issues and challenges within the sector. The capacity building program was informed by member engagement, along with research and policy development.

Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF)

The HSQF assesses and promotes improvement in the quality of human services for the Queensland Government. To help organisations implement quality systems and prepare for their quality assessment activities, QCOSS provides one-on-one and small group support, HSQF specific information and resources including an HSQF eTraining course and policy templates.

 

In 2021-22, QCOSS HSQF policy templates were downloaded more than 11,980 times, with a full review and update of the suite delivered between January - March 2022.  

 Quality  Collaboration 
Network (QCN)

The QCN meets monthly to support enhancing collaborative practice in the human service sector by identifying and discussing common issues and compliance matters, as well as sharing information, resources and learning. 

In 2021-22, the QCN launched a new “lunchbox sessions” series examining different quality and compliance challenges and ideas in a casual forum. The network grew to an average of more than 70 registrations per meeting (an increase of 29 per cent) in 2021-22, resulting in a diverse, engaged, strong membership base.

Community Door

The Community Door website provides news, resources and information for Queensland’s community sector, including a fortnightly newsletter.

 

More than 450 news items, updates, events and resources were published on the site during 2021-22. The website was viewed 861,011 times, including 78,185 unique visitors to COVID-19 resource pages. 

Energy and water

QCOSS provides policy makers with input into policy decisions and regulations related to essential energy and water services, and helps to educate the sector on issues and policy changes.

 

Advocacy work in 2021-22 focussed on regional water hardship and ensuring fair access, energy subsidy awareness, and for better energy hardship outcomes (with the Australian Energy Regulator).

Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW)

QCOSS partnered with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) to deliver tender writing workshops and webinars to support the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) initiative and build sector capacity more broadly to apply for funding.

 

During 2021-22, QCOSS delivered 25 webinars and in-person sessions across Queensland to 1,159 participants. Workshops were supported through development of new resources, including short videos and templates.

Data collaboration

The QCOSS report Using consumer data for continuous improvement examined the internal data handling systems of three community service organisations, finding the sector can establish and manage appropriate systems that measure outcomes and improve outcomes for service users.

 

The report recommended standardising data collection approaches, encouraging cross-organisational collaboration and pooling of resources, and building sector capacity to undertake data analysis.

Supporting human rights in Queensland

Human Rights, Housing and Homelessness

The Human Rights Housing and Homelessness project, delivered in partnership with the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy (DCHDE), was a first-of-its-kind program supporting the development of a human rights culture in Queensland – working to enhance the capability of frontline service providers to deliver services compatibly with the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) (“the Act”).


QCOSS engaged with “Human Rights Champions” - five frontline organisations across Queensland working in the housing and homelessness sector, as well as individual staff from DCHDE, to support them to put human rights principles into practice through specialised training and resource provision.

QCOSS Human Rights logo

More than 1,000 people interacted with the project throughout 2021-22.

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Project highlights

  • Four human rights-specific newsletters sent to more than 1,445 subscribers

  • One-on-one support provided to 17 people

  • Four capacity-building events held with 683 people registered

  • More than 25 training sessions (face-to-face and online)

Participants were regularly surveyed during the project to measure changes in their capacity to understand and apply the Act in their work. By the end of the project, participants average understanding of the Act had increased from 52 per cent to 75 per cent, a net increase of 23 per cent. 

The project culminated in a suite of guides, tools, posters, blogs, videos, webinars, and a case study library - created and made available through a new Human Rights resource hub on Community Door.

QCOSS Human Rights In Action logo

Our Human Rights in Action series continued during 2021-22 to improve the capacity of the social service sector to understand how they can use the Act in their work – whether it be in advocacy, service delivery or service design.

452 members registered for one or more of the live webinars examining:

 

  • Serious vilification and hate crimes 

  • Reforming regulation of restrictive practices 

  • Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 in the 21st century.

Sector readiness and response

COVID-19

QCOSS supported the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 information dissemination through regular news updates, delivering 24 COVID-19 newsletters and news alerts to the sector, and developing three case studies back to government documenting the vaccination campaigns of services. 


In November 2021, QCOSS worked with Clayton Utz to develop general legal advice to guide QCOSS member organisations through COVID-19 vaccination mandates and the balance of risks.
A webinar was held to support the paper on 30 November 2021, with 591 registered attendees. The paper was downloaded 549 times. 

Floods

The February 2022 flood emergency caused devastation on a massive scale across the Brisbane, Wide Bay-Burnett, and Western Downs regions. QCOSS supported the sector’s response, advocating for crisis response payments and funding for services.

 

In February, QCOSS and ACOSS called for the Federal Government to immediately increase the Disaster Recovery Payment to $3,000 per adult and $1,000 per child. QCOSS also provided timely information on disaster grants, housing supports, legal matters and recovery hubs. 

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L to R: Aimee McVeigh (QCOSS CEO), Attorney-General the Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP, Prof. Melissa Bull (QUT Centre for Justice)

 QUT Gardens Point, Brisbane 

Signature events:
In Conversation

QCOSS’ popular In Conversation event series gives the community service sector exclusive access to Queensland’s political leaders and policy makers.

 

In 2021-22, the event series was delivered in partnership with the QUT Centre For Justice, welcoming:  

Under Treasurer Leon Allen
Unpacking the Queensland budget processes
(16 March 2022)

Attorney-General, the Hon.
Shannon Fentiman MP

Queensland Women’s Strategy 2022-2027
(26 April 2022)

Director-General, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Dr Chris Sarra
Pathway to Treaty
(3 June 2022)

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Corporate communications

During 2021-22, there was significant increase in engagement with QCOSS’ corporate communications.

2,850 media mentions across Australia


2,084 Facebook followers
(90 per cent growth)


2,454 Linked In followers
(55 per cent growth)


2,242 Twitter followers
(6 per cent growth)


541 Instagram followers
(218 per cent growth)


2,917 Conduit newsletter recipients 


79,496 unique visitors to qcoss.org.au
had 109,407 sessions and 206,580 page views

State of the sector

QCOSS’ State of the Sector report found community organisations have experienced increasing pressure due to an increase in overall demand on services during COVID-19, and increases in the complexity of issues presenting.

 

Pressures faced by clients included housing shortages, increased levels of domestic and family violence, and financial wellbeing pressures.


The report was based on the results of the 2021 Australian Community Sector Survey, conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney, and a series of interviews held with leaders and frontline community service workers, supplemented with publicly available data.

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 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women's Lunch