Harnessing the power of the social services sector and the community
Community Sector Town Hall, Rockhampton
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Networks and influence
QCOSS’ policy networks identify shared challenges and collaboratively generate solutions across the social service sector, identifying emerging issues, advocacy priorities and research objectives. One new network was launched during 2021-22:
Community Services CEO Network
This network brings together community sector leaders to collaboratively identify issues impacting the wider sector and provide an opportunity to shape solutions, with a focus on structural reform. The network met four times in 2021-22.
QCOSS successfully advocated on behalf of the network on:
A significant viability issue was identified by a member organisation that supports children after they were unable to secure insurance against physical and sexual abuse. Following advocacy led by our members, Peakcare and QCOSS, the Queensland Government indemnified community organisations while a longer-term solution is developed.
In June 2022, the network identified a shortfall in government contracts, with funding failing to meet inflation in year-on-year budgeting. Following QCOSS advocacy, Queensland Treasurer, the Hon. Cameron Dick MP, publicly committed to engage with QCOSS to develop a solution. As part of this work, QCOSS commissioned the University of Western Australia to investigate an appropriate indexation model for social services in Queensland.
Research and Evaluation Network (new)
This network provides an opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing on research and evaluation methods. Over the year, guest speakers present on their own organisational data collection and service evaluation systems, sharing the challenges they experienced and how these were overcome.
The network met for the first time on
18 August 2021 and met three times across the year.
Quality Collaboration Network (QCN)
The QCN provides an opportunity to share experiences, information and resources on audit and quality matters, as well as identify common issues across the sector to inform system updates to government.
It provides valuable feedback to the Queensland Government on the HSQF review process.
The network met 10 times in 2021-22.
Women's Equality Network
This network responds to and provides advice on matters relating to women’s equality.
The network supported the development of QCOSS’ Gender impact analysis of the Queensland Budget 2021-2022 and related 2022 Queensland Budget Submission to formalise gender responsive budgeting in state policymaking. It also supported QCOSS submission to the Queensland Women’s Strategy development.
The network met four times in 2021-22.
Queensland Peaks Network
Featuring 22 community sector peak bodies with a presence in Queensland, this network enables peaks to collaboratively identify issues impacting the wider sector and provide an opportunity to share perspectives.
In September 2021 the network collectively engaged with the Department of Premier and Cabinet to encourage the Queensland Government to apply a human rights framework to future social policy goals for the state.
Essential Services Consultative Group (ESCG)
The ESCG provides a channel for community organisations to influence energy policy processes and contribute to government policy on key consumer reforms.
The network met five times in 2021-22.
Partnering to prosper
Last year, QCOSS supported 27 letters and submissions to government led by other organisations.
National COSS network
In 2021-22, QCOSS worked closely with the national COSS network to progress issues including sector sustainability, affordable and public housing, indexation, the importance of adequate income support payments, and making energy and water affordable.
Australian Community Sector Survey
The ACOSS-led Australian Community Sector Survey is the longest running survey of the community sector by the community sector. QCOSS referred 1,033 people to last year’s survey with more than 700 complete responses recorded.
Cost of living
QCOSS continued to advocate for substantial increases to the JobSeeker payment and other income support payments through direct advocacy to government, media and other communications activity.
Data Collaborative Demonstration Project
In 2021-22, QCOSS partnered with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to begin exploring how community service organisations can better collaborate through shared data. Organisations were recruited in March 2022, with work to commence during the 2022-23 financial year.
A thriving membership
Throughout 2021-22, we have focused on deepening our engagement with our members and responding to their needs through our program of work, including across advocacy, research, policy development and capacity building activities.
A member survey undertaken in February 2022 showed that, overall, members appreciate QCOSS for its advocacy and for the information we provide; the value of being part of a larger organisation that represents them to the government; and QCOSS’ broad view on social issues, even when their organisation may have a narrower operational focus.
The survey showed a clear interest from members to be more engaged in our campaigns, events, research and advocacy.
We work to share relevant and timely information with members, create meaningful capacity building opportunities, engagement networks, and to bring our membership community together.
In 2021-22, we sent
32,972 copies of our Conduit newsletter
and brought together
more than 5,500 people through our events.
Showcasing our Frontline Heroes
Workers on the frontline of community services across Queensland are the heart of our sector.
In 2021-22, we modernised and refreshed our successful Member Profiles into a new and engaging format for social media.
More than 20 profiles were featured during 2021-22.