Report

2014 Australian community sector survey

8 Dec 2014
Description

This survey of almost 1,000 community service workers from around the country shows that 43% of services are simply unable to meet the needs of people coming to them for help.

Overview

The Australian Community Sector Survey (ACSS) was conducted at a time when changes to social policy were expected to significantly impact the lives of  people experiencing poverty in Australia. The release of the Federal Budget 2014-15 included a range of proposed changes to social security payments and social welfare and health services and supports. Prior to the Budget, the Government initiated a National Commission of Audit to recommend ways to  improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government expenditure in the face of ongoing fiscal challenges; and had instigated a review of the welfare system.

This year the ACSS has been redesigned to focus on the perspectives of sector staff about the experience of the people who use their services. Sector staff involved in the day to day delivery of services have a unique and valuable contribution to make to the community’s knowledge and understanding of people’s experience of poverty and what services and policy measures are needed to alleviate it. This survey captures the perspectives of almost 1,000 sector   participation of 2 million volunteers.

The ACSS is the only annual, national survey of the community sector, by the community sector. For over 15 years, it has functioned as a gauge of how the sector and the people it serves are faring. This year the ACSS has been redesigned to focus on the perspectives of sector staff about the experience of the people who use their services. Sector staff involved in the day to day delivery of services have a unique and valuable contribution to make to the community’s knowledge and understanding of people’s experience of poverty and what services and policy measures are needed to alleviate it. This survey captures the perspectives of almost 1,000 sector staff to show what life is like for people most at risk of poverty and disadvantage in our communities. In the wake of recent proposed and enacted changes to a range of social policies in Australia, and in line with ACOSS’ strategic focus on income support and employment policy and housing and homelessness, three groups of service users were chosen as the focus of the survey: young unemployed people, sole parents and older unemployed people. Their particular experiences are drawn out in this report.

ACOSS recognises that these groups are only a few of the many sections of the community that have been and will be affected by proposed social policy changes.

Publication Details
Published year only: 
2014
31
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