Social service


25 Jul 2017

As Co-Design increasingly becomes the preferred model for service design and delivery in community services, potential participants – government agencies, service providers, service users and others – are looking for guidance on how to make it work. This toolkit is a response to that call.


28 Feb 2017

The Social Investment Unit provided the incoming Minister Responsible for Social Investment, Hon Amy Adams, with this Briefing to the Incoming Minister (BIM) in December 2016.

The BIM:

Outlines our work plan for the year Discusses why social investment matters Looks at what...


1 Nov 2016

This paper is a synthesis of findings from a three year research programme on “engaging with the ‘hard to reach’ to improve uptake of social and health service”. The researchers recognised that ‘hard to reach’ is a problematic way of thinking about potential clients of...



28 Sep 2016

Three months into the full implementation of the biggest reform the disability sector in Australia has ever seen, we spoke to four disability providers about their journey to introduce and leverage innovation strategies within their organisations. Having observed House with No Steps, Cerebral Palsy Alliance,...

Journal article

10 May 2016

Social services are those dedicated to enhancing people’s economic and social well-being by helping them lead more stable, healthy, self-sufficient and fulfilling lives. New Zealand’s social services – specifically, those provided, funded or otherwise supported by government – were the subject of a recent New...

Data portal

28 Apr 2016

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) was conducted from September 2014 to June 2015 with a sample of 11,178 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in private dwellings across Australia. The NATSISS is a six-yearly multidimensional social survey which provides...


17 Apr 2016

The discussion here is intended to serve as an introduction to the issues and policy options surrounding the patchwork economy, and the need for a new social contract. Much work remains on each of these questions, but the choices we make over the next few...

Journal article

24 Feb 2016

The growth of professional supervision in social work has been accompanied by complex attempts to theorise key elements of supervisory practice and highlight the need to further examine what constitutes supervisory support in current regulatory environments. Changes in human service organisations resulting from new public...


7 Oct 2015

This audit examined the approaches departments and agencies use to determine which services will be, or have already been, delivered online via digital devices and examined the ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of digital service delivery.

We found successes in digital service delivery. However,...


1 Oct 2015

The term ‘outcomes measurement’ refers to the measurement of the difference that an initiative, program or organisation makes to the lives of people they engage with. Outcomes measurement provides evidence on whether initiatives, programs and organisations are making a difference to the lives of people...


15 Sep 2015

In June 2014, the Productivity Commission was asked to look at ways to improve how government agencies commission and purchase social services. The final report was released in mid-September 2015. It makes several recommendations about how to make social services more responsive, client-focused, accountable and...


4 Aug 2015

The new VCOSS report, Walk alongside: Co-designing social initiatives with people experiencing vulnerabilities, invites people to challenge their thinking about social problems and the people affected by them, as well as the way government and the community sector works with them. It encourages us to...


19 Jun 2015

Overview: Queensland spends less on social services than the rest of Australia in per capita terms, despite being a large state with a growing population.

In the major areas of health and education, Queensland spends less per person than any other state except...


12 Jun 2015

Building on the value of Victoria’s community sector goes beyond the sector’s economic contribution. It discusses the value of all Victoria’s community sector organisations, including those operating with registered charitable status and those operating without. The paper also outlines broader aspects of the community...


30 Apr 2015

Overview: Place-based initiatives are programs designed and delivered with the intention of targeting a specific geographical location and particular population group in order to respond to complex social problems. Typically, they focus on areas and communities with entrenched disadvantage or deprivation.

This report...

Working paper

28 Apr 2015

Key Points

Social services help New Zealanders to live healthy, safe and fulfilling lives. They provide access to health services and education opportunities, and protect and supp ort the most vulnerable. The quality of these services and access to them are crucial to...

Journal article

30 Sep 2014

Introduces a study aimed to shed light on the settlement pathways and outcomes of newly arrived humanitarian migrants, focusing particularly on the factors that promote or hinder a successful transition.


Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of...


11 Sep 2014

Based on the 2014 SVA Oration, Michael Traill explores innovative ways to build an efficient capital market for social purpose – one smart and sustainable enough to solve today’s entrenched social problems.

Despite massive investment in the social sector, Australia has not made much...

Journal article

27 Aug 2014

This study aimed to identify the influence of social support on the health outcomes of Indigenous people within a Western Australian metropolitan community.


The factors driving the disparity in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians continue to be poorly understood....


30 Jun 2014


This paper is a ‘review of reviews’ undertaken into Australia’s welfare system between 1941 and 2013. It covers mainly those reviews most like ‘public inquiries’ i.e. time-limited policy reviews that typically involve external experts appointed by, but operating (to varying degrees) independently...



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