CSIA reflects on the year that was… Featured Image

CSIA reflects on the year that was…

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we did business this year. CSIA has been reflective in our practices and is finding ways to take our learnings into the future.

Our Chair David Swain reflects on the year and the challenges faced by Industry, the Board and CSIA in his report. Together we have achieved so much towards advancing the Community Service Industry through everything we face.

Read David’s full Chair’s Report

CEO Belinda Drew’s Report: This has been a year like no other. Our adaptability and resilience was tested in ways we could never have anticipated 12 months ago. I want to reflect on the year that was and focus on celebrating the successes of 2020.

Read Belinda’s full message

The year that was and its challenges…

The Community Services Industry has shown their resilience, strength and ability to meet challenges head on. At the centre of everything was the people with lived experience – the service users. We have learnt a lot that we will take into the years ahead.

Here at CSIA we have been focussed on advancing Industry through this time by doing business better.

Meeting the pandemic head on

As the COVID-19 situation evolved, CSIA worked closely with Industry and Government to support the business of continuing to deliver services to users. We did this through:

  • Convening the COVID-19 Community Services Taskforce. This group of representatives from across 26 organisations meet weekly to discuss the emerging challenges, share learnings and resources and to work together to develop responses. The key insights were shared with Government to shape their community services response.
  • Developing a suite of resources to support organisation to accelerate and prepare as the pandemic evolved, in particularly around business continuity and scenario planning.
  • Collaborations across Industry to deliver infection control and management resources, particularly around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Sourcing and sharing guidelines around social distancing for organisations to implement to meet COVID-19 requirements.
  • Collating useful resources around the mental health and wellbeing of staff and organisations to support Industry during this challenging time.
  • Being asked to provide Industry advice to a range of government agencies and other committees to shape the responses to COVID-19.
  • Developing a Community Recovery Framework for Industry.
  • Delivering new initiatives to meet the big challenges facing Industry, including the Community Services Job Match.
  • Participating in key decision making groups including:
    • Residential Aged Care COVID-19 Working Group convened by Queensland Health
    • Human and Social Recovery Committee
    • State Human and Social Recovery Group
  • CSIA, in collaboration with PeakCare, service providers, The Services Union, the Department of Child Safety, Youth & Women and the Fair Work Commission, have developed an emergency framework to meet the challenges around workforce due to COVID-19.

Our Impact across the Program of Works

Throughout the pandemic, CSIA continued to deliver a range of projects across the program of works. The key highlights include:

Policy Influence

In addition to the work we delivered towards the Community Services Industry’s response to COVID-19 we focused on  This year we:

  • Developed the Workforce Position Paper
  • Delivered the COVID-19 Industry Response and Recovery Framework
  • Delivered three online Across the Tasman events to more than 300 participants. Speakers were invited from across New Zealand and Australia to share insights, learnings and participate in discussions around three key topics:
    • Service Adaptation and Design
    • Employment and Inclusive Growth
    • Social Investment and Commissioning

Workforce for the Future

A key focus this year has been on Industry’s workforce – the overall attraction and retention of quality workers as well as meeting surge workforce requirements.

This year, CSIA workforce projects include:

WorkAbility Queensland is a consortium with National Disability Services and Queensland Council of Social Services. CSIA has worked collaboratively to deliver a range of projects as well as:

  • Delivered by The Growing Space on behalf of WorkAbility and funded by DESBT. Received more than 50 EOI’s from 28 organisations and three sole trader

Boosting the Local Care Workforce

CSIA employs four Queensland Regional Coordinators and one of the Victorian Regional Coordinator.

Through our part in the program we have delivered:

  • Direct engagement with more than 1000 organisations on a range of workforce and market issues
  • 93 successful organisations in the second round of the Transition Assistance Funding
  • A series of five events across Queensland around workforce with more than 390 NDIS service provider participants.

Industry Skills Advisor Program

In the past 12 months, CSIA has:

  • Provided government with four formal advice reports with Industry consultation, advice and feedback, where we consulted:
  • 39 Industry stakeholders on four Aged Services Industry Reference Committee discussion papers on Aged Care.  We also provided four submissions to SkillsIQ.
  • five Industry stakeholders on Disability Support Industry Reference Committee discussion papers around training delivery and quality for Disability support qualifications.  We provided a written submission to SkillsIQ
  • 22 Industry stakeholders on Children’s Education and Care Training Package Development. CSIA provided a written submission to SkillsIQ
  • seven stakeholders on draft one of the new qualifications:  Certificate III in Community Safety Patrol. We provided written submission to SkillsIQ
  • Provided advice to the government on VET quality with the review of 10 applications from RTOs to be funded for training delivery in QLD.  Consulted 30 industry stakeholders in this process.
  • Provided advice on the Education Reference Committee’s four proposed skill sets across the education sector.
  • Delivered six reports to government on the impacts of COVID-19 on Community Services Industry. The topics included: economic, regional and workforce impacts, as well as future skilling needs opportunities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we provided advice and support to a range of requests to support the government’s and Industry’s response to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

Industry Development and Excellence

In addition to the extensive COVID-19 response work CSIA delivered, we continued our focus on system-level responses and the development of resources and tools for Industry.

This year we:

  • Inclusion Ready Project continued with a social media campaign (check final report), translated resources and
  • The Resilience Project moved into a new phase and moved the face to face activities online. Four events were delivered to more than 400 participants. A range of experienced speakers and people with lived experience spoke to key areas around Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • A Facilitators guide was delivered, just in time for the pandemic! This disaster recovery tool set which included downloadable scenario planning tools.
  • CSIA collaborated with Boosting the Local Care Workforce team to deliver two Disaster and Pandemic Ready online events to their network across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. More than 150 participants joined these informative and engaging events.
  • This year CSIA focused on advancing Industry through doing business better by Building Financial Resilience. Seven events were held during the year, two face-to-face and the rest online, to more than 384 participants wanting to build their financial understanding. All events were recorded and will be distributed with the recordings of the events.
  • A focus on recovery with a project funded by the state Government. CSIA partnered with five community services across the state to deliver focus groups and collate case studies. The information gathered has been used to develop recovery tools to support organisations and their communities in their recovery.

Commissioning for Outcomes

The 2018 Commissioning for Outcomes: An Industry-led Approach report has given CSIA and Industry a common language and framework to support changes to investment approaches across community services. Through this program of work, we are exploring how the Industry can influence a commissioning approach focused on achieving better outcomes for people. The System Excellence Framework and roadmap in the report provides a guiding process that can be used in all areas of Industry.

In 2019, we began working on demonstration projects in the Intensive Foster Care Program, Specialist Homelessness Services Program and place-based initiatives. The next phase of work involves continuing our partnership with Industry and working with governments to test the framework in the real word.

Specialist Homelessness Services program: This year we delivered on these projects and released summaries and roadmaps across the demonstration projects: