News & Events

As professionals in the community services sector, you are experts in the issues and challenges your organisation and community faces. The Emerging Issues Forum provides the opportunity for you to share your expertise with other organisations, whilst simultaneously learning from their experience.

You will also hear from sector experts studying the issues and challenges from a ‘whole-of-sector’ approach. This provides an invaluable forecast for the sector to navigate the recent and ongoing reforms.

For more information on the Emerging Issues Forum and to register, click here.

Data forms a critical part of the evidence you need in your organisation. It tells you:

  • The impact of your services
  • How to change your services to improve the impact they have
  • Who to target to attract to your organisation
  • How to make the case for more investment.

Data helps you streamline your services and make better use of limited resources, because numbers don’t lie. It also helps during quality evaluation time, and can prove a point of difference between you and any competitors.

The Big Data and Social Investment Forum on Tuesday next week is your chance to hear international best practice in the community agency use of data. You will also find out what national and WA developments on data mean for you and what opportunities they present.

The Forum will be followed on the 5 April 2017 with a Masterclass from the leader of the world renowned Auckland Family 100 Project, Dame Diane Robertson. She will be providing detailed advice on turning the stories of your clients into data you can use every day.

To register onto this event, please click here.

Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability

Working holistically with individuals, families and communities, social workers are passionate advocates for a socially-just Australia.  Along with us they continue to strive to deliver services that are effective and enable individuals to change and develop their capabilities to contribute to the success of our communities in Western Australia. Social workers are agents of change and the practical supporters who represent members of our community that are at risk of being marginalised and devalued in our society.

Celebration of World Social Work Day in WA is hosted by the AASW(WA) Eco-social work Practice Group at the Earthwise Centre, Subiaco, and breakfast will be provided whilst a panel of presenters will explore the place of social work in promoting community and environmental social work. Elder, Aunty Doolan Leisha Eatts, will Welcome participants to Country.

Find more information at WA Branch World Social Work Day Breakfast.

Are you planning a project or event that may require grant support? Looking for help so your group can deliver important work in the community? Do you have a great idea that needs further development? Or are you just keen to find out a bit more information about Lotterywest grants?

Join our grants team to hear more about how we can support your organisation, as well as some our ideas and advice on applying for a grant. This is a great opportunity to learn about the types of projects that we can support you with, as well as any questions you may have.

Session 2

Date: Thursday, 4 May 2017

Time: 6.00pm - 8.00pm

Venue: Lotterywest HQ, Level 2, 38 Station Street, Subiaco

RVSP: Email via the address here by Thursday, 27 April 2017

Places are limited to 100 people, book now to avoid missing out.

Big Data = Big Brother!?

‘Big Data’ is getting a bad name!

Recent media coverage on complications with Centrelink data can conjure up images of big brother. The recent automated debt recovery system failure has shown us how collecting and using data can go so wrong. The impact of this on our most vulnerable and disadvantaged has been significant. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Collecting and using data can bring great benefits to your organisation and the community services sector as a whole.

Otherwise known as “Big Data”, linking de-identified data from multiple sources can provide researchers with powerful insights into the causes of all kinds of adverse outcomes. When we make the connection between those insights and what we know about costs of service provision we can build a robust case for investment in prevention and early intervention.

Patterns identified from data collected from service users can also allow you to create services tackling the real issues facing your clients, giving you an edge over your competitors.

Understanding and effectively using the data we collect as a normal part of our work can provide us with the tools we need to tell our story as providers; providing a point of difference in a market driven economy and allowing us to better demonstrate the outcomes of our services. WACOSS is hosting the Big Data and Social Investment Forum on 4 April 2017, exploring capturing and using Big Data here in WA.

Follow the link to register for this event. The first 20 members to sign up for this event will receive a free ticket to the Masterclass valued at $100.

Women & Superannuation

Understanding and maximising your super

A free workshop for women working in not-for-profit services.

In Australia women of all ages are likely to have significantly less superannuation than men. This means that women are less likely than men to live comfortably when they retire.

There are steps you can take at any age or stage to maximise your super and it’s not as difficult as it might seem.
You are invited to a FREE learning session on superannuation for women in the not-for-profit sector, covering:

• how to understand your super statement
• how to reduce the fees you pay
• how to get the best from your super so you can make a difference to your future income.

Facilitators Lacey Filipich and Fran White from Money School are independent educators – that means they do not promote or receive commission from any particular fund or super product.

There will be an opportunity during the session to apply what you’ve learned – such as searching for lost super and reading your own super statement, so feel free to bring documentation along.

Date: Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Time: 5–6pm
Venue: 140 William Street, Perth (full details and a map will be provided)

RSVP: This session is free but bookings are essential and places are limited.

If you are based regionally and would like to attend, please contact Elaine Dowd via email or phone (08) 6551 8615 to discuss options. 


Good practice and measuring settlement outcomes

Young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds have enormous potential, but face a range of particular challenges. Recognising this, MYAN Australia launched the National Youth Settlement Framework in 2016 to facilitate a targeted approach to supporting and measuring good practice with young people in the settlement context.

This webinar will discuss the implementation of the Framework, and provide examples of community based initiatives and practical strategies for supporting young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Recent findings from Building a New Life in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants will also be presented.

A free webinar presented by Nadine Liddy, Heather Stewart and John De Maio
Thursday, 23 March 2017, 1:30 - 2:30pm AEDT. Find your time zone.

Register directly via this link.

Further information is available on the CFCA website.

Understanding the attitudes, beliefs and abusive actions that keeps violence silent in families and communities

SPSW is pleased to present this important workshop relevant for all human service workers who work with families experiencing domestic violence. This workshop provides an opportunity to understand the social and historical landscape that contributes to attitudes and actions that support violence and abuse. Material relevant to both victim and perpetrator will be explored as well as the patterns of coercive control that identify abusive and controlling behaviours.

The workshop will be presented by Tori Cooke who is well known throughout the sector as a leader in the field of Family Violence. Tori has worked in women’s refuges, courts, child protection and policy contexts over 16 years. She is the Manager, Justice and Family Services for Ruah Community Services managing women’s services and providing consultation and advice about this complex and challenging work.

This workshop is aimed at those who would like to acquire greater understanding of family violence and practical knowledge as well as strategies, and skills to assist those who are victims and ways of challenging and supporting perpetrators to change.  The workshop will focus on a unique practice oriented model developed by Tori based on her practice experience and policy experience she has used when working with family and domestic violence.

By the end of this workshop, participants will develop:

  • an enriched understanding of the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that inform perpetrator patterns of coercive control over a family and community.
  • some new ways of thinking about how women, children and some men manage and resist abuse in their lives.
  • further practice understanding, skills and interventions that will meaningfully assist when working with victims and perpetrators of family and domestic violence.

Please see accompanying form to register early to prevent disappointment as SPSW workshops are generally over subscribed.

If you would like this workshop contextualized and run exclusively for your agency, please contact Dr. Barbara Meddin

For the accompanying flier, click here.

For the registration form, click here.

Working to a set of clear standards under an ethical code is essential in the community services sector, no matter the service field. After extensive consultation, the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) has launched the revised Code of ethics and new Practice guidelines that lay down the standards expected of professionals and needed for a nationally skilled workforce.

The guidelines include indicators and are matched with a self-assessment tool designed for practitioners to identify their skill gaps and training needs. However, it is equally important service providers review the Code and Guidelines to ensure their policies do not direct workers to act in conflict with the professional framework.

Download the resources here.

This Masterclass will bring the lessons of NZ’s 100 Families Project to WA’s community services sector, providing you with practical ways to understand the realities of life for your clients and use their stories to transform the services and support you provide.

Normally $100 for WACOSS Members, we are making this opportunity available free to all members who register for the full-day Forum on 4 April. The Masterclass is on Wednesday 5 April and runs from 1.30-4.30pm.

The Forum

As well as Dianne Robertson talking about the NZ Data Futures Partnership, the Forum will include speakers on the Commonwealth’s Priority Investment Approach; the use of data in the COAG Protecting Australia’s Children agenda, progress on data reform in WA, examples of large scale WA data matching and analysis projects, and data-driven work at the local community agency level.

Don’t miss out – sign up now!

The Community Sector Leaders Forum on Emerging Issues is the WA Council of Social Service's premier annual strategic forum. It provides analysis of the economic, political and social trends within our community, and changes to the sector's funding and operating environment, to inform the strategic service planning needs of community service providers into the future. The forum will be an invaluable forecast for the sector to navigate the post-election landscape.

WACOSS is currently inviting comment from the sector on the emerging and priority issues that are impacting on disadvantaged and vulnerable Western Australians and the services that support them. If there are particular issues you feel are an emerging concern that you'd like to bring to our attention we'd welcome your insights.

Some questions to consider may be:
• What impact will the change of government have on the community and how the community services sector operates?
• What challenges is your organisation facing?
• Are you seeing an increasing need for services from any particular disadvantaged group or cohorts?
• Is there a particular disadvantaged or at risk group where there is a real gap in and need for services?
• What are some positive trends in service innovation and delivering better life outcomes?

Here is a summary of the key issues identified at last year's forum. To remind yourself of previous Emerging Issues Forums please visit the Emerging Issues page on the WACOSS website.

The 2017 forum is to be held on Monday 3 April. For full details or to register, click here.

To share your insights for this year’s Emerging Issues Forum, send us an email here.

We would like to extend congratulations to the winners of the Curtin University, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work Awards.

Stuart Reid, A/Director of Sector Services and Development, presented Daisy De Groot the award for Highest Mark in Social Policy in Practice, and Lani East the award for Highest Mark for Working in Human Service Organisations.

Both awards were sponsored by WACOSS with Daisy and Lani also receiving a training voucher for our training courses.

We are proud to sponsor these awards, continuing our commitment to developing a high quality workforce in the community services sector.

(Lani East receiving her award)

(Daisy De Groot receiving her award)