Community services sector
The Queensland community services sector has a wide range of organisations that operate across the state delivering vital support to Queenslanders experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage. This support includes child safety, disability and domestic and family violence services; housing and homelessness services; and services for young people, seniors, women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and people from linguistically and diverse backgrounds.
Community services play a key role in improving people’s wellbeing and life outcomes, promoting their active participation in the community, reducing disadvantage and boosting productivity.
The industry provides jobs for around 45,000 Queenslanders and is predicted to be a major source of jobs for the future.
What’s it like to work in the sector?
The social service sector by nature is complex, diverse and challenging, while also being energetic, creative and personally rewarding.
Vicky Meyer, from Integrated Family and Youth Service, says she would encourage anyone to work in the social service sector as it is a rewarding and valuable career path.
No matter what job or industry you have worked in, there is a job to match within the social service sector that can offer great career and personal development opportunities.
Whether you are a frontline worker, manager or the CEO, you should bring with you enthusiasm, courage, humility and a true concern for others.
With so many job opportunities and career pathways, working in the sector will be a unique experience for each person, but the benefit is always the same – helping to protect, strengthen and enable individuals and families to be the best that they can.
Who’s who in the sector
From the biggest government department to the smallest NGO, everyone has a part to play in Queensland’s social service sector.
The Queensland Government’s Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts is focused on thriving communities, delivering quality, targeted support to improve social wellbeing of people and places.
The organisational arrangement of the department gives an understanding of the various divisions which include: Community Services, Disability Services and Strategy, Policy and Legislation.
Find out more about the legislative safeguards for funding in the Community Services Act 2007, which is the only Act used by the department to safeguard funding.
Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services – responsible for adoption, child protection services, working with children checks, women’s policy, youth affairs, justice, and domestic and family violence.
Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts – responsible for housing and homelessness services
Department of Resources – responsible for Queensland’s natural resources – water, land, mineral and energy resources
Department of Premier and Cabinet – responsible for whole-of-government issues and reforms
Department of Justice and Attorney-General – responsible for administering justice and delivers services to ensure safe, fair and productive work environments which contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of Queenslanders.
Queensland Health – supports a number of research projects and reports into the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders
Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships – provides whole-of-government leadership in policy, coordination and monitoring, and the delivery of key services in this area
Department of Education – aims to deliver world-class education and training services for Queenslanders at every stage of their personal and professional development
Office of Fair Trading – deals with incorporation and other licensing and legislation issues.
Some of the primary statutory authorities involved in Queensland’s social service sector are:
Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) established as a result of the government’s response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (Carmody Inquiry).
Legal Aid Queensland provides legal help to financially disadvantaged people about criminal, family and civil law matters.
Office of the Public Guardian is designed to protect the rights of vulnerable Queenslanders.
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal is an independent tribunal which aims to resolve disputes in a way that is fair, just accessible, quick and inexpensive.
Queensland Mental Health Commission aims to find solutions and guide action to improve the systems that support people with, or at higher risk of, mental illness or substance misuse, their families, carers, support persons, and the Queensland community.
Queensland Human Rights Commission works to resolve discrimination and human rights complaints; deliver training to business, government and the community on discrimination and human rights; and promotes public discussion on human rights.
LawRight (formerly, the Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House) is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation coordinating the provision of pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups in Queensland.
Office of the Public Advocate is an independent statutory office which protects and promotes the rights of Queensland adults with impaired decision-making capacity through systems advocacy.
Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council advises the Minster for Multicultural Affairs on opportunities and barriers facing people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Peak, industry and community bodies
Peak bodies make an important contribution to the development of inclusive and innovative public policy. The close relationships that peaks hold with agencies engaged in direct service provision place them in a unique position to undertake research in relation to client and industry needs, best practice, and innovative models of service provision. Peaks have the skills, capacity and flexibility to conduct research which provides the knowledge base upon which to develop effective local solutions.
Community Legal Centres Queensland (CLCQ) provides support and advocacy for 33 independent, community-led community legal centres
Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) aims to increase the capacity and viability of community services organisations
CREATE Foundation is the national peak consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience
Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland is a statewide not for profit organisation giving older Queenslanders a voice on issues that affect them
Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ) is the peak body for ethnic communities and cultural diversity
Ending Violence Against Women Queensland (EVAWQ) is the peak body for sexual violence, women’s health and domestic and family violence services
Financial Counselling Australia is the peak body for financial counsellors in Australia
Queensland Foster and Kinship Care is an organisation for foster and kinship carers and the children and young people for whom they care
National Disability Services (NDS) is the Australian peak body for non-government disability services
PeakCare Queensland Inc is the peak body for child protection
Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak Ltd (QATSICPP) is a non-government peak body which aims to improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families
Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) is the peak body representing the Community Controlled Health Sector in Queensland
The Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) s an independent community based health promotion charity that undertakes HIV prevention work, and also tackles wider health issues for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex Queenslanders
Q Shelter aims to improve access to, and quality of, housing for vulnerable Queenslanders by creating a robust community housing system, supporting people experiencing homelessness, and creating stronger communities
Queensland Alliance for Mental Health isÂ the peak body representing the mental health sector
Queensland Youth Housing Coalition is a state-wide coalition of organisations and individuals advocating for and with disadvantaged, marginalised and homeless young people and supporting the services that work with them
Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) supports people from refugee backgrounds, including asylum seekers, who have survived torture or war related trauma to help them to recover from their experiences
Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) is a state wide organisation of, for and with people with disability connecting for collective and affirmative action
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is the state-wide peak body for individuals and organisations working in the social and community service sector
Volunteering Queensland is the state peak body solely dedicated to advancing volunteering for the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of Queensland
Youth Affairs Network Qld is the peak community youth affairs body.
Find local help through “Ask Izzy”
The Ask Izzy website is powered by Infoxchange’s national database, which includes more than 400,000 support services across Australia. Ask Izzy is free to use by the public, as well as professionals in the community services sector to connect people in need with support. Infoxchange regularly publishes data insights showing search trends.