COVID-19 information for service providers
The Queensland Chief Health Officer and the Director General – Health are working with lead agencies for response and recovery, including Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors, which chairs the Human and Social Recovery Committee.
To support funded service providers and foster and kinship carers the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19. Updated Information for service providers includes answers to questions such as what does the relaxation of restrictions mean for face-to-face delivery of services and how will eased restrictions affect your organisation’s business.
If your organisation has any further questions or issues due to the impacts of COVID-19 contact your contract manager promptly.
Easing restrictions – implications for community services
The Queensland Government has released its Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions: A step-down approach to COVID-19. As restrictions ease, it remains critical that we continue to follow the advice of health professionals in maintaining social distancing and practising good hygiene.
The latest public health directions can be found on the Queensland Health website.
The Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website includes information to assist in developing a workplace health and safety plan to demonstrate how your organisation is COVID Safe.
Our Community and the Institute of Community Directors have created a guide to creating a COVID-19-safe workplace.
Guidance on using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Queensland Health has provided guidance on personal protective equipment in residential aged care and disability care accommodation services. From 25 September 2020 the entire state is on ‘low risk’ for PPE decision-making. PPE utilisation should not change until further notice. This is important to preserve stock of critical supplies.
Queensland Health’s PPE information guide for clinicians provides further information on the use of PPE in Queensland with regards to COVID-19 and is based on national and international guidelines.
The Australian Government Department of Health’s new video, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wearing personal protective equipment for disability workers, explains how and when disability support workers should use PPE.
Services Australia resources for community groups
Services Australia has a range of resources for community groups to help people in your community who are affected by COVID-19. You can download a COVID-19 eKit with resources on how Services Australia is supporting people including an easy read guide, information on income support payments and a family and domestic violence checklist. There is also a range of audio content, including files in other languages, which you can access on the Services Australia playlist on the SoundCloud website.
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission extends COVID-19 compliance arrangements
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has extended COVID-19 compliance arrangements to 31 December 2020. Under these arrangements, the ACNC will not investigate certain breaches of the Governance Standards and the External Conduct Standards that occur from 25 March until 31 December 2020. Significant breaches may still be investigated.
For more detail, visit the ACNC’s webpage on compliance during COVID-19.
Under the original arrangements, before 18 September 2020, the ACNC would not take action on breaches of Governance Standard 5 (which includes the duty to ensure that the financial affairs of the charity are managed responsibly) on the condition that charity informed its members and the ACNC if it was trading while insolvent.
This requirement has now been removed and replaced with a statement that reminds charities they need to follow relevant legislation. Justice Connect has a summary of these requirements on its COVID-19-governance webpage.