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NCOSS provides independent and informed policy development, advice and review and plays a key coordination and leadership role for the non government social and community services sector in New South Wales.

NCOSS works with our members, the sector, the NSW Government and its departments and other relevant agencies on current and emerging (and ongoing) social, systemic and operational issues.

Coordination, Advice and Information

NCOSS provides independent and responsive advice and information to the sector, Government, academics, professional groups, the public and other relevant agencies. NCOSS convenes forums and advocacy groups, to coordinate responses to issues of concern and significance to the sector and to inform the sector of emerging issues and concerns. These include:

  • FONGA (Forum of Non-Government Agencies)
  • NCOSS Regional Forum (representing peak groups from regional NSW)
  • NCOSS Sector Development Forum
  • NSW Children’s Services Forum
  • NCOSS Health Policy Advice Group
  • NCOSS Transport Policy Advice Group
  • NSW Homelessness Community Alliance
  • NSW Disability Network Forum
  • Assistive Technology Community Alliance of NSW

NCOSS also provides secretariat support to the NSW Oral Health Alliance.

We publish regular sector specific eBulletins, which provide up to date information on issues, including news, research, inquiries, events and resources. In addition we produce a wide range of publications and resources aimed at supporting and improving organisational workforce development.

NCOSS provides a range of industry services for the sector, such as NCOSS Community Cover, an insurance scheme developed specifically for the non-government sector.



NCOSS represents, and advocates for, the interests of disadvantaged people and the non government social and community services sector to the New South Wales Government and other organisations. We also work with the COSSs in each State and territory and ACOSS to advocate on issues at the national level. This work includes presenting a major Pre-Budget submission to the Government and coordinating the sector response to the Budget once handed down, responding to Government inquiries and policy changes, meeting with Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Advisors and key Bureaucrats, writing submissions and holding conferences on significant issues such as the NSW State Plan.

NCOSS also works with other Peak NGOs and the Human and Justice Services CEO group on the implementation and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the Working Together for NSW Agreement between the NSW Government and the non government sector.

While NCOSS sets out to work harmoniously with government, there are times when our advocacy may be at odds with Government positions or policy. These activities are a reflection of the independence and expertise of the NGO sector, and an essential element of democratic process and the development of good public policy.

NCOSS informs and responds to the media around major policy issues that impact on disadvantaged people and the sector.

NCOSS staff and Board members are appointed to a range of Ministerial Advisory Committees, departmental committees and taskforces.

NCOSS staff can be contacted about any issue relating to low income and disadvantaged people or the NGO sector.

Policy Development

NCOSS helps shape the public policy agenda both by responding to government proposals and by initiating policy projects that take up the concerns of the community sector and disadvantaged people. NCOSS also develops policy and position papers in response to issues as they emerge. Examples of these can be found in our Resources section.

NCOSS aims to undertake effective policy development; analysis and research on social and industry policy issues and develop policy positions that reflect the views of the community sector and disadvantaged people and groups. Our policy areas include:

  • Aboriginal issues
  • Carers
  • Child Protection
  • Children and Young People
  • Community Development
  • Disability
  • Domestic Violence
  • Education and Training 
    - Preschools and Childcare
  • Employment
  • Environment
  • Families
  • Funding Issues
  • Good Governance
  • Government Social Performance Reporting and Social Sustainability
  • Health
  • Homelessness
  • Housing
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Inter-Governmental Relations
  • Law and Justice
    - Juvenile Justice
    - Human Rights
    - Women in Prison
  • NSW State Budgets
  • NSW State Plan
  • Planning and Infrastructure
  • Poverty
    - Concessions and rebates
    - Emergency Relief
    - Utility Hardship Relief
    - Impact of gambling
  • Privacy
  • Rural, Remote and Regional Issues
  • SACS Award
  • Taxation
  • Transport

For documents and information relating to these policy areas please refer to Resources, Hot Issues, Featured Items and Media Releases.


NCOSS consults broadly on issues of concern (policy, systemic and operational) with the sector to ensure that the views of member organisations, other agencies and disadvantaged individuals are represented in our advice, activities and initiatives.

Building Sector Capacity

NCOSS is committed to building the capacity and sustainability of the sector. We aim to proactively enable and resource the development of a high quality and effective community sector through industry services, advocacy, research and policy development.

Promoting Partnerships and Collaboration

NCOSS facilitates and promotes cooperative and collaborative partnerships in order to facilitate the ongoing development of the sector and to ensure a more effective, equitable and integrated service system for disadvantaged people.

Providing Leadership and Innovation

NCOSS provides leadership and professional advice and guidance on relevant sectoral management and service system reforms and social policy issues and impacts.

NCOSS advocates for innovative models and approaches that are best practice and that improve and meet outcomes for the sector and disadvantaged people.

NCOSS aims to assist the sector respond to the rapidly changing and difficult economic, social and political environment.

NCOSS has also formed effective alliances beyond the community sector involving business, academic, environmental and trade union interests.