NCOSS has made a submission to the NSW Women's Economic Opportunities Review.
The social services sector is an essential industry, anchored by a female workforce. In NSW it is a major employer of women with three out of four employees in the sector being female.
Our submission sets out how current circumstances have brought greater recognition to the social service sector’s essential role and focused attention on the benefits of Government and the sector partnering together to keep vulnerable members of the community safe and supported.
The time is right to build on this momentum and transform the social services sector – by replacing out-dated, sexist notions with strong stewardship, a strategic approach and modernised, fairer arrangements that will better support it and its predominantly female workforce to flourish. These include:
- Measures to deliver better pay, appropriate entitlements and a safe, supportive workplace
- Adequate funding, backed by a transparent evidence-based funding model, to respond to rising demand and growing administration/management requirements
- Longer-term, fairer contracts that support program continuity and career progression
- Embedding the sector’s role in the emergency management system
- A strategic approach to leadership, career pathways and workforce development.
We also highlight how investing in social housing aids economic participation for disadvantaged households, eases the burden on the social services system and contributes to economic recovery across the state.