The ACOSS Australian community sector survey 2013 findings use data from a survey conducted earlier this year that cover the period of the financial year 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. More than 530 organisations took part in the survey, which paints a damning picture of a community service sector struggling to cope with ever-increasing demands.
Youth services were listed among the top three categories that were unable to meet demand among its own client group, and with the second-highest turn-away rate of 17% across all groups surveyed. The section on youth services in this report (see p. 36 of the report) draws on the results of the recent Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC) survey of youth workers, which listed the issues of most concern to young people as: education, mental health, behaviour management, income support, drugs, housing, and alcohol issues. (See the item about the AYAC survey under ‘Youth work’ in this issue of YFX.)
Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine, ACOSS Deputy CEO, said that urgent action was needed to ‘address these issues, along with a plan to increase the abysmally low income support allowances payments like Newstart’.
Talking on the ABC’s The World Today program, Ray Reodica, Acting Executive Director of AYAC, said that young people on Youth Allowance are having to live on $29 a day ‘so these are the young people who are going to services to try and get that additional support and help them through this situation’.
Read more from ACOSS: http://acoss.org.au/media/release/australias_community_services_unable_to_meet_growing_demand and download the report: http://acoss.org.au/papers/australian_community_sector_survey_20131 And see or listen to The World Today at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-01/welfare-providers-unable-to-meet-growing-demand/4791734?section=business
(Source: Youth Field Xpress Ju;y 2013)