Friday, 6 June 2008

Welfare services under strain: survey

The number of people accessing community services is on the rise, a new survey shows.

The Australian Community Sector Survey showed a 6.3 per cent increase in the number of people accessing services between 2005-06 and 2006-07.

The number of people turned away from the services also increased, by 24 per cent over the same period.

More than 700 service providers were interviewed by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) for the survey.

Housing and homeless services were the most stretched, turning away one in every seven people.

ACOSS acting CEO Gregor Macfie said community services are clearly under strain.

"Increased demand coupled with resource constraints leads to waiting lists, additional unpaid work by staff and volunteers and people being turned away from services," he said in a statement.

More than 80 per cent of agencies reported the cost of service delivery was not matched by funding levels.

And more than 60 per cent of agencies reported difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified staff.

No comments: