A community services sector is an integral part of our country's civil society and serves a hugely important role for people in need and their families. This includes aged care, disability services, allied health, and housing services that are accessible and affordable to all Australians.
This means adequate and targeted funding, a professional and flexible workforce, and quality services available where they are needed. This is achieved through comprehensive planning and cooperative delivery that is focused on quality, not just cost.
Most Australians will, at some stage, need to engage with the community services sector. If not as a client, then as the parent or child of a client. Care services will increasingly be focused on enabling people to stay in their homes; clients need to be consulted to ensure services meet their needs.
Achieving a sustainable future for the care industry will depend on development of an innovative and responsive industry. Raising the profile of the sector as a potential employer is both one of the greatest challenges and an opportunity.
Conditions and career pathways must reflect the importance of care to community wellbeing.
Australia can afford a strong social-economic framework that supports individuals, families and communities, Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia, said on Friday.
“The Australian economy is in good shape and, as a nation, we can afford to provide the services that matter – for all, and for the most vulnerable,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said, responding to the Federal Government’s Economic Statement released earlier today.
UnitingCare Australia has called on all political parties to commit to a just and fair society, National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds said today, launching UnitingCare Australia’s Election Statement 2013.
“We can build a strong social-economic framework that supports people’s participation in education, training, employment and community life,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said. “Good social policy is good economics, and good politics.”
Vulnerable people and communities deserve attention and investment well beyond any campaign period, parliamentary term or budget cycle, UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds says.
“We can afford a decent society where no one is left behind. That is the Australia we all seek,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said in Canberra today.
As the community considers its contribution to the Government’s Commission of Audit, and as the Government considers its legislative and policy agenda, it’s important to take the time to think about what we cherish, Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia, said.
“Our economy is strong compared to the rest of the world. We can afford to restore our tax to GDP ratio to fund the things that matter. Providing health, education and social services will require collecting more tax. Lifting tax as a share of GDP to at least the 23.7% level of 2007, up from levels around 20% in 2010-11, would enable us to pay for what we value,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
The findings of today’s ANUpoll on public priorities for Government spending are welcome, and are particularly timely in the lead up to the May budget, UnitingCare Australia National Director Lin Hatfield Dodds says.
“Australians want to see increased Government spending on social services, the ANUpoll shows. And we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is. People don’t want tax cuts at the expense of social services,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
UnitingCare Australia is pleased to see priority going to where need is greatest in the Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on Early Childhood Care and Learning.
“Introducing a simple funding system in which subsidies are means-tested and based on the cost of providing a service rather than chasing fees charged is a positive direction for the system to head”, said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.
The Government's announcement of $54.4 million in funding that will go over four years to a new initiative to support people with severe symptoms of dementia in residential care facilities is very good news," said Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.
"Our agencies provide the largest share of aged care in the country and we are consistently hearing that the challenges of caring for people with dementia are growing. Additional support to assist residential care providers in meeting this challenge is most welcome."