The Australian Council of Social Service has released a report on the impact of COVID-19 for service demand during 2021. The report, ‘Meeting Demand In The Shadow Of The Delta Outbreak: Community Sector Experiences’ is based on data from the Australian Community Sector Survey commissioned by ACOSS and implemented by UNSW Sydney’s Social Policy Research Centre. Survey data was compiled from over 1800 responses, including over 500 from sector CEO’s and senior managers. The ACOSS report highlighted that around 80% of respondents identified an increase in service demand and complexity of support need, and only 6% were able to meet demand, down from 19% in 2020. Workforce challenges included high turnover rates and a sense of ‘COVID fatigue’ from staff, with retention being a significant issue across the sector.

This concern reflects input consistently provided to the HSSO by employers during our National Roadshow series of events in 2021. Staff retention was a reoccurring theme across the country and the need to consider strategies for responding to this from the point of onboarding.

The ACOSS report can be sourced here.