Working with QCOSS
Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) is Queensland’s peak body for the community service sector. For more than 60 years, we have brought people together to help solve the big social issues faced by communities in Queensland.
At QCOSS, we are driven by the vision of a Queensland that offers equality, opportunity and well-being for all in the community. Our projects reflect our ambitions, as we design and deliver bespoke community service solutions for issues faced by communities across Queensland.
Our leadership team bring a broad range of experience from within the sector, across government and community perspectives to deliver well-rounded project solutions that are positioned within the context of Queensland’s economic and political environment. They lead a team of subject matter experts who bring together skills across community consultation, research, policy development, co-design solutions, adult learning and project management.
As a community service sector leader, QCOSS offers frontline-focussed solutions delivered with insight and capability.
Research and Evaluation
QCOSS research and evaluation activities aim to improve the lives of people experiencing poverty and disadvantage. As the peak body for Queensland community services, QCOSS is central to strategic and operational discussions occurring across the sector.
The information collected through these community channels provides QCOSS with a unique insight into the issues being experienced by community organisations. This ongoing, sector specific data collection enhances the quality and depth of QCOSS’ research, allowing us to respond to the specific research questions and policy challenges posed by our clients.
QCOSS specialises in research and evaluation activities that impact Queenslander experiencing disadvantage, as well as the community services that provide them with support. Our areas of expertise include:
- research design
- quantitative or qualitative methodologies
- analysing data
- developing reports and recommendations
- program evaluations
- service improvement and re-design, including co-design.
Research conducted by QCOSS is considered in the context of our breadth of sector knowledge and engagement, delivering a product that is best placed for designing and implementing successful social policy strategies.
Consultation and Community Engagement
Sustainable change requires a strong focus on local needs, local solutions, and the unique attributes and experiences of local communities. To achieve positive outcomes and to empower Queensland communities, place-based approaches provide communities with the flexibility to make decisions in the best interests of the people living there.
QCOSS’ approach to place-based work is to help communities and community organisations find their own solutions through the facilitation of community engagement that draws on the experiences, knowledge and understanding of local strengths, needs, and opportunities. By empowering local communities, QCOSS builds hope and resilience across Queensland so that people and communities can influence decisions that impact their lives and communities.
Our approach to community engagement draws on a place-based cycle of integrated learning that involves growing an understanding of place, finding a shared vision, building a plan for change, enabling local collaborative governance, enacting the plan and reviewing and renewing. Community engagement allows us to work collaboratively through and with groups to achieve positive outcomes for Queensland communities. Our place-based approach to community engagement ensures people and communities can influence decisions that impact their lives and communities.
QCOSS’ work relies on local expertise to outline a future approach, build on the existing context, and respond to community needs. QCOSS delivers local engagement programs that work with individuals, services, key stakeholders and to progress a collective understanding of the best future actions. These approaches bring people together to consider the issues, understand the causes, set a clear vision, and map ideas for change.
QCOSS has broad expertise in facilitating adult learning and creating resources to support skills development and sector capacity growth. We offer expertise in both content and process, based on a proven history in creating nuanced programs, resources and spaces that are conducive to adult learning and meet the capacity needs of a sector we work with and serve.
QCOSS offers sector capacity through various streams, including:
- digital resources and learning materials, including video, website, templates and other written materials
- Human Services Quality Framework – both individualised and general information support
- Workshop facilitation
- Webinar delivery
- In person training sessions.
Some examples of our sector capacity building work include:
- Human Services Quality Framework – governance and audit
- Human Rights in Action webinar series
- COVID Learning Exchange webinar series
- Skilling Queenslanders for Work workshop and online resource delivery
- Human Rights | Housing and Homelessness Project.
Our experience incorporates delivery of large-scale community-based projects, including training community champions to host community conversations and modelling these facilitation skills through a two-year project hosting community forums in thirteen communities across Queensland.
We have also provided professional development and support to Indigenous early childhood education and care services across Queensland and contributed significantly to projects which address the workforce capacity and capability needs of the community service sector we work with and serve.
Human Rights Act Implementation
Queensland’s Human Rights Act 2019 came into force in the beginning of 2020. The Act has the potential to transform the lives of people experiencing disadvantage.
The Act applies to public entities in Queensland. Public entities include government agencies and non-government organisations performing a public function. Many QCOSS members and other community organisations are public entities if they receive funds from government to deliver public services.
Implementation of the Human Rights Act is in its infancy and QCOSS has taken a leadership role in driving this reform forward.
We have developed a series of training resources for the sector. We are working with the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy to improve implementation of the Act within the Department and their funded services. We are also working with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to deliver introductory sessions on the application of the Act to the delivery of projects through Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.
QCOSS is uniquely placed to deliver this work given our reach into the community sector, strong relationships with government and the Queensland Human Rights Commission, and strong internal expertise. QCOSS CEO, Aimee McVeigh, is a human rights lawyer who coordinated the campaign that led to the introduction of Queensland’s Human Rights Act.