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    About the sector

    The Community Service Sector  in WA

    Community service organisations themselves can include group providing generalist services and those working in service specific areas such as aged care, mental health and disability.

    WACOSS defines a community or 'social service' as those providing one or more of the following service types:
    Health,   Community Services & Development,   Disability,   Employment & Training, Aged & Community Care
    Family, Children & Youth Services, Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health, Aboriginal, Culturally & Linguistically Diverse, Justice,  Housing, Generalist Welfare, Advocacy, Women


    Sector Demographics and Data

    It is  difficult to get a breakdown of the exact number, size and scope of organisations that make up the not for profit community service sector and more particularly WA specific data.

    It is estimated that the number of organisation in WA that fall within this definition is between 550 and 600.  This number may be as high as 650 if we include organisations with more than one site or branch.  

     The total community service sectors workforce across six areas identified below is estimated to be 41,000.

    ABS 2011 - Community Services

    Non-Indigenous

    Indigenous

     

    Not stated

    totals


    Male

    Female

    Male

    Female

    Male

    Female


    Residential Care Services, nfp

    7

    54

    0

    3

    0

    3

    67

    Aged Care Residential Services

    1,968

    14,082

    16

    117

    13

    117

    16,313

    Other Residential Care Services

    748

    2,005

    15

    71

    6

    7

    2,852

    Social Assistance Services, nfp

    455

    1,572

    50

    82

    10

    20

    2,189

    Child Care Services

    263

    7,304

    8

    122

    3

    47

    7,747

    Other Social Assistance Services

    2,788

    8,647

    138

    276

    17

    54

    11,920

    Total

    6,229

    33,664

    227

    671

    49

    248

    41,088

    Our focus is on the learning and development needs of the people working in the community sector including board members, executive, middle management, administrative and front line staff.    The diversity and skill level within this target group is as diverse as the sector itself, ranging in age, qualifications, experience and skill set.  The following provides some demographic data on this group:

    • Predominately female accounting for almost 80% of the workforce ( ABS Data. 2009-10).  
    • Average age 35- 55 
    • Those holding supervisory roles or middle management positions are most likely to be promoted into these roles and rely on, on-the-job training to support the development of these skills
    • There is an increase in the cultural diversity of the workforce, particularly in frontline or direct care roles  
    • Board members do so predominantly as volunteers
    • Community Sector boards are more likely to be made up of people with a common interest rather than specific skill set
    Due to the nature of the work undertaken the single biggest resource of the community sector is its workforce. It is estimated that around 80% of funding is allocated to staff.