In 2009 SACOSS and the South Australian State government signed the Stronger Together Agreement recognising that working together will produce better outcomes in the delivery of health and community services.
A key initiative developed under the Stronger Together agreement is the Human Services Partnership Forum, a partnership between the Government of South Australia and the not-for-profit human services sector. The forum is committed to working in collaboration to shape public policy and service development in South Australia, with shared leadership and shared responsibility in relevant policies and programs.
The major objectives of the Forum are to:
- Achieve the best possible policy and service delivery outcomes in health and community services;
- Address issues in a mutually respectful and proactive way;
- Provide a forum for collaboration and consultation between the partners on issues of mutual interest;
- Enhance respect and trust between the partners;
- Create a formalised engagement structure that sets out the processes and mechanisms for communication between the partners; and
- Enhance formal sharing.
SACOSS co-chairs this Forum with the Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, and it provides a key avenue to raise and work through issues and grievances and to improve relationships and service delivery. There are five working groups of the Forum that support and develoop this agenda:
- Not-for-profit sector and government partnership;
- Workforce development, including volunteers;
- Collaboration with the private sector and social innovation;
- Community sector sustainability and social innovation; and
- Regulation and accountability.
SACOSS is represented on a takes a leading role in many of these working groups, as well as the Human Services Partnership Forum itself.