What We Do

The Department Social Services (DSS) is the Australian Government's main source of advice on social policy and manages about one fifth of the federal budget.

DSS works in partnership with other government and non-government organisations managing a diverse range of programs and services designed to support and improve the lives of Australians.

While DSS's national office is in Canberra, the Department also has the DSS Network comprising:

  • State offices in every capital city. (The Australian Capital Territory office is administered by the New South Wales state office). The state offices represent DSS at the state, regional and local level and work to improve the impact and management of relevant Commonwealth Government policies, programs and initiatives;
  • A national network of Indigenous Coordination Centres (ICCs) in urban, regional and remote areas that are the main vehicle for coordination of programs specifically intended to support Indigenous people and to engage with Indigenous people and their representatives;
  • Government Business Managers (GBMs) in the Northern Territory that are responsible for leadership, management and coordination of government services provided in Indigenous communities. The Northern Territory manages its ICC and GBM network through the north and south regional offices; and
  • Other locally-based staff in Cape York, Queensland, the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, South Australia and the Kimberley, Western Australia.

DSS is committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for all Australians and to do so, we work in partnership with:

  • other Australian Government departments and agencies
  • state and territory governments
  • local government
  • foreign governments
  • businesses
  • the not-for-profit community sector
  • peak representative organisations
  • service providers
  • research bodies
  • individuals, families and communities.

Community recovery

DSS works closely with other government agencies, including Centrelink, to support the recovery of Australian individuals, families and communities following both domestic and international disasters. The focus of assistance is to enable people to re-establish their lives and communities. Assistance can take the form of individual and family ex-gratia payments and using existing community programs to contribute to strengthening local Australian communities.

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