For Youth Services

Last updated 30 April

Supporting youth services during Covid-19

YACWA is coordinating with its members, stakeholders and the State Government to lead the youth sector’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

For a full list of YACWA’s actions to date, see the COVID-19 page.

Know the signs of COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 resemble other colds and flus. They can include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

What to do if you’re unwell

If you feel you may have contracted coronavirus, take precautions and limit your interaction with other people. The next best steps are:

Practice good hygiene

The best way to protect yourself is to maintain good hygiene practices. What that means is:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds
  • Cleaning your hands with hand sanitizer
  • Protecting yourself
  • Maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other people in a public space
  • Avoid shaking hands or any other form of close contact
  • Sanitize high-contact areas like kitchen services, handles, doorknobs and your phone

Contracting updates

The Department of Finance has published four special bulletins outlining key changes for contracted service providers in response to COVID-19

Service providers will not be penalised for being unable to deliver services or meet key KPIs as a result of COVID-19 until June 2021. In addition, service reviews and non-essential compliance requirements will immediately cease to support capacity. If your organisation is experience service delivery changes, disruptions, or cessation, we advise you to contact your Contract Manager as soon as practicable to negotiate arrangements.

Mental health response

The Federal Government has launched a $1.1 billion package for mental health services, domestic violence support, medicare support and food relief. View the details of the package here.

Digital youth work

Various youth work bodies around the world have created resources on how to engage with young people and practice digital youth work:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


The Federal Department of Health has a free online unit for community service organisations on infection control and use of Personal Protective Equipment, available here. Staff should register as ‘health worker’ and not ‘other’.

For further training needs and information, your Local Government Association may be able to offer targeted training depending on capacity. We encourage providers to engage online training units as their first priority, but to contact their LGA if needed. A directory is available here.”


In the first stage of the COVID-19 epidemic the role of prioritising access to limited stocks of PPE has been managed by the Department of Health, with frontline health and emergency services the first priority. Access to PPE stocks are expected to improve soon, and the role of managing requests for PPE will be taken up by the Department of Finance (working alongside Health).

However, we are awaiting clarification from the Department of Finance, via the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) on whether stocks will extend to other frontline services and community services. Finance are currently working on a system for Community Service Organisations to make PPE requests. WACOSS will provide an update once that important information is made available, including contact details.

Supplies still remain limited to health workers. We will see increases in stock, as more arrive and local manufacturing comes online. We hope to receive further advice for frontline community services in the coming days. Ideally, frontline staff should also be trained on which PPE to use when and how.

In the interim the Department of Health and the Department of Finance are working together to address this gap. Frontline services need to focus on what they can do now without PPE to keep staff and service users as safe as possible. We are expecting more advice on this from Finance and Health in the coming days.



Funding for organisations

      • Lotterywest have opened a $159 million COVID-19 Relief Fund for organisations. View the guidelines and criteria and apply via Lotterywest.
      • The State Government is waiving rent for the next six months for small businesses and not-for-profits which lease from Government agencies and trading enteprises. See more in the Government’s media statement.
      • NEAMI National are offering funding of between $500 and $2,000 for activities promoting mental health in the Perth metro area. Applications can be made via this form.

Tech resources for non-profits

As more and more organisations shift to working remotely, several tech companies have made offered their services for free, at a discounted rate or an extended trial basis.

Technology access for clients

Switching to telehealth and remote youth work can be difficult when clients do not have access to technology for digital and online engagement. Organisations such as GIVIT may be able to provide your service with technology to disseminate to clients and support engagement through digital means.

The Department of Communities is currently exploring further options to provide community service organisations with access to safe and secure technology to support service provision.

Seeking financial assistance for lost income

For The Australian Government has instituted a temporary Coronavirus Supplement in response to the economic hardship posed by the current pandemic. That includes:

      • A one-off Economic Support payment of $750 for existing Centrelink recipients
      • A temporary payment of $550 per fortnight for eligible recipients, starting from 27 April

Recipients of the following payments will receive the $550 fortnightly supplement automatically:

      • JobSeeker Payment
      • Youth Allowance for job seekers
      • Youth Allowance for students
      • Austudy for students
      • ABSTUDY for students
      • Parenting Payment
      • Farm Household Allowance
      • Special Benefit

If you receive any of these payments, no action is necessary. The amount will be deposited into your account automatically starting 27 April.

The payment is also available to first-time or returning claimants if they’ve lost permanent employment, caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus or a contractor, casual employee, self-employed worker or sole trader whose income has been reduced.

The ABC has a handy guide on how to apply for Centrelink as either a first-time or returning user.

This resource will be continually updated as new information arises. If you have a suggestion for a resource that should be included here, contact yacwa@yacwa.org.au.