Department of Social Services (Australia)
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Department of Social Services Australia

Department of Social Services
Department of Social Services (Australia) logo.png
Main entrance to FaHCSIA offices March 2013.jpg
The head office of the Department of Social Services, located in , Canberra
Department overview
Formed18 September 2013 (2013-09-18)[1]
Preceding department
JurisdictionAustralian Government
Employees2,305 (2017-18)[2]
Ministers responsible
Department executive
Child agencies

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility for national policies and programs that help deliver a strong and fair society for all Australians. The department develops and implements social policy.

The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Social Services, currently Kathryn Campbell,[3] who reports to the Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services. Previously, the Minister for Social Services was Paul Fletcher from 2018 to 2019. In the Turnbull Government, the ministers were assisted by the Assistant Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. Jane Prentice and the Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Hon. Craig Laundy .

The head office of the department is located in the Australian Capital Territory suburb of Greenway.


The department was formed by way of an Administrative Arrangements Order issued on 18 September 2013[4] and replaced the majority of the functions previously performed by the former Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA); with the exception of Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination, that was transferred to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.[5][6][7]

Operational activities

In an Administrative Arrangements Order made on 18 September 2013, the functions of the department were broadly classified into the following matters:[4]

  • Ageing research
  • Income security and support policies and programs for families with children, carers, the aged, people with disabilities and people in hardship
  • Income support policies for students and apprentices
  • Services for families with children, people with disabilities and carers
  • Services for older people, including their carers
  • Policy for and promotion of active ageing, other than employment policy
  • Community mental health
  • Community support services
  • Family relationship, Family and Children's Support Services
  • Social housing, rent assistance and homelessness
  • Child support policy
  • Housing affordability
  • Services to help people with disabilities obtain employment
  • Arrangements for the settlement of migrants and humanitarian entrants, other than migrant child and migrant adult education
  • Non-profit sector and volunteering
  • Multicultural affairs

See also


  1. ^ CA 9434: Department of Social Services [II], Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 2014
  2. ^ Australian Public Service Commission (2018),, archived from the original on 5 October 2014 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Secretary". Department of Education. October 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Packham, Ben (18 September 2013). "Tony Abbott puts broom through bureaucracy". The Australian. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ Abbott, Tony (18 September 2013). "The Coalition will restore strong, stable and accountable government". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Canberra, Australia: Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ Wilson, Lauren (19 September 2013). "Coalition carves up the public service". The Australian. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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