July 2012, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) announced Going Home, Staying Home, a program to reform specialist
homelessness services in NSW.
announcement of Going Home Staying Home,
Minister Pru Goward released a consultation paper, Future directions for specialist homelessness services (the
consultation paper). The consultation paper outlines the NSW Government’s case
for reform to specialist homelessness services and provides a number of
potential ‘building blocks’ that will guide future directions.
FACS has invited
comment on the consultation paper, with comments due before 31 August 2012.
summarises the components of the consultation paper and FACS’ case for reform. Yfoundations’
comments on the consultation paper are provided in a separate document that can
be downloaded at: insert
paper- Part One: Introduction and the case for reform
first section outlines the need for specialist homelessness services (SHS) to
be reformed and identifies a number of limitations with the current system.
a) The large number of repeat
users or ‘churning’ within SHS. The consultation paper identities that some
reasons for repeat usage by clients is out of the hands of SHS. However it identifies
the primary cause of churning as SHS focus on crisis accommodation rather than
the provision of preventive measures and post-crisis support.
b) Clients access to SHS is
often fragmented and complex, which the consultation paper identifies as the
by-product of multiple system barriers within SHS. Some of these barriers
include: multiple entry points; inadequate processes to share client
information and different assessment processes.
c) The current design of SHS
makes it difficult for clients to receive post-crisis support to maintain
d) The lack of effective service
models that intervene early to prevent people from becoming homeless exacerbates
the problems with a lack of affordable housing.
e) The significantly constrained
funding environment means there is a greater need to ensure that resources are
targeted and effective.
Introduction and the case for reform
part of the paper identifies a number of building blocks for reform of the SHS.
include the following.
a) Individualised approaches
consultation paper identifies a need for greater emphasis on individual
approaches to provide services with the ability to match individual needs to supports,
increase client control over the types of supports they receive, provide
greater portability of support arrangement and to increase focus on outreach to
b) Streamlined access
need to streamline access and improve intake procedures is the second building
block for reform identified by the consultation paper.
consultation paper identifies that streamlined access to SHS would enable
clients to seek the same support procedures regardless of how they entered the
c) Better planning and resource
building block details the need for improved planning and resourcing allocation
arrangements that provides for betters services across regions and increased
flexibility in procurement arrangements.
d) Promote and support quality
consultation paper identifies a number of potential reforms in this area
· Quality assurance processes
linked to existing standards;
· Improved performance
· Performance based contracts
· Innovation funding to promote
new ways of working.
e) Industry and workforce
strategies for industry and workforce development include the strengthening of
peak body arrangements to support SHS participation in future reform
Part Three: Partnering
with the sector
part of the consultation paper outlines the proposed governance structure for
the reform process which includes the establishment of a panel of experts and
conducting consultations with people experiencing homelessness. For more detail on the governance structure,
please see the table below).
Panel of Experts – A group of individuals with
experience in the field of homelessness research who will provide advice to the
Minister, the FACS executive and the Sector Reference Group.
Sector Reference Group- A group comprised of
specialist homelessness peak organisations. Yfoundations is participating in