Calls for Sector-led Input on ‘Services Connect’
3 June 2014 at 10:41 am
The Victorian Government is expected to make a call out for submissions in the next two weeks to Not for Profits interested in taking part in the trials of its eight new Services Connect sites.
According to the Government, Services Connect is designed to connect people with the right support, and a more effective way of delivering human services such as child protection, disability, housing, homelessness, family services, mental health and alcohol and drug treatment work together, particularly for people and families with complex needs.
It says the call for submissions process will identify partnership of service providers with a strong desire to create more integrated, seamless service response that people experiencing family violence and other vulnerable Victorians need.
The process is the next step in the Government’s $17.8 million Budget announcement fund the Services Connect program.
“This is where we test and refine the model together,” Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge said at the recent Victorian Council of Social Service Summit.
“During the coming week I will be releasing sector-led calls for submissions for the Services Connect pilot.”
As part of its budget commitment, the Government plans to establish eight new sites over the next two years – the sites will test the model’s client support approach and options for clients to better access services and information.
Over the past two years, Services Connect trials have been operating in DHS offices in Dandenong, Geelong, Preston, Shepparton and the South West Coast.
“We’ve achieved some encouraging results so far we know that in a significant number of cases we have seen across the two years, 75 per cent of those clients that exit from services connect, reported resolution, improvement or self management,” Wooldridge said.
“I genuinely advise you to engage with other services in your area and put forward an expression of interest to be part of the trialing the learning the refinement of the services connect model.”
Wooldridge said over the next coming months four new department sites would be established in Glenroy, Box Hill, Wodonga and Bendigo.
The Government said the next step would be the “Single Client View”, which would provide a single source of client information across the various and duplicative client information systems that currently exist across DHS, and allow for a single client record.
It said it would be followed by the first stage of an online self-service system, which would allow clients the chance to more easily complete forms and processes, access information and assess their eligibility for DHS programs.
“In the DHS we have over 100 programs, unfortunately sometime there’s many hard lines between each of these programs, many aren’t integrated and aren’t coordinated,” Wooldridge said at the VCOSS Summit.
“They are likely to be run and reported on quite differently.
“When a client comes through the door for support, we inevitably ending up working with them on one of these programs and they are forced to fit into that program criteria, unless we can reset this structure our workers will not have the freedom to support clients in a holistic way.
“Looking at all their needs and the drivers of their vulnerability. That is why we have Services Connect.
“Our model for all of Human Services aims to fundamentally change this picture so that we can all do more of the work we want and need to do with our clients.
“Of course we can have new programs, there will always be a need to provide specialist services designed to meet specific need, they are still a critical part of the system, but they must work with each other and better support a more integrated and collaborative way of working.”
For more information on the Victorian Government’s Services Connect, click HERE.