CHP eNews 20 March 2014: VHAP consultations and NPAH update



CHP eNews 2014

20 March 2014

Dear *|FNAME|*,

VHAP consultation paper  
As part of the ongoing DHS consultation workshops on the VHAP reform that are running across Victoria through March, DHS has distributed a VHAP System Reform discussion paper : future reform directions which is being used to guide these consultations.
CHP is preparing a formal response to the discussion paper. If you have any feedback you’d like CHP to include in our response please contact Sarah before Thursday 27 March

NPAH update
Some minor relief was provided to the homelessness sector about the future of National Partnership on Homelessness (NPAH) this week when Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, and Prime Minister Abbott both weighed in on the debate.
Mr Abbott said, “There is no need to be agitated about this. Come budget night, all will be revealed and we think people will be happy.”
Federal Social Services Minister, Kevin Andrews echoed these comments, saying, “I believe that people can reassured by what the Prime Minister said today but obviously this is a very detailed, complex issue. There’s no reason at this stage to be laying staff off.”
Although this provided some reassurance to the sector, it is not enough for organisations making staffing and operational decisions about hundreds of thousands of dollars, and still leaves service providers unable to reassure their clients and staff that they won’t be affected.
Homelessness Australia is encouraging services to write to write to their local Federal MP’s abotu the impact of this fundign uncertainty and have provided a draft letter  to use as a template.
Alongside the Homelessness Australia campaign, CHP has been undertaking localised activity to bring attention to the risks for Victorian service providers, and to convince decision-makers to reveal their plans by the end of March. 
Jenny Smith, CHP CEO, said, “Homelessness services are not a pop-up shop. Like any organisation, homelessness service providers need to be able to be able to plan their services and their workforce with foresight and consideration, and funding certainty is crucial to that.”

ABC TV news – NPAH   
ABC TV recently ran a thorough story about the potential impact of NPAH funding cuts. The clip can be accessed here, and includes interviews with Cassandra Goldie (ACOSS), Heather Holt (Homeground) and Jenny Smith (CHP). The clip of the story can be viewed here.

NRAS must change, says Kevin Andrews
Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has indicated that changes to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) are imminent. The scheme, which provides developers of new properties a $10,000 annual rebate if the dwellings are rented at 20% under market rates, has been criticised, with suggestions that it is being hijacked by universities who use it to create cheap accommodation for wealthy students. There has also been criticism of the fact that NRAS has fallen well-short of its target of delivering 50,000 affordable dwellings.
According to The Conversation, only 5% of NRAS dwellings are let to international students. Irrespective of this, having students use these dwellings could in fact be freeing up low-cost private rentals in areas of high demand.
Putting the debate about its effectiveness aside, we’ll be watching the NRAS space closely as any changes will have a flow-on effect to those seeking low-income affordable housing.
A transcript of Kevin Andrews’ interview with ABC radio is available here.

WIRE – online Survey on Women & Financial Abuse
“I trusted him with our money, now I’m left with all his debts.”
WIRE is asking women who have experienced financial abuse in an intimate relationship, now or in the past, to fill out this short online survey. It is anonymous & confidential, and only takes 10–15 minutes to fill in. The research findings will be published in a report in July 2014. Read more about WIRE’s research on financial abuse

Professional development, training and conferences

Managing stress in the community services environment
This workshop explores stress and its signs and symptoms, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, strategies for managing stress, reflective practice, and identifying possible sources of professional support.By Wodonga Institute of TAFE
Date: Friday 23 May
Venue: Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne
Book here.

Adolescent violence in the home
Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) has new training to equip practitioners with the knowledge and skills to respond to adolescents who use violence or aggression against family members. It will assist practitioners to work with adolescents and parents to restore family safety and wellbeing.
Date: Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th March 2014
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm both days
Location: Melbourne CBD
Cost: $150 SHS; $280 non-SHS funded workers
Click here to register

‘Understanding financial abuse in FV’ workshop (PD)
WIRE is running our popular one-day professional development workshop for financial counsellors, social and community workers, counsellors and any professionals that work with women who have experienced family violence.
Date: Wednesday 16 April
Venue: WIRE 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne
Time: 9.30am-4.30pm
Cost: $195.00
Bookings here or for more info email Julie or phone 9348 9416

13th Australian Institute of Family Studies conference – Families in a rapidly changing world
Date: 30 July – 1 August
The AIFS conference will showcase cutting-edge research on topical issues relating to how families are adjusting to a rapidly changing world. It will outline key policy priorities for advancing the wellbeing of Australian families.
Venue: Melbourne Convention Centre
More information at the conference website.


CHP Updates

February edition of Parity OUT NOW
The February edition of Parity, ‘Innovations in Mental Health and Homelessness’ was launched on 18 March at the Melbourne Town Hall. Officially launching the edition was the the Hon Georgie Crozier Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Mental Health. Ms Crozier  used her speech to commend the outcomes of many of the mental health and homelessness programs being run in Victoria. If you have not received your edition of Parity, or would like to become a subscriber, please contact Noel

April 2014 edition: ‘Case Management and Homelessness’ 
Contributions are sought for the ‘Case Management and Homelessness’ edition of Parity. Case management has been central to homelessness assistance in Australia for some decades. This edition give the SHS a chance to explore the origins and future of case management.
Contributions close on 14 April. More details are available here.

PESP update
CHP is excited to welcome on board the latest group of PESP members Jacqui Gibson, Lisa Peterson, Joal Presincula, Mark Towler, Danny Nepean, and Bill Stowe.
Induction and training began on 25 February, an 8 week training program that will prepare PESP members for their role in the program, develop personal capacity, develop new skills and build on existing ones.
When they finish training, the new PESP members will be ready to undertake a range of activities including consumer participation training and advice, focus group participation, media activities, consultation with all levels of government, homelessness experience tours and understanding homelessness training delivery.
PESP graduate, Vicky, applauded on IWD
PESP graduate, Vicky, recently spoke at an International Women’s Day luncheon hosted by Uniting Care ReGen. We received this fantastic email in response:
“Vicky, I just wanted to thank you for your presentation on your experience of living and recovering from violence and homelessness. It was a hard hitting, but at the same time positive presentation that deserved and indeed received a positive response from staff. This was the first event marking International Women’s Day. We are grateful to you for helping to make it a successful one.”

In case you missed the news!

The Age OECD Report – poverty engulfing many Australians

The Age High water bills hurting strugglers, says Salvation Army Monday 17 March

Sydney Morning Herald Tony Abbott assures homeless charities we won’t let people down Tuesday 11 March

The Age Homeless face rough deal on funding Tuesday 11 March

ABC Online Fears of social services job losses as uncertainty grows over funding Thursday 6 March


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Collingwood, Victoria 3066
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