CHP eNews 29 May 2014: Mental health reform leaves funding hole in homelessness services



CHP eNews 2014

29 May 2014

Dear *|FNAME|*,
Mental Health recommissioning leaves funding hole in the homelessness sector
From 1st August this year, the way community mental health services are delivered in Victoria will change dramatically. The reform process sees the old PDRSS system renamed the Mental Health Community Support Services and services have been recommissioned.  
No specialist homelessness services were successful in the tendering process, which has resulted in a reduction of funding to homelessness services of more than $4 million. This leaves significant unfunded activity for homelessness services working with people who also have mental health issues.
Consumers of existing PDRSS services will be transferred to the MHCSS program service provider without having to go through the intake and assessment process, … (read full article in CHP’s new blog)

Homelessness Australia Conference – Early Bird registrations close 11 July
Register before 11 July to get the Early Bird rate for the 8th National Homelessness Conference: Complexities & Countermeasures!
Date: 10 – 12 September 2014
Venue: Gold Coast
Cost: Early Bird  HA member – $1195; Early Bird non-HA member – $1295
Further information can be found on the conference website.

 Outcome of AOD recommissioning expected soon
The reform of Victoria’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector is nearing completion.
The key changes being brought about through recommissioning include a clearer area-based set of delivery responsibilities for 16 catchments across Victoria; the creation of a centralised intake and assessment function in each catchment; and  three broad streams of funded activity – Counselling, Withdrawal (non-residential) and Care and Recovery Coordination – designed to allow greater flexibility for providers as well as clearer and simpler accountability.
There is significant funding at stake for many Specialist Homelessness Service providers. The new funding and delivery arrangements are anticipated to commence on 1 August, 2014.
The Victorian and Alcohol and Drug Association’s recent communique and the Department of Health website are both useful places for updates and information: 

CHP launches new blog!
We are very excited to announce the launch of CHPs new blog, which will be a place to find fresh commentary on current issues that affect the homelessness sector. We’d love it if you clicked through and shared the post through your preferred social media channel!

Mainstream services – a plain-English Fact Sheet
Continuing CHPs series Fact Sheets on topics and issues related to our VHAP submission, ‘Framework for Ending Homelessness Services’, this week we look at the role of mainstream services in preventing and responding to homelessness. Mainstream services can help prevent homelessness by addressing the problems that contribute to homelessness. Most people interact with a range of universal services throughout their lives, such as doctors, the local primary school and Centrelink. How responsive these services are determines the strength of our social safety net against homelessness. You can read the fuill fact sheet here.

Further impacts of Federal Budget – AIHW to merge with other health agencies
As CHP trawls the finer details of the Federal Budget, more implications for the homelessness sector emerge. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the body which collects and reports on data on health and wellbeing in Australia, including data from homelessness services, will be merged with six other health reporting agencies to form the Health Performance and Productivity Commission.It is unclear if the welfare reporting functions of the AIHW will be retained in this new body. A detailed wrap-up of on the hidden details of the budget will be included in the next edition ofParity (if you’re not a subscriber, you can subscribe here)

Salvos Economic & Social Impact survey report
A nationwide survey of around 2,500 Salvation Army welfare clients reveals that many are struggling to afford basic necessities. Key findings include:

  • 1 in 4 is unable to afford a substantial meal at least once a day;
  • 28% said they have had to live without heating in at least one room in the house throughout winter;
  • 38% of participants did not have regular social contact with people, leading to a feeling of isolation and loneliness, with 47% reporting they were unable to find someone to help them when needed; and
  • 91% of respondents had limited or no savings for emergencies.

The full report is available here.

1800RESPECT Workers Webinar Series
Webinars on responding to domestic and family violence and sexual assault for workers and professionals. Over the coming year, 1800RESPECT will be hosting a series of free, informative webinars for workers and professionals covering key issues on responding to domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Upcoming webinar topics are listed on the website.

New DSS grant arrangements
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is implementing new grant arrangements including:
• new broadbanded grant programs;
• longer term grant agreements;
• a move towards a single grant agreement for each provider
• a partnership approach to program performance reporting; and
• simplified financial acquittals and reporting processes
The Department is streamlining 18 programs into seven, bringing together the four existing Ageing and Aged Care grant programmes with three new programs – the Families and Communities Programme; the Housing and Homelessness Programme; and the Disability, Mental Health and Carers Programme. Further details are available in this letter from DSS, Information sessions will be held between 26 May to 6 June .

VCOSS and ACOSS State and Federal Budget Forum
The Federal Budget has proposed a radical reshaping of Australia’s income support system and public services, while in the lead up to the State Election the Victorian Budget has made substantial new spending commitments.
At this Budget Forum, experts from ACOSS and VCOSS will guide attendees through the detail and impacts of these Budget decisions on income support and service delivery. Through analysis, questions and discussion, we will explore our options to respond to these challenges in the future.
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014, 12.00-2.00pm
Venue: St Michael’s Main Hall, 120 Collins Street Melbourne
Cost: ACOSS/VCOSS members – Free; Non-members – $50
Registrations: Register by Tuesday 3 June, via EventBrite
Further info: Renata Anderson on 9235 1010

FREE Accredited Training For Health Professionals Responding To ‘ICE’
Odyssey House Victoria is providing accredited two-day Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (ATS) training which equips workers with skills to work with individuals experiencing the effects of ATS use. Limited FREE positions are now available. The course is for workers in AOD, health and allied services dealing with clients affected by methamphetamines.
Registration: Please complete the registration form via this link
Further info: Full details of the course are available here.

Social cooking group
Central City Community Health Service, supported by Doutta Galla and City of Melbourne, is running a social cooking group in which participants will learn how to cook healthy meals with limited equipment and where to locate local markets and affordable food outlets. A dietician will provide individual health advice, and all attendees will gain an accredited certificate in food handling.
Date: Fridays 1pm – 4pm (First intake: Starts May 30; Second intake: Starts Aug 22nd )
Group runs for 6 weeks
Venue: The Drill Hall, 20 Therry St, Melbourne (next to Central City Community Health)
To find out more, email Susie or download the flier.

Homeless Memorial
The Homeless Memorial Working Party invites you to the 13th Annual Homeless Memorial. A smoking ceremony will commence at 4.30pm and community members will be then invited to participate in a ceremony to honour people who have died as a result of homelessness.
There will be performers from the local community. Hot soup will be provided and tea and coffee.
Date: Wednesday 18 June
Time: 4.30pm
Location: Peanut Farm in Chaucer Street St Kilda

In case you missed the news!


CHP Updates

Training seminar: Working with men who use family violence
The Council to Homeless Persons and No To Violence, the peak body for the prevention of male family violence, are offering a one-day training course targeted at people working in the homelessness and housing fields and allied services such as mental health and AOD. 
By equipping yourself with practical skills and up-to-date knowledge on issues related to family violence, you will improve client welfare outcomes and learn to how to safely engage in this area of practice. The training will cover:
Date: 1 July 2014
Time: 9.30 – 4.30pm
Venue: Collingwood Library Meeting Room, 11 Stanton Street
Abbotsford, VIC, 3065

Cost: $45 (includes morning and afternoon tea and lunch)
RSVP: To register via eventbrite click here

Call for contributions: June 2014 Parity – ‘Housing, Homelessness and Disability’ edition: call for contributions
Contributions are sought for this edition of Parity, which examines the housing and homelessness issues experienced by people with a disability, and in particular the housing and accommodation options that could be made available as part of the through the planned implementation of the NDIS.
Contributions close on 14 June. More details available here.
Call for contributions: July 2014 Parity ‘Education, Employment, Recreation and Volunteering’
Contributions are sought for the ‘Education, Employment, Recreation and Volunteering’ edition of Parity. This edition will be devoted to the the role that education, employment and other social inclusion activities play in determining life chances, including income, and ultimately access to housing and accommodation.
Contributions of 800 – 1600 words are invited, with a deadline of 10 July.
Contribution details can be found here.

The Family Reconciliation and Mediation Program (FRMP)
FRMP is currently offering sponsorship for approved training in the area of family reconciliation and mediation.  Please have a look at the Approved Training Calendar which runs from May to November 2014. If you find training that you are interested in, please complete the Training Scholarship Application Form,
FRMP is still offering brokerage to assist young people to access private practitioners for specialist interventions such as family therapy and individual counselling, as well as respite care.  For more information, check the FRMP Brochure or visit the website
Working with young people workshop – self harm/self injury behaviours
The complexity of issues facing young people today continues to grow. Adolescence is in itself a time of conflict. The required responses of workers with young people continue to grow. This workshop utilises the latest research to better equip workers with young people, and will provide answers applicable to your day-to-day work. More info here.  
Date: Monday 21 July 2014

ACOSS National Conference – Global problems, local solutions: Tackling inequality in Australia and beyond
The ACOSS National Conference connects people in the community sector, along with business and government, to discuss the latest directions, ideas and action to address poverty and inequality in Australia.
Date: 11 & 12 June 2014
Venue: Brisbane
For registrations and program information, go to the conference website or download the flier.

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.

8th National Homelessness Conference: Complexities & Countermeasures
At this biennial conference front-line providers, academics, governments and agencies and those with a lived experience of homelessness will connect to identify the multiple and interwoven causes of homelessness, unpack the elements of successful programs, policies and practices, and seek ways these can be applied to prevent and end homelessness.
Date: 10 – 12 September 2014
Venue: Gold Coast
Further information can be found on the conference website.

Unsubscribe  I  Update your profile  I  Forward this to a colleague
© 2013 Council to Homeless Persons

2 Stanley Street, 
Collingwood, Victoria 3066
P: (03) 8415 6200   E: T: @CHPVic