Coastal Dreaming… Will I find effective service integration in this oasis?
Where to find us? • The city of Gosford together with Wyong Shire comprises the Central Coast region of New South Wales, located midway between Sydney and Newcastle. • In September 2006, the NSW Government released a revised long term plan for the region that saw Gosford classified as a regional city, along with Wollongong and the Newcastle Region. • The Central Coast has an approximate population of 300,000 making it the third largest urban area in New South Wales and the ninth largest urban area in Australia.
Indigenous Statistics for the Central Coast 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics report that the Central Coast has around 14,100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents. Of the total population: • Wyong 2.9% - 8700 • Gosford 1.8% - 5400 Located in Gosford’s Mount Penang Gardens is The National Aboriginal Islander Skill Development Association (NAISDA) a Dance College established in 1975 to train Indigenous Australians to dance. Graduates have worked in the performing arts arena in arts management, dance, music, theatre and film.
Service Integration? • Coordination, connection and collaboration between mainstream service and housing providers to achieve the best possible outcomes for those at risk of homelessness and those who have fallen through “the gap”. • ‘Integration’ is a means to an end – not the end. It is important to know what are the objectives of the integration initiative. • Service integration can be costly and time-consuming for agencies. • For the user, integration means a seamless, smooth, easy to navigate service system. • For providers, integration means that individual expertise is provided, managed, financed and evaluated either together or in a closely coordinated way. • Members need to monitor, evaluate and report on outcomes and progress against objectives, not just on outcomes, processes, and activities.
Service Integration (Cont.) Service integration works well when...... • There is adequate resourcing of time, people and funds provided for design and planning. Strong design and planning ensure that approved strategies are specifically tailored to the issues agencies are attempting to solve through increased integration. • Agencies developing integrated programs utilise the most appropriate integration mode for achieving shared goals. • Effective management, organisational and personal leadership is taken into account when considering integration initiatives. • Service integration is most likely to succeed when common objectives are clearly communicated and collectively understood, and where members share and are committed to the value of integration and common objectives. • Procedures of accountability are in place with regards to commitment, process and outcomes. • Clear communication, clarification of management activities, roles and expectations are essential. • Participants working with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and CALD organisations need to operate in a culturally sensitive manner, respectful of cultural and linguistic differences . • The Central Coast Homeless Family Brokerage Project which compliments the Referral and Assessment Centre is a positive example of such support.
What is The Central Coast Homeless Family Brokerage Project? • A cross agency integration model accommodating and supporting homeless families and those at risk of homelessness. • Caseworkers from all agencies prepare case plans and budget to assist families maintain their tenancies or obtain accommodation. :
Assessment & Referral Centre Our objective is to reduce the number of homeless people through ensuring they have access to an integrated service system that meets their immediate accommodation needs. In some areas this leads to opportunities for them to connect with support services, in others it leads to assessment for crisis accommodation.
Objectives of the Assessment & Referral Centre • Determine the most appropriate response for clients. • Provide comprehensive information. • Deliver integrated service responses. • Streamline access to crisis accommodation and specialist homelessness services. • Provide clear entry points and a common regional entry triage system for people at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness on the Central Coast. • Provides linkages to SHS services, Housing pathways and broader mainstream community service sector. • Provide temporary case management to allow for the identification and referral to an appropriate lead agency.
Assistance Assistance provided to: • complete new or update existing housing applications. • gather identification to assist with obtaining birth certificate etc. • act as a contact point for correspondence and messages. • services such as health, legal, tenancy and counselling assistance. • Material aid such as food hampers, clothing, shoes, blankets, swags, etc. • Financial assistance by way of EAPA vouchers, NILS loans, pharmaceutical assistance, brokerage support.
Collaboration at Work Housing NSW Rent Kiosk
We couldn’t provide our assistance without the continual support from our volunteer army, including church groups, individuals, schools and corporates.
Central Coast Regional Specialist Homelessness Services Assessment and Referral Centre The Assessment and Referral Centre is based on a service integration strategy using a ‘one-stop shop’ model where a myriad of practical services are offered and provided in addition to assessment and referral for accommodation within Coast Shelter and other Services. • Open 365 days • On-call telephone 24 hours