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Early Review of the Specialist Homelessness Services Program

FACS engaged the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and the University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) to undertake an Early Review of the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Program.

The Early Review provides feedback from clients, service providers and stakeholders about how the SHS system reforms and service responses are being implemented. It looks at what is and isn’t working well and identifies key areas where FACS and the homelessness sector can work together to improve services.

Findings are based on qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data was captured from client and service provider surveys; interviews with clients, service providers and stakeholders in four case study sites; and interviews with other government and non-government stakeholders.

The Early Review is one part of a range of activities of the SHS Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy. The next phase of this strategy is the outcomes and economic evaluation, which will focus on client and system outcomes, as well as on economic costs and benefits of the reform.

NSW Homelessness Action Plan Evaluation Reports

The NSW Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) set the direction for statewide reform of the homelessness services sector over the five years 2009–2014. The plan focused on three key strategic directions:

  • Preventing homelessness: to ensure people never become homeless
  • Responding effectively to homelessness: to ensure people who are homeless receive effective responses so they don’t become entrenched in the system
  • Breaking the cycle: to ensure people who have been homeless do not become homeless again.

As part of the HAP, a range of homelessness support projects were funded under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness 2009–2013 and through NSW Government funding.

The NSW HAP Evaluation Strategy was designed to assess the impact of these projects in achieving better outcomes for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The strategy was also designed to gather evidence of effective responses and identify lessons to be considered in the future response to homelessness in NSW.

The evaluation reports cover the three inter-related components of the strategy:

  • Self-evaluations – gather performance information about each of the HAP projects across key areas and the views of practitioners about the effectiveness of their projects.
  • Extended evaluations – analyse and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of 15 selected projects and the approaches to addressing homelessness that those projects represent.
  • HAP Strategy Summary – synthesises the findings from the self-evaluations and extended evaluations as well as other evaluations on HAP activities.

Summary reports

Reports on projects for people at risk of eviction

Reports on projects for people exiting institutions

Report on youth hub project

Reports on projects for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence

Reports on long-term housing and support projects

Evidence Notes: Summaries of HAP evaluation findings

Homeless Youth Assistance Program

During April and May 2015, DCJ carried out consultations with government and non-government stakeholders across NSW to inform the design of services for the Homeless Youth Assistance Program. The Summary Report of State-wide Consultations identifies common themes and issues raised during this process around service delivery and responses for children and young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Specialist Homelessness Services Post Implementation Review

Following the reform of the specialist homelessness services system, FACS engaged KPMG to undertake a Post Implementation Review of the main aspects of the reform.

This review focused on reform timing and timeframes, stakeholder engagement, planning and procurement. The report highlights issues with the reform process, and lessons learnt from these are fed into the design of reforms across FACS.

Rapid Rehousing Report

The Rapid Rehousing Project was a demonstration project located in Penrith, Mt Druitt and Coffs Harbour to assist frequent users of Temporary Accommodation to secure and sustain private rental housing. Rapid rehousing refers to short-term targeted assistance to minimise the time a person spends being homeless, where appropriate accommodation can be readily sourced and rapid rehousing is a feasible option, depending on a client’s needs.

The project was established as a 12-month trial from October 2012.

The report of the Evaluation of Rapid Rehousing Project evaluates the initiatives trialled at Penrith, Mt Druitt and Coffs Harbour, and the outcomes for clients.

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Last updated: 23 Oct 2019