The Department of Human Services is embarking on major reform to deliver more integrated, family-centred services for vulnerable Victorians.
This follows last year’s announcement of a new approach to case management and service delivery, which is being trialled in Dandenong and Geelong and the South West Coast.
A comprehensive review of the department has taken place and we have proposed how the department will restructure to improve the quality of its services to make a real difference for Victorians.
Last year alone, the department managed 55,000 child protection reports, provided 31,000 clients with disability aids and equipment and supported 39,000 homeless people.
Victoria’s population is projected to increase significantly over the next 20 years. Demand for community services is very high already and is expected to increase.
To meet these demands, we are proposing major changes to the department’s structure that will help us to provide more responsive, family-centred services for vulnerable Victorians.
The key changes are:-
The department’s regional operations will be organised into 17 local areas, putting more focus on the frontline and providing improved services when and where people need them. The 17 local areas will be based on geographic catchments reflecting trends in population growth and service demand across the state.
- The 17 local areas will be supported by four regional divisions (North, South, East and West).
- The areas will manage service delivery with government and non-government organisations in a more integrated way, along functional rather than program lines.
- The areas will have greater decision-making power over local services and the ability to allocate resources depending on the needs of that area. Some of the local areas will have – for the first time – a senior manager to drive better, and more coordinated services at the local level, integrated across housing, disability and family services.
- The areas will have a greater focus on achieving lasting outcomes for people through early intervention and building opportunities for social and economic participation.
The department’s central office will be consolidated to remove program silos, reduce duplication and increase efficiency. There will be three central office groups: Policy and Strategy; Service Design and Implementation; and Corporate Services.
- The three groups will replace the current seven divisions in central office.
- This arrangement reorganises central office along functional rather than program lines, by integrating policy, program management and corporate functions across the departmen.
The creation of two Deputy Secretary roles to respectively oversee a Community and Executive Services portfolio and a Housing, Youth and Women portfolio.
- These roles will have primary responsibility for providing high quality and responsive policy advice to the Secretary and Ministers.
A comprehensive consultation process with the department’s staff has begun, with implementation of these important changes happening over the next 12–18 months.
This restructure is just part of our broader service reform program, which will build a strong and responsive human services system – one that is set up to achieve the best possible outcomes for our most vulnerable people.
WHAT GILL CALLISTER SAID
Some of the key points - “What do they mean in nuts and bolts?”
- “Focused on improving client outcomes through service delivery reform and developing a sustainable workforce”
- “How it needs to change to be able to provide more joined up and responsive services for our clients”.
- “Two leading experts have guided a comprehensive review”
- “More integrated, family-centred services for our clients”
- “Build a strong and responsive human services system – one that is set up to achieve the best possible outcomes for our most vulnerable people”
- “Focus on business excellence and continuous improvement”
- “Vision for improving the way we deliver services”
- “Develop a new ‘joined up’ model of case management”
- “Improve our services if we listen to our clients’ experiences of them”