On Wednesday 14 December 2011, the Victorian Government released Human Services: The case for change.
The Hon. Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Mental Health, Women’s Affairs and Community Services, and The Hon. Wendy Lovell, Minister for Housing, Children and Early Childhood Development, launched the document to key sector partners at the Human Services Partnership Implementation Committee (HSPIC) Partnering Dialogue - Realising our potential: department, sector and community.
Minister Wooldridge and Minister Lovell said the document outlines the need for system-wide change, and explains how we can, and should, be building on the strengths of the existing system to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable Victorians and their families.
Many improvements have been made in all of the services that DHS funds and delivers, and in the human services system more broadly, but we need to consider whether our services are making a lasting positive impact on the people we assist.
Despite decades of growing prosperity, significant levels of disadvantage persist in Victoria. Even where services have positive outcomes, external drivers – in particular population growth and ageing – make it more difficult to reduce overall levels of disadvantage. If growth in the volume and complexity of demand is not addressed, the system will be unsustainable over the medium to long term.
A new approach is needed to reverse this trend, starting with changes in the way DHS does business.
The document outlines a vision of a service system which supports and protects the vulnerable as its first priority, which is client-centred and demonstrably achieves improved outcomes for clients, to reduce disadvantage in Victoria in the long term. It sets out five core principles that will guide our approach to moving towards such a system:
People are at the centre of everything we do.
We take all of our clients’ life circumstances into account, and work with individuals and families to improve their outcomes. We recognise the diversity of our clients and are guided by their needs and choices
People in need should have access to the right support, provided in a cost-effective way.
Supporting clients to lead independent and meaningful lives by building their capabilities is the long-term goal.
All parts of the human services system should work together.
By aligning and integrating the human services system we can reduce duplication and focus on shared outcomes for our clients.
A skilled workforce is key to a more integrated system and to better client outcomes.
Our workforce should have the skills, tools and the right accountabilities to support clients to improve their lives.
Victorians who access our services will be valued, respected and treated fairly at all times.
The first step in this process of change will be delivering on the Government’s commitment to reform case management in two lead sites: Dandenong and Geelong/South West.
Case management reform will immediately assist those clients in most need, with the most complex problems, while providing a strong platform for larger scale system reform.
Consultation with the broader human services sector, our workforce and service delivery partners and other stakeholders will be undertaken in the coming months to inform the next steps on this reform journey.
The Case for Change - Full Report
LISA Comment: Clearly there is either a 'hidden-agenda', or a 'too-hard-basket'. As the serious need to reform or remove DHS/DS/DAS direct care group-home services is conspicuous by its absence.