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You are here: Home / UrbanGrowth, SMDA & RWA Plans & Activities / Government, UG, SMDA & RWA Statements / 2004 / Government Human Services Review to Reshape Redfern Waterloo Social Services

Government Human Services Review to Reshape Redfern Waterloo Social Services

This Media Release and Background notes were issued jointly by Minister Sartor and Minister Tebbutt to annouce the NSW Governments decisions following from the Review of Human Services in Redfern Waterloo. The Media Release was issued on 10th November 2004.

Minister for Energy and Utilities and for the new Redfern Waterloo Authority, Frank Sartor and Minister for Community Services, Carmel Tebbutt today launched the review of the Redfern Waterloo Human Services.

"Implementing the recommendations of the Human Services Review will address some of the major challenges for the Redfern Waterloo area.

"The review found a total of 102 organisations providing 192 services in the Redfern Waterloo area, with an estimated $35 to $40 million allocated to these services. Thirty of these services are focused solely on the Redfern Waterloo area with funding amounting to between $8 and $10 million.

"The review makes it clear there are adequate resources in the area, however it shows that funding is ad-hoc, some services do not work together, and there is a need for greater accountability and a better focus on outcomes.”

The Human Services Review was conducted over six months from January to August 2004 in response to widespread concerns about the adequacy of services available to the community.

The recommendations from the review will now be used to help design a plan to ensure the right services are delivered to the right people - and that services work together to meet the needs of the community.

The review calls for a plan to be developed to improve integration across both government and non-government services. This plan will be presented to Cabinet by May 2005.

The plan will have agreed community outcomes and will address:

  • Ways of working with the Aboriginal community
  • Capacity building for government and non-government organisations; and
  • Community leadership development

"The delivery of targeted and effective human services in the Redfern Waterloo area is imperative in making sure the needs of residents are met, and that problems in the area can be combated, Mr Sartor said.

"This will include making some choices about the way resources are invested in the area to ensure services are reaching the people that need them.

"Delivery of appropriate and targeted services to the people that need them is not negotiable. Current services have nothing to worry about if they are achieving this", Mr Sartor said.

'This plan will build on what the government has done to date - it is about working in partnership with the community and. importantly, making sure both government and non-government agencies are working together towards common outcomes," Ms Tebbutt said.

"This plan will contain specific strategies in key areas such as mental health, drug and alcohol and dual diagnosis, employment, Aboriginal health, young people, domestic violence and family support.

“Community and government service providers will work together in a joint planning process, with the involvement of representatives from federal and local government.

The plan will be developed by an Implementation Working Group comprised of government and non-government representatives, including representation by Aboriginal organisations.

"The Government will also make sure the community and all government and non-government organisations understand the report and its recommendations by facilitating workshops," Ms Tebbutt said.

Background Note - The Redfern/Waterloo Human Services Review

Redfern and Waterloo have been recognised as areas where many residents are experiencing disadvantage. Particular areas highlighted by the review include high levels of :

-           people living in public housing
-           unemployed and long term unemployment
-           people on disability and sickness benefits
-           psychiatric hospital admissions
-           children and young people who are leaving school early or not attending regularly
-           people with complex needs

There are significant resources being invested in the Redfern Waterloo Area. It is estimated to be $8-10 million specifically targeted to the residents of Redfern and Waterloo.

When taking into account services provided across Redfern and Waterloo through locally based and out of area the review estimates that there is $35-40 million invested in Human Services.

This funding represents support for 102 organisations providing 192 services to the residents of Redfern Waterloo. 65% of these are non government organisations.

What does the review say about the services?

Service delivery 1s based on stand alone services and had been based on historical decisions that do not reflect the current needs, Relationships between many services were found to be poor. Service negatives were found to be:

- uncoordinated and fragmented
- not addressing complex social needs
- focussed on outputs not outcomes
- poorly matching their clients expressed needs
- lacking locally based planning, decision making and community engagement
- lacking cultural sensitivity

Positive aspects of the services were:

- there is a broad range of Services easily accessible with same choice
- many staff are valued and are seen as approachable, supportive, committees and very skilled in some services
- there is considerable local knowledge
- there is a shared concern across all services of the issues facing the Redfern and Waterloo community

The Review puts forward three options:

Option 1  To consider a competitive funding regime for all services

Option 2 - To consider a selective tendering process for some specific services which might establish a different range of services, attract a different range of providers and might reduce the number of providers receiving NSW Government funding.

Option 3 - To embark on a developmental strategy which builds on the existing strengths; encourages more integrated service models and approaches, voluntary mergers, amalgamations and collocations; and includes the community in finding solutions.

Option 3 was the preferred option put forward by the consultants.

Government response to recommendations:

The Government has supported the consultant's recommendation of Option 3.

Option 3 commits the Government to work with the local community including residents, government and non government service providers as well as local and Commonwealth government to reshape and develop a Human Services Plan for Redfern and Waterloo.

The Plan:

The Human Services Plan will be developed over the next six months with Premiers as the lead agency and includes the establishment of an Implementation Working Group (IWG) involving government and non government agencies appointed by the Premiers department.

The IWG will:

-           develop a Human Services Plan for implementation in 2005 - 2006 which includes agreed community outcomes.
-           implement a community leadership and community capacity building strategy

The first priority is the development to put in place an action plan for families, children, young people, Aboriginal people, victims of domestic and family violence and those people with drug & alcohol and mental health issues.

In the next 12 months is plans will be developed in the areas of:

- access for people from CALD backgrounds
- future planning of services for people with disabilities
- future planning of services for people who are ageing.

2. The Plans will be developed by working parties. The working parties will:

- identify options for integrated service provision within their service cluster
- recommend action to achieve it
- develop an action plan for their service cluster, and
- provide advice to funding bodies on ways of strengthening service delivery in their area.

The working parties will include representatives from government, non-government and residents and will be supported by the RWPP Team.