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Human Services Review Factsheet

This is the text of the "Human Services Review" leaflet produced by the RWPP to explain the Findings of the Human Services review and promote feedback seesions to the community by the consultants. The original pdf file dated 3rd December 2004 is 560Kb and is available for download at the link below. We have maintained the orginal colour scheme so you can recognise the leaflet if you saw the original.

Human Services Redfern Waterloo Partnership Project

The Redfern-Waterloo Plan (2004-2014) contains initiatives around three key strategies – infrastructure, jobs and human services


Review to Reshape Redfern- Waterloo Social Services

The new Minister for Redfern-Waterloo, the Hon. Frank Sartor and Minister for Community Services, the Hon. Carmel Tebbutt have released the findings of the first complete review of human services in the Redfern- Waterloo area.

The Review of the Human Services System in Redfern-Waterloo was carried out by independent consultants, Morgan Disney & Associates, during the first six months of 2004. It was commissioned by the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project in response to widespread community concern about the adequacy of human services in the area.

The Review found that there are a total of 102 organisations providing 192 services in Redfern-Waterloo, with 22 services specifically for Aboriginal people.

Thirty of the services are focused solely on the Redfern-Waterloo area with funding amounting to between $8 and $10 million. When taking into account all services provided across Redfern and Waterloo through locally based and out of area organisations, there is between $35 and $40 million invested in human services.

During the Review, about 550 people were consulted, including 200 residents and staff from 80 service providers.

Around 20 per cent of participants were Aboriginal people.

Significantly, the Review calls for a Human Services

Plan to be developed to improve integration across both government and non-government services.

The recommendations from the Report on the Review of Human Services, will now be used to help design strategies to ensure the right services are delivered to the right people – and that services work together to meet the needs of the community.

Invitation to attend Information Sessions

The Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project has asked Morgan Disney & Associates, consultants responsible for the Review of Human Services in Redfern-Waterloo, to explain their finding to members of the community.

Information sessions will be held as follows:

Public Sessions
Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt Street, Redfern Wednesday, 15 December 5.30 pm – 8.00 pm Thursday, 16 December 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Sessions for Governance/Management Committees
Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt Street, Redfern Thursday, 16 December 9.30 am – 12.30 pm 5.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Information session for workers in human services
Redfern Community Centre, Hugo StreetFriday, 17 December 9.30 am – 1.30 pm

Positive findings on the services were:

  • There are a broad range of services that are easily accessible with some Choice
  • Many staff are valued and are seen as approachable and supportive, and very skilled in some services
  • There is considerable local knowledge
  • There is shared concern across all services of the issues facing the Redfern and Waterloo community

Challenges facing Redfern/Waterloo

Redfern and Waterloo have been recognised as areas where many residents are experiencing disadvantage. Particular areas highlighted by the report 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 dealing with complex needs in their lives

Review Recommendations

Reform of the local services system will achieve improved outcomes for the community and clients. The Review found that there is considerable rhetoric, but few concrete examples of integrated service delivery.

According to the Review Report, research elsewhere confirms that this is common in human services systems: people may agree that integration is needed but they persist in acting in ways that continue the fragmentation of the system because it is not easy to change systems and develop new ways of working. The Review found that the way in which the current system operates within Redfern-Waterloo does not support people through integrative practice.

The following recommendations are made about the reshaping of the human services system:

  • Develop a local human services planning framework, linked to a locality based model
  • Establish an implementation working group and working groups to implement changes to the human services system
  • Implement a community leadership and capacity building strategy
  • Develop strategies in priority areas
  • Improve the coherence, effectiveness and accessibility of services

The Next Step – The Human Services Delivery Plan

A working group – to be known as the Implementation Working Group (IWG) - will be set up with representatives from government, non-government and Aboriginal organisations.

Their responsibility will be to develop the first Human Services Plan for 2005/06.

This will include agreed community outcomes and a community leadership and capacity building strategy. The Plan will be considered by Government in May 2005.

The Human Services Delivery Plan will build on the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project’s past achievements and include strategies for the priority areas of youth; mental health, drug and alcohol and dual diagnosis; Aboriginal people; and families and children, including domestic and family violence.

Time-limited working groups will be set up for each of the priority areas to develop and progress the strategies.

In developing the Plan, the Implementation Working Group will also make recommendations for locality based planning and decision making.

What the Review found

The main finding is that the human services system needs to be reformed and reshaped at the local level to achieve improved outcomes for the community and clients.

Changes must be made to build a more integrated service system and more collaborative approaches to service provision.

Significant improvements are required in relationships.

The most important priority to emerge is the need for a well coordinated human services system response. Other key priorities are the need for more effective services relating to:

  • Youth
  • Families and children, including domestic and family violence
  • Aboriginal people
  • Mental health, drug and alcohol and dual diagnosis
  • Crime prevention and community safety
  • Employment
  • Housing support and homelessness
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • People with disabilities
  • People who are ageing

The Review found there to be a satisfactory level of service provision in most areas including family and children’s services, disability, ageing, employment support and housing and homelessness support services.

What needs to be improved, however, is the effectiveness of services and their ability to work together in addressing complex social issues and meeting client needs.

The Review identified issues within the system as a whole. These included services found to be:

  • Needing better coordination and less fragmentation
  • Unable to adequately address complex social needs
  • Focussed on outputs not outcomes
  • Poorly matching their client’s expressed needs
  • Lacking locally based planning, decision making and community engagement
  • Needing to build better cultural competence and appropriateness for the diverse cultural communities in the area

It also found that both communities and the human services system across the two suburbs have a lot of strengths, and many people are committed to improving the area’s public image. Community leadership and capacity building strategies are recommended as initiatives to support and develop this community commitment.

Overall, Waterloo is the more disadvantaged of the two areas but the striking feature of Redfern is the co-existence of extremes of advantage and disadvantage. Gentrification of Redfern is well advanced and is increasing in Waterloo.

This is seen by some people as a threat to the social mix of the area and unless well planned, creates the potential for a further worsening between levels of relative advantage and disadvantage across socio-economic groups.

Areas of disadvantage apply to the non-Aboriginal as well as the Aboriginal population.

No Reduction in Funding

There will be no reduction in funding of services in Redfern and Waterloo as a result of the reshaping of the system.

The Review Report said that there are significant resources being invested in the Redfern-Waterloo area. However, it shows that funding is ad-hoc. There is a need for greater accountability and a better focus on outcomes.

Funding models that can assist integrated services will also be implemented across the human services system by NSW Government agencies in 2005/06. These will replace, at least in part, the current program-based funding.

The idea behind this is to give the Redfern community more control over what services and projects are needed in the area.

Copies of the Human Services Review Report Available

Copies of the Review of the Human Services System in Redfern and Waterloo are available from the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project on CDROM or in hard copy.

The Report is also available on the RWPP’s website www.redfernwaterloo.nsw.gov.au

Questions and Answers

What is the role of the Redfern-Waterloo Partnership Project (RWPP) in the delivery of human services for Redfern and Waterloo?

  • The RWPP will work with NSW Government human service agencies to help strengthen existing services
  • The RWPP will support the IWG and the priority area working groups in the development of the Human Services Plan.

Will the Human Services delivery plan affect the services currently provided?

The RWPP will work to reshape the provision of human services currently delivered.

In particular:

  • Some community delivered services will be strengthened in terms of organisational capacity and/or physical facilities
  • Strategies will be adopted to increase the cultural responsiveness of some services to the Redfern-Waterloo population

What is meant by the term ‘integrated service delivery’?

The aim of an integrated service delivery approach is that:

  • There is leadership and commitment at all levels to overcome barriers to integration and achieve improved services for clients
  • The coordinated network enables clients to access a service at any point and know that they can get access to, and information about, other services in what is described as a ‘seamless’ service approach
  • Services are working together as teams and with clients to develop protocols, practices and methods which ensure a consistent approach across services
  • Services have a better understanding of and respect for the negotiated roles of other agencies, working together based on their specialist areas
  • Services can concentrate their limited resources on their specialist area of service delivery
  • Services form a coordinated network, tailored for a local region and capable of addressing the complex needs of its population

Elements of an integrated service delivery system could include:

  • Strategies for seeking client and family input into the development of services
  • Common referral processes and assessment system which minimises the requirement for multiple assessments
  • A coordinated information system
  • Coordinated case management approaches for common clients
  • Resource sharing which could include models for shared administrative services
  • Pooled funding and common reporting, monitoring and evaluation arrangements
  • Reorganisation of management structures
  • Mechanisms for shared decision making and problem solving
  • Joint training and ongoing opportunities for professional development
  • Co-location of services using out-servicing models and physical co-location of service delivery