Minister for Human Services
Human Services – Joined Up Project
26 May, 2016 [10:50AM]


QUESTION:

Could the minister please give an update to the House on the Joined Up Human Services project?

ANSWER:

Madam Speaker, this Government is committed to improving the outcomes for vulnerable Tasmanians, which is why we are committed to delivering a more joined up Human Services system in partnership with the community sector, as well as provide an investment of $1.2 million to progress this work.  The Joined Up Human Services policy articulates our long-term vision for delivering better outcomes for Tasmanians through integrated support that is easier to navigate, reduces frustration and duplication, and is focused on working with people to identify their own individual goals and to achieve results.  The Joined Up Human Services project is a four-stage approach to develop a service system that supports access to information and support and places clients with multiple and complex needs at the centre of a case-coordination service system.

Under the Joined Up project we are delivering five initiatives that examines a support system with people at the centre and facilitates communication and information sharing amongst service providers.  The first initiative is a place-based service, which will test key design elements for delivering Joined Up Human Services in a specific location – the Huon Valley local government area.  This initiative aims to strengthen existing Human Services systems relationships in the Huon Valley to enable greater collaboration and cooperation.

The second initiative is the person-based initiative targeting a minimum of 25 individuals experiencing very complex challenges such as family violence, child protection, substance abuse, and mental health.  This initiative involves a person-centred supportive and outcomes based, lead support, coordination service which will provide lead support coordinators to help clients access the multiple services and support they need.

The third initiative is service improvement, which will assess the effectiveness of earlier intervention through a lead support coordination approach with families where children are potentially at risk.  The initiative will determine if earlier intervention does prevent these families being referred back to Children and Youth Services for Child Protection intervention over the period of the initiative.

The fourth initiative is systems-based initiative and will determine the benefits provided from the use of an information, communications and technology system to enable support coordination and client outcome monitoring.

The final initiative is based around privacy.  It will review current information sharing processes and barriers to sharing information, while protecting clients and their rights.

A significant body of work has been undertaken in developing the Joined Up Human Services project and the five associated initiatives.  Most recently, the Joined Up Human Services team procured a consultant to undertake a social network analysis for the Huon Valley place-based service system initiative.  As well, the procurement for services that support the person-based, the service improvement and the systems-based initiatives are also currently being undertaken, along with the procurement of research and evaluation services.

Work on the Joined Up Human Services project has been undertaken in close collaboration with community sector organisations, peak bodies and government agencies.  I thank all the community sector organisations and peak bodies that have been so willing and generous with their time in their feedback on this project.  It has been great to see the high level of interest and goodwill shown by all stakeholders to these initiatives.

The project is also collaborating with other similar interstate and intrastate projects to ensure the learnings from each are being shared.  Representative groups also include the oversight steering committee, which is made up of senior department staff and four key non-government sector representatives.  Other working groups include the place-based Huon Valley lead working group.  This group includes six service providers and one Joined Up team member.  As we continue to move forward we expect to see the Joined Up Human Services project providing significant improvement in outcomes for vulnerable Tasmanians.