Practice guidelines and protocols

A range of guidelines, protocols and resources are available to support and inform homelessness services practice and service delivery.

Homelessness services contracts

Contracts for homelessness services explain the terms and conditions for FACS funding and the services and programs being funded.

The contracts for services funded under the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Program are made up of standard documents, including the:

All service providers funded under the SHS Program must deliver services in line with these contracts and documents, and the practices outlined in the SHS Program Guidelines and SHS Practice Guidelines.

SHS Program Guidelines

The SHS Program Guidelines define the purpose of the program and appropriate use of funding. These guidelines are designed to assist you to plan and report on the performance and quality of your service.

SHS Practice Guidelines

The SHS Practice Guidelines contain key information and tools to help you as, a service provider, apply good practice design and service delivery principles.

These guidelines were developed so all service providers have consistent information about the principles and models of best practice across the homelessness services system. This means a client can receive a consistently high quality of service no matter where they enter the service system.

The practice guidelines are presented in a series of modules. Each module explains the elements that enable your service to deliver holistic client-centred responses in collaboration with the broader service system. There are also interactive forms to help you with self assessment and reporting.

Specialist Homelessness Services Case Management Kit

Case management is the key to assisting and working effectively with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a range of complex needs.

The SHS Case Management Resource Kit provides more detailed guidance on good practice case management in SHS to help you work with clients in a way that meets their needs and goals and empowers them to better manage their future.

The resource kit is divided into 3 sections:

  • Section 1: Introduction
  • Section 2: Case management in context – definition; policy; legislation; practice principles
  • Section 3: Case management in practice – relationship; elements; assessment; planning; acting; reviewing; working with other services.

Policy for delivery of services to unaccompanied children and young people aged 12 to 15 years

Children and young people who are homeless are likely to have experienced abuse, neglect or family violence at home, or mental illness. They may have also been in contact with the justice system, misused drugs and alcohol, or disengaged from education.

The Unaccompanied Children and Young People 12–15 Years Accessing Specialist Homelessness Services Policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of homelessness services, FACS and the broader service system based on the age and legal status of the child or young person. The policy also provides a framework for a more collaborative response to children and young people who need specialist support.

Specialist homelessness services and Homeless Youth Assistance Program (HYAP) providers are expected to deliver services to unaccompanied children and young people in accordance with the policy.

Homeless Youth Assistance Program (HYAP) protocols

In consultation with service providers, FACS developed a service delivery framework to guide the development and delivery of HYAP services that lead to improved outcomes for vulnerable children and young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

FACS is currently developing district-level protocols for responding to children and young people that will specify how the local service system responds to unaccompanied children and young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The local service system network is made up of SHS, FACS, NSW Government agencies and wider youth services.

Keys to Opening Doors: A kit to facilitate engagement with the private rental market

The private rental market is an important option for finding and securing stable long-term housing for some people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Keys to Opening Doors is a toolkit that assists homelessness service providers and other support workers to work effectively within the private rental market so they can support clients to access private rental tenancies.

The kit is designed specifically to assist services to build partnerships with real estate agents that benefit the private rental provider, property manager and clients.

It complements the Rent It Keep It training package used to train clients to access and sustain private rental tenancies.

The Keys to Opening Doors includes a facilitator’s guide, workbook and presentation that can be presented in a group setting of housing and support workers, in a single agency, or across a range of agencies. Individual workers can also work through the kit at their own pace.