Practice tools and systems

Practice tools and systems for service providers

We have developed a range of tools and systems to make it easier for people to gain access to the right services based on their needs.

These tools help you and all homelessness service providers to:

  • carry out consistent assessments and referrals
  • accept assessments and referrals
  • connect people to appropriate and available services
  • record and share client information (with their consent)
  • share accurate and up-to-date information about available accommodation and support services.

Client Information Management System

The Client Information Management System (CIMS) is a key tool that supports good practice through consistent processes for you as a homelessness service provider. The CIMS helps you deliver a better and faster response for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

What are the benefits of the CIMS?

The CIMS supports consistent practice for client assessment, referrals and information sharing, and prevents clients from having to retell their story each time they access a service.

CIMS enables you to:

  • conduct and record an assessment of client needs
  • easily search and share client records, with client consent
  • restrict access to client records for safety reasons
  • send and receive electronic referrals
  • access up-to-date service information
  • find real time support and accommodation vacancies.

Initial Assessment

When a person calls Link2home or presents at a specialist homelessness service in NSW, they will receive an initial assessment to help determine their immediate needs and any safety issues.

The initial assessment is based on a set of questions used by all service providers to determine the response that will best meet the client’s needs. The Initial Assessment Form can be used when conducting an Initial Assessment interview.

The Initial Assessment tool on the CIMS allows you to record this information, including your client’s identified needs and the actions you, or a more appropriate service provider, can take to respond to these needs.

We have also developed this question guide to assist you to seek responses that identify your client’s needs.

Vacancy Management System

The Vacancy Management System (VMS) is designed to help you as a service provider find available accommodation and support services for your clients.

The VMS means you don’t have to ring around to find accommodation vacancies and support for your clients suited to their needs and location. It also helps you maintain and update vacancy information for your service.

While the VMS helps you find possible solutions faster, it is still up to you to confirm that a particular service will accept a client referral.

The VMS:

  • provides an at-a-glance view of available vacancy information across NSW
  • gives the ability to search for accommodation with support or for support only
  • enables you to search for services by locality, district or client group
  • reduces the need to call multiple services to determine whether vacancies exist.

For the system to work efficiently, you need to review and update your vacancy information on a daily basis, if necessary.

Where can I get help with the CIMS?

We have developed a range of quick reference guides to help you use the CIMS and VMS.

Information about further support for using the CIMS is on the CIMS log-in page.