New Department, new grant programmes
The Department of Social Services (DSS) new grant arrangements brought together 18 programmes from five former departments into seven streamlined programmes to align social policy functions that span people’s entire lives.
The new programmes have been designed to streamline existing services to capitalise on common client needs, reduce duplication and ensure the most effective and efficient approaches are used to address community needs in line with Government priorities. Key to the new arrangements is a meaningful reduction in red tape, streamlined performance reporting and a greater opportunity for innovation and collaboration in the delivery of services.
Seven grant programmes
In addition to the four existing Ageing and Aged Care programmes, three new programmes have been created:
- Families and Communities Programme
- Housing and Homelessness Programme
- Disability, Mental Health and Carers Programme
The new programmes bring together similar services, and introduce administrative changes that reduce red tape and enable enhanced service provision on the ground to improve outcomes across the Australian community.
The streamlined grant programmes provide greater freedom for service providers who will no longer be restricted by overly prescriptive Programme Guidelines that can hinder solutions to community needs.
The attached diagram provides an overview of the new grant programmes.
Families and Communities
The Families and Communities Programme (FCP) incorporates a large portion of DSS grants to bring together early intervention and prevention services across communities.
Existing programmes have been streamlined into the new FCP to provide early intervention and prevention support to families, children, young people, volunteers, refugees, migrants and other individuals with special circumstances. Priorities include activities to improve financial wellbeing and capability, strengthen communities, support migrants transition to life in Australia, and ensure the lifetime wellbeing of families and children.
Further details on FCP can be found in the Programme Guidelines Overview and fact sheets below.
- National Initiatives Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Families and Communities Service Improvement Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Financial Wellbeing and Capability Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Strengthening Communities Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Settlement Services Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Families and Children Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
Housing and Homelessness
The Housing and Homelessness Programme will provide support for housing and homelessness research, peak bodies, innovative projects, and emerging Government priorities.
The programme will build the research evidence base to address homelessness and housing affordability over the long term and identify best practice models to enhance existing housing and homelessness policies and programmes.
It will focus on building the capacity of the community sector to improve linkages and networks, while also raising awareness of housing and homelessness issues at all levels of government and across the community.
Further details on the Housing and Homelessness Programme can be found in the Programme Guidelines Overview and fact sheet below.
- Housing and Homelessness Service Improvement and Sector Support Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
Disability, Mental Health and Carers
The Disability, Mental Health and Carers Programme will provide support for people with disability and mental health issues, and their carers.
The programme has a focus on early intervention and other support through community based initiatives. The Programme actively seeks to help individuals with disability to find a suitable position in the workplace.
The programme encompasses grants that promote an understanding of people with disability and carers, to encourage support for their dignity, rights and wellbeing and to maximise their potential to participate as equal citizens in society. Service models designed in consultation with the mental health sector will better meet the needs of clients, communities and service providers.
Further details on the Disability, Mental Health and Carers Programme can be found in the Programme Guidelines Overview and fact sheets below.
- Disability and Carer Service Improvement and Sector Support Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Disability and Carer Support Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
- Community Mental Health Programme Guidelines Overview and Fact Sheet
Ageing and Aged Care
There is no major change to the existing Ageing and Aged Care Programmes, with the exception of minor refinements to the activities within the Ageing and Service Improvement Programme.
The Ageing and Aged Care programmes were previously streamlined by the former Department of Health and Ageing in 2011. As a result, they already offer an effective approach to service delivery with a focus on service improvement through flexible funds.
The Ageing and Aged Care grant programmes are:
- Home Support Programme
- Residential and Flexible Care Programme
- Workforce and Quality Programme
- Ageing and Service Improvement Programme