Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) - Questions and Answers

5. PHaMs Employment

5.1 Q. Will current PHaMs arrangements have to change?

A. No. PHaMs will continue to provide intensive individualised assistance to people with severe mental illness though the development of Individual Recovery Plans as described in the Program Guidelines.

5.2 Q. Are PHaMS Employment Specialists able to provide support to people who are already working?

A. Yes, provided they meet the PHaMs client eligibility criteria and the additional criteria for Specialist PHaMs employment services, including clients who are:

  • receiving the Disability Support Pension or other government income support payment;
  • engaged, or willing to be engaged with an employment service; and
  • willing to include goals relating to employment in his or her Individual Recovery Plan.

5.3 Q. Could you please confirm that the following new PHaMs programs are open tenders, and not closed or restricted tenders:

NSW

  • New PHaMs sites: Bega-Cooma, Auburn, The Hills, Port Stephens-Great Lakes, Ballina-Richmond Valley, Tamworth
  • Specialist PHaMs employment sites – Illawarra, Canterbury/Bankstown, NSW Central Coast, Blacktown, Liverpool and Fairfield, Camden-Campbelltown, Central Western Sydney

QLD

  • New PHaMs sites – Tablelands/Cassowary Coast, Burnett
  • Specialist PHaMs employment – Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast

VIC

  • New PHaMs sites – Ararat
  • New combined PHaMs and PHaMs employment – Horsham, Broadmeadows, Bendigo & Goldfields region, Casey/Cardinia
  • Specialist PHaMs employment site – Frankston/Mornington Peninsula, Greater Geelong, Westgate and Plenty

A. Yes.

6. Coverage Areas

6.1 Q. Is there a map that defines the boundaries for service delivery? For example, the Mid North/Yorke and Barossa/Gawler?

A. Boundaries of the Local Government Areas are available through the Australian Local Government Association at www.alga.asn.au

6.2 Q. Are PHaMs applications open to The Riverland?

A. PHaMs funding is only available for Local Government Areas within the Coverage Areas listed on the DSS website and in the Application Form.

6.3 Q. Are applications limited to community organisations located in the Coverage Areas or are applications open to all community organisations across Australia?

A. Eligible organisation from within and outside the coverage areas can apply for funding to deliver PHaMs services in those Coverage Areas.

6.4 Q. Can you please provide more information on the Personal Helpers and Mentors Positions being funded in the Cassowary Coast area?

A. All available information about the Personal Helpers and Mentors funding round can be found on the DSS website.

6.5 Q. The Gold Coast Region does not seem to be included for funding. Is that correct? If so, why not?

A. At this time PHaMs funding is only available for Local Government Areas within the Coverage Areas listed on the DSS website and in the Application Form.

Sites for new PHaMs and expansion of existing PHaMs services have been prioritised on the basis of filling geographic gaps in service coverage in high need areas. New PHaMs services will be located in sites with large geographic gaps in service coverage or a demonstrated high need for an additional service (to be selected through an open competitive process). In sites with smaller geographic gaps in service coverage, funding will be provided to existing PHaMs services to employ additional personal helpers and mentors (to be selected through restricted or direct processes).

6.6 Q. Are PHaMs or any other TCC (MH) Programs being provided in the LaTrobe Valley or Gippsland areas?

A. The location of all services funded under the Targeted Community Care Program is available on the DSS website.

7. Application Form

7.1 Q. Is there a word limit or character limit on each of the five selection criteria questions?

A. Yes. Word limits for the Selection Criteria are specified on the Application Form.

7.2 Q. Question 27 on the Application Form asks how applicants will tailor services to meet the needs of participants from special needs groups. Does “special needs groups” in this context apply:

  • specifically to the targeted high-need vulnerable groups identified on P.8 of Part C1 as “Indigenous Australians, homeless people and humanitarian entrants” orto any special needs groups identified in the LGA concerned?

A. As specified in Part C 4.5.1 services are required to prioritise and actively target the special needs groups listed or others identified locally.

7.3 Q. Are applicants required to have the formal parallel servicing arrangements (as detailed in 4.4.2 PHaMs Employment Services (Part C1)) in place prior to submitting an application?

A. No. Applicants should, in their responses against the Selection Criteria, provide evidence of any existing links within the Coverage Area. These links could include memoranda of understanding or exchange of letters that set out:

  • how the arrangements will operate;
  • the process for managing referrals; and
  • the respective roles and responsibilities of each party.

8. Other Issues

8.1 Q. After the closing date of 20th December, 2012, how long will it be before the successful applicants are announced.

A. It is anticipated the roll-out of new services will occur in February, May and August 2013.

8.2 Q. Is the funding for non-metropolitan areas noted in your table per year or for a number of years? How many years is the funding available?

A. The funding amounts specified are per financial year. Funding for new PHaMs services is available until 30 June 2016.

8.3 Q. On Page 8 of Part B: Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program Information for Applicants it says ‘Only one application per organisation/ region will be assessed’ however on the list of locations available they are described either as state or site. What is a "region"?

A. "Region" refers to a PHaMs site Coverage Area.

8.4 Q. How can I access the Eligibility Screening Tool?

A. Access to the Eligibility Screening Tool is available through a link on Page 17 of the PHaMs resource kit: https://reporting.dss.gov.au/

8.5 Q. It appears to us that the only option in Victoria is for a new PHAMs service at Ararat. We are seeking to explore the possibility of the FMHSS as this is most applicable for our constituents. Is the Department funding new Family Mental Health Support Services?

A. A range of services are available in Victoria, as listed on the DSS website.

The Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS) is an early intervention measure for children and young people, and their families. The next round of funding for FMHSS is planned for early 2013 and will be advertised in the media and on the DSS website.

8.6 Q. Is the Department providing any establishment funds/ grants to successful applicants for New PHaMs service / New specialist PHaMs employment service / New combined PHaMs - specialist PHaMs employment services?

A. Yes. The amount of establishment funding to be provided has not yet been determined, and will depend on a range of factors, such as location of services and service type.

8.7 Q. The documents state that “an open selection process is being used for all new PHaMs”, and “For extended or expanded PHaMs, the Department is approaching one or more existing providers of PHaMs.” However, some of the coverage areas that are included in the open selection process already offer PHaMs. What is the distinction between the expanded/extended services in some existing areas being offered as direct or restricted application processes and others being offered by open selection processes?

A. A range of factors were taken into account when considering the location of new services or expanding current services. New specialist PHaMs employment services (to be selected through an open competitive process) will be located in areas with large numbers of people on income support with a primary psychiatric disability. In areas with smaller numbers of people on income support with a primary psychiatric disability, additional funding will be provided to existing PHaMs services to employ specialist employment personal helpers and mentors (to be selected through restricted or direct processes).

Areas for new PHaMs and expansion of existing PHaMs services have been prioritised on the basis of filling geographic gaps in high need areas. New PHaMs services will be located in areas with large geographic gaps or a demonstrated high need for an additional service (to be selected through an open competitive process). In areas with smaller geographic gaps, funding will be provided to existing PHaMs services to employ additional personal helpers and mentors (to be selected through restricted or direct processes).

8.8 Q. In sites that are being offered as new PHaMs/ PHaMs employment sites (eg. Broadmeadows in Victoria) will existing PHaMs providers currently covering that area continue to also provide services?

A. Yes.

8.9 Q. Is the list of the areas being offered by direct or restricted application process available?

A. No, successful organisations will be announced publicly and posted on the DSS website.

8.10 Q. The Application Pack refers to “this round of funding.” Is there a future round of funding for PHaMs for this funding period planned?

A. The timing of future funding rounds for PHaMs has not yet been determined. Future funding rounds will be advertised in the media and on the DSS website.

8.11 Q. The Application Pack state that “this round of funding will add more than 230 extra personal helpers and mentors in more than 50 locations across the nation.” It also states that “In each coverage area where a new PHaMs service is to be established, funding will be available to employ at least five PHaMs (six in WA).” Across the 38 service areas listed, this adds up to less than 200 extra PHaMs. How can the difference be accounted for?

A. The difference is accounted for by the additional personal helpers and mentors to be funded through expansions to existing PHaMs services. The 38 Coverage Areas only relate to the open selection processes.

8.12 Q. We provide another specialist service across all areas in the metropolitan area to some of the targeted/special needs groups. Do we still need to apply for PHaMs focusing on areas advertised or can we put in an application for an additional service to targeted groups across the metropolitan area?

A. PHaMs funding is only available for Local Government Areas within the Coverage Areas listed on the DSS website and in the Application Form.

8.13 Q. We are an existing PHaMs service. Should we apply under the establishment and delivery of a new PHaMs service or under the expansion or extension of an existing PHaMs service for the employment funding and which Core Selection Criteria apply?

A. You should apply under the establishment and delivery of a new PHaMs service.

8.14 Q. Could you please clarify if the five team members are funded as full time workers (Full time equivalent) or can they be part-time.

A. In the team of five, some may be employed as part time to enable greater flexibility.

8.15 Q. Part B (Information for Applicants p.7) states that “organisations will be assessed on the extent to which they offer the Australian Government value for money”. How is “value for money” defined in this context? Does it mean the number of clients the applicant-organisation expects to see vis a vis the amount of the funding? Or does value for money mean the amount of funding that will be spent of servicing clients (ie rather than on operational or other such indirect costs)? Or does it have some other meaning altogether?

A. Value for money will be determined through consideration of:

  • The effective use of funding, and appropriateness of the proposed budget;
  • The level of service coverage offered;
  • The capacity of the service- including number of staff employed and hours for each positions;
  • The quality of support that will be provided to participants – including duration and intensity of assistance; and
  • Any additional benefits offered as part of the proposed service.

In addition to value for money considerations, applications will be evaluated using the Selection Criteria set out in clause 3.8 of Part C1 of the Program Guidelines, namely:

  • average scores against the Core Selection Criteria;
  • past performance; and
  • outcomes at a regional and/or state level.

8.16 Q. On page 18 of Part C1, describes the focus of PHaMs as being (in part) for people who may prefer not to engage with traditional services. Does “traditional services” in this context refer to traditional mental health services?

A. “Traditional services” refers to a range of services that an individual may have accessed previously.

8.17 Q. 4.5.2 Team approach to service delivery (Part C1) “DSS expects a standard PHaMs service to employ a team of five.” Does this apply to the General PHaMs Service AND the Specialist PHaMs Employment Service?

A. Yes.

8.18 Q. 4.5.3 Mandatory caseloads for PHaMs teams (Part C1)“Overall caseloads for each PHaMs service are dependent on the level of funding provided. The base funding level provides for a minimum service caseload of 45 participants at any point in time.” Do the 45 participants refer to intensive participants only? Or does the 45 include both intensive and less intensive participants?

A. The "45 participants" refers to generalist PHaMs workers, where caseloads are limited to up to 12 active participants for each worker. For PHaMs specialist employment workers it is expected they will provide intensive support to 10 to 12 participants and less intensive support to a further 10-12 participants.

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