National Quality Framework Submission: Alice Springs Youth Accommodation & Services Inc.
Alice Springs Youth Accommodation and Support Services (ASYASS) Inc, established in 1990, provides accommodation and support services to young people (14-21 years) from Alice Springs and surrounding areas. ASYASS operates from a youth rights based perspective. Our services and programs aim to encourage the development of skills that will allow young people to make positive life choices that will enable them to actively participate as valued members of their communities. Core business of ASYASS includes; 1. Ensuring young people have access to safe, secure, appropriate and affordable housing 2. Case management & skills development 3. Emergency relief & brief interventions and 4. Advocacy.
ASYASS programs include;
1. ASYASS Crisis Refuge:
Provide supported crisis accommodation for up to seven-nine young people between the ages of 15 and 17yrs inclusive.
2. ASYASS Youth Housing Program:
Provides semi-supported accommodation (up to twelve months) to young people (including singles, couples, single parents and young families) 15 to 21years of age. ASYASS currently manages eight flats, seven two bedroom flats and one single bedroom flat.
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3. Ampe akweke Place 'Little Babies Place'
Provides both outreach support and transitional accommodation service (up to three months) for young women 14 - 21 yrs who are perinatal. Support focuses on psycho-social support and parenting education and assistance.
4. Emergency Relief Program (ERP):
Provides financial support to young people who find themselves needing financial assistance in the form of:
- purchase vouchers of a fixed value (eg for food, transport or chemist vouchers);
- assistance with rent/accommodation;
- assistance to obtain appropriate forms of identification;
- part-payment of utility account/s;
- material assistance such as blankets, clothing or school needs; and/or
- Appropriate referrals to other services that help to address underlying causes of financial crisis.
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ASYASS Response to NQF discussion paper
ASYASS endorses the response to the NQF to support quality services for people experiencing homelessness developed and presented by National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH).
In particular ASYASS supports NYCH's proposal that the NQF ensures;
- Young peoples entitlements to quality services;
- A complimentary national homelessness legislation;
- A focus on service user participation and service user outcomes;
- A robust complaints mechanism;
- A commitment to Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI);
- Appropriate financial investment to the homelessness sector to support the implementation of quality standards;
- Ongoing commitment to support and resource the sector for CQI;
- The Australian Government provides leadership , direction and monitoring of State/Territory jurisdictions regarding the key deliverables as set down in National Partnership Agreements;
- That existing quality systems and accreditation processes be acknowledged; and
- The need to identify youth as a specialist group because of their stages of development.
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ASYASS also feels that the NQF;
- Should not be overly burdensome, adding further to demanding administrative and reporting requirements;
- Should be a staged process taking into account services existing capacities;
- Be supportive in assisting services to meet NQF requirements;
- Must support and further develop workforce capacity, not hinder it;
- Must be open and transparent.
Alice Springs Youth Accommodation and Support Services Inc
28 April 2010