National Online and 1800 Counselling Service Expression of Interest : Questions and Answers - Industry Briefing

If you would like a copy of the National Online and 1800 Counselling Service Industry Briefing Presentation held in Canberra on 12 October 2009, please call 1800 505 619 or email violence helpline.

Q1. Is the new Service replacing, or an addition to, other existing services? How does the Department envisage the national line as an add-on to existing services?

A1. The new national Service will need to demonstrate sufficient flexibility to adapt and evolve to meet the changing requirements of the service delivery landscape. Detailed discussions with state and territory governments will occur prior to implementation.

Q2. The EOI documentation refers to an expected annual call rate of 20,000. Is this an average?

A2. 20,000 is an average anticipated call rate.

Q3. Are there any restrictions on the organisational structure of the new Service? Is a non-profit organisation preferred?

A3. Under the extended EOI process there are no restrictions on the organisational structure of the new service provider. If the selected service provider(s) are part of a consortia arrangement, a lead agency will need to be identified. The Department will engage with the lead agency in the negotiation of the funding agreement to provide the Service. All proponents will be evaluated based on the merits of their EOI submission.

Q4. In reviewing the elements of the EOI, is the Department seeking a description of the service delivery model?

A.4. The Department is seeking EOI submissions that outline an approach to delivering the new national Service. If the Department proceeds to the second stage then more detailed information will be required.

Q5. Can the Department provide any further information on the Government’s social marketing campaign, including the medium/media through which it will be communicated and the proposed budget for the campaign?

A5. The Government is developing a national social marketing campaign to prevent violence against women and children with an investment of $17 million over 4 years (2009/10-2012/13). For more information please refer to the Department’s website at www.fahcsia.gov.au.

Q6. Will the successful service provider be badged as a provider of an Australian Government initiative?

A6. The Australian Government’s investment in the new Service will need to be appropriately recognised.

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Q7. What will the Department be expecting in regards to the promotional activities for the new Service? Will the successful provider be responsible for marketing the new service to the public? In jurisdictions that are already well supported by existing services will it be necessary to promote the new Service?

A7. The Australian Government will be responsible for the broad marketing of the new Service. It is envisaged that the successful service provider will develop relationships with key stakeholders.

Q8. After the extended EOI process closes, will the second stage be available only to those shortlisted, or will it be open to the public also?

A8. The second stage of the selection process is a restricted competitive selection process. Organisations rated as suitable will be invited to apply for funding to provide the new Service, should the Department decide to proceed to the second stage of the selection process.

Q9. Do service providers need to already have hardware in place?

A9. No. However, the successful service provider will be expected to be able to provide the necessary equipment required to operate the Service within a reasonable timeframe.

Q10. Will there be a separate grant for establishment costs for the new Service?

A10. No. The total budget for the new National Online and 1800 Telephone Service is $12.5 million over 4 years.

Q11. Can money from the $12.5 million budget be used for establishing the necessary hardware for the new Service?

A11. Yes.

Q12. Are the States and Territories aware of the process being undertaken to establish and operate the new Service?

A12. Yes.

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Q13. Can additional questions about the extended EOI process be submitted for response after the Industry Briefing?

A13. Yes additional questions can be sent to violence helpline (violencehelpline@dss.gov.au) or by calling 1800 505 619.

Q14. Can you please provide further information on the term ‘warm transfer’ in the context of the new Service?

A14. The term ‘warm transfer’ is a term used to indicate that the new service should provide any individual seeking assistance with a professional and immediate response to ensure the first door is the right door. It is envisaged that a range of techniques will be employed to achieve this.

Q15. Will crisis situations be referred to existing State and Territory service lines?

A.15 This will be agreed following detailed discussions between State and Territory governments.

Q16. Will calls to existing State and Territory numbers be transferred to the new national Service?

A16. This will be agreed following detailed discussions between State and Territory governments.

Q17. Are organisations required to outline a marketing and communications strategy in their EOI submission?

A17. This could be addressed at a high level in EOI submissions.

Q18. Is the budget for the Social Marketing campaign separate from the budget for the National Online and 1800 Counselling Service?

A18. Yes. The budget for the Social Marketing campaign is $17 million over 4 years (2009/10-2012/13). The budget for the National Online and 1800 Counselling Service is $12.5 million over 4 years (2009/10-2012/13). The two budgets are separate and discrete.

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Q19. Existing services operate at different levels using a variety of approaches. What is the Department’s plan to ensure the quality of the new Service across Australia?

A19. As part of the development of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women the Commonwealth Government will work together with State and Territory Governments to establish appropriate service delivery standards.

Q20. Will the budget for the new Service be allocated in its entirety upon the commencement of the funding agreement?

A20. The Government has committed $12.5 million over 4 years to establish and operate the new Service.

Q21. Does the Department envisage that the new National Online and 1800 Counselling Service will provide leadership and influence the entire network of existing family and domestic violence and sexual assault telephone and online counselling services? For example, in the areas of professional development, innovative approaches, using best practice etc.

A21. The Australian Government seeks to demonstrate national leadership in all its dealings.

Q22. In your presentation you referred to there being around 34 lines across Australia that could be classified as being DV and SA related. Can you provide a list of these services as it seems you have already identified them?

A22. The Department has not identified all existing family and domestic violence and sexual assault telephone and online counselling and support services. This figure is an estimate based on background research.

Q23. In the Q&A listing of the EOI, Q9 relates to the qualifications of Telephone Counsellors. The answer says “It is anticipated that counsellors and supervisors for the Service will have relevant experience and qualifications in social work, psychology or a related field”. The industry briefing says tertiary qualified counsellors. There are various definitions and expectations of the term tertiary qualification. Some suggest that only undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are considered tertiary qualifications whilst others suggest that post secondary education including TAFE based certificates (Certificate IV and above) are included.  Can you please provide clarification of your expectation regarding the level of qualification that is acceptable in the EOI process?

A23. It is anticipated that counsellors and supervisors for the Service will have relevant experience and qualifications in social work, psychology or a related field.  In assessing this requirement it is anticipated that the Department will have regard to:

  • Counsellors and supervisors for this Service possessing, or being eligible for, membership of an appropriate organisation eg. Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) or the Australian Psychological Society (APS)
    and/or
  • Counsellors and supervisors having obtained relevant qualifications at a university level;
    and
  • Counsellors and supervisors having relevant or direct experience in specialised FDV/SA counselling, working with clients from diverse backgrounds and locations
Content Updated: 27 September 2013