Family Mental Health Support Services Questions and Answers Issue no. 5

Wednesday 27 March 2013


Q1.  Could you please confirm further the eligibility of a child or young person where the parental responsibility is shared or totally delegated to the Minister or Chief Executive.  The Resource Kit makes reference to these specific children and young people as being ineligible for the New FMHSS program, however under the Out of Home Care section the suggestion is made that these same children and young people may in fact fit the eligibility criteria if they are living in or transitioning into independent housing.
It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide some additional clarifications, definitions or examples of this.

A1.  Children and families in contact with the child protection system (where families retain parental responsibility) may be eligible for New FMHSS.  Families with children under the care of the child protection system (that is children under Child Protection Orders and where the State has total or shared parental responsibility) are not eligible for new FMHSS.

If young people are in the care of the Child Protection system but are transitioning out of that system (usually starts about the age of 15 years) then they may be eligible for FMHSS, providing they have an adult carer or family member willing and able to work with them and the FMHSS to improve their mental health outcomes.

Q2.  Young people leaving Out of Home Care are a new priority group for the FMHSS, however there appears to be a contradiction between this and the prohibiting of work with children in the care system. In NSW young people leave care at 18, the end of the age range for the program, but planning begins for this at around age 15. Is it possible for the new FMHSS to work with young people identified as being at risk of mental illness in the development of leaving care plans and support when leaving care, even though they are still within the care system?

A2.  Footnote 7 of Part C3 of the Program Guidelines provides more detail on the Young People leaving out of Home care.  Also See Answer 1.

Young people leaving out-of-home care (arranged through the relevant child protection agency) may be eligible for New FMHSS if they are at risk of or affected by mental illness and have a family or carers willing to work with them to improve their mental health outcomes.

Q3.  In terms of funding (Program Guidelines Part C3, page 18) please advise in regard to the definition of “remote sites” which may qualify a service for a variation in the level of funding.

A3.  For FMHSS remote sites the department uses the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Areas.

Coverage Areas

Q4.  Bundaberg is not listed as an identified area for a new FMHSS service to be established, however, the need is great. There are many individuals in this region, both mainstream and Indigenous, who would benefit from this service and with the range of recent natural disasters the most vulnerable continue to miss out.

A4.  In this selection process, FMHSS funding is only available for the Coverage Areas listed on the DSS funding web page and in the Application Form.

Q5.  FMHSS does not cover North East Victoria. Why does this funding not cover rural areas which lack services to support the development of children and support parents with mental health issues?

A5.  In this selection process, FMHSS funding is only available for the Coverage Areas listed on the DSS funding web page and in the Application Form, which includes rural areas.

Q6.  Would an application for Greater Dandenong only be considered if it is from an organisation physically located in the Greater Dandenong area, or can an organisation that is located nearby still apply?

Q7.  Can an organisation that is based in Hobart but whose services cover the entire state apply for funding for Devonport and the Central Coast?

A6 and 7.  Eligible organisations from within and outside the coverage areas can apply for funding to deliver FMHSS services in those coverage areas.  Services have to be delivered to people who live in the coverage area and Applicants will be assessed on responses to Criterion 3 of the Application Form.   The extent to which the Applicant demonstrates that it is connected with relevant service networks and social infrastructure operating in the particular Coverage Area.

Other Issues

Q8.  Is the set caseload per FTE or per site?

A8.  Annual Targets as listed at 4.5.3 in Part C3 of the Program Guidelines are per site over the course of a year.

Q9.  Would the Team Leader need to deliver a full caseload or a partial caseload?

A9.  The Team Leader role is responsible for providing direction and support to the whole team and connecting with local community and clinical services. The caseload allocated to each position is a matter for each applicant to determine for their proposed service in accordance with the annual targets listed at section 4.5.3 in Part C3 of the Program Guidelines.

Q10.  Does DSS have an existing FMHSS database that they would like us to use? If so, what would the rental cost be for this database?

A10.  DSS Reports are to be submitted electronically.  Providers should therefore ensure they have internet access and compatible IT (Windows 2000 or later and Adobe Reader 7.0.5 or later).  There are no rental costs.

Q11.  Section 4.1.4 of Part C3 of the Program Guidelines states that FMHSS cannot provide 'purchase of goods and services for participants and their families, with limited exceptions'. Does this provision rule out a brokerage model of service delivery?

Q12.  In regards to subcontractors – can providers have subcontractors in their service model?

There is confusion as to whether providers are allowed to use subcontractors in this model as the Terms and Conditions of the Funding Agreement state:

28 Subcontractors
28.1 You agree not to subcontract any of your obligations under this Agreement without first getting our written consent.
28.2 If we give our consent, we may impose any conditions we consider appropriate, and you must comply with them.
28.3 You are not relieved of your obligation to carry out the Activity as required by this Agreement merely because you subcontract any part of the Agreement.
28.4 You agree to ensure that any subcontracts entered into by you for the purposes of this Agreement are consistent with the obligations binding on you under this Agreement.
28.5 If we terminate or reduce the scope of this Agreement under either clauses 22.1or 23.1, you must exercise any right of termination or reduction you have against any of your subcontractors.

If providers are to utilise subcontractors is it sufficient to answer question 13 of the application form?

A11 and 12.  In New FMHSS, providers are required to deliver all the services themselves, unless they have obtained written approval from DSS to subcontract or broker the service, as part of the application process.  Information required of applicants seeking to include subcontracting and brokerage in their proposal is set out in the Application Form.

Q13.  Would it be sufficient to fill in the table in question 20 of the Application Form with the program name, number of services funded by DSS, and write ‘Currently funded ’in the Funding Commenced section, or does an initial start date need to be included?

A13.  An initial start date written as the Month and Year should be included.

Q14.  Does the age range of 0 – 18 years imply that zero is at birth or does it refer to conception?

A14.  New FMHSS work with children and young people (up to the age of 18 years) affected by, or at risk of mental illness, and their families.  If a child is not yet born, it would not be possible to work with them.

Q15.  Do any attachments (where attachments are allowed) have to fit within the word limit or do they sit outside the word limit?

A15.  Attachments are not included in the word limit.

Q16.  The tender indicates $61 million over 5 years with this round of funding having 20 additional locations. Can you clarify whether this means each new service will have a budget of approximately $3 million over the 5 year period?

A16.  No, each new service will receive funding of $356,300 per year as set out in section 3.1 of Part C3 of the Program Guidelines.

The Government is investing $61 million over five years to establish 40 new Family Mental Health Support Services, 13 of these are operational, and with these 20 additional locations this will take the total New FMHSS to 33. 

Opportunities to apply for funding for the last seven sites will be advertised on the DSS website in the future.

Q17.  Are start-up costs included as part of the FMHSS funding?

A17.  Establishment funding will be provided for one-off costs associated with setting up the New FMHSS.

Q18.  Can you please confirm if text in a footnote (such as a reference to a data source) is counted towards the word limit?

A18.  Text in footnotes will not be counted towards the word limit.

Q19.  Will FMHSS funding be available again later this year?

A19.  A further seven New FMHSS sites will be advertised in the media and on the DSS website in the future at a date to be determined.

Q20.  Will the funding include an allowance for capital costs for transportation to ensure options for outreach support?

A20.  Travel and other costs associated with undertaking outreach activity should be included in the annual budget.

Q21.  Is an organisation that is applying for two Coverage Areas required to submit two applications, one for each location, or is one application for both locations sufficient?

A21.  Applicants must complete a separate Application Form for each Coverage Area in which they wish to apply for funding.

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