Ms Wooldridge said that the Victorian Coalition Government is investing $12 million in the 2013-14 State Budget to continue to develop and start delivering an innovative new integrated service delivery model for human services, known as Services Connect.
“Services Connect is designed to connect people with the right support, address the whole range of a person’s or family’s needs, and help people build their capabilities to improve their lives,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“The Coalition Government articulated the need for this once-in-a-generation system-wide reform when we released Human services: the case for change in December 2011,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“We inherited a human services system that largely works in rigid silos where case managers are often unable to link individuals and families with the full range of services they require. This results in poor outcomes for the clients and is a poor use of available funding.”
Services Connect brings together services such as child protection, public housing, disability, youth justice, family violence, mental health, and alcohol and drug services to provide an integrated response.
Since releasing Human services: the case for change, the government has developed and successfully trialled a new approach to case management for clients with complex needs – a core component of the Services Connect model – in Dandenong, Geelong and the South West Coast.
“In the next 12 months we will introduce the full model in our lead sites and start rolling it out to new sites across the state,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“Services Connect will transform our processes, up-end the traditional welfare model and ultimately encourage independence for the people we assist.
“This new model, and the vision it embodies will make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged Victorians and their families.”
At the core of Services Connect is a model of service delivery that provides:
- one assessment when people and their families access human services,
- instead of multiple assessments that duplicate each other;
- one client record instead of multiple records held by different services, so that people only need to tell their story once;
- one key worker to be a single point of contact for people with complex needs, so that they don’t need to navigate through a maze of services on their own; and
- one plan that considers the full range of a person’s or family’s needs,
- goals and aspirations, and covers the full range of services they receive.
“Services Connect is forging joined-up human services that will make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable Victorians and their families,” Ms Wooldridge said.
Mary Wooldridge MP
State Member for Doncaster
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Community Services
Minister for Disability Services and Reform