This paper examines strategies to improve the way that government and community services work together to address the needs of vulnerable community members.
In late 2012 I was appointed to lead the Service Sector Reform project. The goal was to explore how government and non-government service providers can work together to improve outcomes for Victorians. I was asked to lead a process that engaged all stakeholders in a discussion about community and human services and in particular, to examine how support for Victoria’s most vulnerable people could be delivered in a more integrated way.
An intensive five-month consultation process took place between February and July 2013. During this period my project principal, Dr Bronte Adams, and I listened to the views of people in the community sector, public administration and the private sector. Consultation included public forums, individual meetings, focus groups and a submission process. We talked to ministers and departmental secretaries as well as frontline staff, case managers and community workers. We also heard from service users.
This report is a summarised account of many hours of discussions and more than a hundred submissions. The report represents my findings, although it is clear it also seeks to capture the voice of the community.