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This Positioning Paper reports on the first stage of research into the adoption, in Australia, of new models of assertive outreach as responses to homelessness.

The aim of the study is to explore the ‘assertive outreach’ approach, with a specific focus on the potential for this approach to reduce rough sleeping. The study can be conceptualised as a formative evaluation in that it examines the early stages of implementing these new approaches to assertive outreach services.

New Street to Home service delivery models promoted under national homelessness policies have assertive outreach as a core component (Australian Government 2008). Support for these reportedly new service approaches to addressing rough sleeping is heavily influenced by reported successes overseas. The researchers ascribe to the view that care needs to be taken in translating policies, programs and service delivery models uncritically from one context to another and thus the study reviews the overseas literature and will examine the benefits and challenges for successful translation of homelessness responses from the urban centres of Europe and the US to diverse Australian contexts.

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