Redesign of a homelessness service system for young people
PublisherSpecialist homelessness services Homelessness Homeless youth Early intervention services Housing New South Wales South Australia Victoria
This research identifies measures that could reduce youth homelessness and lead to improved outcomes for young people who experience homelessness. The findings are based on a community-level analysis of special homelessness services (SHS) data and sites of innovation in three states: South Australia, NSW and Victoria.
- Children and young people (aged 12–25 years) are one of the largest cohorts of users of homelessness services: in 2017–2018, there were 81,193 young parents and accompanying children (28%) and 43,200 young people presenting alone (16%).
- Children and young people, as well as ‘people exiting institutions and care into homelessness’ are priority cohorts under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NAHA; 2018), and this is carried over into most of the state and territory strategies and plans.
- The redesign of the youth homelessness services system is best conceptualised at the community level, as the ‘system’ where interaction between young people and services—including schools—actually takes place.
- Thinking about the ‘community as system’ means that small-area data analysis of need, trends and outcomes should be developed into community-level focussed planning of the ecosystem of supports required by vulnerable young people.
- There is a strong case in theory—and from practical experimentation—for adopting a system reform agenda that makes the shift from a program-oriented approach to a place-based cross-sectoral ‘collective impact’ framework for support and service delivery for at-risk and homeless young people.
- A systemic implementation of a place-based community approach to early intervention involving proactive identification of risk, a tiered practice framework, an extended workforce of youth and family workers, and school welfare/wellbeing staff working under a formal collaboration and within a strong data-driven outcomes framework will begin to reduce the flow of young people into homelessness.
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited 2020
Access Rights Type:
AHURI Final Report no.327
16 Apr 2020