Getting outcome measurement right for the Specialist Homelessness Sector

Social outcomes Specialist homelessness services Homelessness Victoria

The Specialist Homelessness Sector (SHS) in Victoria is facing a period of significant transition. Outcome-based approaches to service design and delivery are increasingly in focus for the sector, alongside other priorities such as more person-centred practice models, stronger service and workforce capacity, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination.

Although there is no consistent, widely accepted approach for outcome measurement in the SHS, this is likely to change over the next decade. Governments around Australia are in the process of introducing outcome frameworks and exploring outcome-based funding. In Victoria, the Department of Premier and Cabinet is driving a whole-of-government outcome-based management approach, while DHHS is progressing outcome measurement initiatives across several sectors. In 2019 DHHS’ Homelessness Outcomes Group commenced the development of a draft outcome framework for the SHS.

This report is part of the response of the SHS in Victoria to these issues. It presents findings and recommendations from the SHS Outcomes Consultation Project led by Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) in 2019. The project involved wide-ranging consultation with people who are or have been without a home, frontline staff and managers of SHS service provider organisations, and other stakeholders. The consultation process has helped to boost the sector’s readiness to engage in outcome-focused conversations.

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