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  • The NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) is recommissioning homelessness services.
  • DCJ is continuing key specialist homelessness services and other homelessness service contracts due to expire on 30 June 2020 for a further 12 months, from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
  • Current Funding Deeds, Program Level Agreements and Service Package Descriptions will apply during the 12-month continuation.
  • DCJ has taken this approach to give you immediate funding security while we continue to work in partnership with you to implement the strategic directions that will shape the next contract period from July 2021.
  • From September 2020, DCJ will start direct negotiations with existing service providers for three to five year contracts commencing 1 July 2021.

Timeline for recommissioning homelessness services

October 2019 – November 2019

Communication with service providers to inform them that current specialist homelessness services and other homelessness service contracts will continue for a further 12 months, from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021

November 2019 – March 2020

Contract continuation discussions with service providers and paperwork

1 July 2020

Contract continuation commences with service providers

February 2020 – August 2020

Engagement with service providers to prepare for contracts from 1 July 2021, based on performance against key program expectations

From September 2020

Direct negotiations with service providers for three-to-five years contracts, to commence from 1 July 2021

1 July 2021

New contracting period commences with service providers

DCJ will continue to work collaboratively with peak agencies to provide ongoing sector support throughout the continuation period, and to transition to new contracts.

Service providers in scope for recommissioning

Current Funding Deeds, Program Level Agreements and Service Package Descriptions will apply during the 12-month continuation of contracts to 30 June 2021 for the following services:

  • Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) program
  • Service Support Fund
  • Inner City Restoration
  • Homeless Youth Assistance Program
  • Domestic Violence Response Enhancement
  • Youth Crisis Accommodation Enhancement.

There will be no change in funding for services for the 12-month continuation of contracts to 30 June 2021.

Can service providers request changes to contracts for the 12-month contract continuation to 30 June 2021?

The expectation is that service providers will continue service delivery according to existing contract terms. DCJ does not anticipate changes to overall contract targets. There may be minimal changes to other aspects of contract terms, for example, if a service provider requests minor amendments. If this is the case, the service provider should raise this with their local DCJ Commissioning and Planning team. DCJ and the service provider can work together to look at the arrangements.

Can service providers opt-out of the 12-month contract continuation to 30 June 2021?

There may be cases where a service provider chooses not to participate in the contract continuation. In this case, the local DCJ Commissioning and Planning team will work closely with service providers to address any resulting service gaps.

New contracts from 1 July 2021

What will be the approach to negotiating new contracts from 1 July 2021?

From September 2020, DCJ will start direct negotiations with existing service providers for three- to five-year contracts under the Human Services Agreement, commencing 1 July 2021. Direct negotiation with service providers will be based on performance against key program expectations. These expectations are:

  • progress towards gaining Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) accreditation, which will be a requirement for all funded homelessness services by 30 June 2023
  • progress towards collecting data and implementing processes to report on outcomes; contract performance in the 12-month continuation period to 30 June 2021 will not be based on outcome measures but services will be expected to start using outcome tools based on the findings of the evaluation of the Outcomes Based Commissioning pilot, as well as data collection and reporting approaches in preparation for outcomes-based contracts from
    1 July 2021
  • contributing to the Premier’s Priority to halve street homelessness by 2025, where relevant to your service
  • enhancing culturally accessible services for Aboriginal people
  • participating in local governance and service coordination.

DCJ will work with service providers and communicate these program expectations to service providers clearly over the coming weeks and months, taking into account the diversity of the sector in terms of size and specialisation. DCJ will support the sector to meet these expectations by facilitating service providers' participation in the outcomes framework and associated learning and development activities, by developing program logics for services, and by facilitating sector engagement and consultation.

Will the current SHS Program Guidelines and SHS Practice Guidelines be reviewed?

From November 2019, DCJ will consult service providers on key program and policy documents that will be in place from July 2021, in order to reduce impost on the sector and achieve a more streamlined way of managing contract requirements, such as data collection and reporting.

Does the recommissioning process change requirements for service providers to gain ASES accreditation?

No, service providers will still be required to achieve accreditation by June 2023. DCJ will provide financial assistance to smaller service providers to meet assessor costs associated with ASES accreditation.

For further information on quality assurance ASES accreditation, visit the DCJ webpage on ASES accreditation for homelessness service providers.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Service providers can either contact their local DCJ Commissioning and Planning team, or email SHSprogram@facs.nsw.gov.au

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Last updated: 22 Oct 2019