Illawarra Forum | Going Home, Staying Home Reforms

You will be aware of the recent Going Home, Staying Home (GHSH) reforms to the specialist homelessness service system in NSW.

Since the recent tender process to establish who will deliver these services as part of the reforms NCOSS, along with the other homelessness peaks Homelessness NSW, Domestic Violence NSW (DV NSW) and Yfoundations, has been very keen to ensure a robust evaluation of the reform process was conducted.

To this end, at the request of the peaks, the Deputy Ombudsman and Family and Community Services met to establish a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisory Group to be convened by the NSW Ombudsman.

Our state peak, NCOSS, strongly believes it is important for an independent body to have oversight of a review of what worked and what did not work about the GHSH reforms which can then inform ongoing evaluation and improvements to the system.

Please see below a message regarding the monitoring and evaluation strategy:

A meeting was recently held between the Deputy Ombudsman, representatives from Family and Community Services and peak bodies to discuss the Going Home Staying Home (GHSH) reform evaluation. The meeting focused on a request by the peaks, Homelessness NSW, Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS), Domestic Violence NSW (DV NSW), and Yfoundations, that the Ombudsman play an oversight role in relation to a proposed review of the rollout to-date of the GHSH reform process.

FACS has been working with these peak organisations to develop a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategy for GHSH.  At a recent consultation with the GHSH Sector Reference Group and Panel of Experts, it was agreed that an independently chaired GHSH M&E Advisory Group would oversight a post implementation review which is due to commence shortly.

The post implementation review will initially involve an examination of how, to-date, key aspects of the reform process have been designed and implemented by FACS.

The findings from this initial exercise will then be used to inform the broader GHSH evaluation strategy that is being developed with input from the peaks. The strategy commits to:

  • deliver high-quality evidence,
  • be governed objectively,
  • use transparent processes to embed the changes and benefits introduced by GHSH, and
  • inform the continuous improvement of SHS over the next 6 years.

FACS and the peaks acknowledge the importance of the Ombudsman’s role in providing independent oversight of how the reform process has been designed and implemented to-date.

A meeting of the new GHSH M&E Advisory Group will be convened shortly. The Terms of Reference for this governance group will be finalised at that time.

The Ombudsman has indicated that he would welcome receiving feedback from interested individuals and organisations on the implementation of the GHSH reform process to-date.

Contact officer for the Ombudsman: Julianna Demetrius

NCOSS is satisfied to have achieved this outcome with the other peaks, the Ombudsman and the Government as ultimately it will work towards improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.