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If you would like to have a document added, please email it to the Western Homelessness Networker:  sarah@wombat.org.au

What do I do when…? A practical guide to the law for people who work with young people
6th September 2012
  by Youthlaw

If you work with young people aged between 12–25 years this resource aims to provide accessible information about the law to help you feel more comfortable in your interactions with the law and the legal system.

Homeless with Support Segment Appeals Brochure
6th September 2012
  by Department of Human Services Victoria

Information for clients on how to appeal a decision made by their support provider if they do not endorse their application for public housing under the Homeless with Support category.

Homeless with Support Segment Appeals Poster
6th September 2012
  by Department of Human Services Victoria

Poster providing information for clients on how to appeal a decision made by their support provider if they do not endorse their application for public housing under the Homeless with Support category.

Homeless with Support Segment Appeal Form AF2 Appeal
6th September 2012
  by Department of Human Services Victoria

The Appeal Form that clients need to complete in order to appeal a decision made by their support provider if they do not endorse their application for public housing under the Homeless with Support category.

Working in the Trenches: Compassion Fatigue and Job Satisfaction among Workers
6th September 2012
  by Alena M Howell, St Catherines Unversity

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between workers’ experiences of compassion fatigue and workers’ experiences of job satisfaction as they engage with homeless clientele with various presenting concerns.

Findings were based on surveys of employees from a targeted agency in America that serves homeless clientele. Data was collected and analysed using various statistical and calculative methods.

These findings indicated that a correlative relationship exists between workers’ experiences of compassion fatigue and experiences of job satisfaction, although the correlation appears to be weak. The findings point to the need for continued efforts to identify and treat compassion fatigue among workers, and the continued need to investigate the role of compassion satisfaction opportunities as they influence experiences of job satisfaction.

Link to document: http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar_url?hl=en&q=http://sophia.stkate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1116%26context%3Dmsw_papers&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm2uBfeEVhh5v7DzAbJ48GQdzxwGzQ&oi=scholaralrt

Information Paper – A Statistical Definition of Homelessness (cat.no.4922.0)
6th September 2012
  by Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has recently released an information paper which “presents the Australian Bureau of Statistics statistical definition of homelessness. The definition was developed in consultation with the ABS’ Homelessness Statistics Reference Group. Future ABS surveys will adopt this definition. However, not all dimensions of the definition can be operationalised in all data collections. The ABS will publish an Information Paper: Guide to Homelessness Statistics (cat. no. 4923.0) in November 2012 to assist users with analysing the multiple data sources available to obtain a more complete picture of homelessness.”

The paper states that the ABS is continuing to undertake research for how to best count homelessness for specific demographic groups such as youth and Indigenous Australians.

Link to document: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4922.0Main+Features12012?OpenDocument

No. 192: Housing affordability, housing stress and household wellbeing in Australia
5th September 2012
  by Steven Rowley, Rachel Ong - AHURI

This project examines whether there is a link between measures of housing stress (using the 30:40 rule) and other measures of social and economic wellbeing, including using longitudinal data.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p80650

Top twenty data sources for describing community wellbeing in Victoria
3rd September 2012
  by Felicity Rhodes, Jeanette Pope - Department of Planning and Community Development

We have selected the top twenty data sources to help you describe community wellbeing in Victoria. They cover a broad range of topics from population, workforce, social and multicultural features, services and facilities, children and families, health, disadvantage, participation, amenity, economy, industry and transport.

For each resource you will find:

  • a list of topics or subject areas the resource contains;
  • a key telling you the geographic area the data describes (see
    below); and
  • a link to the data source.

Link to document: http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/92514/Top_twenty_data_sources_for_describing_community_well-being_in_Victoria_2012.pdf

Mapping and Reviewing Homelessness Programs
3rd September 2012
  by Assoc. Professor Jo Baulderstone, Dr Eleanor Button, Flinders University

This research set out to answer what programs exist to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; as well as exploring what does the evidence suggest works well for different groups and in what context(s).

The outcomes of the research found that comprehensively mapping the service system proved surprisingly difficult, highlighting the multiplicity of funding sources and data systems. Synthesis of findings from 190 reports highlighted broad attributes of services and service systems that most usefully assist homeless people, and also identified limitations in approaches to evaluation. The findings confirm the view that long-term housing without long-term, flexible support and vice versa can limit the opportunities for people to permanently move on from homelessness. This report will assist policy development; sector planning and program design; and project funding decisions.

COAG Housing Supply and Affordability Reform Report
3rd September 2012
  by COAG Housing Supply and Affordability Reform (HSAR) Working Group

In April 2010 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) asked the Housing Supply and Affordability Reform (HSAR) Working Party to report back on an examination of the housing supply pipeline and government policies that may act as barriers to supply or that stimulate demand for housing.

The majority of the issues that COAG directed the HSAR Working Party to examine relate to housing supply rather than affordability. The HSAR Working Party particularly focused on land supply, infrastructure cost recovery, and land-use planning and approval processes.

Recognising differences in the design of state and territory planning and zoning regimes, the HSAR Working Party’s examination of data suggests that the supply-side of the housing market in some jurisdictions has not responded as effectively or efficiently as it could to demand.

The Housing Supply and Affordability Reform (HSAR) report has now been released and recommends measures for all levels of government to ensure more efficient use of existing land and housing stock and reduce unnecessary costs and charges for developers and home buyers.

Link to document: http://www.coag.gov.au/sites/default/files/Final%20Report%20-%20Housing%20Supply%20and%20Affordability%20Reform.pdf

Supporting Fathers Who Are Homeless
1st September 2012
  by Barker J, Kolar V, Mallett S, McArthur M, Saunders V, Australian Catholic University

Currently little is known about the experience of single fathers who are homeless and their families. Even less is known about their experience of homelessness services and how these services respond to their needs, particularly their needs in relation to their parenting role.

This mixed method study begins to address this research and knowledge gap by exploring the experiences of homeless fathers, with or without an active parenting role. It identifies the social, emotional and material consequences of their homeless experience for them and their relationship with their children. The study also examines how their identity and role as fathers impacts on their lives in general and their experiences of homelessness. Finally it examines how homelessness services currently support single fathers and identifies policy and service delivery changes that could result in improved outcomes for this largely invisible population.

This study, funded by the Australian Government under the National Homelessness Research Agenda 2009-13, increases what is known about the impact of homelessness on fathers and how their experiences of homelessness affect their parenting and relationship with their children. The findings of this study can inform policy, services and community organisations who work with homeless fathers, build service capacity to respond better to their needs, and lead to better outcomes for homeless fathers, their children and the community.

Link to document: http://homelessnessclearinghouse.govspace.gov.au/whats-new-3/supporting-fathers-who-are-homeless/

Locked out: Discrimination in the private rental market
30th August 2012
  by Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Launched in National Homeless Persons’ Week, this new report from the Commission highlights the struggles vulnerable Victorians face when trying to access the private rental market. Based on a survey of 165 prospective tenants, Locked out: Discrimination in Victoria’s private rental market found that some people experience discrimination and stereotyping because of race or disability, or because they have children, making it difficult for them to secure a home.

The report reveals the significant impact on those continually rejected in their applications for private rental properties, and reveals most people are unlikely to make a complaint because they feel powerless and don’t know that they can.

The report identifies three key actions the Commission will undertake to address discrimination in the private rental market. These include: working with the real estate industry, landlords and Consumer Affairs Victoria to raise awareness of Victoria’s anti-discrimination laws; working with the industry to implement the positive duty to prevent discrimination from occurring; and distributing materials to raise awareness for tenants about their rights.

Link to document: http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1735:locked-out-discrimination-in-victorias-private-rental-market-aug-2012&Itemid=690

In the best interests of the child?
30th August 2012
  by Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

The Commission’s report on the cost of primary education for dependents of international students and other visa holders has found that international students and other temporary visa holders are paying thousands of dollars in fees for their children to attend public schools in Victoria.

Launched last week, In the best interests of the child? was a result of consultations with the international student community, which identified the charging of school fees as an area of discrimination.

Australia has committed to free primary education for all children by ratifying the international Convention on the Rights of the Child, but legislation requires children of international students in Victoria to pay more than $7,000 per year.
The issue raises a gap between state and federal law, and highlights one of the difficulties faced by international students studying in Australia. In publishing this research, the Commission hopes to draw attention to the impact the policy has on international students, their families and the international education sector in Australia.

Link to document: http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1737:in-the-best-interests-of-the-child?-costs-of-primary-education-for-dependents-of-international-students-and-other-

Positioning Paper: No. 150: Downsizing amongst older Australians
29th August 2012
  by AHURI

Although it is popularly thought that older people prefer to downsize to smaller dwellings, the evidence suggests there is a reluctance to do so (Judd et al. 2010). This is partly because of the strong attachments to their existing home and the need for space for post-retirement activities important for health and wellbeing.

This study seeks to quantify the extent of downsizing, as well as the social, psychological and financial and policy drivers behind such moves.

The study will involve analysing ABS Census data, conducting a national survey of older people contemplating downsizing, interviewing 60 older people in three states and draw on findings from forums with policy makers.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p70687/

Positioning Paper: No. 149: The Australian private rental sector: changes and challenges
29th August 2012
  by AHURI

This project responds to the need for more up-to-date information about the state of private rental markets and in particular the effects on households of long term private rental.

The research will examine how private rental housing is changing over time. In particular, this research addresses key knowledge gaps in relation to this tenure:

  • the location of private rental dwellings
  • types and quality of private rental dwellings
  • the extent of security and mobility within tenancies
  • the stability of household types in private rental.

The project will draw on ABS Census and Survey of Income and Housing data to get a picture of how private renters and their dwellings have changed over time. It will also look at mobility of private renters (especially vulnerable households such as singles or those with children) by using the Housing Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey.

The project will have important policy implications for delivering housing assistance for private renters.

Link to document: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50683/

Communications Council best practice guide social media Code of Conduct
28th August 2012
  by The Communications Council

This Social Media Code of Conduct aims to provide specific guidance on best practice behaviour when working and operating within social media.The Code provides guidelines for social media undertaken for the purpose of personal or commercial use. The Code represents our current collective efforts to provide clear guidance in an evolving media channel. We welcome your feedback on the document to ensure we have comprehensive input from across the industry. The code has been prepared with thanks to Michele Havas of Tripod, Nic Chamberlain of 303Lowe and the Communications Council Digital Committee.

Link to document: http://www.communicationscouncil.org.au/downloads_tcc/2012/CC_Social%20Media%20Code%20of%20Conduct_FINAL.pdf

Children and their families: Best interests case practice model: Specialist practice resource
28th August 2012
  by Elly Robinson, Robyn Miller, Rhys Price-Robertson - Department of Human Services Victoria

The Specialist Practice Resources are a valuable tool for practitioners, but do not replace the Child Protection Practice Manual, which is a step-by-step operational tool to help with day-to-day procedures. They have been designed as a useful guide to help practitioners deal with the particularly sensitive issues and situations when working with vulnerable children and families.

This resource is published by the Victorian Government Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Link to document: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/720597/children-their-families-specialist-prctice-resource-2012.pdf

The influence of unstable housing on children’s wellbeing and development
23rd August 2012
  by Matthew Taylor and Ben Edwards - Australian Institute of Family Studies

Very little is understood about the influence of housing on children’s development in Australia. In this report, we begin to fill the gap in the Australian evidence by providing the first national data on the influences of unstable housing on children’s development, using data from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Specifically, we examine the association between residential mobility, unstable housing tenure and housing stress on children’s cognitive development and learning, and social- emotional functioning. Parental relationship breakdown often leads to unstable housing, and both of these are also key risk factors for homelessness, so we focus separately on the experiences of children living in separated and couple families.

Link to document: http://homelessnessclearinghouse.govspace.gov.au/files/2012/07/AIFS-Final-Report-the-influence-of-unstable-housing-on-children_s-wellbeing-and-development-Publi-3.pdf

Journeys Home: Longitudinal Study of Factors Affecting Housing Stability release of Wave 1 Report
21st August 2012
  by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research

Journeys Home is the first large-scale longitudinal study of its type assessing income support recipients who are homeless, at risk of, or vulnerable to homelessness. The evidence will help the Government make better investments in homelessness support programs and be used for other policy development.

The report is based on a survey of 1,682 income support recipients across Australia. Some of the key findings from the Wave 1 Report are as follows:

  • Ninety per cent of participants had been homeless at some stage in their lives, and 51 per cent of participants had been homeless in the past six months.
  • The most common reason for first becoming homeless was family breakdown and/or conflict.
  • Only seven per cent reported mental illness and ten per cent substance abuse as major factors leading to their first homeless experience.
  • Seventy-one per cent of those homeless for a total of four years or more in their lifetime had been diagnosed with at least one of the five mental illnesses listed in the survey.
  • Half the participants first experienced homelessness while aged under 18 years and just under three quarters before they turned 25.
  • People who first experience homelessness at a young age are more likely to experience persistent homelessness.
  • A third of those who first experienced homelessness under the age of 15 spent a total of four years or more homelessness during their lifetimes.

Link to document: http://homelessnessclearinghouse.govspace.gov.au/whats-new-3/journeys-home-longitudinal-study-of-factors-affecting-housing-stability-release-of-wave-1-report/

Private Rental Booklet - a great resource from the Eastern Region Homelessness Network
20th August 2012
  by Eastern Homelessness Network

Private Rental Information Booklet that the Eastern Homelessness Network have developed. Feel free to print out and pass on to your clients or share with your colleagues!

This is a great resource that’s designed to cover all areas like:

  • What is a Lease?
  • Fortnightly Budget Planner
  • Where to find rentals?
  • Am I Blacklisted?
  • Presentation
  • Inspecting a Property
  • What to look for when renting a property
  • A property will be safer and more comfortable if it has:
  • Open For Inspections
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Applications
  • Rental Assistance
  • Bonds
  • Rent In Advance
  • Signing a Lease
  • Your Rights and Responsibilities
  • Connecting Utilities

The home study: comparing the priorities of multiply excluded homeless people and support agencies.
16th August 2012
  by Dwyer, P. and Bowpitt, G.

Homelessness is increasingly recognised as one facet of a wider experience of social exclusion. The term ‘multiple exclusion homelessness’ (MEH) has emerged as a shorthand term to describe homeless people who suffer deep social exclusion often due to a combination of on-going issues in their lives and non-engagement with, or exclusion from, effective contact with support services. Single, multiply excluded homeless adults are the particular focus of this study. People experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness characteristically combine a current, or recent (i.e. within the last 12 months), experience of homelessness (broadly defined to include rough sleeping, living in emergency or insecure accommodation), with one or more indicators of deep social exclusion, for example, chronic ill health (mental or physical), problematic substance use (drugs or alcohol), long-term unemployment, or an institutional background (prison, armed forces or time spent in local authority care in childhood). They routinely live in poverty and regularly lack supportive close or familial relationships. Multiply excluded homeless people (MEHP) have become the focus of policies that attempt to tackle the causes of their social exclusion.

Link to document: http://www.homelesspages.org.uk/node/24456

Will Paradigm Drift Stop Housing First from Ending Homelessness? (2012)
15th August 2012
  by Nicholas Pleace & Joanne Bretherton

Housing First is at the centre of policy responses to chronic homelessness in Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the USA. Services following a ‘Housing First’ approach have also appeared in Austria, Australia, Denmark, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Japan, Portugal and the UK. Recent research has noted growing diversity in ‘Housing First’ services and that many services have ‘drifted’ significantly from the service design established by the Tsemberis ‘Pathways’ service. The authors argue that the Housing First movement is now at risk of losing focus.

Link to document: http://www.social-policy.org.uk/lincoln2012/Pleace%20P1.pdf

Two Can Live as Cheaply as One But Three’s a Crowd (2011)
15th August 2012
  by Christopher R. Bollinger; Cheti Nicolletti; & Sephen Pudney

In order to measure poverty, incomes must be equivelized across households of differing structure. Researchers typically assume specific returns to scale in household structure. This study utilizes panel data from subject reports of …financial wellbeing to estimate the relationship between household structure and overall financial wellbeing, controlling for income.

Link to document: http://www.econ2.jhu.edu/seminars/Fall2011/PovertyPaper3.pdf

2012 Australian Community Sector Survey: National Report ACOSS
13th August 2012
  by ACOSS

The Australian Community Sector Survey (ACSS) is the only annual national survey collecting data about the non-government, non-profit community services and welfare sector. This sector is a major provider of the community services that most of us rely on at some point in our lives, but which are particularly important to people on low incomes. The 2012 ACSS was conducted between April and June 2012 and covers the period from 1 July 2010 – 30 June 2011. A total of 665 agencies completed the survey, responding on issues relating to service provision, income and expenditure, and operational, policy, and workforce issues for the community services sector.

Link to document: http://www.acoss.org.au/images/uploads/ACOSS_ACSS2012_FINAL.pdf

Social Inclusion in Australia: How Australia is faring 2012: 2nd Edition
8th August 2012
  by Australian Social Inclusion Board

New Chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board, Ms Lin Hatfield Dodds, released the second edition of How Australia is faring on 8 August 2012. This is the principal research report which tracks Australia’s progress against a range of social inclusion indicators.

Overall, Australia is doing well on many indicators which are significant to social inclusion. For example, more Australians are completing school; non-school qualification rates are increasing; Australia’s long-term unemployment rate is lower than comparable countries; the level of persistent family joblessness has declined; available housing for purchase by low-income groups has increased; and life expectancy is high and increasing.

However, there are still areas of concern. For example, 5% (or around 640,000) of working age Australians continue to experience multiple and entrenched disadvantage; we continue to have the 4th highest rate of children living in jobless families in the OECD; and income inequality has increased steadily since the mid-1990s.

Link to document: http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/news/release-how-australia-faring-2012

National Social Housing Survey - State and Territory Results 2010
6th August 2012
  by by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report presents state and territory findings from the 2010 National Social Housing Survey of public housing and mainstream community housing tenants.

It shows that:

  • the majority of tenants are satisfied with the services of their housing provider
  • about 1 in 5 public housing tenants and 1 in 3 community housing tenants indicated they had been homeless at some time
  • about 1 in 5 households had at least one person who needed help with self-care, communication or body movement activities.

Link to document: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737422570

Positioning Paper: No. 149 - The Australian private rental sector: changes and challenges
1st August 2012
  by AHURI

This project responds to the need for more up-to-date information about the state of private rental markets and in particular the effects on households of long term private rental.

The research will examine how private rental housing is changing over time. In particular, this research addresses key knowledge gaps in relation to this tenure:

  • the location of private rental dwellings
  • types and quality of private rental dwellings
  • the extent of security and mobility within tenancies
  • the stability of household types in private rental.

The project will draw on ABS Census and Survey of Income and Housing data to get a picture of how private renters and their dwellings have changed over time. It will also look at mobility of private renters (especially vulnerable households such as singles or those with children) by using the Housing Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey.

The project will have important policy implications for delivering housing assistance for private renters.

http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50683/

Download here (1311kb)
Positioning Paper: No. 148. Marginal rental housing and marginal renters: a typology for policy
1st August 2012
  by AHURI

This research project investigates the marginal rental housing market, which includes rooming houses and various kinds of caravan park accommodation. The project asks: What are the supply and demand trends in different geographical locations? What are the drivers of change in this market? And what are the housing policy implications? The research addresses these questions to provide a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics driving the use of various forms of marginal rental housing, culminating in a marginal rental typology.

http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p30699/

Victorian Public Housing Waiting and Transfer List - June 2012
31st July 2012
  by Victorian Department of Human Services

The Public Housing Waiting and Transfer List June 2012 provides the most recent quarterly indicative waiting list statistics by area. Also included here is the transfer list which includes people who are currently living in public housing but have applied to transfer to a new public property.

Waiting figures in these documents are estimates only. The figures can vary within a given quarter, depending on the number of people finding or applying for housing. The list may also include people who are in or have recently located suitable accommodation but have not yet notified the Office of Housing.

Link to document: http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/research,-data-and-statistics/public-housing-waiting-and-transfer-list

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: RESPONDING TO ALCOHOL MISUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
24th July 2012
  by DR ROCHELLE BRAAF - Senior Researcher, Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse

The Clearinghouse produces two Issues Papers a year. These provide a detailed analysis of specific issues of concern to those working and researching in the field of domestic and family violence. This Issue Paper focusses on responses to alcohol misuage and Domestic Violence.

Link to document: http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/IssuesPaper_24.pdf

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