Integrating service delivery in a regional homelessness service system
Neale, K, Buultjens, J & Evans, T 2012, 'Integrating service delivery in a regional homelessness service system ', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 243-261.
All tiers of government in Australia are focused on service integration as a key response to homelessness. However, service integration strategies need to consider particular service system characteristics and location‑specific conditions. This paper reports on an investigation of service integration strategies suitable for a regional context undertaken in 2010 and 2011. A three‑phase participatory action research (PAR) framework was utilised to collect data about the homelessness service system in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, and about the existing and potential service integration strategies in the region. The findings suggest that strategies for better integration should take into account specific local conditions and be developed and implemented at a local level with support from government. The paper concludes by presenting an argument that the development and implementation of strategies should be based on a place‑based assessment of demand and suitability.