Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019) Specialist Homelessness Services annual report 2018–19, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 04 February 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Specialist Homelessness Services annual report 2018–19. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/shs-annual-report-18-19
Specialist Homelessness Services annual report 2018–19. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 18 December 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/shs-annual-report-18-19
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Specialist Homelessness Services annual report 2018–19 [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019 [cited 2023 Feb. 4]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/shs-annual-report-18-19
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2019, Specialist Homelessness Services annual report 2018–19, viewed 4 February 2023, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/shs-annual-report-18-19
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Accommodation services include short-term or emergency accommodation, medium-term/transitional housing, assistance to obtain long term housing, assistance to sustain tenancy or prevent tenancy failure or eviction and assistance to prevent foreclosures or for mortgage arrears.
At risk of homelessness
A person is described as at risk of homelessness if they are at risk of losing their accommodation or they are experiencing one or more of a range of factors or triggers that can contribute to homelessness.
Risk factors include:
A Specialist homelessness agency client is a person who receives a specialist homelessness service. A client can be of any age. Children are also clients if they receive a service from a specialist homelessness agency. To be a client the person must directly receive a service and not just be a beneficiary of a service. Children who present with an adult and receive a service are considered to be a client. Children of a client or other household members who present but do not directly receive a service are not considered to be clients.
Client on a care and protection order
SHS clients are identified as being on a care and protection order if they are aged under 18 and provided any of the following information in any support period (any month within the support period) during the reporting period (either the week before, at the beginning of the support period or during support).
They reported that they are on a care and protection order and that they had the following care arrangements:
Client with a current mental health issue
SHS clients with a current mental health issue are identified as such if they have provided any of the following information:
Client with problematic drug and/or alcohol use
SHS clients with a current problematic drug and/or alcohol use are identified as such if they are 10 years or older and have provided any of the following information:
Client with disability
SHS clients with severe or profound disability are identified as such if at any time they have provided the following information:
The definition used to identify clients with disability (for the purposes of analyses for this report) is similar to that used for ABS Census questions that measure ‘core activity need for assistance’. The Census questions are a simplified version of the comprehensive questions used in the ABS Survey of Disability and Carers (SDAC). The Census’s simplified questions are conceptually comparable with ‘severe or profound core activity limitation’ in the SDAC.
The ABS Census aims to identify people who need assistance in their day-to-day lives with any or all of the following core activities: self-care, mobility or communication (ABS 2012b). The SHSC takes a similar approach in gathering information from clients of specialist homelessness services about disability.
To align with the ABS definition of ‘core activity need for assistance’, clients who did not report needing assistance (such as ‘have difficulty but don’t need help/supervision’ or ‘don’t have difficulty, but use aids/equipment’) with self-care, mobility or communication are not included as clients with severe or profound disability for SHS analyses.
Disability measurement in the SHSC
Measuring disability in the SHSC
A long-term health condition is one that has lasted, or is expected to last, 6 months or more. Examples of long-term health conditions that might restrict everyday activities include severe asthma, epilepsy, mental health conditions, hearing loss, arthritis, autism, kidney disease, chronic pain, speech impediment and stroke.
Disability is a general term that covers:
The SHSC collects information on whether, and to what extent, a long-term health condition or disability restricts clients’ everyday activities across the following 3 life areas:
General services include:
For the purpose of the SHSC a person is defined as homeless if they are living in either:
Non-conventional accommodation (primary homeless) is defined as:
This definition aligns closely with the cultural definition of primary homelessness.
Short-term or emergency accommodation (secondary homeless) includes:
This definition aligns closely with the cultural definition of secondary homelessness.
The measurement of Homelessness in the SHSC is defined in the Data derivation section.
The ABS definition of homelessness for estimates derived from the Census of Population and Housing can be found in ABS catalogue 2049.0 (ABS 2012a).
Other support services
Other support services refer to the assistance, other than accommodation services, provided to a client. They include domestic/family violence services, mental health services, family/relationship assistance, disability services, drug/alcohol counselling, legal/financial services, immigration/cultural services, other specialist services and general assistance and support.
Specialist homelessness agency
A specialist homelessness agency is an organisation which receives government funding to deliver specialist homelessness services to a client. These can be either not-for-profit or for profit agencies.
Specialist homelessness service(s)
Specialist homelessness service(s) is assistance provided by a specialist homelessness agency to a client aimed at responding to or preventing homelessness. The specialist homelessness services in scope for this collection include accommodation provision, assistance to sustain housing, domestic/family violence services, mental health services, family/relationship assistance, disability services, drug/alcohol counselling, legal/financial services, immigration/cultural services, other specialist services and general assistance and support.
Stable housing, for the purpose of the SHSC, refers to clients ending support in public or community housing (renter or rent free), private or other housing (renter, rent free or owner), or Institutional settings.
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