Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019) Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 03 December 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2017-18
Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 13 February 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2017-18
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18 [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019 [cited 2022 Dec. 3]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2017-18
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2019, Specialist homelessness services annual report 2017–18, viewed 3 December 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/homelessness-services/specialist-homelessness-services-2017-18
Get citations as an Endnote file:
PDF | 6.2Mb
Australians without stable accommodation after leaving health or social care arrangements can find themselves particularly vulnerable to homelessness. In particular, research has shown that young people exiting care can experience a range of poor outcomes, including homelessness and/or housing instability . Recognising this vulnerability, people exiting institutions and care into homelessness are a national priority cohort listed in the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement , which came into effect on 1 July 2018.
The Beyond 18 study, currently being undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Victorian Department of Human Services, has found care leavers aged 18 years and over have a higher than average risk of homelessness, partially due to a shortage of affordable and appropriate housing .
In the context of the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection (SHSC), clients are identified as leaving care if, in their first support period during 2017–18 (either the week before or at the beginning of the support period):
Of the 6,900 clients leaving care seeking SHS support in 2017–18:
Three of the main vulnerabilities reported in the SHS client population are mental health issues, problematic drug and/or alcohol use, and domestic and family violence. Of the SHS clients leaving care aged 10 and over in 2017–18 (Table LCARE.1):
Domestic and family violence
Mental health issue
Problematic drug and/or alcohol use
Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2017–18.
Since 2013–14, the number of people leaving care and seeking assistance from specialist homelessness services has remained relatively stable. Key trends identified in this client population over the 5 years to 2017–18 are (Table LCARE.2):
Number of clients
Proportion of all clients
Rate (per 10,000 population)
Housing situation at the beginning of the first support period (proportion (per cent) of all clients)
At risk of homelessness
Length of support (median number of days)
Average number of support periods per client
Proportion receiving accommodation
Median number of nights accommodated
Proportion of a client group with a case management plan
Achievement of all case management goals (per cent)
Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2013–14 to 2017–18.
At the beginning of support, the majority of clients leaving care were at risk of homelessness (74% or about 5,100 clients). More than 1 in 4 (26% or 1,800) clients leaving care were homeless when first reporting to SHS agencies for assistance in 2017–18.
The main reasons for seeking assistance provided by clients leaving care that differed from the general SHS population were:
Over 3 in 4 (76% or 5,200) clients leaving care needed accommodation services, much higher than the general SHS population (56%) (Supplementary table LCARE.3).
Other services most commonly needed by these clients were living skills/personal development (37%), transport (36%), and other basic assistance (79%). These services were needed by higher proportions of clients leaving care than clients in the general SHS population (20%, 20%, and 64%, respectively).
The outcomes presented in this section examine the changes in clients’ housing situations from the start of support to the end of support. Only clients who ceased receiving support by the end of the financial year are included in this section—meaning their support periods had closed and they did not have ongoing support at the end of the 2017–18 reporting period. However, it is important to note that a proportion of these clients may seek assistance from SHS agencies again in future.
For clients leaving care (Figure LCARE.1):
For clients leaving care and presenting to agencies housed, but at risk of homelessness (that is, living either in public or community housing (renter or rent free), private or other housing (renter or rent free), or in institutional settings) (Supplementary table LCARE.4):
Of those clients leaving care who were homeless when they began support (that is, living either with no shelter or improvised/inadequate dwelling, short-term temporary accommodation, or in a house, townhouse, or flat with relatives (rent free)) (Table LCARE.3):
At risk of homelessness
Source: Specialist Homelessness Services Collection 2017–18, National supplementary table LCARE.4.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.