Getting help from services in the ACT: the Human Services Blueprint

The human services system is the network of supports that respond to a person’s needs. This can include services relating to public/social housing, health and wellbeing, education, disability, care and protection and justice.

The way that human services in the ACT are delivered is changing - for the better - under the Human Services Blueprint (the Blueprint). This is a plan, developed by community and government, that will guide how services and supports are provided so that people get the best outcomes for their circumstances.

The Blueprint is a major change that involves many steps and many people. It will take time to introduce completely, and to work well. That’s why the Blueprint has started with three initiatives under the name Better Services:

Local Services Network
The Gateway
Strengthening Families

For more information about Better Services visit Link

How the Blueprint will make a difference

For people who are looking for services, (or who are already using services), the Blueprint will make getting help a more positive experience. This means that people will:

  • find it easier to access services or supports
  • get the support they need, when they need it, and for the right amount of time
  • only have to tell their story once.

For service providers, the Blueprint means a new way of working together that will bring:

  • common practices around assessment, agreed information sharing and reporting
  • a focus on early intervention and prevention approaches
  • better outcomes for people by joining up the supports that are needed.

For our community, the Blueprint will mean that:

  • people can build their skills and capacity to participate in all aspects of the community
  • services are more effective and are good value for money.


Making the Blueprint happen

The Blueprint is being rolled out with three initiatives under the name Better Services overseen by the Better Services Taskforce.

  • a Local Services Network at West Belconnen: a Network is about supporting a community to work together to build services and supports around its needs and aspirations. This new way of working is an opportunity to road test important elements of place-based service delivery to determine ‘what works’. These elements include the development of a local governance model, agreement on shared decision-making processes, information and data sharing protocols, assessment and referral processes and opportunities for flexible funding arrangements. Under Better Services, a Network is being trialled in West Belconnen, across Dunlop, Fraser, Spence, Charnwood, Flynn, Latham, Macgregor, Holt and Higgins.
  • The Gateway: is a single access point for a range of universal and targeted services. In its establishment phase, the Gateway is located at Nature Conservation House in Belconnen. Currently the Gateway provides assistance for people through services covering housing and tenancy issues, homelessness, disability, child, young person and family matters, conflict resolution, debt management and grants for women returning to work. At Gateway, staff take a holistic approach in working with people who come through the door. Support for a person’s needs is enhanced through the co-location of a number of partner organisations. This means that services can work collaboratively to provide assistance that is best suited for a person’s needs
  • Strengthening Families is a new way of working with families who have complex needs and who are involved with many different services. The key to the approach is that families have a Lead Worker who works alongside them. The worker is usually from a service the family is involved with, so a level of trust and understanding is already established. This means the family has a single point of contact to support them in identifying strengths and problems. Together, they develop an agreed family plan and put together a package of supports that best respond to their needs. Participation in Strengthening Families is voluntary and all family members can be involved.

Better Services Taskforce
The Blueprint: development, consultation and key initiatives

Human Services Blueprint [HTML] [PDF 3.4MB]

Human Services Blueprint Technical Specifications [HTML] [PDF 2.5MB]

HSB Summary of Initiatives [PDF 875KB]

Human Services Blueprint Consultation Report [HTML] [PDF 441KB]

Towards One Human Services System: discussion paper and submissions


Membership of the Blueprint's 'Better Services Taskforce

Natalie Howson, Director-General
Community Services Directorate (Chair)

Karl Alderson, Deputy Director-General
Chief Minister, Treasury and
Economic Development Directorate

Barbara Causon, NSW Service Leader
Department of Human Services

Gaylene Coulton, Chief Executive Officer
Capital Health Network

Darlene Cox, Executive Director
HealthCare Consumers Association

Kim Davison, Executive Director
Gugan Gulwan Youth Aboriginal Corp

Nicole Feely, Director-General,
Health Directorate

Susan Helyar, Director
ACT Council of Social Service Inc

Diane Joseph, Director-General
Education and Training Directorate

Rudi Lammers, Chief Police Officer
Australian Federal Police

DavidNicol, Under Treasurer
Chief Minister, Treasury and
Economic Development Directorate

Alison Playford, A/g Director-General
Justice & Community Safety Directorate

Gordon Ramsay, Executive Minister
UnitingCare Kippax

Emma Robertson, Director
Youth Coalition of the ACT

Simon Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer, Northside Community Service

Sue Salthouse, Convener
Women With Disabilities ACT