Towards One Human Services System Public Discussion Paper

Towards One Human Services System with You at the Centre

Human Services Blueprint Consultation Process

A discussion paper to inform the development of a Human Services Blueprint

Towards One Human Services System with You at the Centre [PDF 1.1KB]

Canberra is a great place to live. Our residents consistently rate it highly and our high population growth in recent years is a testament to the liveability and opportunity in our city.

Canberrans are well supported by their community and a committed human services system that has developed over many years to help people live a fulfilling life. The human services system provides a range of services that are available to help people at all stages of their life, but particularly at times when they may face challenges, for example job loss, marriage breakdown, domestic violence or the birth of a child.

We know there are significant challenges to making sure our community gets the best value from its human services system - now and in the future. Our population is ageing and demand for services is rising as government budgets face challenges.

Our community sector - made up of a variety of organisations, but significantly those that deliver human services on behalf of the government - is also embarking on a period of significant change. This has been particularly brought about by the advent of the transformational National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This period of reform provides an opportunity to start a conversation; to take stock and consider how our human services system can contribute to improved outcomes by being better integrated, person-centred and sustainable.

I want this to be a conversation about your experiences - tell us what we do well and what could be done better. This will allow the community services, health, justice and education sectors to work better together to improve the quality of life for our community, particularly the most vulnerable.

Your contribution will inform the development of a Human Services Blueprint. The Blueprint will map out how the government, the community, and the community sector can work better together. It will provide details of what is working well, what needs improvement and what needs to change (no matter how big or small). It will articulate where we are now, where we want to be in the future and what we need to do to get there. This discussion paper is designed to start this conversation.

I look forward to working with the community as we develop the ACT’s first Human Services Blueprint.

Andrew Barr MLA Signature

Andrew Barr MLA
Deputy Chief Minister
Minister for Community Services

Key Messages
What are Human Services?
What is a Human Services System?
What is a Blueprint?
Oversight of the Blueprint
Why do we Need a Blueprint?
We want to hear about your experiences
Human Services Taskforce
Core Design Team

Key Messages

We want to hear from you. The aim of this discussion paper is to start a conversation about how support networks - including human services - may operate better in our lives. Operating better may mean more support for some and less support for others. It may mean one-off support or intensive support to help you participate in our community.

Human services are in all of our lives - sometimes prominently, sometimes in the background - usually moving in and out of prominence at different phases in our lives. Human services aim to support Canberrans to participate fully in their lives and in the local community. Support comes in a variety of forms, such as online information, play groups, and respite services. You find them in places like the local school, hospital, youth centre, community hub, library, cultural group, GP’s surgery, Centrelink office or even your own home.

Good support should give us a hand up. As the saying goes: no one is ‘an island’. We may access support through our natural networks - family, kin, friends, neighbours, cultural communities or co-workers. If human services come in to our lives they offer a formal network that help us respond to a particular need - these services complement and supplement our supportive, natural relationships.

We need to rethink how people access support. Our communities are changing, we use technology more, our population is ageing, revenue and resources are declining and demand is increasing. While many aspects of human services delivery in the ACT are innovative, cohesive and streamlined, we know that people sometimes experience their journey of receiving support as fragmented, frustrating and lacking. More and more, people are seeking new types of support in new ways.

We want to do better. We know that for the most part, people want government out of their lives and we want to see the demand for services decrease because Canberrans are able to access support easily, without delays and before issues turn to crisis. We want Canberrans to be able to access the right services at the right time. We want to support Canberrans to better support themselves.

Towards One Human Services System. Transforming to a ‘One Human Services System’ that is integrated, flexible and person centred requires us to develop a Human Services Blueprint (Blueprint) that:

  1. describes and designs an effective and streamlined human services system; and
  2. maps how to get there.

The Human Services Blueprint will be developed by the ACT Government in collaboration with service providers, service users and the general public. The Blueprint will outline a vision and purpose, describe how the system works now and identify what work may need to be done to move towards a ‘One Human Services System’ - a system that is sustainable, person centred, efficient and cohesive.

The ACT Government has a clear vision for a city where services and infrastructure enable our economy and community to thrive. Despite our unique circumstances - including, for example, challenges in recruiting human services employees and an atypical distribution of disadvantage - the ACT is well placed to be an innovative leader in human services design and delivery. The Blueprint is important because it presents an opportunity to reflect on what we are doing well and how we may work better together to improve our service delivery keeping people at the centre of our thinking.



The ACT Government is developing a HumanServices Blueprint (Blueprint) which will outline how we may move toward a ‘One Human Services System’ - a system which is integrated, responsive and sustainable, and provides streamlined, person-centred supports regardless of which organisation is providing or funding a service.

The Blueprint responds to an identified need for our human services system that is easier to understand and works together to provide a more person-centred and sustainable approach to how Canberrans are supported when they need support.

This initiative comes at a time when the ACT Government is reforming to a joined-up one government approach. The system is currently facing a number of challenges including increased demand, an ageing population and revenue pressures. We need to think about how we may work more economically so that essential services are both effective and sustainable into the future.
By providing services and supports that build individual resilience and independence, breaking down barriers to information and access, and reducing administrative burdens, it is envisaged that better outcomes for our community will be achieved.

The purpose of this discussion paper is to seek your advice on how the human services system might work better. Drawing on your experiences as a Canberran - a student, parent, carer, friend, patient, co-worker, recipient of support, child of an ageing parent, someone who works in the community or government services sector - we want to hear from you.

Canberra boasts many high-quality services. We all access services, and may not realise it - community education and public promotions provide a ‘light touch’ service approach for everyone. When we want to learn more about something, we might call Canberra Connect and be provided with information or referred to a service.

While there are many services available, not everyone who needs them are accessing them. Some people choose not to seek formal supports, with some people feeling confused by the system. If people were given the supports they need early, it is possible they would not need to have intensive supports later on, in response to multiple issues or crises that arise.

The Blueprint will build on initiatives already in place across government that aim to provide a more holistic, streamlined and person-centred approach to service delivery. For example; the Our Place service in Braddon - provided by community partners and supported by funding from the ACT Government - provides support to young people that combines accommodation, mentoring and individualised case management, to link young people to education, training and employment opportunities.

There has also been a range of projects and programs recently implemented to improve outcomes for disadvantaged Canberrans, such as the Strengthening Families project for families with multiple and complex needs, Throughcare for people exiting corrections, and the new Child, Youth and Family Services Gateway aimed at streamlining access to services, to name but a few.
There are significant benefits for individuals, government, and the broader community in supporting people early to prevent statutory or institutional service involvement, and in building capacity for self management where possible. Whether it is keeping people out of corrections, care and protection, mental health hospitalisation, or residential aged care, supporting people at home to overcome disadvantage and to participate in their community, leads to positive outcomes for all Canberrans.

When we think about what we want our experience of the human service system to be, there are a range of characteristics that come to mind: we want to receive the right support, at the right time, and in the right place; we want support to be responsive and assisting people early on, before small issues become big ones. The best way to think about how things may work better together is to think about it together.


What are Human Services?

People access a range of services throughout the course of their lives, such as human services, health, justice and education.

The Human Services Blueprint will initially focus on the core human services areas delivered or funded by the ACT Community Services Directorate - including children, youth and family support; housing and community services; and disability and therapy services.

It will also acknowledge the interface with other services such as health, justice and education; along with Commonwealth Government services such as Centrelink and Medicare, recognising that human services do not operate in isolation from these other important areas.

As such, the development of the Blueprint will invite all areas of human service, its service users and providers - whether from the ACT Government, Commonwealth Government such as Centrelink, or community sector - to join this conversation to shape how best to move towards a ‘One Human Services System’ in the ACT.


What is a Human Services System?

A system is a complex set of rules and interrelated elements - in this case human services and principles - that work toward a common goal.

Some services are accessed with a ‘light touch’ approach, such as community education and public promotions. When something comes up in our lives, we want to know how to manage it. We may first talk to those we trust, look for information online, contact an information line or our GP.

In some other cases, accessing services is not optional; it may be a legal requirement or an essential service. For example, it is compulsory for children to attend school and it is essential for our community to have access to clean water and access to primary health services.

The breadth and intensity to which we need and access services is likely to change over time and respond to various life events, transition points or circumstances. Because we engage with human services in different ways, at different points and for different reasons, one of the aims of the Blueprint is to provide an over-arching framework for how these services would work better together as a system in order to be easier to navigate and understand, thereby delivering better and more responsive services.

The following graphic shows how people can move between services, from low intensity (self-managed, or with a little guidance) to high intensity (services working intensively to support people).

Moving from a process-centred system...

We have traditionally seen human services as a model with three tiers or systems: universal (or primary); secondary; and tertiary services. Each tier varies according to its level of specialisation:
We all use and benefit from universal human services - they are general services that we all access, and are often our first point of contact with the system. The target audience for primary services are whole communities and are often focused on prevention and early intervention. The Community Services Directorate and community partners offer a range of universal services and programs such as Arts Hubs and the Multicultural Festival. The focus is on supporting community participation and celebration of culture in our city.

Secondary services are more targeted and specialised, and are often focused on people who are ‘at risk’. For health, they might be about supporting people at risk of diabetes or mental illness; for education, they might be about supporting students at risk of disengaging from the formal education system. The Community Services Directorate delivers and funds a large range of human services in this area, such as Disability and Therapy services, Housing services, and Children, Youth and Family Services.

Tertiary services are targeted and intensive, and often involve ‘statutory services’ - services where the law is involved, such as Care and Protection Services, Community Youth Justice, Intensive Care Units and secure mental health facilities.

While each sector - health, education, justice, community - uses this primary/secondary/tertiary approach slightly differently, there are some common features. For example, tertiary services tend to be at the “pointy end” of the triangle - indicating that they are provided to the smallest group of people (although they often require the most time and resources), while primary services are at the widest end of the triangle indicating they are provided to the vast majority of people.

The most important common feature is that the three tiers often operate separately to each other - they are often funded by different sources and governed or provided by different groups. This can at times lead to a fragmented experience for people seeking support services from more than one part of the triangle model.

Difficulties may also arise for people transitioning between tiers - for example, people may need to repeat their story as they move on from one level of support to another.

Towards a person-centred and sustainable system

The current human services system has many strengths. The Human Services Blueprint is an opportunity to build on these strengths to create a system that is more collaborative, cohesive and person-centred.

The Human Services Blueprint will examine the current three-tiered system with the aim of creating a more flexible system with people at the centre - while taking advantage of the expertise, experience and commitment of service providers and service providers.

We know that people are dynamic, and sometimes service systems can be rigid. None of us use human services in the same way all our lives. The way we use services can be seen along continuums - breadth and depth of service use.

The number of services we use, and the intensity with which we use them will change over time -from ‘light touch’ to intensive and back again - for example we will need different services based on our age, as a family, or if we (or a family member) live with an episodic or ongoing disability or health issue.

If we have a disability and require mental health supports and are over the age of 65 years, then we require services from a variety of providers. How do we make this easier and less of a burden on individuals who are in need of support?

Overall, we want the service experience to be desirable, possible and sustainable.

The move towards a ‘One Human Services System’, regardless of funding source or provider type, requires us to have an understanding of where we are, where we want to go, and how we will get there.

Taking a holistic, person-centred approach that builds on existing supports would support a more sustainable system that is approachable, responsive and engages with other systems of support that human services interface with, such as education, corrections and hospitals.

The community sector is a critical part of the ACT human services system. There are nearly 4,000 employees working in the community sector in the ACT employed by about 160 Community Sector Organisations (CSOs) - and many more in care services for children and older people. The non-government sector in the ACT is particularly active and is marked by a high number of organisations, with about 50 per cent more organisations per head of population than in NSW.

It is challenging to discuss the community sector as uniform, as it is made up of a diverse range of people and organisations. CSOs operate under various levels of legislation, funding and policy guidelines. There is a significant variety in funding levels between the larger and smaller organisations.

In 2012-13, the ACT Government provided more than $150m to about 150 organisations that provide social and community sector services. Philanthropic giving also contributes to the sector, with 2007 research finding there was great interest in philanthropy within the ACT and that the majority of the territory’s community organisations either have receive or are receiving philanthropic giving.

The relationship between the ACT Government and the community sector is strong and is guided by the Social Compact policy which outlines principles of good communication and partnership for the benefit of all people and communities in the ACT.


What is a Blueprint?

The Human Services Blueprint will establish a forward agenda that outlines the current context of service delivery and experience, provides a vision for the future, and a clear plan to move forward together. The long-term view is for Canberrans to be supported and to be independent and resilient.

The development of a Blueprint will look to align, refine and add to the existing architecture of the Human Services System. The Blueprint will outline an implementation plan for how the ACT human services system may provide improved access to person-centred and responsive supports that are integrated and sustainable. It will consider initiatives that are under way, recommend progression of work that aligns with guiding principles, identify work that needs to be initiated in order to make reforms and propose future works to support the functioning of a ‘One Human Services System’.

It is anticipated that the Blueprint will be launched in 2014. The final document will provide a three-year plan to reform and refine our human services delivery system so it is citizen-centric, and will identify annual priorities and guide future investment.

We anticipate that the Blueprint will consider ways to:

People are at the centre of the Blueprint. That means any recommendations for change will be about improving how you, your family, people you support, and your local community may be best supported at the right time and in the right place. It will aim to move to a system that is centred on you.

Oversight of the Blueprint

A Human Services Taskforce will be established comprising senior government and community leaders to provide strategic oversight for the development of the Human Services Blueprint. A Core Design Team will advise the taskforce on strategic, tactical and operational issues to develop the Blueprint. The development of the Human Services Blueprint will be guided by some principles.

Draft Guilding Principles

Person-centred - ensuring services are person and family centred, and delivered holistically
Outcomes focused - ensuring funding, accountability and performance measurement focus on outcomes and impact, not inputs and outputs
Sustainable - ensuring the system is viable, with a considered investment strategy
Tailored - providing the right support, in the right amount, at the right time (promoting early intervention and service user participation, reducing episodes of crisis)
Flexible - providing services through a variety of approaches including online delivery and encourage self-service, wherever possible
Local networks - local service networks that are collaborative and responsive to local needs


Why do we Need a Blueprint?

To address disadvantage

Disadvantage is a multi-dimensional concept. It is about ‘impoverished lives’ (including a lack of opportunities), not just low income. Research conducted by Professor Baldry of the University of NSW found that complex needs have a compounding effect and positive interactions between support services are key to the achievement of positive outcomes.

The research further demonstrates that high cost services such as policing, hospitals, and corrective services continue to be spent on a small number of people, many of whom would benefit from earlier and less intensive responses which could prevent the cycles of crisis from occurring.

What disadvantage? This is Canberra

Canberra is often described as a privileged place, with the highest national proportions of people of working age; average income; level of post-school qualifications; work participation rates; self assessed health status; and levels of participation in sport, recreation and culture.

Because so many of its residents are relatively advantaged, disadvantage and marginalisation can be hidden amongst its relatively affluent communities. Disadvantage in Canberra is generally ‘salt and peppered’ across suburbs. Many Canberra suburbs - for example, Red Hill and Reid - have high numbers of both the most, and the least, disadvantaged individuals.

As a result of this co-location of the most and least disadvantaged individuals, disadvantage is masked when the standard Census-based measure of socio-economic disadvantaged is used (Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas - SEIFA). Using the same 2006 census-based data, the ACT Government has developed an alternative measure to identify disadvantage, the Socio-Economic Indexes for Individuals (SEIFI).

It measures an individual’s relative access to material and social resources based on personal attributes such as income, education or housing status.

Extrapolating this measure across the ACT population, it is estimated that more than 40,000 ACT residents experience high levels of disadvantage - not the 712 identified using SEIFA at the suburb level.

To work as one government and one ACT Public Service

As a priority the ACT Government is looking for ways to work smarter as one government.

We are a community which prides itself on fairness and opportunity for all. We are ambitious, eager to support and build on these qualities as our city grows. That is why the ACT is well placed to be an innovative leader in how human services are designed and delivered.

The ACT Government is committed to a participatory approach to policy and program development. Initiatives such as Time to Talk - Canberra 2030 - demonstrate a landmark precedent as the community came together to hold a conversation on the future of our city with thousands of citizens taking part to identify six priority areas for government, business and the community.

There is a clear and considered direction for reform. A major report into the ACT Government, Governing the City State by Allan Hawke, found there was a significant need for greater coordination and alignment of the efforts of the ACT Public Service - effectively, a ‘one ACT Government’ approach. This approach sets the tone and the way forward for how we may think about our human services system, as a ‘One Human Services System’.

Unlike Canberra’s planned urban design, many human services in the ACT have arisen over the years in response to need. The Human Services Blueprint creates an opportunity to look at these services and plan for future needs to ensure sustainability.

The system can at times appear fragmented. If someone needs support, they may not always know where they should go to seek it out.

If a person needs support from more than one service or from another area - which is common - they may have to tell their story to each service and learn how to navigate each area separately. Although government and non-government agencies often work well together, and the people working in them have good intentions, structural boundaries can at times be a barrier.

To build and expand on the things that work well:

...such as good practice, strong relationships and genuine commitment

There are many aspects of the human services system in Canberra that are exemplary. For example, the pioneering Throughcare corrections case management model, provides support to offenders through the transition back into the community to promote reintegration and reduce recidivism. Another example is the new Strengthening Families model that has co-designed an authorised ‘lead worker’ model for families with multiple needs. The project has proven that service users are the experts when it comes to defining their needs, and that by working with families, greater outcomes can be achieved.

There are many strong relationships and a shared sense of commitment between community sector agencies and areas within government. For example, the Joint Community Government Reference Group in operation since 2001 - is a consultative mechanism with members from across the Community Sector and the ACT Government which provides strategic advice on critical issues that affect government and non-government agencies in the human services sector.

...because we know it leads to better outcomes for people

We know, both through our experience with best practice human service delivery in the ACT and through the evidence which forms the foundation of service delivery that when the system works well, it leads to better outcomes for the people it exists to serve.

We know that effective services have a focus on early intervention and prevention; building resilience and reducing dependence; increasing inclusion and participation; providing the right support, at the right time, and in the right place. With people at the centre of services and system design, the aim is for people to reach their full potential.

A child’s earliest years fundamentally shape their life chances. Gaps between children from disadvantaged families and their more advantaged peers appear early in life.

...because we know it is socially responsible

Disadvantage imposes personal costs on people who experience it, and costs on the broader community. For the community, social costs arise if disadvantage erodes social capital such as trust and civic engagement, and may be associated with negative outcomes such as higher rates of crime. Addressing disadvantage through effective human services can prevent and reduce social costs.

...because we know it is economically responsible

Personal and social costs of disadvantage inevitably have economic consequences. Too many Canberrans experience the opportunity cost of foregone or under-employment often those who may have high costs of living due to disability or medical conditions. This can increase government spending in justice, health and welfare - finances which would be more effective if targeted at early intervention and prevention services.

We know that early intervention programs can demonstrate long-term financial returns because of their reduced need for welfare assistance; decreased need for expensive specialised services; increased income tax revenue from the higher wages of participants due to improved participation; reduced operational costs to the criminal justice system; and reduced costs to victims.

...because it’s what we want for the ACT and we’re already working towards it

We know what works best and we are already working towards it, however we need to bring together these points of excellence as we develop and expand them. The 2013-14 ACT Budget includes a theme of “liveability and opportunity” with a commitment to a better public service that is accessible, responsive and delivers core services.

It’s all part of the ACT Government’s vision for Canberra that it a city where public services and infrastructure are world class and where our economy and community thrive.

To identify and address things that could work better:

There is no doubt that governments are committed to policies and programs to improve the lives of disadvantaged people and to create paths out of marginalisation.

In 2013-14, the ACT Government is spending $283.5m on disability and community services, $1.3b on health and community care, and $156.7m on housing including public housing and homelessness services. In the same period, the Australian Government is spending $138b on social security and welfare.

However, we also know that there are aspects of the system which could be done better, and some aspects that are failing Canberrans - especially Canberrans who are already vulnerable and disadvantaged.

...for all service users and providers

The human services system is organised around programs, not people. People who need multiple services too often may need to deal with each organisation separately. Often barriers are navigated is with the help of a conscientious worker.

Funded organisations may have advice about how to improve and streamline procurement processes, reporting requirements and costing of ‘outcomes’. The ACT Council of Social Service has noted there is ‘emphasis on direct outputs and quantification of services provided, reducing the capacity for preventative and collaborative work’.

...especially people already experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage

It is most distressing when the human services system fails those who are already experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage. It is often the people most requiring support who experience the greatest frustration while attempting to make sense of services, needing to ‘qualify’ for a program in order to receive support. As a result, many disengage altogether from human services, further entrenching the cycle of disadvantage. respond to external factors that are driving change

There are also a number of external factors impacting on the human services system - such as increasing levels of demand, an ageing population, revenue pressures, increasing wages, national programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and advances in technology - that are acting as urgent drivers for change.

Services across Canberra and Australia are experiencing increasing levels of demand. In part, this is an expected outcome of our growing and ageing population. There is an increased emphasis on supporting people to age in place, promoting independence and reducing demand for high cost residential services.

As Canberra continues to be promoted as a regional centre, a wider regional demand for services is emerging.

Alongside this increasing demand, there are increasing revenue pressures. The ACT Government has articulated a ‘deficit to surplus’ strategy in its 2013-14 Budget. This will require innovative solutions to deliver services that are both effective and sustainable into the future.

Fair Work Australia recently (2012) ordered the wages of many community sector workers to increase by between 19 and 41 per cent, recognising that many workers in community and disability areas were underpaid compared to their public sector counterparts. The increases are being phased over eight years. In a sector with strengths in its passion for social justice, more so than business acumen, this combination of higher costs and increasing demand is also putting significant pressure on many organisations.

In 2013, there has also been a federal election. Changes of government often have an impact on Canberra as the home of the nation’s parliament and many of its public service departments and the community sector will be watching any resulting impacts closely.

The sector is further impacted by national programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will give clients purchasing power for their own services. This means services that previously received a set amount of government funding may no longer do so. As this direct payment model grows, it seems likely it may extend to other areas outside of disability, which would represent a profound transformation and fundamentally change - or remove - the funding base of many organisations.

There are increasingly diverse and innovative models of operation and funding in the human services sector, such as social enterprises and social impact bonds. For example, philanthropic partnerships are growing in Canberra with the help of Hands across Canberra - a group of community, business and government leaders seeking to facilitate philanthropy to support community sector services and charities. Social Ventures Australia have also established a Social Enterprise Hub in Canberra which provides business development support to community organisations or social entrepreneurs that want to develop a social enterprise to create employment for people excluded from the labour market.

Technological developments are driving demand for services and information that is easily accessible at any time, and delivered according to the needs of individuals and families. Currently there are many different access points and channels such as phone, internet, face to face and Canberra Connect.

Jane’s story: service barriers

Despite our best efforts, barriers to effective services exist.

In 2012, the ACT Government, community services organisations and families who were accessing the ACT service system undertook co-design research to better understand the experiences of families with multiple needs. The research involved speaking with families and plotting their experiences on ‘service journey maps’. An example of a journey map is below. It’s Jane’s experience, and she has agreed to share her story with you.

Jane, 23, is mother to Indica, seven months. Jane’s service journey map shows a number of what she felt were service barriers, which are represented by the circle symbol []. Effectively, Jane sees these as dead ends: opportunities where she could have accessed further assistance.

There are a small number of families in Canberra, like Jane’s, who need and are receiving some extra, and intensive, help from government agencies. A ‘future state map’, which follows, has been developed for Jane about how the system could respond differently so she felt more supported.

Jane’s story: future state map

A preferred service journey links a family with the right supports, coordinates and maintains accountability, and reduces duplication of services.

As a part of the 2012 co-design process, project participants ‘re-told’ the stories with examples of how their service journey could have been if the system operated differently. This was called a ‘future state map’.

Compare the journey described in the diagram below with the one on the previous page. You can see the potential for different responses to Jane’s situation that would enable her to feel more supported.

There are a number of different service ideas identified below in this hypothetical map. Some of the service ideas have been tested through the Strengthening Families project.

While it is acknowledged that a future state map is a hypothetical vision rather than a factual reality, drawing an ‘ideal’ map is a useful tool for imagining possibilities for the human service system.


We want to hear about your experiences.

The Human Services Blueprint will be developed by ACT Government in consultation with you, the ACT community. We welcome your input as a person who accesses support, a family member or friend who supports someone, someone who works in human services or provide human services (be it from a community or government organisation) - basically we want anyone with an interest in how we may improve the human services system to get involved.

We’re interested in your experience of support and we will work within our sphere of influence to make systemic and practical changes. The initial work of the Human Services Taskforce and Core Design Team will be informed by input that is received by you. Your experiences, suggestions on how things might work better and ideas for what improvements may be made are important.

Have Your Say

We understand that you are busy. We also know that your insights are invaluable. Think of yourself as an expert of your experiences and we are seeking your advice.

We want to hear from you if you even if you haven’t accessed human services. Perhaps you found other ways to support you and those close to you in a time of need. The steps you took to respond to your needs will help us to think about what we do and how we may make improvements.

Think about a time when you or those you support accessed support.

Comments on any other aspects of this paper are also welcome, along with any relevant facts not covered in this paper.

How to Join the Conversation

The experiences and advice that you share with us will shape how we think about the design of an integrated human services system. To contribute to this important conversation, please.

Go online, visit Time to Talk External Link
Complete the survey

Write to us at:

Strategic Policy
Community Services Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
or email

Submissions close 29 November 2013

Next Steps

Your advice will be considered by the Community Services Directorate and themes will be presented to the Blueprint Core Design Team, comprising community sector and government representatives who are developing advice for reform which will be considered by the Human Services Taskforce.

Other consultation will also occur in ways such as a conference, online, and focus groups. A draft Blueprint will be prepared and presented to government for consideration in early 2014 and a final Blueprint will be made public in 2014.

If you would like to be kept informed of the Human Services Blueprint Project, please let us know at


Human Services Taskforce

The Human Services Taskforce membership comprises:

Community Leaders:

Government representatives:


Core Design Team

The Core Design Team has been established to work intensively on the core reforms required to develop the Blueprint, reporting to the Human Services Taskforce. Its membership comprises:

Community representatives:

Government representatives: