A new system for national data collection for specialist homelessness service providers was launched on 1 July 2011 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), in conjunction with Australian, State and Territory governments.
To ensure smooth running of the new system, the Department of Communities provided 65 training sessions between May and July 2011 to over 450 workers from funded specialist homelessness services who support clients experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
Andrew Barr (pictured), Project Manager, Sector Funding and Performance Support, Regional Service Delivery Operations led the training program. Sessions were conducted in each region.
Andrew said that the new data collection method would replace the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) National Data Collection. Services will provide data on a monthly, rather than quarterly basis.
"The data will provide a clearer picture of homelessness in Queensland, and help to give government and agencies a better understanding of people’s experiences of homelessness, the services provided and resources needed to overcome homelessness now and into the future," he said.
The first results of the new collection are expected to be published early in 2012. The new system for collecting data is a critical tool in monitoring progress in addressing homelessness. The Australian Government’s White Paper on Homelessness aims to halve the rate of homelessness by 2020 and provide supported accommodation to all people sleeping rough who seek it.
For more than 15 years, information on homelessness has been collected and reported by the AIHW – a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare. For more information on the new data collection, visit the AIHW website.