The Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) made a submission in response to the release of the Housing Ministers’ Conference discussion paper, A national quality framework to support quality services for people experiencing homelessness – A Discussion Paper. HPLS welcomes the recognition by the Housing Minister’s Conference of the need for a national quality framework that delivers ongoing improvement and better integration of services to those experiencing homelessness. While most state and territory governments currently have in place some form of quality framework in relation to provision of services to homeless people, a national approach that promotes and enforces a unified model of best practice is required. In this submission HPLS comments primarily on the characteristics of good service practice that have been identified by the discussion paper. While generally supportive of these characteristics, HPLS identifies a number of additional features of quality services that should be adopted in a national quality framework. HPLS also provides detail on how the characteristics identified in the discussion paper can be implemented as enforceable standards that inform the daily practices of specialist homeless service providers. HPLS supports the Federal Government’s recognition, as expressed in the White Paper on Homelessness, The Road Home – A national approach to reducing homelessness, that addressing homelessness is a shared responsibility. In support of this approach, HPLS believes a national quality framework must incorporate the practices of mainstream services such as state and territory housing authorities and Centrelink.
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