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Assistance request reason

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termGlossary Item
METeOR identifier:Help on this term327204
Registration status:Help on this termHousing assistance, Standard 02/08/2010
Homelessness, Standard 02/08/2010
Community Services (retired), Standard 01/03/2005
Definition:Help on this termThe reason(s) why a person has sought or requires assistance from an agency.
Context:Help on this term

To better identify the needs of clients, to identify needs that are not being met and to target assistance to clients more effectively.

Collection and usage attributes

Comments:Help on this term

A person may seek or require assistance for a number of reasons, some of which are the immediate presenting reason, while others will be underlying or longer term reasons. These will require particular and usually different responses and services.

For example, a person's immediate reason for seeking assistance may be that they have lost their accommodation and require accommodation support. However, the underlying reasons as to why they have no accommodation may be because of a psychiatric condition, alcohol or drug dependency, a gambling addiction, or because they are being abused at home. These underlying reasons may or may not have directly resulted in the homelessness, but have been contributing factors.

Underlying reasons for a person requiring a service are likely to be complex and more difficult to ascertain than the immediate presenting reason.

A second example is in child protection. Many children that come to the attention of community services agencies as being in need of care and protection come from families in crisis (for example, parents have psychiatric illnesses, financial stress, domestic violence etc.). Without providing a service to the family as well as the child then the child is likely to be re-notified.

Providing a service for the client's immediate need will not necessarily assist the client in the longer term, resulting in the client continually requiring short term assistance, while at the same time continuing to have an underlying problem or need that is not being addressed.

Therefore by attempting to collect information on both the immediate and the underlying reasons for a person's current situation, agencies may be able to better assist them both in the short and longer term, while at the same time more effectively utilising the services available.

Many children that come to the attention of community services agencies as being in need of care and protection come from families in crisis (for example, parents have psychiatric illnesses, financial stress, domestic violence etc.).

Further research is required to develop a data domain to enable the measurement of this concept.

It is possible that a number of data elements could be developed out of this concept, such as 'Immediate reason for seeking assistance' and 'Underlying reason for seeking assistance'. Such items would need a great deal of consultation with input from community service agencies to develop meaningful and well structured data domains.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Assistance request reason, version 1, DEC, NCSDD, NCSIMG, Superseded 01/03/2005.pdf (15.6 KB)

Metadata items which use this glossary item:Help on this term

Service event—assistance request date, DDMMYYYY Housing assistance, Standard 23/08/2010
Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018
Community Services (retired), Standard 01/03/2005

Service event—assistance request date, DDMMYYYY Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018

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