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Specialist Homelessness Services NMDS 2011

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term398238
Registration status:Help on this termHousing assistance, Superseded 01/05/2013
Homelessness, Superseded 01/05/2013
DSS type:Help on this termNational Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
Scope:Help on this term

The Specialist Homelessness Services National Minimum Data Set (SHS NMDS) aims to provide quality information about people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness and who are seeking services from specialist homelessness agencies.

This collection is intended to obtain information about clients receiving ongoing or short term support as well as people who are seeking assistance but did not receive any services. Data collection includes basic socio-demographic information and the services required by and provided to each client. Details about accompanying children are also recorded. Additionally, information is obtained about the client circumstances before, during and after receiving support.

The base unit of this collection is a person who present to a Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) agency requesting a service or services. A person becomes a client once they receive a service or services. The period of time a client receives assistance from a SHS agency is commonly referred to as a support period. It relates to the provision of assistance and/or supported accommodation. A support period is considered finished when the relationship between the client and the agency ends or the client has reached their maximum amount of support.

During a support period there are, in most cases, a series of service episodes or assistance, other than supported accommodation, provided to the client by the SHS agency. For the purposes of the Specialist Homelessness Services NMDS, assistance also includes contact with a client, or work on behalf of a client.

The SHS NMDS has three ‘views’ for collection purposes, they are: Unassisted person, Client and Specialist homelessness agency.

An ‘Unassisted person’ in the context of this collection is any person who seeks assistance from an agency and is not successful in obtaining that assistance. A ‘Client’ is a person or group who receive services either directly or indirectly from an agency. A 'Specialist homelessness agency' is an organisation which receives government funding to deliver a specialist homelessness service to a client. If clients present collectively information is collected for each client but the group is referred to as a 'Presenting unit'.

The SHS NMDS has been developed to support the collection of data under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations for Homelessness. It will replace the existing Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) collection as from 2011. The SHS NMDS reflects the new outcome based performance framework described by the COAG Reforms and White Paper. Some of the major changes to homelessness data collection, include:

  • the development of an implementation plan to establish client-based collection (includes specification of client-centred data collection;
  • specification of collection system to meet COAG timelines;
  • specification of administrative data collection from jurisdictions.

The SHS NMDS addresses the first change - the development of an implementation plan to establish client-based collection (including specification of client-centred data collection. It provides evidence based statistics regarding clients of specialist homelessness agencies and the services they receive. The second change - specification of administrative data collection from jurisdictions - commenced development in mid – 2010.

The SHS NMDS data collection will be vital for reporting, policy design and evaluation, as well as service improvement and monitoring of specialist homelessness services in Australia.

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to reform federal financial relations “aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of government services” (COAG 31 July 2009). These reforms established five new Specific Purpose Payments (SPPs) including the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA). COAG also agreed to a National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which establishes specific performance measures in relation to homelessness. The details of these agreements can be found at COAG website: National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness

In conjunction with these COAG Reforms, the Australian Government has initiated a comprehensive policy review to set out a national approach to reducing homelessness. These reforms are described in the White Paper:  The Road Home, A National Approach to Reducing Homelessness, which can be found at:

The development of the NHDC required the establishment of a client based Specialist Homelessness National Minimum Data Set (SHS NMDS) provided under the NAHA. This is significantly different from the SAAP National Data Collection which was based on ‘support periods’ and only collected data on services provided through the SAAP. The new data set will also capture client outcomes, especially through an ability to link to other data sets such as public housing.

The AIHW has been tasked by the Commonwealth Government to establish the new NMDS to replace the current SAAP NDC and to contribute to the reporting requirements outlined in the NAHA and the NPAH.

The SHS NMDS has been developed in conjunction with all jurisdictions with the liaison coordinated through the Housing and Homelessness Information Management Group (HHIMG).

Collection and usage attributes

Implementation start date:Help on this term01/07/2011

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termHousing and Homelessness Information Management Group.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also SAAP Administrative National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) Community Services (retired), Retired 01/07/2011

Has been superseded by Specialist Homelessness Services NMDS 2012-13 Housing assistance, Superseded 01/05/2013, Homelessness, Superseded 01/05/2013

Metadata items in this Data Set SpecificationHelp on this term

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Seq No.Help on this termMetadata itemHelp on this term ObligationHelp on this term Max occursHelp on this term
-Specialist Homelessness Services activity clusterMandatory1
-Statistical linkage key 581 clusterMandatory99
-Child—care arrangements, care and protection order code N[N]Conditional1
-Client—amount of assistance, total hours and minutes NNNNMandatory1
-Client—case management goal status, code NMandatory4
-Client—case management plan indicator, yes/no code NMandatory1
-Client—consent obtained indicator, yes/no code NConditional1
-Client—reason case management plan does not exist, code NConditional1
-Date—accuracy indicator, code AAAMandatory1
-Person (address)—Australian postcode, code (Postcode datafile) {NNNN}Mandatory2
-Person (address)—suburb/town/locality name, text A[A(49)]Mandatory2
-Person (employed)—full-time/part-time status, code NMandatory4
-Person—Australian state/territory identifier, code NMandatory2
-Person—conditions of occupancy, code NMandatory2
-Person—country of birth, code (SACC 2008) NNNNMandatory1
-Person—financial assistance amount, total Australian currency N[NNNN]Mandatory1
-Person—financial assistance type, homelessness code NMandatory1
-Person—first service request indicator, yes/no code NMandatory1
-Person—formally diagnosed mental health condition indicator, code NMandatory1
-Person—government funding identifier, Centrelink customer reference number N(9)AConditional1
-Person—housing tenure type, homelessness code NMandatory4
-Person—Indigenous status, code NMandatory1
-Person—labour force status, code NConditional1
-Person—living arrangement, homelessness code NMandatory1
-Person—mental health services received timeframe, code NMandatory1
-Person—new client indicator, code NMandatory1
-Person—number of people in the presenting unit, total N[N]Mandatory1
-Person—previously homeless status, code NMandatory1
-Person—reason for seeking assistance, homelessness code N[N]Mandatory1
-Person—reason services not provided, code N[N]Mandatory3
-Person—registered/awaiting government payment indicator, code NConditional1
-Person—relationship to the presenting unit head, code N[N]Mandatory1
-Person—residential type, homelessness code N[N]Conditional1
-Person—school enrolment and attendance status, code NMandatory1
-Person—service requested, homelessness code NMandatory1
-Person—source of cash income (all), code NNNNMandatory1
-Person—source of information on a mental health condition, code NMandatory1
-Person—student type, code NConditional1
-Person—student/employment training indicator, code NConditional4
-Person—time elapsed since last permanent residence, code NMandatory1
-Person—type of institution recently left, homelessness code N[N]Conditional1
-Person—urgency of requested assistance, time period code NConditional1
-Person—year of first arrival in Australia, date YYYYConditional1
-Referral—formal referral source, homelessness code N[N]Mandatory1
-Service episode—episode end date, DDMMYYYYConditional4
-Service episode—episode start date, DDMMYYYYMandatory4
-Service episode—service cessation reason, homelessness code N[N]Mandatory1
-Service episode—service ongoing indicator, code NConditional1
-Service event—accommodation period end date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Service event—accommodation period start date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Service event—assistance request date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Service event—first service contact date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Service event—last service provision date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Service event—supported accommodation type, code NMandatory1
-Service provider organisation—organisation identifier, NNNNAConditional1
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