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Specialist Homelessness Services NMDS 2019-

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Set Specification
METeOR identifier:Help on this term689064
Registration status:Help on this termHomelessness, Standard 10/08/2018
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 presents 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 SHS 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 who receives 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.

The SHS NMDS provides for information to be collected for each person who seeks services, irrespective of whether they are on their own or part of a family or other group. The ‘Presenting unit’ describes a single person or a group of people, and the relationship between members presenting for services. The ‘Presenting unit head’ describes a person in the ‘Presenting unit’ used to determine how people within the group are related.

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

For jurisdictions who have high volume central intake or localised entry point agencies (for example Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory), data for unmet demand and unassisted requests for services are not directly comparable with other states and territories.

Comments:Help on this term

The 2011 SHS NMDS was developed to support the collection of data under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations for Homelessness. It replaced the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) collection from July 2011.

In 2008 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to reform federal financial relations to improve the quality and effectiveness of government services. These reforms led to the establishment of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH), which includes specific performance measures in relation to homelessness.

In conjunction with these reforms, the Australian Government initiated a comprehensive policy review, setting out a national approach to reducing homelessness in the White Paper: The Road Home, A National Approach to Reducing Homelessness.

The SHS NMDS 2019- continues to reflect the outcome based performance framework promoted by the COAG Reforms and White Paper. It supports the collection, analysis and reporting of client-based data. This allows for the production of statistical information about clients’ circumstances, the assistance they receive and the outcomes that are achieved for them. This information can be used to inform policy design, evaluation, service improvement and monitoring of specialist homelessness services in Australia.

The collection has developed over time to provide improved information about clients of SHS agencies. Changes in 2013 provided for the collection of information about clients with disabilities. Following this, in 2017 changes enabled the collection of data about clients who are former or current members of the Australian Defence Force.

The SHS NMDS 2019- provides for further collection enhancements including:

  • Data about family and domestic violence, for example services for victims and perpetrators of family and domestic violence.
  • Improved data for identifying culturally and linguistically diverse clients.
  • Scope to collect data for clients who are not male or female.
  • Identification of clients who are receiving an agreed package of support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

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

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

Supersedes Specialist Homelessness Services NMDS 2017-19 Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018

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 accommodation type and start/end date clusterConditional16
    1    Service event—supported accommodation type, code NMandatory1
    2    Service event—accommodation period start date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
    3    Service event—accommodation period end date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Specialist Homelessness Services activity clusterConditional1
    -    Client—needs assessment service activity outcome, code NMandatory54
    -    Client—service activity type, homelessness code N[N]Mandatory54
-Specialist Homelessness Services disability flag clusterConditional1
    -    Person—activity and participation life area, disability flag homelessness code NMandatory1
    -    Person—need for assistance with activities in a life area, disability flag homelessness code NMandatory1
-Specialist Homelessness Services financial assistance type and amount clusterConditional1
    -    Person—financial assistance amount, total Australian currency N[NNNN]Mandatory5
    -    Person—financial assistance type, homelessness code NMandatory5
-Statistical linkage key 581 clusterMandatory1
    1    Person—letters of family name, text XXXMandatory1
    2    Person—letters of given name, text XXMandatory1
    3    Person—date of birth, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
    4    Person—sex, code XMandatory1
    5    Record—linkage key, code 581 XXXXXDDMMYYYYXMandatory1
    6    Date—accuracy indicator, code AAAConditional1
-Address—Australian postcode, code (Postcode datafile) NNNNConditional2
-Address—suburb/town/locality name, text X[X(45)]Conditional2
-Child—care arrangements, care and protection order code N[N]Conditional4
-Client—case management goal status, code NConditional1
-Client—case management plan indicator, yes/no code NConditional1
-Client—consent indicator, yes/no code NConditional1
-Client—reason case management plan does not exist, code NConditional1
-Client—reason case management plan does not exist, text A[A(49)]Conditional1
-Person—Australian Defence Force indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Person—Australian state/territory identifier, code NConditional2
-Person—conditions of occupancy, code NConditional4
-Person—country of birth, code (SACC 2016) NNNNConditional1
-Person—first service request indicator, yes/no/unknown/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Person—formally diagnosed mental health condition indicator, yes/no/don't know/can't remember code NConditional1
-Person—Full-time/part-time status, code NConditional4
-Person—government funding identifier, Centrelink customer reference number N(9)AConditional1
-Person—housing tenure type, homelessness code NConditional4
-Person—Indigenous status, code NConditional1
-Person—labour force status, code NConditional4
-Person—living arrangement, homelessness code NConditional4
-Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2016) N[NNN]Conditional1
-Person—mental health services received indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Person—mental health services received timeframe, code NConditional1
-Person—new client indicator, code NConditional1
-Person—number of people presenting, total N[N]Mandatory1
-Person—participation in National Disability Insurance Scheme indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Person—period of time since last permanent living place, code NConditional1
-Person—previously homeless status, code NConditional6
-Person—previously resided in institution/facility indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Person—principal source of cash income, code NNNNConditional4
-Person—proficiency in spoken English, code NConditional1
-Person—reason for seeking assistance, homelessness code N[N]Conditional27
-Person—reason for seeking assistance, text A[A(49)]Conditional1
-Person—reason service not provided, code N[N]Conditional11
-Person—registered/awaiting government payment indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional4
-Person—relationship to the presenting unit head, code N[N]Mandatory1
-Person—relationship to the presenting unit head, text A[A(49)]Conditional1
-Person—residential type, code N[N]Conditional4
-Person—school enrolment and attendance status, code NConditional1
-Person—service requested, homelessness code NConditional5
-Person—source of information on a mental health issue, code NConditional1
-Person—source of information on a mental health issue, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Person—student type, code NConditional4
-Person—student/employment training indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional4
-Person—type of institution or facility previously resided in, code N[N]Conditional7
-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]Conditional1
-Service episode—episode end date, DDMMYYYYConditional1
-Service episode—episode start date, DDMMYYYYConditional1
-Service episode—reporting period, date MMYYYYMandatory1
-Service episode—service cessation reason, homelessness code N[N]Conditional1
-Service episode—service ongoing indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code NConditional1
-Service event—assistance request date, DDMMYYYYMandatory1
-Service event—first service contact date, DDMMYYYYConditional1
-Service event—last service provision date, DDMMYYYYConditional1
-Service provider organisation—organisation identifier, NNNNNAMandatory1
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