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Department of Social Services (DSS) Contract - ER Delivery

3.1 DSS Funded ER Delivery 

TSA Current DSS ER Contracts
3.1.1 DSS Contracts - Aligned to States
3.1.2 DSS Contract Compliance
3.1.3 TSA - DSS ER Contract Management Arrangements

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TSA Current DSS ER Contracts 

3.1.1 DSS Contracts - Aligned to States

The Salvation Army  in AUS has five (5) separate State based contracts with  DSS in relation to the delivery of Emergency Relief (ER ).  The five (5) TSA AUS contracts are:

-  Victoria Wide  (three (3) Divisions and Victoria State Social)
-  South Australia  (one (1) Division) 
-  Western Australia (one (1) Division) 
-  Tasmania  (one (1) Division) 
-  Northern Territory  (one (1) Region)

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3.1.2 DSS Contract Compliance

Activity Title : Emergency Relief. 
Activity Objective: To help people address immediate basic needs in times of financial crisis. 
Activity Details: In carrying out the Activity you must: 
(a)     comply with any codes of ethics, regulations or other industry standards relevant to the Activity; 
(b)     comply with all relevant laws and in particular, take all reasonable actions to ensure no fraud occurs; and 
(c)     comply with any Commonwealth or departmental policy notified to you in writing; including any new or altered Commonwealth or departmental policy. 

Access to Emergency Relief is considered universal and is a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship and who have limited means or resources to help them alleviate their financial crisis. 

In undertaking this Activity you must: 

  • assist people to address immediate basic needs in times of financial crisis in the form of material or financial aid whilst maintaining the dignity of the client and families. This may include, but is not limited to, food parcels, clothes, bedding, household items, vouchers (for example supermarket, utilities, petrol) and, in limited circumstances, cash; and 
  • have an internal control system in place to manage and record the purchase, management and distribution of vouchers (e.g. food, petrol, medication vouchers) to the target group. 

In undertaking this Activity you may: 

  • assess the needs of the consumer. Some consumers with complex needs may require more intensive support; - provide basic budgeting assistance; and 
  • refer clients to other sources of support and assistance (e.g. financial counselling, mental health, crisis housing, drug and alcohol)

You must comply with:

  • DSS Departmental Policies*; 
  • the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Programme Guidelines; 
  • the DSS Data Exchange Protocols*; and 
  • any other service compliance requirements applicable for the Activities you are funded to deliver.

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3.1.3 TSA - DSS ER Contract Management Arrangements

In each State or Region where TSA have a DSS ER contract, one (1) person has been nominated by TSA to represent that State in all DSS ER contract management meetings with DSS and to undertake all contract liaison and all direct correspondence with DSS in relation to any aspect of DSS funded ER contract compliance or performance.

The nominated TSA ER contract manager is the only person who can represent TSA in that state in direct discussion/meetings and correspondence with the DSS ER contract manager at the DSS State Office.  

Process for TSA ER sites to raise matters related to DSS funded ER contract delivery. 

All COs and CSS site managers should, in the first instance, advise their Divisional Headquarters in relation to any ER specific operational or contract delivery matters, that are deemed relevant information to be brought to the attention of DSS (ie. trend data, identified gaps in service, innovative responses, etc.).   The Divisional leadership  (usually DSPS) will then on-forward the information to the designated TSA state representative (ie. nominated TSA ER contract manager) who has responsibility for summarising this information and presenting to DSS.

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3.2 DSS Funding Allocation by SA4 Regions

3.2.1 What is an S4 Region
3.2.2 Distribution of DSS ER Funding allocated to TSA by SA4 Region

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3.2.1 What is an SA4 Region

The current DSS agreements (2015 to 2017) funding was allocated by geographic areas called SA4s. These SA4 boundaries are based on SEIFA data.

SEIFA (Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas) is a product developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage.

Under this listing each SA4 is identified by title (i.e.  Melbourne South East SA4) and it lists all suburbs (SA2) falling within the SA4 geographic boundaries plus there is an allocation as to what “Level of Disadvantage” has been allocated to each of the suburbs.

Key - converting SEIFA score to plain English
Most Disadvantaged= Most Disadvantaged 10% (1-10th)
Medium Disadvantage = Most Disadvantaged 25% (11-25th)
Less Disadvantage = Most Disadvantaged 50% (26 - 50th)
Less Advantage = Least Disadvantaged 50% (51-75th)
Medium Advantage = Least Disadvantage 25% (76-90th)
Most Advantage = Least Disadvantaged 10% (91-100th)

Example of one SA4 geographic region and the level of disadvantage attached to each SA2 suburb below for reference.

SA4 NAME 2011 SA2 NAME 2011 SA2 SEIFA Ranking equivalent
Melbourne - South East Ashwood - Chadstone Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Beaconsfield - Officer Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Berwick - North Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Berwick - South Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Bunyip - Garfield Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Clarinda - Oakleigh South Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Clayton Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Clayton South Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Cranbourne Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Cranbourne East Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Cranbourne North Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Cranbourne South Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Cranbourne West Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Dandenong Most Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Dandenong North Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Dingley Village Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Doveton Most Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Emerald - Cockatoo Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Endeavour Hills Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Glen Waverley - East Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Glen Waverley - West Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Hallam Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Hampton Park - Lynbrook Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Keysborough Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Koo Wee Rup Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Lynbrook - Lyndhurst Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Mount Waverley - North Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Mount Waverley - South Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Mulgrave Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Narre Warren Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Narre Warren North Medium Advantage
Melbourne - South East Narre Warren South Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Noble Park Most Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Noble Park North Medium Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Oakleigh - Huntingdale Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Pakenham - North Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Pakenham - South Less Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Pearcedale - Tooradin Less Advantage
Melbourne - South East Springvale Most Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Springvale South Most Disadvantage
Melbourne - South East Wheelers Hill Medium Advantage

Please Note:

The Australia wide listing of all SA4 regions is available at Section 5.2 Appendices of this handbook. The Australia wide listing has been broken down to provide separate State/region SA4 listings.    

Action: Sites are requested to review the State based SA4 lists – identify which SA4 your site is located in and what suburbs form part of your service coverage area. This information should then be included in your Site Operations Guide. 

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3.2.2 Distribution of DSS ER Funding allocated to TSA by SA4 Region 

The Emergency Relief funding distribution model employed by DSS within the current DSS Contract structure is based on DSS allocating a specific funding amount per SA4 area to the successful ER provider (grant applicant).    

The DSS contract of each successful provider  confirms which SA4s the provider has been approved to deliver ER services in and how much funding DSS have allocated to the provider to provide ER services at sites within the SA4 geographic region.  

TSA divisions have responsibility for determining what proportion of the total SA4 DSS funding allocation is provided to each of the TSA CSS/ER sites in the specific SA4.   Divisions also have the option to shift allocated DSS ER funding from one SA4 to another to address identified needs.  However, it is necessary to develop a strong “business case” which demonstrates  the client demand, level of disadvantage, ability to deliver expanded services that would flow with the shift of funding. 

The DSS Contract States:
Organisations delivering Financial Crisis and Material Aid will be able to reallocate funding to another funded SA2/4 within the same state/territory to meet emerging areas of need but must inform DSS within 30 days of the reallocation occurring.

Any proposals for re-alloation of DSS ER funding must be submitted to the respective Division’s divisional board for approval.   If approved DSPSs (or in Victoria may be a DMRS or SSPS) have responsibility to oversee implementation and undertake liaison with the nominated TSA DSS Contact Manager to ensure that notification to DSS is undertaken within the required timeframe.  

Coverage of SA4 –
It is highlighted that a DSS funded TSA ER/CSS site is required to support clients drawn from any suburb that falls within the SA4 geographic where their site is located.

Each SA4 area incorporates multiple suburban/township locations.  Full details of which suburbs/towns fall within which SA4 are available at Section 5.2 of this handbook. 

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3.3 DSS ER Reporting Periods - Current Contract  

3.3.1 Reporting Timeframes
3.3.2 DSS Reporting Method 
SAMIS Direct Upload of DSS Reportable Data

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3.3.1 Reporting Timeframes

The current DSS ER Contract stipulates that TSA (and all funded providers) must submit Performance Report data to DSS on a 6 monthly basis.   The reporting periods under the current contract (2015 – 2018) are as follows.  

DSS Reporting Period Site Deadline for 
SAMIS data entry of all ER Client Data 
for DSS Reporting Period
DSS Reports Submission Close off Date
1 July, 2015 to 31 December 2015 15 January, 2016 30 January, 2016
1 January, 2016 to 30 June, 2016 15 July, 2016 30 July, 2016
1 July, 2016 to 31 December, 2016 15 January 2017 30 January, 2017
1 January, 2017 to 30 June, 2017 15 July, 2017 31 July, 2017
1 July, 2017 to 31 December, 2017 17 January, 2018 31 January, 2018
1 January, 2018 to 30 June, 2018 15 July, 2018 29 June, 2018

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3.3.2 DSS Reporting Method

SAMIS Direct Upload of DSS Reportable Data

Current contractual obligations with DSS require TSA to regularly report via the DSS Data Exchange (DEX). The SAMIS Team regularly reports all required client and service information to DEX on centre’s behalf. It is highlighted to all TSA ER workers that entering their ER Client registration and client assistance data into SAMIS is critical to ensure that the breadth of work being undertaken at each of the TSA ER sites is accurately reflected in the DSS Reporting.

SAMIS exports to DEX weekly. These exports do not consider any services in the past 30 days effectively giving a 30 day window to ensure data is correct.

TSA ER sites are also bound by the 6 monthly DSS Reporting Period deadlines. Once these deadlines have passed TSA is not able to report ANY data to DEX for the closed period. To facilitate this process SAMIS data entry SHOULD be completed for the reporting period by COB the end of the fifteenth day of the month after the end of the reporting period.

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3.4 DSS Reporting Mandatory Reporting 

3.4.1 Financial Wellbeing and Capability Service Type Matrix

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3.4.1 Financial Wellbeing and Capability Service Type Matrix

Under the 2015-2017 DSS Emergency Relief contract  DSS have identified a number of  mandatory DSS reporting items for Emergency Relief delivery  (i.e. activities and services provided to ER clients). 

TSA ER/CSS sites are required to enter client data into SAMIS which will subsequently  be included in DSS Reporting uploads from SAMIS to DSS DEX. This reporting is uploaded separately for each TSA ER site receiving DSS ER funding) the reportable activies/categories are as follows:

-  Intake / Assessment
-  Food parcels and Food Vouchers
-  Material Goods
-  Health care assistance
-  Transport assistance
-  Utility bills assistance
-  Rent / mortgage assistance
-  Information / advice / referral
-  Education and Skills training
-  Advocacy and Support
-  Community Capacity Building

Under the terms of the DSS Contract and DEX Protocols the above listed assistance types form the full range of ER reportable items.     

How TSA SAMIS Team have “Mapped” existing  SAMIS  ER reportable activities  to DSS Mandatory Reporting Items.

As noted in  Section 2.6 of this handbook  the range of ER assistancy types provided by  TSA ER CSS sites is extremely extensive.  As existing ER workers who are currently entering ER client assistance data into SAMIS are aware TSA assistance types are broken down into a much more detailed array of assistance options and assistance types than the DSS mandatory reporting items listed above.   

In order to ensure that TSA is able to actively capture and report on all the assistance being provided by TSA CSS ER sites – a comprehensive “mapping” project has been undertaken by the TSA SAMIS team to ensure that the broader range of assistances services offered by TSA sites are mapped to fall under one of the “mandatory reporting items”.  

The table below is a “snapshot” of the full DSS  Financial Wellbeing and Capability Service type matrix listing  the reportable items for ER and all other DSS Funded Services.

Please Note: A printable copy of this Matrix is available at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendicies. 

Financial Wellbeing and Capability service type matrix

Financial Wellbeing and Capability service type definitions

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3.5 DSS Activity Performance Indicators

- 3.5.1 Currently Applicable Performance Indicators 

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3.5.1 Currently Applicable Performance Indicators 

The DSS ER Agreement identifies five (5) Performance Indicators for ER Contact delivery.  It is highlighted that under TSA’s current DSS ER and FC Funding Agreements only three (3) of these performance indicators are applicable in the short term – specifically  Performance Indicators Nos. 1, 2 and 5 below. 

DSS DEX Partnership Model.  

The DSS Performance Indicators Nos. 3 and 4 below are aligned with the DSS DEX Partnership model.   Participation in the Partnership model is a voluntary option for ER providers.   If an organisation agrees to take up this voluntary option a Contract Variation with DSS needs to be signed to activate.

  Performance Indicator Description Measure
1 Number of clients assisted Measured using benchmarking, comparing your achievement against similar service providers delivering comparable services, using characteristics defined in the DSS Data Exchange Protocols
2 Number of events / service instances delivered Measured using benchmarking, comparing your achievement against similar service providers delivering comparable services, using characteristics defined in the DSS Data Exchange Protocols
3 Percentage of clients with improved financial wellbeing, capability and resilience Measured using benchmarking, comparing your achievement against similar service providers delivering comparable services, using characteristics defined in the DSS Data Exchange Protocols
4 Percentage of clients achieving individual goals related to financial wellbeing, capability and resilience Measured using benchmarking, comparing your achievement against similar service providers delivering comparable services, using characteristics defined in the DSS Data Exchange Protocols
5 Percentage of clients from priority target groups/communities Measured using benchmarking, comparing your achievement against similar service providers delivering comparable services, using characteristics defined in the DSS Data Exchange Protocols

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