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TSA Emergency Relief Delivery

2.1 Introduction to Doorways Philosophy 

- 2.1.1 What is Doorways
- 2.1.2 Doorways Guiding Principles
- 2.1.3 Doorways Key Features
- 2.1.4 Doorways Social Inclusion Principles

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2.1.1 What is Doorways

The Doorways Philosophy embodies The Salvation Army’s mission to transform lives and care for people without discrimination.

TSA Community Support Services (CSS) Emergency Relief (ER) delivery under the Doorways Philosophy has a central focus on supporting clients in times of crisis, while concurrently helping clients build their individual capacity and resilience. In this context TSA is delivering services that have a focus on providing clients with a “hand up” not a “hand out”.

Doorways is an overarching philosophy, not a prescriptive delivery model. By design, this philosophy retains the flexibility to be expressed differently in TSA sites in different locations (i.e. urban regional and rural) and the flexibility for sites to respond to different client needs within the community being supported.

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2.1.2 Doorways Guiding Principles

Appropriate assessment 
Triage approach 
Holistic 
Creating pathways 
Integrated services 
Sharing best practice 
Consumer involvement and client participation in the formulation of procedures. 

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2.1.3 Doorways Key Features

Early intervention 
Capacity building and developing health and well being 
Trusting relationships 
A client-centred approach 
Strengths-based approach 
Culturally appropriate 
Effective partnerships

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2.1.4 Doorways Social Inclusion

Building on individual and community strengths
Building partnerships with key stakeholders
Developing tailored services
Giving a high priority to early intervention and prevention
Building joined-up services and whole-of-government solutions
Using evidence and integrated data to inform policy
Using locational approaches 
Planning for sustainability

The Doorways guiding principles, key features and social inclusion principles detailed above have been embedded and inform the TSA CSS/ER delivery models as detailed throughout this handbook.

Printable versions detailing full overview of the Doorways Guiding Principles, Key Features and Social Inclusion Principles are provided at Section 5 Forms, Templates and Appendices.

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2.2 Definitions of Emergency Relief (ER) Services

- 2.2.1 TSA Definition of Emergency Relief (ER) Delivery
- 2.2.2 ACOSS Definition of Emergency Relief
- 2.2.3 DSS Definition of Emergency Relief

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2.2.1 TSA Definition of Emergency Relief (ER) Delivery  

Emergency Relief (ER) services provided by TSA support and assist individuals and families who are experiencing financial hardship/crisis.  Support includes provision of the standard ER range of supports such as material aid (food, food vouchers, clothing, household goods, utilities payment assistance) plus budgeting assistance, information provision, referral and advocacy.

Under TSA definition of Emergency Relief the distribution of material aid support is the entry point or “the first doorway” to a continuum of “wrap around” services. TSA ER delivery focuses on supporting clients in times of crisis while concurrently helping them build their individual capacity and resilience.  The goals being to reduce crisis episodes and work towards achieving sustainable long term outcomes.

TSA Emergency Relief Doorways approach is founded on providing pathways for clients. The TSA ER model links material aid assistance with opportunity for clients to be supported via a deeper engagement through intensive ER assistance and/or Doorways case management. Through this process TSA ER seeks to support clients to resolve both immediate crisis issues and work with them to identifying the broader (often more complex) underlying issues that are contributing to the need to seek assistance. ER becomes the starting point in a journey where clients build personal capacity to progressively mitigate these issues.

The Salvation Army Definition of Emergency Relief (ER) Delivery Basic Concepts Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The model is predicated on service delivery environments that are welcoming, and offer multiple supports.

Ref: Doorways Guiding Principles and Key Features (see point 2.1.2) for summary and Section 5.2 Appendices for printable versions of both of these documents.

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2.2.2 ACOSS Definition of Emergency Relief

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) the peak body representing social service providers in Australia defines ER as:

The provision of financial or material assistance to people in financial crisis. Some clients access ER to help them through a “one-off” episode, while for others ER becomes a part of their solution to dealing with ongoing financial disadvantage. The aim of ER is to assist people experiencing financial crisis in a way that maintains dignity and encourages self-reliance. 

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2.2.3 DSS Definition of Emergency Relief

Please note: The DSS definition of ER is included in the TSA ER Handbook as many of our CSS ER services are recipients of DSS funding to deliver ER services. Accordingly, TSA delivery of ER Services under “contract” with DSS must align with the embedded DSS contract compliance requirements. Consequently, all TSA ER services delivering DSS funded ER services must be fully aware of the DSS definition of ER services to ensure they are delivering ER services in line with DSS contractual  requirements. Please see DSS definition ER below.

Organisations delivering Emergency Relief will provide immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. Emergency Relief helps people address immediate basic needs in times of financial crisis. Access to Emergency Relief is considered universal and is a safety net for people experiencing financial distress or hardship and who have limited means of resources to help them alleviate their financial crisis.  

Generally, Emergency Relief is provided in the form of material and financial aid. This may constitute food parcels, or items, clothes, bedding, household items, vouchers (for example supermarket, utilities, petrol) and in some circumstances, cash.

Provision of Emergency Relief may also entail a worker assessing the needs of the consumer, referring them to other appropriate services (e.g. mental health, crisis housing, drug and alcohol, and financial counselling), and providing basic budgeting assistance. Consumers accessing Emergency Relief typically have a low or no income, making them vulnerable to financial shocks (e.g. higher than expected utility bills, unexpected medical costs, unemployment etc.) They may also have low financial literacy skills and/or difficulty living within their means, resulting in a lack of financial reserves/assets to access in times of crisis.

Emergency Relief aims and objectives include:

  •  Assisting people to deal with their immediate crisis situation;
  • Delivering services in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual and families;
  • Referring consumers to other sources of support and assistance; and
  • Encouraging self-reliance.

Provision of Emergency Relief may also entail a worker assessing the needs of the consumer, referring them to other appropriate services and providing basis budgeting assistance.

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2.3 ER Delivery Unique to The Salvation Army

- 2.3.1 Integration of Corps and Soical Programs
- 2.3.2 Innovation TSA "Value Add" ER Supports

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2.3.1 Integration of Corps and Social Programs

A significant difference between TSA ER and other providers of ER is the ability of TSA to deliver Emergency Relief services that are supported by and integrated with corps. This brings a unique richness, warmth and intrinsic connection to community for TSA ER client services.

Client service depth and reach through CSS/ER integration with corps is an integral reflection of the Doorways Philosophy in action. 

Integration of CSS/ER with corps recognises that the most effective client outcomes are achieved when the right kinds of wrap around supports are provided to the individual and/or the families at the right time. The first step to achieve these outcomes can often be activated by being part of a community of caring that incorporates access to resources, people and activities that promote a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Integration of Corps and Social Programs Chart

From a practical perspective the internal capacity to provide onsite access to community engagement activities has special significance in supporting ER clients. Many ER clients have, over time, withdrawn from community engagement activities and become isolated and lonely, but do not have the confidence to rebuild their networks. TSA ER sites (both stand alone and those integrated with corps) that provide multiple community engagement activities are able to support clients to gently start the process of reconnecting.

The  types of community activities run by TSA corps differs from site to site but can include:

Community Meals Mothers Groups Playgroups
Homework Clubs Mens' Shed Community Gardens
Childrens' Music
Programs 
Companion Clubs
(mature age) 
Cooking Classes
Craft Workshops Literacy Supports Community Choir
Chaplaincy Mens Groups Coffee Clubs
Youth Groups School Breakfast
Programs 

 

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2.3.2 Innovative TSA "Value Add" ER Supports

In addition TSA offers a range of Innovative “Value Add” services for ER Clients offered in various locations – aligned to relationships developed with corporate/community internal and external supporters. These include:

Legal Issues Assistance
ie. SalvosLegal  
Offered for ER clients in Melbourne CBD and Sydney
SalvosPsych Psychology services provided for ER clients in South
Australia - in conjunction with the Australian
Psychological Society  
Positive Lifestyle 
Program (PLP) 
PLP is a 10 module Salvation personal development
course. PLP is delivered by trained facilitators who are
often volunteers at TSA corps. This program is offered
to TSA ER clients and ER case management clients to
provide a pathway to increased confidence, capacity
and resilience. 

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2.4 Operational Delivery - Emergency Relief

- 2.4.1 Who is Likely to request ER Assistance? 
- 2.4.2 Who is eligible to receive TSA ER Assistance? 
- 2.4.3 SAMIS (Service and Mission Information System)
- What is SAMIS
- CSS/ER Staff SAMIS Data Entry Responsibilities 
- SAMIS - ER Reporting to DSS directly from SAMIS
- How to register as a User on SAMIS (SAMIS Log-On)
- How to access SAMIS Home Page
- Contacting SAMIS Team
- Accessing SAMIS Training 
- 2.4.4 What services come under Emergency Relief Funding?
- 2.4.5 Difference between ER Material Aid and ER Intensive Assistance
- 2.4.6 Difference between ER Intensive Assistance and Case Management 
- 2.4.7 Case Management Services Overview
- 2.4.8 Reportable Assistance Types - Difference between ER and CM
- 2.4.9 Doorways Integrated Emergency Relief Service Delivery
- 2.4.10 Financial Counselling Services - Overview
- 2.4.11 No Interest Loans (NILS) - Overview
- 2.4.12 Positive Lifestyle Program (PLP) Overview
- 2.4.13 Corps and Doorways CSS/ER Sites - Integrated Service Delivery 
- 2.4.14 ER Early Intervention Strategies
- 2.4.15 ER Assistance for TSA Staff and Volunteers
- 2.4.16 ER Assistance for Vulnerable Migrants
- 2.4.17 CSS/ER Site Service Coverage Area

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2.4.1 Who is likely to request ER Assistance

Requests for Emergency Relief assistance can come from an extremely broad cross-section of the Australian Community.  

Historically, TSA ER client base was drawn predominantly from people experiencing “entrenched or generational” poverty. This situation has changed in more recent times to a point where TSA ER services are seeing an increasing number of clients experiencing “situational poverty”.

Please see below a brief definition of the broad categories of clients likely to accessing ER.

Situational Poverty Situational poverty is an unexpected period of financial hardship caused by factors such as, sudden poor health, loss of job, relationship breakdown, death of a partner.
Entrenched Poverty  Entrenched poverty is a sustained period of financial hardship.  Often caused by one of the factors of situational poverty, which has caused a debt spiral for the individual or family. This results in an erosion of individual or family resources and financial resilience causing a cycle of financial distress with limited capacity to break the cycle. 
Generational Poverty Generational poverty is a form of entrenched poverty that may impact on multiple generations of a family.   Impacts are often reflected in disadvantage through lack of role model, limited expectations in life, reduced educational and job opportunities it is frequently  accompanied by welfare dependency. 

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2.4.2 Who is Eligible to recieve TSA ER Assistance?

Every person who approaches a TSA Emergency Relief centre is eligible to seek ER assistance.

Frequently Asked Question:

Frequently asked question

Question:

 

Are clients required to provide their Health Care Card or Centrelink CRN number or other evidence of income support to the ER Assessor to be eligible to receive ER Assistance

Answer:

 

There are no specific TSA ER eligibility requirements linked to income support

Clients DO NOT need to have a health care card

Clients DO NOT need to be currently in receipt of government income support.

Clients DO NOT need to provide a Centrelink CRN (Customer Reference Number)

Vulnerable migrants (including refugees and asylum seekers) are eligible to receive ER – please refer to point 2.4.16 ER Assistance for Vulnerable Migrants

 

 

Question:

 

Are clients required to provide a Centrelink Income Statement or other evidence of income support to the ER Assessor to be eligible to receive ER Assistance?

Answer:

 

There are no specific TSA ER eligibility requirements linked to income support

 

Clients DO NOT need to provide a Centrelink Income Statement as part of any ER assessment.  

 

Centrelink Income Statements should only be requested IF this information can increase support options for clients example:  A Centrelink Income Statement may be helpful if an ER worker is assisting a client with development of a Budget. .

 

 

Question:

 

Can an ER worker  ask a client for some form of identification during an ER intake assessment?

Answer:

 

Yes -  an ER worker can request the client to provide some form of identification during an ER intake assessment – purpose of this request is usually to confirm correct spelling of name and confirm correct address details.

Question:

What forms of identification are suitable for TSA purposes? 

Answer:

 

Any document that has the clients name and address will provide the necessary level of identification.   If the document provided also provides date of birth this is helpful but clients are not required to provide documentation that proves date of birth.

Examples of documentation that will meet client identification are as follows:-

-   Drivers License.  (Name and Address)

-   Recent Utilities Bill (Name and Address)

-   Medibank Card

-   Library Card

-   Passport. ( Helpful for Migrants)

-   Any Government Assistance card i.e. Health Care Card, Centrelink CRN Card, Immigration Card (ImmiCard).

Please Note:   Non presentation of confirmation of identy does not exclude the person from receiving ER assistance.

 

 


ER Assistance Assessment Principles
The clients ER intake assessment and resources available at each individual CSS/ER site underpin the amount of assistance that can be provided.

All people are eligible for ER – the actual level and type of assistance provided by TSA ER sites is dependent on and guided by the following key factors

  1. The ER Intake Assessment
    This is a one to one meeting with the client wherein the ER intake assessor/worker asks the client to explain their current situation in order to identify the level of need (predicated on the crisis the client is experiencing). This assessment has a focus on which of the available assistance options would benefit the client most, both immediately and in the long term.
  2. The resources
    The available resources (funding, food, and material aid) the site has available to distribute.
    TSA funding for ER distribution is a finite (limited) amount; the amount of funding available for distribution at each site can vary depending on the geographic location of the site, the population density of the community the site is supporting and range of funding sources the site can access.
  3. Designated “Weekly Spend Limits” at each ER site.
    To ensure continuity of service provision over a 12 month period (with limited funding)TSA has adopted a model whereby the available funding is divided into reflect “weekly spend limits” at each TSA ER site. The goal is to ensure that sites do not run out of funding well before the end of financial year.  This ensures that sites can provide assistance through the year, however, it is a major limitation to the amount of assistance that can be provided.

For more detailed information on ER intake assessment please refer to Section 2 Point 2.5.6. Initial ER Intake Assessment Principles and Point 2.5.7. Client Assistance – Guidance for ER workers.

More detailed information on Weekly Spend limits is available at Section 2.8. Management and Monitoring of ER sites at Point 2.8.4. Establishment of Site Weekly/Daily Spend Limits.

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2.4.3 SAMIS (Service and Mission and Information System)

What is SAMIS?

The Salvation Army (TSA) provides its corps (churches), social programmes and associated social services with a corporate client & data collection information system, called SAMIS.

This system is used by TSA services to collect qualitative and quantitative data, as required by each service’s information requirement. The system is the preferred data collection for use by TSA client-based services.

One of the key features of SAMIS is its capacity to provide multiple reports for monitoring performance of TSA social program delivery. These reports can be run at a:

  • Site level
  • Group of sites i.e. cluster level
  • Divisional level, and
  • Territorial level

Refer to point 2.8.8. for more detailed information regarding SAMIS Reporting functionalities (list of recommended SAMIS reports). These reports provide guidance and resources to Site Managers, COs and DHQ personnel who have responsibility for monitoring site performance.

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CSS/ER Staff SAMIS Data Entry Responsibilities  

All ER workers who provide ER material aid assistance, ER intensive assistance and Doorways case management are required to enter all ER client registration data and ER client assistance data into SAMIS.

Correct and timely data entry is critical to correctly reflect the level of service delivery and activities provided to clients though TSA services. Accurate data recording is required to meet TSA’s compliance and contractual obligations. The data is used to capture the level of need, throughput, and expenditure at each centre. It can be used to track trends over time, inform improved planning and service delivery and as a tool to advocate on a national platform for additional resources for many disadvantaged individuals.

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SAMIS - ER Reporting to DSS directly from SAMIS

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 a 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 middle of the month after the end of the reporting period – see table below. 

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

User Access Levels within SAMIS
There are a number of SAMIS Access levels. Access of an ER worker will depend on the services they provide. The site manager or CO is responsible for determining staff access levels at specific sites.

It is an audit requirement that every ER worker, team leader and site manager/CO have a unique username and password to access SAMIS.

Alert: SAMIS Users.
All SAMIS users are reminded that it is a requirement of TSA that the user’s unique SAMIS username and password is not shared with anyone.

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How to register as a User on SAMIS (SAMIS Log-On)

New SAMIS users, or existing users requiring modification of their access are required to complete and submit an AUS request form.

How to submit an AUS Requests for access to SAMIS

NOTE: You can only access AUS requests if you have a TSA email account.

Open The Salvation Army email portal (portal.salvationarmy.org.au). Enter your email user name and password to access the site. Insert details.

Username:         Your name (e.g. John Smith)

Password:           Your email password

Click log in.

Select AUS Requests from options on left hand side bar.

This will bring up a list of options for you to select from.

For example, select Create New Request.

Click on link.

This will generate a SAMIS USER maintenance e-form for you to complete.

Complete the Request Form.

Your name and supervisior’s name will automatically be generated at the bottom of the e-form.

Your request will be forwarded to your manager for approval. Once approved the request will be actioned by SAMIS Team, generally within 1-2 Business Days

How to access SAMIS Home Page

On TSA computers there will be a link to SAMIS on your desktop.

Alternatively open your web browser and navigate to:

salvationarmy.org.au/SAMIS (or salvationarmy.org.au/samis)

This will bring you to SArmy SAMIS homepage. To enter SAMIS click on link.

Click on Enter SAMIS here link.

To access SAMIS, in the text boxes enter your SAMIS  credentials.

UserID:

Password:

Click Login.


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Contacting SAMIS Team

For any support regarding SAMIS for all Social Programmes:

Telephone Helpdesk   (03) 8878 4793

Email enquiry               samis@aus.salvationarmy.org

The SAMiS Team is available 8:30am – 4:30pm Melbourne time (AEST) on all Victorian business days. 

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Accessing SAMIS Training

To access training, click on red SAMIS Training link.

This will prompt for your UserID and Password.

UserID :

Password:

Enter details. Click login.

Select and submit suitable training options.

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2.4.4 What services come under Emergency Relief Funding?

TSA Emergency Relief funding covers three aspects of ER delivery,  specifically

- ER material aid,

- ER intensive assistance and

- Case management.  

Please Note:   Recording of client data for the above three activities falls into two different SAMIS centres, as outlined in the table below.  

Delivery SAMIS Centre.
Emergency Relief – material aid

Doorways Emergency Relief/welfare SAMIS centre

Emergency Relief - intensive assistance Doorways Emergency Relief/welfare SAMIS centre
 
Case management. Doorways case management  SAMIS centre

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2.4.5 Difference between ER Material Aid and ER Intensive Assistance

ER material aid and ER intensive assistance have exactly the same scope of service provision.   

The difference is that ER Material Aid has a high focus on distribution of vouchers to address immediate crisis needs and ER intensive assistance focuses on working with the client in areas of information, support, advocacy and referral. 

Emergency Relief - Material Aid Emergency Relief - Intensive Assistance

Emergency relief (ER) material aid and/or financial assistance is provision assistance to meet the immediate crisis needs of clients.

ER material aid has historically been a “transactional” engagement with clients – meaning that the focus was provision of assistance in the form of a voucher or food to address the presenting need.

 

Types of material aid assistance include: food voucher or food parcels, gift cards, food, clothing, furniture and household goods, budgeting assistance, bill payment assistance, transport tickets, fuel vouchers, medical and pharmaceuticals vouchers.

 

Current ER material aid practice has a stronger emphasis on provision of referral, and advocacy.   Aligned to the reality  that ER intake assessors are often first point of contact with a client, and thus have a critical role in identifying  presenting issues that require urgent action such as:

 

Situational poverty financial crisis issues best addressed by immediate referral to a financial counsellor

Issues that require urgent referrals to a Family Domestic Violence service.

 

However, it is acknowledged that  the restricted time allocations for ER Assessment appointments (usually 20 minutes) can be a limiting factor in offering an extended (intensive assistance) service.

 

Current practice in most ER sites is that when an ER intake assessor uncovers more complex issues, the ER assessor invites the client to come back for an extended appointment (i.e. ER intensive assistance).

ER Intensive Assistance can provide the full range of assistance described in ER material aid.  However, the focus is on a deeper engagement with the client (often involving longer appointment time allocations and/or multiple appointments). 

 

ER intensive assistance is predominantly focused on provision of information, advocacy and referrals (both internal and external) to look at a holistic response and best possible outcome for the client in relation to the immediate/crisis needs identified during an ER intake assessment. 

 

ER intensive assistance seeks to arrive at the best possible outcome for the client in relation to the crisis needs (multiple bills – need to set up payment plans etc). The goal is to provide guidance on looking at these bills holistically and identifying how they can be better managed in the future.   

 

This may also involve assisting client to develop a basic budget document as one of the strategies.   This process can draw out issues that indicate the need for an immediate referral to a financial counsellor.  

 

Depending on the urgency of need ER intensive assistance may be offered on same day as an ER intake assessment OR in less urgent situations later in the same week. Examples of scenarios that would warrant an ER Intensive Assistance appointment are:

Intervention/support/advocacy to avoid disconnection of essential services.
Intervention/referral/advocacy to avoid eviction.
Urgent referrals to Family Domestic Violence services.
Providing advocacy support (over the phone) on behalf of client with utilities hardship services. Telecommunication providers, phone mobile and internet issues etc.
Identification of complex financial issues requiring referral to a financial counsellor (internal or external).
Identification of complex interpersonal issues that would be best addressed by referral to a TSA Doorways case manager.

Referral to internal/external specialised support services.

Referral to community programs (internal or external).=

 

Within Intensive ER delivery the worker can provide basic budget assistance and can combine ER intensive assistance with provision of material aid.

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2.4.6 Difference between ER Intensive Assistance and Case Management

ER Intensive Assistance is sometimes seen as a “stepping stone” into case management as ER intensive assistance provides the ability to have a deeper engagement with clients which often raises complex underlying issues that are best addressed through a structured Case Management approachIt is at this point that a worker providing ER intensive assistance should refer a client to Case Management.   

To clearly see the difference in delivery content it is best to review the overview of ER intensive assistance above and then compare with the overview of Doorways case management below.

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2.4.7 Case Management Services Overview

Doorways case management (CM) provides extended support services for ER clients.  CM provides an environment where trained CM workers seek to build relationship with clients that has a focus on the underlying issues contributing to their need to access Emergency Relief. 

The Doorways case management model is based on the RAISED concept as outlined below.

Doorways case management focuses on a “strengths” based approach, designed to support clients to build their individual capacity and resilience.  CM is a “wrap-around” approach, where the worker is supporting clients to address their urgent presenting needs and concurrently supporting clients to develop strategies and skills to give them opportunities to achieve more sustainable outcomes.

Standard Doorways CM practice involves:

  • Supporting the clients to “unpack” their most pressing concerns.
  • Supporting the client to set personal goals that seek to address the identified pressures the client is experiencing.
  • Jointly identifying the steps and/or supports and/or skills that will assist the client to achieve their goals.  This usually involves the CM guiding clients through a range of options available for them to consider.
  • The client determining which of the options they would like to take up (including which referrals).
  • The agreed steps are then included in the Client’s “Case Plan” which becomes the primary tool to guide future CM sessions.

CM may also provide, advocacy, basic budget support, skills development as required.

Please Note:

  • Doorways case management services DO NOT include provision of ER Material Aid;  if a CM identifies that a client needs material aid support – the CM is required to refer the client back to a ER worker, so that the ER material aid support provided can be recorded in the appropriate SAMIS centre.
  • Samples of Case Plan Templates are available at Section 5 – Forms, Templates and Appendices.

Broader elements of Case Management

The matters raised by clients in case management can be multifaceted  and often involve immediate family related impacts that the client is seeking to address.   Assisting a client to “unpack” these issues and develop goals to address is also a function of the CM/client relationship.

Figure 1:     CM Support to Unpack complex Family /Extended Family pressures.

Divisional Differences in Staffing Models for ER and CM delivery

Divisions across TSA have put in place slightly different staffing structures to address delivery of Emergency Relief and Doorways Case Management.

 

Example  1:

Separate staff (or volunteers) delivering ER and CM.

  • ER worker refers client to another person for CM support.

Example  2:

One staff member undertaking the “multiple” roles of provision of ER material aid support AND providing case management assistance to selected clients.

How does this model work in practice?

In this model the worker has the capacity to continue to work with the client from ER intake, ER intensive assistance and if deemed appropriate for the client, the worker can extend the service to provide Case Management support.   

How does this model work from a SAMIS perspective?

Significant to note that although the same worker is providing all services, it is necessary for the worker to record ER assistance in SAMIS ER centre, including a referral in SAMIS when the support being provided to the client progresses from ER material aid/intensive assistance to case management. 

Similarly all CM assistance needs to be recorded within the Doorways case management SAMIS centre. (Basically workers are referring the client from themselves with their ER “hat” on to themselves with their “CM” had on).  

It is also highlighted that if a case manager, during the course of support, identifies that the client is in further need of ER material aid, then the process to be actioned is CM refers client back to ER assistance (putting a referral into Doorways CM SAMIS centre) and provides the required ER material aid assistance and records this under the ER SAMIS Centre.  

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2.4.8 Reportable Assistance Types - Difference between ER and CM

The table below is a guide to the range of assistance types available under the DSS reportable items categories of:

  • ER Material Aid and ER Intensive assistance

As distinct from the assistances types available under:

  • Doorways Case Management.  

It is also designed to highlight which SAMIS centre each of the activities should be recorded. 

Reporting Guide – DSS Reportable Items.
Emergency Relief/welfare SAMIS centre   Case management SAMIS centre
ER Material Aid. ER Intensive Assistance Case Management
     

List of possible ER Assistances √

Reported in SAMIS ER/welfare centre

List of possible ER Assistances √

Reported in SAMIS ER/welfare centre

List of possible Assistances √

Reported in SAMIS CM centre

√ Intake/assessment √ Intake/assessment √ Intake/Assessment
√ Food parcels & vouchers √ Food parcels & vouchers × Food parcels & vouchers
√ Material goods √ Material goods × Material goods
√ Health care assistance √ Health care assistance × Health care assistance
√ Transport assistance √ Transport assistance × Transport assistance
√ Utility bills assistance √ Utility bills assistance × Utility bills assistance
√ Rent/mortgage assistance √ Rent/mortgage assistance × Rent/mortgage assistance
√ Information/advice/referral √Information/advice/referral √ Information/advice referral
√ Education and skills training √ Education and skills training √ Education and skills training
√ Advocacy/support √ Advocacy/support √ Advocacy/support
√ Community capacity building √ Community capacity building √ Community capacity building

DSS DEX Service Type Matrix.

Emergency Relief sits under the DSS Activity of Financial Wellbeing and Capability.

Please see below an extract of the DSS service type matrix (extracted from the DSS DEX Service Protocols) which is the “source” document for development of the above table “Reporting guide – DSS ER reportable items.

 This table designates ER service types with a “Y” colored in Green.

Please Note: 

A printable version of the above matrix is available at Section 5:  Forms, Templates and Appendices.

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2.4.9 Doorways Integrated Emergency Relief Service Delivery

The Salvation Army’s doorways integrated service delivery model reflects best practice service delivery through adoption of a holistic, wraparound approach for clients accessing TSA Emergency Relief services.  

It provides a guide to assist workers at TSA ER sites to engage with clients and provide options and pathways  to support them to:

  • Receive immediate ER assistance and options to work with TSA workers to develop more sustainable long term outcomes.
  • Be supported to access linkages to community programs with potential to provide clients with increased feeling of connection and engagement
  • Be supported to access diverse referral options to specialist providers (internal and external) tailored to their specific needs.
  • Access ongoing support via Doorways case management services.
  • Access critical (early intervention) financial counselling services.

Please Note: A Printable Version of the Doorways Integrated Service Delivery model is available at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendices.

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2.4.10 Financial Counselling Services - Overview

A Featured Service of the Doorways Integrated Service Delivery model.

Financial Counselling (FC) services are funded by both state governments and federal governments (DSS) across Australia.  The Salvation Army is one of a number of community support providers who have been awarded contracts to deliver financial counselling services for disadvantaged Australians.

Financial counselling is a specialised service that can only be provided by staff who have specific qualifications.  Provision of financial counselling services is monitored by the Credit Protection Act 2009.   Compliance with this act is overseen by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

All financial counsellors are  required (under ASIC licensing exemption guidelines) to:

  • Be qualified, FCs  must have (or be in the process of gaining) a Diploma of Community Support Services, Financial Counselling
  • Be members of the relevant  state financial counselling association,
  • Be supported by professional supervision.
  • Undertake annual mandated professional development to ensure they retain currency with all government credit based legislation.

Clients referred to financial counselling often have multiple presenting issues that have culminated in extreme financial stress that can range from minor debt, to complex multiple debt situations. It may extend through to extreme cases of threatened and/or actual bankruptcy.

Financial counsellors’ work requires a high degree of professional expertise in credit based financial services. FC often need to undertake advocacy and liaison with banks, credit institutions, creditors and may involve court proceedings in relation to bankruptcy issues.   

Financial counsellors provide a client centred financial “wrap-around” service.  The initial contact with clients is often focused on assisting clients to “unravel” pre-existing, complex financial histories and multiple debt arrangements that are causing extreme stress to the client, followed by systematically working through strategies to mitigate the impact on the client.  The goal is to reduce debt and/or break cycles of debt driven anxiety, by supporting the client to build knowledge and resilience. 

FCs when warranted provide advocacy on the client’s behalf with credit institutions.  Advocacy has the multiple effect of finding solutions and concurrently provides an environment where the financial counsellor is working with the client (in a capacity building framework) to provide information and guidance on the best way to manage similar situations into the future to achieve the best possible outcome.

Financial Counselling DSS DEX Reportable Items

Financial counselling services are also funded by DSS, the reporting framework is similar to that applied to ER.

Extract:  DSS DEX Protocols. 

The table below indicates the reportable financial counselling service types identified by a Y designation coloured in green).

Please Note:

A printable version of the matrix above is available under Section 5 Forms, Templates and Appendices.

How to find a Financial Counsellor (External Referral)

Financial counselling services are free services provided by not for profit organisations (DSS funded and or state funded) across Australia.

ER workers seeking to connect with a local financial counselling service can go to the Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) website which has a search function to locate FC services across Australia. Web address: http://www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au/corporate/find-a-counsellor

National Debt Helpline

The other client FC referral option available for ER works to consider is the National Debt Helpline (Financial Counselling Telephone Helpline).  This is a “free” national service accessed by dialing 1800 007007 (same number in every state) that connects the client to a Financial Counselling service in their state.    For more information on this service visit the National Debt Helpline web site:

 

http://www.ndh.org.au/

When is it Mandatory for TSA ER workers to refer a client to a FC?

TSA ER workers MUST refer a client to a financial counsellor immediately in instances where

The client needs assistance with financial distress related to “credit” transactions. Specifically, an ER worker cannot provide any advice or assistance to clients to address credit/debt related matters such as:

  • Loans of any kind e.g., personal loans, car Loans, mortgages etc. with banks, credit institutions or payday lendors,
  • Credit card debt  (can often involve debt related to  multiple credit cards held by client)
  • Store credit (buy now pay later credit arrangements).

It is a legislative requirement, under the Australia Credit Protection Act 2009 and ASIC Corporations Act 2001, that credit related advice and assistance for TSA ER clients can only be provided by staff who meet the ASIC licensing exemption mandated qualification levels. Within The Salvation Army qualified financial counsellors are the only people who can provide credit related (debt) advice and assistance for TSA clients. If a TSA ER worker were to provide credit related advice to an ER client they would put The Salvation Army in breach of the above Acts, which could put at risk TSA’s ability to provide financial counselling assistance into the future.

The Salvation Army’s is one of a number of Financial Counselling Service providers (Agencies) who have been granted an exemption by ASIC from the requirement for TSA Financial Counsellors to hold an Australian financial services licence.  This ASIC exemption is conditional upon all TSA FC meeting the exemption requirements as specified in ASIC Class Order [CO 03/1063] .

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2.4.11 No Interest Loans (NILS) - Overview

No Interest Loans are highlighted as a service within the Doorways Integrated Service Delivery Model.

What is NILS?

The NO INTEREST LOAN SCHEME (NILS) provides individuals and families on a low income access to safe, fair and affordable credit.

The unique aspect to NILS is that there are:-

NO FEES  -    NO CHARGES  -    NO INTEREST

NILS is an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance, who have set up a network of over 650 NILS providers across Australia.   

Internal Referrals to NILS

Some TSA ER/CSS sites are approved to offer NILS services.  In these instances sites can undertake an internal referral to NILS services which may be at the same site or at a TSA site in close proximity.

External Referrals to NILS.

TSA CSS/ER sites that do not deliver NILS are encouraged to refer clients to a local NILS service for assistance.   To find a NILS provider for referral purposes go to the GoodShepherd NILS web page:

http://goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au/find-provider

More information about NILS.

Maximum loan amounts may vary, but credit can start from $300 up to $1200 for essential goods and services. Once your application is approved, repayments are set up at an affordable amounts over a 12 to 18 months period.

With NILS, no credit checks are made as this is a program based on trust and respect.

What are the loans usually used for?

Loans are generally available for the purchase of essential goods and services.

These may include:

  • Household items like fridges, freezers, washing machines, stoves, clothes dryers and some furniture
  • Some medical and dental services
  • Educational essentials such as computers and text books
  • Some other items as requested.

What are the client eligibility guidelines in relation to NILS Loans?

To qualify clients must:

  • Have a Health Care Card/Pension Card or be on a low income
  • Reside in their  current premises for more than three months
  • Show a willingness and capacity to repay.
  • In certain circumstances, the community organisation may consider amending the eligibility criteria upon loan application.

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2.4.12 Positive Lifestyle Program (PLP) Overview

The Positive Lifestyle Program is a feature of the Doorways Integrated Service Delivery Program.

What is the Positive Lifestyle Program?

The Positive Lifestyle Program is a 10-module course used by hundreds of Salvation Army chaplains, counsellors and PLP facilitators throughout Australia.

The PLP methodology takes participants through a self-awareness-raising process, focusing on personal difficulties they may be unable to identify or address.

PLP, in a non-invasive, non-judgmental way, encourages participants to consider the following 10 aspects of their lives: self-awareness, anger, depression, stress, loneliness, grief and loss, problem solving, assertiveness, self-esteem, and goal setting.

Referral to PLP

When is a referral to PLP likely to be suggested?

It is more likely that a referral to PLP will occur during a Doorways case management process.  However, there are instances when an ER worker providing ER Intensive Assistance may suggest to clients that the option of participating in PLP could be a beneficial next step.

CM referrals to PLP
A referral to PLP is a valuable contribution to the Doorways case management process. CMs often suggest PLP to clients as an interim step following achievement of their first set of goals. This provides valuable opportunity for clients to combine the active aspects of CM with a reflective practice throughout the 10 phases of the PLP program.

Accessing PLP
The steps to setting up a PLP referral option for clients at specific CSS/ER sites are as follows:

  1. Check to see if there is a qualified PLP facilitator within staff at site or local corps.
  2. Liaise with the PLP facilitator to confirm:

- Availability day/evening and frequency of availability)
- Maximum concurrent referrals possible
- Location of PLP sessions.

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2.4.13 Corps and Doorways CSS/ER Sites - Integrated Service Delivery

Referrals to corps community engagement activities, is a critical aspect of the Doorways Integrated Service Delivery Model.

The internal capacity to provide onsite access to community engagement activities for ER clients through corps and Doorways integrated service delivery is a significant aspect of provision of support for ER clients.

Many ER clients have, over time, withdrawn from community engagement activities and become isolated and lonely, but do not have the confidence to rebuild their networks.   TSA ER sites (through integration with corps) have the capacity to link clients to  multiple community engagement activities.  The goal is to provide a supported environment where clients have the confidence to build their networks and start the process of reconnecting with the broader community.   

All ER sites should investigate the range of community activities run by TSA corps both co-located with the ER/CSS site and those in close proximity. 

Below is an example of the range of TSA corps community engagement activities – actual offerings differ from place to place, but can include:

Community Meals Mothers Groups Playgroups
Homework Clubs Mens’ Shed Community Gardens
Childrens’ Music Programs. Companion Clubs(mature age) Cooking Classes
Craft Workshops Literacy Supports Community Choir
Chaplaincy Mens Groups Coffee Clubs
Youth Groups School Breakfast Programs.

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2.4.14 ER Early Intervention Strategies

Early intervention is the first nominated key features of the Doorways philosophy – it is also a primary goal within the DSS.

Within TSA Emergency Relief delivery our best practice goal is for ER delivery to focus on assistance that achieves the best possible outcome for the client.

Contemporary approaches to ER assistance have moved away from an assistance model where sites predominantly had rules in place stating clients could only be assisted once per quarter with a standard monetary ($) amount of assistance.   It is acknowledged that the origins of this model were sound, in that they were based on trying to ensure that funding allocations could be spread across the full funding period, assist as many clients as possible and be fair and equitable.    However, reflection on this practice has identified that it did not support clients to build their personal capacity – nor did it address any long term strategies to increase coping mechanisms.

Example of application of early intervention strategies within ER delivery.

“Situational poverty” early intervention strategy

In assessing the best outcome for a client presenting with situational poverty, an early intervention response would provide Intensive ER assistance – looking at all factors impacting on the family and then offering a holistic support response.  This may include offering  significant ”one-off” financial ($) assistance to a “first time client”, at the first contact, plus referral to a financial counsellor. The goal is to put in a “circuit breaker” that gets the family back on track and importantly stops the family from entering a debt spiral.

The goal is to help the family avoid all the negative consequences that often accompany a debt spiral (i.e. loss of primary housing, health erosion due to stress, dependence issues such as, alcohol, drugs, gambling, family breakdown, family violence).  All of these can push the individual or family into an entrenched poverty situation.

Early intervention ER assistance seeks to provide a critical early support that hopefully gets the individual/family to a point where they will not need ER assistance into the future – which is the best possible outcome.

Early intervention considerations

There are financial implications of moving into flexible ER assistance models.

Transition to flexible models of ER assistance is at the discretion of the division and requires implementation of assistance funding allocation policies.

Example being the setting of weekly spend limits for sites, discretionary spend limits for workers, combined with site manager having authority to increase assistance on a case by case basis.

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2.4.15 ER Assistance for TSA Staff and Volunteers

TSA staff and volunteers are eligible to request Emergency Relief assistance at TSA CSS/ER sites.  However, strict guidelines (see below) must be followed to ensure “best practice”, transparency of the process, avoid any perceived or real “conflict of interest”  and ensure confidentiality for the staff member or volunteer who may request ER assistance.

Prior to providing ER assistance to a TSA staff member or volunteers, workers are required to review the following  documents and follow the instructions outlined therein.

Title Location in Handbook
Provision of ER Assistance for TSA Staff and Volunteers Section 4.1
Conflict of Interest Policy re. ER Assistance Provision. Section 4.1

These two documents identify in full who can conduct an ER assessment for a staff member or volunteer and more importantly “who cannot” conduct an ER assessment for staff and volunteers.

Assessment and eligibility for TSA staff and volunteers for ER is exactly the same as any client seeking ER assistance. (please refer to  ER eligibility  at Point 2.4.2).

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2.4.16 ER Assistance for Vulnerable Migrants

All categories of vulnerable migrants are eligible to apply to receive Emergency Relief assistance at TSA CSS ER sites.

Vulnerable migrants include:

  • Asylum seekers;
  • International students;
  • Skilled migrants;
  • Sponsored migrants.

In line with standard eligibility guidelines (see point 2.4.2. Who is eligible to receive TSA ER Assistance?) vulnerable migrants are not required to present a Centrelink CRN number, Health Care Card or be in receipt of Commonwealth income support.

Assessment eligibility is exactly the same as any client seeking ER assistance.

  1. Assistance level is determined by the level of disadvantage identified during the ER Intake assessment.
  2. The level of funding and/or resources available at the site (please refer to the eligibility section above).

 

Formal identification is not a prerequisite to the person receiving ER assistance.  However, the client may present the following forms of identification: passport, Red Cross identification cards or identification card from another migrant service organisation.

Vulnerable Migrants - Terms and Definitions
Asylum seeker An asylum seeker is an individual who is seeking international protection. In countries with individualised procedures, an asylum seeker is someone whose claim has not yet been finally decided on by the country in which he or she submitted it. Not every asylum seeker will ultimately be recognised as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylum seeker.
International student A student granted a visa for full time study within Australia within an approved course. Students seeking work must apply for a work visa and can work no more than 20 hours/week during the school semester. This includes both paid and voluntary work.
Skilled migrants A person not sponsored by an employer, who has skills in particular occupations required in Australia. Applicants must be over 18 and under 45 years of age, with good English language ability and recent skilled work experience or a recently completed eligible Australian qualification.
Sponsored migrant A migrant sponsored by an immediate family member that can include fiancés, partners, children, parents and other family members of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.

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2.4.17 CSS/ER Site Service Coverage Area

The following overview of ER site service coverage areas relates specifically to TSA CSS/ER sites that receive DSS ER funding.  Under the DSS ER Funding agreement TSA DSS funded ER sites have a broader coverage area than just the suburb where the site is located.   The actual service coverage area applicable to any DSS ER funded sites is the whole SA4 regional areas which includes the suburb where the site is located.

What is a SA4 region?

Under the DSS ER Funding agreements DSS have divided up each state of Australia into a number of SA4 regions. The SA4 boundaries are based on the National SEIFA categories . 

Each SA4 has a title (i.e.  Melbourne South East SA4) and under this title there is a list of all suburbs (SA2) falling within the SA4 geographic boundaries. DSS have also included a SEIFA rated “Level of Disadvantage” to each SA2 suburb. ie.

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)

Below is an example of one SA4 geographic region and the level of disadvantage attached to each SA2 suburb 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 attached at Section 5 Appendices.

Action:  Sites are requested to review the Australia wide SA4  list to confirm what SA4 your site is located in and what suburbs will form part of your service coverage area.   This information should be then included in your Site Operations Guide (see point 2.5.1.  below).

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DSS Reporting Period

Site Deadline for  SAMIS data entry of all ER Client Data  for DSS Reporting Period 

 

DSS Reports Submission

Due Date

1 July, 2015 to  31  December 2015

15 January, 2016

30 January, 2016

1 January, 2016 to 30 June, 2016

15 July, 2016

31  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

2.5 Site Specific Delivery of Emergency Relief

 - 2.5.1 Site Operations Guide
- TSA Client Charter 
- 2.5.2 ER Worker Alerts
- Alert 1. Confidentiality
- Alert 2. Staff Police Checks and Working with Children Checks
- Alert 3. Mandatory Reporting
- Alert 4. Provision of ER Assistance for Staff and Volunteers
- Alert 5. ER Conflict of Interest Considerations
- Alert 6. Privacy Notice Client Distribution 
- Alert 7. When is it Mandatory for TSA ER workers to refer a client to a Finacial Counsellor
- Alert 8. ER Assistances where clients must provide doucmentation (evidence)
- 2.5.3 Welcome to Site - Meet and Greet Option
- 2.5.4 ER Triage Options
- 2.5.5 ER Client registration (including Privacy Notice)
- Client Registration Process:
- 2.5.6 Intial ER INtake Assessment principles
- 2.5.7 Client Assistance - Guidance for ER Workers
- Level of ER Assistance per client $$$
- ER Worker Discretionary Assistance ($) Limits
- Frequency of ER Assistance per client $$$

2.5.1 Site Operations Guide

Every TSA Emergency Relief site is required to have a Site Operations Guide.

Please Note:  A template to support ER sites with development of their own Site Operations Guide is available at Section 5: Appendices.

The Site Operations Guide is a collection of local information relating to day to day operations of a specific site. This guide is particularly helpful to support induction of new staff/volunteers at a site and serve as a reference point for volunteers who may come to the site on infrequent occasions to provide “relief” support (i.e. covering people who are on leave etc.)

It is recommended that sites use the suggested page headings listed in the table below to guide the development of a Site Operations Guide for their site.

Site Specific Information for inclusion in ER “Site Operations Guide”

Site Open Hours per week ER Service Delivery Staff Rosters (week)
Contact Details: i.e. Phone/mobile  numbers for Site: COs, Staff, Volunteers, Contractors ER Service Coverage areas (SA4) including all suburbs/towns  - ie. Catchment area for clients.
Site Organisation Chart - including reporting structures. List of all ER Assistance “types” available at your site
How to use phone system at site – including phone answering script. Weekly/daily site funding spend limits.
Site map including parking Referral Information/contact details of Local Services Providers
Emergency Exits & Evacuation Team Meeting Schedule
Site specific safety and security (name/photo of Safety Officer). Site Key Register

Staff Leave Planner

Electronic Swipe Card Register
Local Thrift Shop ER Guidelines. Master copies of Standard Forms

TSA Client Services Charter

 

The table below outlines the difference between a Site Operations Guide and the Doorways CSS/ER Policy and Procedures Handbook.

Document Purpose Staff Usage.
Doorways CSS - Emergency Relief Handbook AUS territory wide Handbook to guide all aspects of Emergency Relief delivery at all CSS/ER sites. Handbook for all Emergency Relief delivery.
Site ER Operations Guide. Local site specific information only Provides day to day site based information.

TSA Client Charter

The Salvation Army Client Services Charter is an overarching statement of TSA ER client services based on:

  • The values of The Salvation Army (Human Dignity, Justice, Hope, Compassion and Community)
  • What rights TSA believes in
  • A descriptor of Emergency Relief
  • Service standards
  • Client rights
  • Client responsibilities

This charter guides and underpins CSS/ER service delivery at every location throughout the AUS Territory.

A printable copy of the client services charter can be accessed at Section 5.2 (Appendices) of this Handbook.  

All CSS/ER delivery are required to:

  • Display a copy of the client services charter in reception areas of the CSS/ER service.
  • Print a copy of the charter for inclusion in the site operations guide

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2.5.2 ER Worker Alerts

Alert 1. Confidentiality

Delivery of ER services by TSA  corps officers, staff and volunteers  must at all times respect: The rights, privacy, dignity and confidentiality of clients seeking Emergency Relief Assistance.

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Alert 2. Staff Police Checks and Working with Children Checks

All persons seeking to work or engage with The Salvation Army are required to have the mandatory checks prior to their commencement of duties and every three years thereafter.

In summary, the integrity check requirements for workers is as follows:

Who What checks When
Employees Police check mandatory

Finance check for selected positions as per Minute ICP (See Point 4.2.4 to access this Minute).

Working with Children Checks as per legislative requirements, for those engaged in child related activities.
Checks must be undertaken prior to appointment, or as otherwise stipulated in policy.
Officers Police and financial checks mandatory.

Working with Children Checks mandatory for all officers as per legislative requirements
Checks must be undertaken prior to appointment, or as otherwise stipulated in policy. All officer checks are processed via the Territorial Professional Standards Unit.

 

Volunteers Police and financial check requirements are determined on the risk associated with specific role profiles as determined in the Volunteer Integrity Check Matrix (SARMY).

Working with Children Checks as per legislative requirements, for those engaged in child related activities.
Checks must be undertaken prior to engagement, or as otherwise stipulated in policy.

Working with Children Checks (WWCC)

WWCC, or Working with Vulnerable Children Checks as they are in some states/territories, are mandated under specific state and/or territory legislation.

WWCC are required for people (paid or volunteer) engaged in child related activities.  It is the individual’s responsibility to apply for a WWCC. A worker must show their WWCC to a relevant TSA representative who will record the card reference number and expiry date.

Please Note: The relevant statutory authority will forward automatic renewal notifications directly to The Salvation Army. It is important that all workers nominate TSA (THQ 95 Railway Road Blackburn, Victoria, 3130) as the employer on WWCC application form.

Please see:

Section 2.8 Management and Monitoring of ER sites in the handbook, for more detailed information on police checks and working with children checks.

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Alert 3. Mandatory Reporting

Mandatory reporting describes the legal obligation of certain professional groups and community members to report incidents of child sexual abuse. These people are called mandated reporters. It is a criminal offence for a mandated reporter to fail to report abuse where they have a reasonable belief that abuse has, or is likely to, occur.

TSA Policy Reporting Child Abuse

As a child safe organisation, The Salvation Army is committed to providing child safe environments in all its worship and program activities for all children, regardless of and with respect to their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.

The Salvation Army’s commitment as a child safe organisation, for all children regardless of age, gender, ability, cultural or linguistic background, is founded on:

  • Zero tolerance of child abuse.
  • A child safe and child friendly organisational culture.
  • Recognition of the rights of children.
  • Child protection and safety as a shared responsibility.
  • A structured and responsive risk management approach. 

Commitment of leadership within all levels of The Salvation Army to the Keeping Children Safe Statement of Commitment, Code of Conduct and Standards. 

Please see:

Section 2.8 Management and Monitoring of ER sites in this handbook, for more detailed information on mandatory reporting including “Reporting Requirements”.  Detailed Minutes can be accessed at Section 5 of this handbook.

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Alert 4. Provision of ER Assistance for Staff and Volunteers

There are specific TSA procedures and guidelines in relation to the provision of ER assistance for TSA staff and volunteers. All ER workers must review Point 2.4.15 of this handbook (Provision of ER Assistance for Staff and Volunteers) and documentation at Section 4 of this handbook, prior to any emergency relief assistance being provided for a staff member or volunteer. 

These sections provide guidance on how to proceed with this assistance.

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Alert 5. ER Conflict of Interest Considerations

It is highlighted that under TSA “conflict of interest” procedures and guidelines an ER worker cannot provide ER assistance to a family member, friend or colleague.  In the event that a worker finds themselves in potential conflict of interest scenario – the worker should refer to Point 2.4.15 of this handbook and the TSA guidelines on  conflict of interest under section 4.1 of this handbook.  To be guided on how to proceed.

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Alert 6. Privacy Notice Client Distribution 

ER workers are reminded that a “Privacy Notice” must be given to every new client at the initial interview (at the intake and assessment stage). Please see privacy notice procedure at section 4 of this handbook. It is also relevant to refer to point 2.5.6 Intake and Assessment and Completion of Client Registration Form at Section 2.5.5.  The client registration form includes a privacy consent declaration which must be signed by the client.  See sample below.

Privacy Consent - Important 

By signing this document and accessing assistance from The Salvation Army, I acknowledge

  • that I have been provided with a copy of The Salvation Army Privacy Notice;   
  • that I have read and understood the Privacy Notice and freely agree to provide the sensitive information referred to and/or contained in this document to The Salvation Army;  
  • that the information I have provided to The Salvation Army is current and I consent to the disclosure of this information to the types of organisations or individuals identified in the Privacy Notice;   
  • that I undertake to notify The Salvation Army as soon as practicable if this information is no longer current or if my consent for the collection of this information is withdrawn;   
  • that until such time that I notify The Salvation Army that my consent is withdrawn, I agree that The Salvation Army will be entitled to presume that this consent is current and informed.

 

Signature of Client _________________  Print Name ___________________  Date _____________

 

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Alert 7. When is it Mandatory for TSA ER workers to refer a client to a Finacial Counsellor

ER workers MUST refer a client to a financial counsellor immediately in instances where the client needs assistance with financial distress related to “credit” transactions.     Specifically an ER worker cannot provide any advice or assistance to clients to address credit/debt related matters such as:

  • Loans of any kind, including bank loans, mortgages, loans with credit institutions or payday lendors,
  • Credit card debt (can often involve debt related to  multiple credit cards held by client)
  • Store credit (buy now pay later credit arrangements).

It is a legislative requirement, under the Australia Credit Protection Act 2009 and ASIC Corporations Act 2001, that credit related advice and assistance for TSA ER clients can only be provided by staff who meet the ASIC licensing exemption mandated qualification levels. Within The Salvation Army qualified financial counsellors are the only people who can provide credit related (debt) advice and assistance for TSA clients. If a TSA ER worker were to provide credit related advice to an ER client they would put The Salvation Army in breach of the above Acts, which could put at risk TSA’s ability to provide financial counselling assistance into the future.

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Alert 8. ER Assistances where clients must provide doucmentation (evidence)

Documentary evidence (ie. copies of bills/accounts) are required for any ER assistance which involves payment of a client’s accounts/bills where TSA are making a direct payment to a supplier of services (i.e. EFT payments related to utilities, rent, phone, school or  training provider)

It is an audit mandatory requirement that copies of accounts (provided as evidence for assistance) MUST retain all client identification information i.e.  The clients name, address and account number cannot be crossed out / covered. 

Retention of Evidence

Copy of the bill/account is to be scanned (if site has scanning capability) or photocopied.  Scanned copies need to be

  • uploaded into SAMIS against the client assistance
  •  alternatively photocopy is to be filed with the signed client assistance form.
  • Copy of bill account must also be forward with the payment request and retained in all payment records.

Evidence for SAMIS Data Entry (reference number in SAMIS):

The tax invoice number on the clients bill/account becomes the SAMIS reference number for this assistance.

ER Assistance Evidence

Photocopy of the original utilities bill, together with signed client assistance form, to be attached to SAMIS “Single Day Assistance Summary Report” and filed in accordance with standard record keeping guidelines. These documents are retained for client assistance reconciliations and any future audit review requirements.

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2.5.3 Welcome to Site - Meet and Greet Option

Research undertaken by The Salvation Army on effectiveness of our Doorways approach to delivery of Emergency Relief has stressed that the most positive long term outcomes for clients are achieved through building trusting relationship with clients.

This research also found that the first contact with a client (or welcome that the client receives) at any of our CSS/ER sites is a critical component in development of ongoing future positive relationship with the client.  

Suggested actions to create instant positive “first impressions” and support establishment of a warm welcoming environment for clients.

  1. Site layout
  2. Where possible the ER client waiting should be set up with comfortable couches/chairs with a coffee table, books to look at whilst waiting, a few toys to keep clients’ children engaged etc.  It is acknowledged that in many cases the layout of the site is not ideally suitable to establish this – however, many sites have been very creative in finding ways to provide “this point of difference” in the client experience.
  3. Meet and Greet Service.
    Many TSA CSS/ER sites have implemented a client meet and greet service usually undertaken by volunteers. The primary function of volunteers providing the service is to provide a warm welcome to every client as they walk through the door. This can be achieved in various ways:
    • Offer clients a cup of tea or coffee while they wait to talk to receptionist or wait for their ER intake assessment.
    • If the site has “SecondBite” food available – explain to clients that they are welcome to take any of the SecondBite food on display.
    • If the site runs community meals - invite clients to participate and provide information on the day/time that these community meals are held.
    • If the site has “coffee club” or other community engagement options – provide clients with information about these activities so that they have these with them to discuss during their ER intake assessment.

    Extensions of meet and greet service

    At some sites the meet and greet service also includes:

    • Undertaking a preliminary triage service – functions of preliminary triage can be viewed at point 2.9.12.
    • Providing “pantry assistance”, as requested by the ER assessor, to support clients with access to and selection of food that forms part of the assistance being offered.

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2.5.4 ER Triage Options

Preliminary Triage - Checking Client Details.

There is the option for a site to set up a triage system where reception staff or trained volunteers undertake a preliminary check of client details (guided by check list) prior to the client’s appointment with the ER assessor.   This will streamline the service offered to the client and importantly, allows more time during the actual ER intake assessment to concentrate on the presenting needs of the client. 

Actions required to implement preliminary triage function at a site.

Training of workers/volunteers – with particular emphasis on privacy and confidentiality.
Ensuring that the person undertaking this triage function has SAMIS access (reception level).
Development of a preliminary triage check list to ensure consistency of practice.

Suggested activities of a preliminary triage activity could include:

  • Checking to see if the client is registered on SAMIS
  • Checking/validating client’s current address and updating if required – would include completion of a “ER Registration Update Form” to pass onto the ER intake assessor.
  • Checking to see if Privacy Notice has already been issued to the client.
  • Photocopying any documents that may be required for ER assessment.
  • If new client – completion of “personal details” section of client registration form in preparation for ER intake assessment.

More complex Triage:

In large centres with high volume of “walk in” clients a more detailed triage option could be considered. In this instance a trained ER assessor would be required to undertake an initial short meeting with the clients to determine level of presenting need  and assess against the following three levels:

  • Crisis
  • Needs some support
  • Stable.

The outcome of this triage would see clients allocated to one of the 3 levels of action. 

Status Category Allocation Action
Crisis Cat. 1 Must have an ER intake assessment that day.
Needs some support Cat. 2 Make first available intake appointment, assist with food if needed.
Stable Cat. 3 Invite to budgeting, assist with food if needed, care call

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2.5.5 ER Client registration (including Privacy Notice)

A standard CSS/ER Client Registration Form has been developed for use at all CSS/ER sites.  This form has been designed to guide and inform the client registration (intake assessment) process.  

Action:

A  CSS/ER client registration form has been provided at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendices of this handbook.   This form has been provided as a “word” document to enable sites to include “name and address” of site at top of document.  

Please Note: 

For the convenience of ER workers who prefer to work directly into electronic forms  - this form has been designed to include active fields which enable user to “type” directly into the document and click on boxes to “check” boxes etc.

In sites where only paper based forms are used – the shading of active fields disappears as soon as the form is printed.

It is recommended that these forms are saved in a general access folder at the site and/or saved to the desktop of computers used by ER workers. 

Client Registration Process:

Every client receiving ER assistance must be registered in SAMIS.

For new clients the registration process is as follows:

Step 1: 
ER worker to provide every client with a copy of the TSA privacy notice.  (Ref.  Privacy notice procedure section 4.1 of this handbook and printable version of “Privacy Notice” in Section 5.2. Appendices of this handbook)

Step 2:
Complete the CSS/ER client registration form.

Alert:
All ER workers are required to ensure that the “front page” of the client registration form is completed in full and is signed by the client.  This form collects the client’s primary details and critically includes the privacy consent clause.  

 

By signing the form the client is confirming:
a)     That they have been provided with a copy of the TSA privacy notice.
b)     That the information they  have provided to The Salvation Army is current and that they  consent to the disclosure of this information to the types of organisations or individuals identified in the privacy notice; 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) in relation to client registration forms.

Question This form is extremely complex – why do we need to ask the client for all this information?
Answer The information on the client registration form mirrors the primary data fields required to be completed for every client in SAMIS. Accordingly if correctly completed the ER worker will be able to complete all fields of client SAMIS registration.
Question If the ER worker has SAMIS open while undertaking client ER Intake assessment and is entering data directly into the fields do they still need to complete a client registration form?
Answer Yes: Front page will still need to be completed as it is mandatory for the client to sign this page. ER worker can enter the remainder of data directly into SAMIS and leave second page blank.
Question Can the ER client registration form be completed while the client is meeting with the ER worker– with the data entered into SAMIS at a later time?
Answer Yes: The ER client registration form includes all fields required to be entered into SAMIS – so it can be completed during the client intake assessment meeting. The ER worker can use the form as the source information to undertake SAMIS data entry after the client has left the site.

The form has been designed specifically for this purpose, as there are many sites where it is not possible for workers to enter data directly into SAMIS during the client intake assessment interview due to time limitations or lack of computer equipment in interview rooms.
Question Are ER workers required to complete a client registration form every time a client comes back for additional support (i.e a returning client)?
Answer No. The client registration form is only required to be completed once with a new client.
Question What questions are appropriate for an ER worker to ask in relation to personal information with returning clients?
Answer At subsequent ER support meeting – ER workers should ask the client if any of their personal information has changed. If the answer is YES – ER workers should complete an ER client registration “update” form. It is stressed that only new/changed information needs to be recorded on the registration update.  All fields that have not changed can remain blank.
Question What can reception personnel do to support the client registration process?
Answer Reception personnel can support client registration process by:
  • Checking to see if client is already registered in SAMIS.
  • Checking to see if SAMIS client record confirms that the client has been given a Privacy Notice.
  • Asking the client if any of their primary contact information (address – phone contact etc) has changed. If yes provide client with a registration update form and assist them to record any changes. Client can then provide completed registration update form to ER worker during their assistance assessment meeting.

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2.5.6 Intial ER Intake Assessment principles

All ER Workers are required to provide client services guided by the following ER Intake Assessment principles:

  • Clients are offered an ER intake assessment in an environment(room) where privacy and confidentiality can be assured.
  • Each assessment will be objective, impartial and collect pertinent information (see client registration form) to determine need, level of crisis, and risk levels.
  • Assessment is undertaken in line with all Doorways principles (see points 2.1.2 and 2.1.3) with particular emphasis on “early intervention” strategies 2.4.14.) and corresponding referral options.
  • If immediate ER assistance is warranted, services will be provided on the day of assessment.
  • Client is provided with support that meets their individual circumstance within the resources of the centre.

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2.5.7 Client Assistance - Guidance for ER Workers

Level of ER Assistance per client $$$

The monetary level ($) and type of assistance provided to a client is dependent on three key areas:

  1. Level of client disadvantage/need identified in the ER Intake Assessment.
  2. Level of resources (both dollar value and inkind) available at the site for distribution.
  3. Keeping within the weekly/daily spend limits applicable at the site.

All of these factors dictate that there cannot be a “standard or fixed” ER client assistance amount/level recorded in this handbook.  This handbook acknowledges that all TSA CSS/ER sites are quite uniquely different and all ER clients come with unique personal presenting issues. 

What is critical is that ER Workers at a TSA CSS/ER site are provided with very specific information on what assistance types are available at their site and the client engagement method to be adopted by all workers:

  • Clear understanding of the overarching Doorways philosophy, to guide all practical delivery in sites.
  • Clarity on what assistance levels ER workers can provide at their respective sites through the establishment of clear site based guidelines on the weekly/daily spend limits applicable.
  • If there are multiple ER workers simultaneously providing client assistance guidance on how the designated spend limits are apportioned across all ER workers assisting clients on the same day.
  • Site Operations Guide includes a clear list of full range of assistance types that are available for distribution at the site. 
  • Site Operations Guide includes set guidelines on how many food items are included in a food parcel aligned to differing client needs (i.e. homeless person, single, small family group, large family group.


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ER Worker Discretionary Assistance ($) Limits

Many TSA DHQ Offices have established guidelines outlining the   discretionary limit (total assistance value) an ER worker in their Division can provide to a client.   The discretionary limits can be divided up into two categories.

  1. Total  financial ($)  vouchers and Centre Imprest Card assistance (often set at $200) .
  2. Other material aid assistance (in-kind and other) i.e. food parcels, telstra bill assistance – salvos stores and TSA thrift shop support. etc.  (often set at $300)

In both cases, the ER worker can provide assistance to the client up to the nominated monetary ($) limits and has the opportunity to seek approval from their site Manager or CO to exceed the discretionary limit.  ER workers need to provide substantial evidence to support a request for approval to exceed discretionary limit. 

Please Note: If the site manager or CO approves ER worker to exceed the discretionary limit the site manager or CO must countersign the ER assistance form.

Action:  
All sites need to have a clear ER worker discretionary client assistance limit level recorded in the site operations guide AND advice on who at the site can approve an ER worker’s request to exceed this limit. 

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Frequency of ER Assistance per client $$$

FAQ

Question

Is there a TSA rule/minute or policy that ER workers can only provide ER clients with 1 gift card to a value of $40 per quarter?

Answer

No.  There is no formal minute or policy that states that ER clients can only receive 1 voucher per quarter. 

TSA’s Doorways approaches to ER assistance have moved away from an assistance model where sites predominantly had rules in place where clients could only be assisted once per quarter, via voucher with a standard monetary ($) amount of assistance.   It is acknowledged that the origins of this model were sound, in that they were based on trying to ensure that funding allocations could be spread across the full funding period, and thus assist as many clients as possible in a fair and equitable manner.  However reflection on this practice has identified that it did not support clients to build their personal capacity – nor did it address any long term strategies to increase coping mechanisms. 

Delivery of contemporary (best practice) ER is now focused on a more flexible funding model, wherein ER workers are encouraged to offer  a support (or range of supports) that build client capacity and are targeted to minimise the ongoing need for client to access ER assistance. 

There are financial implications of moving into flexible ER assistance models, which require setting of site protocols on client assistance models. Accordingly, transition to flexible funding distribution models of ER assistance is at the discretion of the division and requires implementation of assistance funding allocation policies to guide sites within the division.

Example contemporary ER assistance practice.

To demonstrate this more contemporary approach please see scenario below and assistance response proposed.   

Client presenting issue is a large utilities account - $600.  The client has advised that if they pay this account then they cannot  pay rent and buy food for family.

Example assistance response

$$ Assistance TSA ER worker. Payment via Centre Imprest card directly to supplier. $200  
Client contribution to bill – negotiated with client. $100  
Sub Total TSA ($) financial assistance.   $200
Other assistance    
Advocacy –
ER Worker supports client with negotiation of a payment plan with utilities provider hardship team.
$300  

Issue of $600 utilities bill mitigated.

$600

 

Food - food parcel.
Client offered opportunity to come in for another food parcel in five days time.

 

  $50
SalvoStores Voucher   $100
Referral of client to:
- Community meals program and
- Community garden program.
   
Training and education:
Help client develop a budget for next 12 months.
   
Total assistance value at this visit.   $350

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2.6 ER Assistance Types

 - 2.6.1 Client ER Assistance Forms - Record of Assistance provided
- Process: Recording Client Assistance
- 2.6.2 Material Aid - Financial $ Vouchers
- 2.6.3 Material Aid - Other Vouchers
- 2.6.4 Material Aid - In-kind
- 2.6.5 Food Parcels (Purchased/Food Bank and/or Donated Food)
- 2.6.6 SecondBite 
- 2.6.7 Salvos Stores ER Assistance
- 2.6.8 TSA Thrift Shop Assistance for ER Clients
- 2.6.9 Telstra Bill Assist Vouchers
- 2.6.10 OneSight Vouchers
- 2.6.11 Single House Burnout Assistance
- ER Worker Guidance on Processing Single House Burnout Assistance
- 2.6.12 Christmas Cheer Client Assistance
- 2.6.13 Assistance - Local Merchant Vouchers
- 2.6.14 Assistance Advice - Restricted usage of Cheques to provide ER Client assistance

2.6.1 Client ER Assistance Forms - Record of Assistance provided

A standard CSS/ER client assistance form has been developed for use at all CSS/ER sites across the AUS Territory.  This form has been designed to record assistance provided AND provide prompts to alert ER workers to other ER assistance types that are part of the scope of ER assistance offerings AND need to be recorded in SAMIS.  

Action:

The CSS/ER client assistance form has been provided at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendices of this handbook.   This form has been provided as a “word” document to enable sites to include “name and address” of site at top of document.  

It is recommended that these forms are saved in a general access folder at the site and/or saved to the desktop of computers used by ER workers.

Please Note: 

For the convenience of ER workers who prefer to work directly into electronic forms  - this form has been designed to include active fields which enable user to “type” directly into the document and “click” on boxes to “check” boxes etc.

In sites where only paper based forms are used – the shading of active fields disappears as soon as the form is printed.

Process: Recording Client Assistance

Alert 1:
All ER workers are required to record ER assistance provided for a client in SAMIS.  This includes “every” assistance type as outlined under this section of the handbook.

Alert 2:
All ER workers are required to ensure that the “front page” of the client assistance form, listing the type and monetary value of material aid provided to the client, is completed in full and is “signed by the client”.

Procedural Steps to Validate all Assistance Provided.

Sites are required to adopt the “best practice” model below (developed in consultation with THQ Audit Department), to ensure ability to validate every assistance provided:

  • Every assistance must be recorded on a completed and signed client assistance form.
  • The total amount of material assistance provided must be recorded in “total” section of the assistance form (do not leave blank).
  • A line to be drawn through any unused lines on the assistance form to confirm that the amounts listed are the only assistances provided in this ER assistance meeting.
  • All assistance provided to the ER client to be entered into SAMIS on the day that assistance is provided (or within a reasonable timeframe – recommendation being within 1 working day of assistance being provided).
  • At the conclusion of the day – ER workers or team leaders are required to run a SAMIS “Assistance by Single Day” report. All ER client assistance reports are to be checked/reconciled against this SAMIS report.
  • After confirmation of reconciliation (i.e. every  assistance provided that day is reflected in both the completed client assistance forms and  the SAMIS assistance by Single Day Report), all signed ER client assistance forms are to be attached to the SAMIS report and filed in secure and confidential file repository, filed by date of assistance.
  • All signed ER client assistance forms along with corresponding SAMIS “Assistance by Single Day Report” must be kept in secure storage for seven years. This secure storage must be accessible in the event that the ER site is selected for a full audit by THQ audit dept.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in relation to ER client assistance form.

Question The ER client assistance form has a number of sections/categories – are ER workers required to fill in every section?
Answer The ER client assistance form has been designed to provide a prompt for ER workers on all possible ER assistance that could be considered as responses to the client’s presenting needs.

The front page of this form MUST be completed and signed by the client in all instance where monetary ($) material aid has been provided to the client. Other sections on the reverse side (second page) of the form can be left blank if no assistance has been offered in this category during the ER assistance assessment meeting.
Question If the ER worker has SAMIS open whilst undertaking the client ER assistance response and is entering data directly into the SAMIS fields do they still need to complete a ER client assistance form?
Answer Yes: It is mandatory for ER workers to record material aid monetary ($) assistance on this form detailing “type and value” and it is mandatory for the ER worker to sign and the client to sign the form to provide “auditable” confirmation that the assistance has been provided.
Question Can the ER worker complete the ER client assistance form during the ER assessment meeting with the client – then enter the data into SAMIS at a later time?
Answer Yes: The ER client assistance form can be completed when the client is with the ER worker and SAMIS data entry can be undertaken after the client has left the office.

The form has been designed specifically for this purpose, as there are many sites where it is not possible for workers to enter data directly into SAMIS during the client intake assessment interview due to time limitations or lack of computer equipment in interview rooms.
Question Is there a recommended timeframe for entering ER client assistance into SAMIS?
Answer Yes: All ER client assistance should be entered into SAMIS on the day assistance was provided (or at the very latest the next morning).

Best practice (as informed by THQ audit dept.) is that all sites run a SAMIS “assistance for a single day” report at the end of each day of ER assistance. (See procedure outline earlier in this section.) The SAMIS report is then reconciled against all client ER assistance forms to confirm that every assistance has been accurately and fully recorded.
Question What can other workers at the site do to support ER assessors in the distribution of ER assistance?
Answer To better optimise ER workers time (and increase time for one to one client support) it is recommended that volunteers and/or reception personnel be available to support the client with accessing any food related assistance (ie. food parcels) which may form part of the range of assistance offered.
Question Are ER workers required to record food parcels assistance provided to clients in SAMIS and if yes what dollar ($) value is allocated to food parcels made up of donated food?
Answer Yes. ER workers are required to record all assistances provided to an ER client. Food parcels regardless of origin (ie. purchased or donated) must be allocated an indicative dollar ($) value – based on the number of items. This amount is to be recorded against this assistance in SAMIS.
Question What is the recommended action if a client leaves without signing the client assistance form OR refuses to sign?
Answer In this instance the ER worker and the CO or CSS Manager are to record a note on the assistance form as to why client has not signed and ER worker and CO/CSS Manager must both sign the Client Assistance form.

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2.6.2 Material Aid - Financial $ Vouchers

The allocation of material aid in the form of a debit card (voucher – e.g.: coles/other supermarket/kmart/petrol) is one of the preferred primary forms of provision of ER clients assistance. Provision of a voucher provides clients with the opportunity to “choose” whatever food and/or products will best meet their needs.

Assistance which promotes “client choice” reflects the Doorways philosophy to deliver services in a manner and environment that focus on respect and dignity flowing to the client.

Please note:

All TSA ER client vouchers are barred (will not process) point of sale purchases of cigarettes or alcohol).

Category Options Card/Voucher Type
Food related: Coles, Woolworths, Ritchies, IGA, Foodland, Food-Right and other Preloaded ($) card/voucher Or Paper vouchers see local merchant arrangements (2.6.13)
Material Aid – Household goods/ clothing Retail outlets, Target, Kmart Preloaded ($) card/voucher Coles/Myer or Kmart
Where possible first option for household good or clothing is Salvos Stores or TSA Thrift Shop.
Petrol Caltex
Other (BP Mobil, Shell) local arrangements
Preloaded ($) card Caltex voucher
Vouchers and/or paper based – see local merchant arrangements.
Public Transport Myki Cards (Victoria)
Travel Tickets and/or Cards other States
Local Divisional arrangements apply.
Local Divisional arrangements apply.
Transport Other Car repairs/ car registration (CSS Manager Approval required). Centre Imprest Card – payment direct to supplier.
Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Utilities All utilities providers – Gas, Electricity Water Centre Imprest Card – EFT payment on behalf of client.
Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Health Medical Pharmacy Centre Imprest Card – payment of monthly local merchant account.
Plus: paper vouchers see local merchant arrangements (2.6.13).
Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Education Books
School uniforms excursions
Preloaded ($) card/voucher Coles/Myer or Kmart
Preferred – Centre Imprest card direct payment to school or supplier.
Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Training. Training courses, TAFE Local Centre Preferred – Centre Imprest card direct payment to school or supplier
Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Accommodation Emergency Response only (Centre Manager approval required) Preferred – Centre Imprest Card. Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Rent/Mortgage Centre Manager approval required Preferred – Centre Imprest card. Realestate Agents: Cheque sometimes only payment option. Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Individual House Burnout assistance. DHQ/Centre Manager approval required Method of assistance, as outlined in Disaster assistance policy. Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.

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2.6.3 Material Aid - Other Vouchers

Category Options Card/Voucher Type
Material Aid – Clothing and Household goods Salvos Stores Salvo Stores (paper based) Vouchers(see Point: 2.6.7. Salvos Stores guidelines)
TSA Thrift Shop Local Thrift Shop (paper based) vouchers (See Point 2.6.8. TSA guidelines Thrift shop support of ER)
Telephone/ Mobile Phone Telstra Bill Assist (TBA) Telstra Bill Assist (paper based) vouchers. (See Point 2.6.9. TBA Guidelines. Documentation required: Refer to point 2.5.5. Staff Alert No.8.
Vision OneSight
Other Local Merchant arrangements.
OneSight glasses assistance (online and paper based vouchers) See Point 2.6.10. for guidelines. See Point 2.6.13. Guidelines for setting up local merchant arrangements.

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2.6.4 Material Aid - In-kind

Category Options Assistance Type
Food Parcels Food Bank and/or other donated food Open Pantry – clients advised how many items can be selected.
Closed pantry – list of available food provided to client, along with advice regarding total number of items offered in assistance provided.
See samples of food list at Section 5 Appendices.
Fresh Food Second Bite fresh fruit and vegies
Bread donations local bakery

 

Open Access – food displayed in reception areas (or similar) clients offered fresh food during visit – self-selection procedure.

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2.6.5 Food Parcels (Purchased/Food Bank and/or Donated Food)

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes √

Provision of food to ER clients has always been a foundational standard practice of TSA ER services.

Offering food within the range of material aid assistances remains a critical function, as the ability of TSA CSS/ER to provide food is often what prompts a client to come to a TSA ER site.

  • From an ER worker’s perspective it is common knowledge that a client may present at an ER site asking for food (because asking for food is the least traumatic approach), however the ER Intake assessment will invariably identify multiple issues that are contributing to the client being in financial distress.  
  • What is critical to TSA is that the client has come through our Doorway asking for food, as a first step and our ER workers have the opportunity to offer a broader range of supports.

Respectful Distribution of Food.

Under the Doorways philosophy all client services are to be provided in an environment that ensures client respect and dignity.   

Preferred delivery model:  Client selection of food:

The recommended practice for distribution of food (that upholds client dignity and promotes respectful client relationship) is for CSS ER sites to have in place systems that enable the client “to select” from items of food on offer.   

Pre-Packed Food Parcels – Not preferred:

It is highlighted that pre-packed food parcels are not the preferred model of provision of food support for clients. It is acknowledged that in some instances (emergency situations etc) having pre-packed food is the only option.   However in standard ER client assistance environments – pre-packed food does not promote client dignity nor does it respect the individual needs (and/or dietary needs) of the client and can lead to high levels of wastage.

Preferred Food Distribution Options (food parcels)

  1. Open Pantry Model.
  2. If the site accommodation allows – the best option for provision of food is an open pantry (supermarket type shelving with all food displayed). In this model clients have been advised that they can select a set number of items – and they can choose what they would like from the range of available food.

    In some instances, where there is a surplus of a particular item, there can be a “bonus items” section where clients are offered these additional items over and above their allocation.

  3. Available Food List – tick Model.
  4. If there is no capacity at the site to have an open pantry, the best solution to still enable clients’ choice is to provide a sheet that itemises all food available with a tick box column. Clients select items – up to the allocated number – then a volunteer (preferably) takes the list and collects the items for the client.

    Various types of food lists have been implemented in sites across AUS. In some instances sites have developed a food list with an indicative dollar ($) value accorded to each item. At the ER assessment the client is allocated a dollar amount of food assistance i.e $20. The client can then select food from the food list up to the $20 value allocated.

    Examples of different concepts of Food selection lists are provided at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendices.

  1. Photos/Images of available food (non-English speaking clients).

Open pantry is the best option for non-English speaking clients, however this is not always possible. Some ER sites have developed innovative responses to meet the needs of non-English speaking clients through provision of a list that identifies the food items via photo images.  

An example of a photo food selection option is provided at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendices.

Clear and documented guidance - levels of food support

Clarity through set level of food support ensures consistency and efficiency within an ER site.    Development of a guide for all workers needs to consider the very different presenting needs of clients. 

Provided below is an example of how the family unit may be reflected in a table to provide a guide to workers at the site on level of food allocation.    Every sites resource levels are different – accordingly there is no one standard level applicable for all sites across TSA.  It is recommended that each site develop its own levels of food assistance (guided by respective DHQ).  Once completed this information to become one of the localised guides incorporated into the Site Operations Guide:

Client situation No. Food Items SecondBite Bread
Homeless person (overnight supply only).

 

 

 

Single person

 

 

 

Couple

 

 

 

Family group (four and under)

 

 

 

Family group (five and over).

 

 

 


Having clear and documented site guidelines on food distribution levels  ensures consistent practice at the site, provides framework for fair and equitable practice that is evident to clients, and supports the ability of volunteers to assist in the distribution process.

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2.6.6 SecondBite

What is SecondBite?

SecondBite is a “Not for Profit” organisation that redistributes surplus fresh food to community food programs around Australia. Food is donated by farmers, wholesalers, markets, supermarkets, caterers and events. Each week SecondBite delivers fresh produce to over 1,200 community food programs.

TSA participation in SecondBite

Many TSA CSS/ER sites are registered to receive deliveries of SecondBite food to provide either:

  • Direct client assistance
    Fresh food is displayed and available as an additional assistance for ER clients. In most sites food is displayed in reception areas and clients are offered the  opportunity to select from whatever is available. The critical aspect is that this is “fresh produce”, which needs to be turned over quickly.
  • Food produce to support TSA community meals programs.
    In some sites the SecondBite fresh produce is used to expand the range of food available for community meals programs.

How to register your site for SecondBite.

  1. Contact your divisional DSPS or DMRS to see if there are existing SecondBite agreements in your division.
  2. If there are no existing arrangements – gain approval from your division to instigate a SecondBite registration.
  3. Contact SecondBite direct via web page;

http://secondbite.org/receive-food

SAMIS recording of SecondBite

Question: Are ER workers required to record SecondBite food assistance provided to clients in SAMiS?
Answer: Yes, all assistance provided to ER clients must be recorded in SAMiS

 

Question: What dollar ($) value should ER workers allocate per episode of assistance, when a client has open access to food, SecondBite (or similar) food?
Answer: It is recommended that a dollar value ($) of $2 is allocated for a basic fresh food assistance per client. This dollar value can be increased in instances where a larger volume of food has been allocated i.e. Could be increased to $6 if volume of food is estimated to be three times a basic assistance.

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2.6.7 Salvos Stores ER Assistance

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: √

Ref: AUS Official Minute
Code: TRO 0413

Salvos Stores are a wholly owned entity of The Salvation Army, run as a separate “not for profit” business unit with its own Board and management structure.  

All proceeds of Salvos Stores are directed to expanding the range of supports TSA can provide for disadvantaged Australians. 

Direct assistance for TSA ER clients is received from Salvos Stores in the form of Salvos Stores vouchers(paper based vouchers), which are distributed to ER sites (allocations are distributed by respective DHQ) to be included in the range of ER assistance types for ER clients. 

Site processes re. Salvos Stores vouchers

  • DHQ to advise each CSS/ER site of the Salvo Stores voucher maximum annual spend limit.
  • Annual Salvos Stores spend limit to be recorded in site operations guide.
  • Weekly/daily spend limits to be calculated based on annual allocation.
  • Salvos Stores vouchers to be pre-loaded into SAMIS.
  • Salvos Stores vouchers are subject to voucher security, storage and handling guidelines at point 2.8.2.

Usage of Salvos Stores vouchers by ER Clients.

  • The desired outcome of provision of a Salvos Store voucher is that the client may be able to purchase needed household goods or cloths at a reduced cost thus being able to direct available cash to the payment of other pressing bills and or food.
  • Even though the above desired outcome sits behind the distribution of Salvos Stores it is highlighted that NO conditions on usage can be specified when providing a Salvos Stores voucher to a client.   The client can purchase any item at a Salvos Store using the voucher up to the designated value of the voucher.
  • To ensure streamlined client services at Salvos Stores in relation to clients ability to choose ITEMS it is imperative that sites include the underlined mandatory wording “and any other items as selected by the customer” when completing the ITEMS section of the voucher.

Items:   Examples of standard form of words:

  • Clothing and any other items as selected by the customer
  • Household goods and any other items as selected by the customer.
  • Furniture and any other items as selected by the customer.
  • Mattress (specify size) and any other items as selected by the customer. 

Or any combination of the above.  i.e. Clothing and Household goods and any other item as selected by the customer.

Instructions for completion of Salvos Stores vouchers.

It is highlighted that a consistent approach to completion of Salvos Stores vouchers will ensure the best possible client experience outcome.   It is also acknowledged that from a THQ Audit perspective there have been inconsistencies in completion of Salvos Stores vouchers in the past that has caused confusion and created an opportunity for misuse of vouchers.     

Accordingly the following instructional guide is provided to ensure best practice delivery and consistency of approach across all ER sites issuing Salvos Stores vouchers:-

The Salvos Stores voucher must be clearly completed and ALL fields on the voucher must be filled with the exception of the last open field

            “CUSTOMER SIGNATURE: ……………………………At time of purchase”   

as this is completed by the customer at the Salvos Store.

Please see sample below of a completed Salvos Stores voucher as a guide for ER workers. 

 

Explanation of each field requiring completion below: 

Voucher Field to be completed Instruction for correct completion
Program/Site Record name of your CSS/ER site (e.g.  Mont Albert CSS Service) where client has attended for ER assistance.
Name of Location Only need to record “suburb” of your CSS/ER site.
Salvos Stores Location: Address/suburb of nominated Salvos Store should be determined in consultation with the client – ideally will be the Salvos Store closest to the client’s residential address.

 

Please supply the following items to the value of whole $ 

The dollar amount must be recorded within the boxes provided. If amount is under $100 then a “X” must be place in the first box as shown below and in sample form above, i.e.

THE SUM OF: The voucher $$ amount must be written in words and any open space MUST have a double line drawn through. The writing MUST commence as close as possible to the existing printing on the voucher (please refer to sample voucher above to see a visual example of how to record amount).
ITEMS:  A brief description of the “ITEMS” (developed in consultation with the client) must be written in words. Any open space MUST have a double line drawn through. The items description MUST commence as close as possible to the existing printing on the voucher. (Please refer to sample voucher to see a visual example of how to record ITEMS).

>New Standard Text for Items
When completing “ITEMS” section of Salvos Stores voucher all ER workers are to include the words “and any other items as selected by the customer”, as per examples below.
  • Clothing and any other items as selected by the customer. 
  • Household goods and any other items as selected by the customer.
  • Furniture and any other items as selected by the customer
  • Mattress (specify size) and any other items as selected by the customer.  
Delivery:
Including Delivery in ITEMS text when a “Delivery is Required”
In instances where “Delivery” assistance is required (i.e. when items to be purchased by client at Salvos Stores are large) the ER Worker completing the Salvos Store voucher must include a “delivery request” as part of the “ITEMS” text.
Example:
ITEM: Furniture (including delivery) and any other items as selected by the customer.

 

Increasing voucher dollar value to include delivery

 

When ER workers request delivery they must also increase the Value of the voucher to include the nominated cost of the item PLUS an additional $40 to cover delivery costs.
DATE Date of client attendance at the CSS/ER site.
VOUCHER ISSUED BY:  Name of ER worker who has issued the Salvos Store voucher.
TELEPHONE: CSS/ER site telephone number.
ISSUED TO:  Clients Name as recorded in SAMIS

CUSTOMER SIGNATURE (At time of issue)

ER Worker MUST ensure that the client signs the voucher prior to removing voucher from voucher book.

CUSTOMER SIGNATURE (At time of purchase)

This field is to be left blank by ER workers (it is for completion at Salvos Stores at time of purchase.

It is recommended that all ER Workers highlight the following procedural elements to clients:-  

No Change if Voucher is not fully used.

Salvos Stores vouchers are a “one use only” voucher.  Meaning that if there is an unused amount after the client has completed their shopping (and they cannot find anything else in the store to use up this unused amount) any unused funds will be forfeited.   

Expiry Date of Voucher

Salvos Stores Vouchers are only valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

Delivery considerations

Please discuss any delivery requirements with the client at time of writing voucher.  If a delivery request has not been included in the ITEMS field of the Salvos Stores voucher and a delivery is required, the client must organise their own delivery and pay any delivery fees directly to their contractor.

Errors at time of completion of the Voucher.

During issuing of voucher - if an ER worker identifies that they have incorrectly completed the voucher (i.e. made a mistake in amount etc), the voucher must be discarded and a new voucher written up.  

The process to be followed for vouchers with errors is as follows: 

  • The incorrect voucher must be cancelled two lines must be drawn across the voucher with the words “Cancelled” written clearly between the lines.    
  • The cancelled voucher is to be folded in half and left in the book (as a record for Audit purposes).
  • Replacement voucher is then written-up.


Please Note:  The bottom of the Salvos Stores voucher states: “Any alternation to the voucher will render the voucher void”  meaning that if a client presents an altered voucher at a Salvos Store it will not be accepted.  

ER Workers Discretionary Limits re. Salvos Stores Vouchers.

Question What is the maximum amount of Salvos Stores Assistance that an ER Worker can offer without need to seek approval from their Manger/Team Leader?
Answer ER workers have discretionary limit approval to offer a client they are assisting Salvos Stores assistance up to a value of $300.
Question What is the process if an ER worker identified a need to provide Salvos Stores assistance to a level greater than $300.
Answer. If Salvos Stores voucher assistance over $300 is identified the ER worker is required to seek Manager/Team Leader/CO approval prior to providing.

Please Note: If increased assistance is approved – both the ER worker and the Manager/Team leader must sign the VOUCHER ISSUED BY: ………field.

Please refer to Item 2.5.7 Client Assistance Guidelines for ER Workers - ER Worker Discretionary Assistance ($) Limits.

Prior Contact with Salvos Stores for vouchers over $300.

If ER worker has gained approval to provide a Salvos Stores Voucher in excess of $300  they must also contact the nominated Salvos Store to advise as follows:

  • Confirm that the specific items that have been identified as being required (i.e. mattresses) are available at the Salvos Store.  
  • Provide confirmation that a voucher exceeding $300 has been approved so that  Salvos Stores staff are aware of that a “high dollar value” voucher is going to be presented.

Salvos Stores Voucher assistance exceeding $1,000.  

In instances where an exceptionally high level of assistance is identified as being required it is mandatory that the ER worker obtain approval from their Manager/Team Leader/CO approval prior to providing.   In these instances the Worker and Approver’s name must be recorded on the Voucher at the VOUCHER ISSUED BY: ………field.

 Please refer to Item 2.5.7 Client Assistance Guidelines for ER Workers
- ER Worker Discretionary Assistance ($) Limits.

 It is highlighted that in instance where the assistance level is approved to exceed $1,000 then 2 vouchers will need to be issued as a single Salvos Store voucher cannot exceed $999. 

Salvos Stores Voucher Books -  Two versions in use.

ER workers are advised that throughout 2016 and early 2017 two versions of Salvos Stores Voucher books will be in use:  

  • Existing Version Salvos Stores Voucher Book  - Triplicate
  • New version of Salvos Stores Vouchers book is printed in “Duplicate” form.

The new version of the Salvos Stores voucher book has been printed with slightly revised layout plus it now printed in “Duplicate” format.
Please note: Both versions of the Salvos Stores Voucher book (triplicate and duplicate) are valid for use and will be redeemable at Salvos Stores during the transition period. 

Secure Storage of Salvos Stores Vouchers.

Question Where should Salvos Store Voucher books be stored?
Answer Any current and unused Salvos Stores voucher books MUST be stored in the site/centre safe along with all other vouchers.
Question What should sites do with completed Salvos Stores voucher books.
Answer Completed Salvos Stores voucher books are to be retained at the site (with all other mandatory records) and must be made available when requested for Audit purposes. These books must be retained for a minimum period of 7 years.

Security reminder:
When using Salvos Stores voucher book all ER workers must ensure that the book is not left unattended on a desk and/or bench or anywhere in open view where it is potentially accessible to loss or theft.

Best practice:
If required to leave office at any point whilst using the book it should be placed in lockable desk draw or file cabinet out of public view.

Miscellaneous Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: Can TSA ER Sites use Salvos Stores Vouchers to purchase supplies for ER sites (ie. Tissues)
Answer No: Salvos Stores Vouchers cannot be used to purchase supplies for ER Site usage. Salvos Stores vouchers can only be used for “Client Assistance” purposes.
Question Can an ER worker issue more than one voucher to a client on the same day (i.e. Client needs to go to 2 Salvos Stores to access the required items)?
Answer Yes, multiple vouchers can be issued to a client on the same day.
Please note: The ER workers discretionary limit still applies if the total of the multiple vouchers exceeds $300 then Manager/Team Leader approval is required.

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2.6.8 TSA Thrift Shop Assistance for ER Clients

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: √

What is a TSA Thrift Shop and how is it different from a Salvos Store? 

The Salvation Army has a number of Thrift Shops across Australia that sell donated items including pre-loved clothes, bric-a-brac, and furniture. TSA Thrift shops are predominantly located in outer metropolitan sites or country towns. 

TSA Thrift shops are run by TSA local corps. The management and staffing of a TSA Thrift shop is determined by the local corps officers under the guidance of the respective division DHQ with volunteers being the primary staffing cohort. 

TSA Thrift shops are not part of the Salvos Stores network of retail outlets.

The operations of TSA Thrift shops are guided by TSA minute TRO 0413, which incorporate guidelines on the level of support that TSA Thrift shops will contribute to increase the support options available to the associated  CSS/ER site’s ER clients.

This support is reflected in direct client ER assistance provided in  the form of TSA Thrift shop vouchers (paper based vouchers).  These are allocated to the associated CSS/ER site for distribution to ER clients, as an additional ER support option within the range of ER assistance types.  

Site processes re. TSA Thrift shop vouchers

  • Annual Thrift shop dollar value allocation to the CSS/ER site is determined by the CO in consultation with the respective DHQ and in line with the specifications of the TSA minute.
  • Thrift shop vouchers are required to be sequentially numbered and printed, usually with a per voucher value of $20.
  • Thrift Shop voucher weekly/daily spend limits (calculated based on annual $ allocation) are recorded into the site operations guide.
  • ER workers are required to pre-load the Thrift shop vouchers into  SAMIS.
  • The level of client Thrift shop assistance offered is determined by the identified needs of the client– ER workers can provide “multiple”  $20 Thrift shop vouchers if the assessment deems appropriate. 
  • Thrift shop vouchers are subject to voucher security, storage and handling guidelines at point 2.8.2.

Usage of Thrift Shop vouchers by ER Clients.

  • The desired outcome of provision of a Thrift shop voucher is that the client may be able to purchase needed household goods or cloths at a reduced cost thus being able to direct available cash to the payment of other pressing bills and or food.
  • Even though the above desired outcome sits behind the distribution of Thrift shop vouchers it is highlighted that NO conditions on usage can be specified when providing a Thrift shop voucher to a client.  
  • The client can purchase any item at the designated Thrift shop using the voucher up to the designated value of the voucher.
  • The point of sale procedures at a Thrift shop for ER clients presenting with Thrift shop vouchers is identical to any other customer shopping at the Thrift shop and making a payment with cash.
  • ER workers and clients are required to sign the TSA Thrift shop voucher at point of issue.
  • Clients are required to sign the TSA Thrift shop voucher at point of redemption.


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2.6.9 Telstra Bill Assist Vouchers

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: √

WHAT IS THE TELSTRA BILL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (TBAP)?

Telstra’s bill assistance program (TBAP) is a Telstra initiative to help Telstra’s customers who are experiencing a financial crisis and are unable to pay their Telstra bill.

This assistance is distributed on Telstra’s behalf by selected community agencies (TSA being one of the selected agencies).  

How are TBAP supports allocated to TSA?

  • Telstra distribute TBAP certificates to the participating community organisations on a financial year basis 1 July to 30 June.
  • TBAP allocations to The Salvation Army are sent directly to the respective divisional headquarters. 
  • TSA divisional headquarters determine the allocations to be distributed to the CSS/ER sites across their division.

How do TSA ER workers assess who should be given TBAP assistance.

ER workers have the opportunity to offer this additional assistance to any disadvantaged client presenting for ER assistance – if they have a Telstra bill and meet the Telstra assistance eligibility criteria.

Telstra Bill Assist Guidelines.

Telstra have developed very specific and helpful Telstra Bill Assist Guidelines, to support all ER workers in the correct procedures and client eligibility to receive this support.

Please see Section 5:  Appendices:  For a printable version of the Telstra Bill Assistance Guidelines

These guidelines cover:

  • Who can apply for TBAP assistance?
  • How do you assess an application?
  • When can Certificates be used?
  • What about a disconnected service or a debt that has been referred to a collection agency?
  • What is the maximum assistance amount.
  • What if a customer is applying for maximum assistance or more than once?
  • What to look for on a Telstra bill when assessing an application.
  • How to remit certificates. 


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2.6.10 OneSight Vouchers

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: √

What is OneSight
The Salvation Army is one of a number of community providers who has been offered the opportunity to distribute vision assistance (access to glasses) under the OneSight Program.   

Gaining access to this assistance type.
The respective TSA divisional headquarters have the responsibility of approving which CSS/ER sites will have access to this program.  

Approved sites are given access to web based user portal.  All assistances are recorded both in SAMIS for TSA records and in the OneSight portal.  The entry into the portal activates generation of a voucher.

About the Program.
OneSight Australia and OneSight New Zealand are part of a global charity, founded by the Luxottica Group, that is committed to providing access and affordability to world class eyewear and eye care for people regardless of their circumstances.

OneSight work with Luxottica companies, OPSM and Laubman and Pank to provide vision testing and free eyewear to those who are not able to access this through traditional government programs (such as the Medical Aid Subsidy Scheme).  Assistance through the Medical Aid Subsidy Scheme services should be explored prior to provision of a OneSight  vision voucher.  

Eligibility and conditions.
OneSight acknowledges that its community partners are best placed to identify clients of the program, so they leave it to their discretion to decide on when it is appropriate to distribute vision vouchers.  However the program has its limitations, so they rely on the community partners to professionally and appropriately select clients in need who will most benefit from this program.

There is a limit of 1 vision voucher per client in a 12 month period.  Vouchers are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Please Note:
The OneSight program does not allow upgrades.  If a person can afford to purchase a more expensive pair of frames or lenses (such as transitions) by ‘paying the difference’ they would be able to afford a basic pair of glasses, and are not the demographic the program is designed for.   There will however be certain circumstances where a frame or lens is required and falls outside the specified range.  This is usually due to significant eye health issues and the final decision will be made in consultation with the patient at the discretion of the optometrists.

If a client holds private health insurance they should not be considered for this program.

 

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2.6.11 Single House Burnout Assistance

How is a Single House Burnout ER Assistance different from EDA assistance within a “Large Scale Disaster”.   

TSA Minute AXC ATTACH 3 and EDA Minute (see Section 4.2 – Related Policies) covers procedures for both “Single House Burnout” assistance and Large Scale Disasters.  Assistance for both activities is provided by issuing a “disaster relief card”.  Delivery of this assistance must be undertaken in accordance with the Minute.

The difference is where assistance is recorded in SAMIS:-

  • In a Single House Burnout event the assistance provided can be recorded within the sites ER SAMIS Centre. 
  • In a Large Scale Disaster event (i.e. multiple disaster assistances from one event) it is required that a separate New Disaster Specific SAMIS Centre is set up by the SAMIS team to record all assistance related to this event. 


ER Worker Guidance on Processing Single House Burnout Assistance

ER workers must refer any client presenting for assistance related to a “single house burnout” directly to the manager, CO or team leader.  

Formal approval of provision of assistance is required from the relative DHQ before any confirmation of assistance is advised to the client.

Extract from Minute:   Instructions:  Corps, Centre and THQ/DHQ Disaster Relief Staff
It is required of the local TSA representative in the case of an Individual House Burnout to:

1.  Seek divisional leadership approval of the proposal to issue the EDA grant and disaster relief card based on the client’s circumstances. This will include reporting:

  • The name and address of the client
  • The number of personnel affected by the burnout and the proposed EDA grant entitlement
  • The account number of the disaster relief card to be issued so that the approved funds can be loaded and the card made active by divisional staff (usually the divisional accountant).

2.  Entering the assistance approved by the Divisional Secretary or Divisional Social Programme Secretary in the SAMIS system.

Assistance Process is guided by the following specific minutes and documents.

Please note:  

Some of these Minutes have attachments that must also be opened and used.  i.e. Letter to be given to the client which provides “guidelines for use of the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Card” is an attachment to minute AXC ATTACH 3. 

AXC 0413 Authority For Expenditure - Salvation Army Pre-Paid Debit Cards
AXC ATTACH 3 Procedures For The Issuance And Use Of TSA Disaster Relief Cards
EDA Emergency Relief For Emergency Affected Persons

Actions: Following DHQ approval of single house burnout assistance

 

ER workers are provided with confirmation that a “house burnout assistance” has been approved for the client (including the level of assistance granted by DHQ).

Assistance is processed using all standard ER client registration and assistance forms and subsequent recording of  this client registration and assistance (House Burnout Assistance) in the sites SAMIS ER centre.

General Information – re. Single House Burnout Assistance.

The assistance is provided by a Salvation Army disaster relief card (EDA) which is a pre-paid visa debit card.

The value of the card will be confirmed by DHQ.   The actual amount will vary as assistance allocated is based on the family structure of the people impacted by the single house burnout. The allocation is based on:

  • Adults $500 each
  • Children $125 each.

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2.6.12 Christmas Cheer Client Assistance

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes √

A separate allocation of TSA Mission Support Funding (MSF) and donated material aid items are allocated by THQ to all AUS divisions to provide additional support options for people accessing TSA CSS/ER sites over the Christmas period.  In some divisions the assistance provided is divided up between Christmas Cheer in December and provision of “Back to School” assistance throughout the month of January.   

 

Allocation of specific levels of Christmas Cheer funding by site is a divisional responsibility.

The additional Christmas Cheer support for ER clients is delivered in multiple forms:

  • Vouchers Coles/Myer – Kmart
    (Please note: All TSA ER client vouchers are barred (will not process) point of sale purchases of cigarettes or alcohol).
  • Christmas hampers
  • Presents for children and young adults.

CSS/ER sites are to be guided by their division on Christmas Cheer distribution practice.   The extremely different divisional geographic coverage, site locations and client densities dictate that Christmas Cheer distribution will be different from division to division. 

Standard practice that is the same for all divisions is as follows:

  • Clients are invited to complete a Christmas Cheer registration form.
  • A date and location for collection of Christmas Cheer is advised to the client.
  • All assistance provided under Christmas Cheer is entered under the client registration details under designated SAMIS Christmas Cheer client assistance category. 


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2.6.13 Assistance - Local Merchant Vouchers

 

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes √

There are a number of situations where the standard selection of vouchers are not applicable to meet the needs of clients presenting at CSS/ER centres. Examples being:

  • No Coles or Woolsworth stores in the area.
  • Local high presenting need for pharmacy assistance.
  • Local high presenting need for access to fresh produce/meat. 
  • No Caltex garage (petrol station) in the local town or immediate area.

 

In these circumstances the best solution may be to set up a “Local Merchant Account” with a local supplier. 

Please Note: 

  1. It is recommended in all instances for CSS/ER site managers to gain their respective divisional headquarters approval prior to the establishment of local merchant arrangements.    This approval may also involve the setting of an annual spend limit.
  2. Any local merchant arrangements must include clear instructions that all TSA ER client vouchers are barred from allowing point of sale purchases of cigarettes or alcohol.

Procedure to Set up Local Merchant Account.

Initial steps:

  • Gain DHQ written approval to establish a local merchant account.
  • Contact potential local merchants to establish a relationship and set up a monthly account system.  

Clarification of details of Local Merchant Account. 

The following activities need to be discussed, agreed and confirmed in writing with the local merchant prior to commencement of assistance.

  • Confirm with local merchant the fixed value of voucher  i.e. Vouchers to be set at fixed  denominations,  i.e. $6.00 for pharmacy,  $10.00 for petrol.
  • Provide advice to both clients and merchants that local merchant  vouchers can only  be redeemed in full – no credits for unused amounts offered;  voucher is a “one use only” -  any unused amount is automatically forfeited.
  • If ER assessment identifies a high level of client need – it is possible that multiple (e.g. 3 x $10 vouchers) can be allocated to an individual client.
  • Sites will provide local merchant voucher – personalised to the selected local merchant. 

Please note:  Please contact your Divisional Headquarters to access a standard merchant voucher template. This template can be customised to your site and can clearly display the name/address of the selected local merchant.

Tip: THQ Audit Department recommended that colored paper be used when printing vouchers to reduce the possibility of vouchers being duplicated (i.e. photocopied).

  • Sites to prepare a separate voucher book (using template above) for each approved local merchant.  
  • Vouchers must be individually sequentially numbered  -recommended that this numbering system includes a prefix that identifies the local merchant.   i.e.  Voucher Number “Chem. 001”  or “Fuel 001”
  • Vouchers to be preloaded into SAMIS (see point 2.8.1.)
  • Once voucher books have been created they must be stored in safe as per management and security of vouches procedure outlined at point 2.8.2.
  • Monthly statement/account to be submitted to CSS/ER site by local merchant. 
  • Site to process payment of local merchant monthly account in a timely manner.
  • ER assessment workers to be informed of the maximum monthly spend (dollar (s) in relation to vouchers issued for any local merchant accounts.
  • CSS/ER site to provide local merchant with a phone contact point at site to address any urgent questions that may arise when voucher is presented.
  • Recommended that a monthly reconciliation of issued vouchers to the monthly statement/account forwarded by local merchant. 

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2.6.14 Assistance Advice - Restricted usage of Cheques to provide ER Client assistance 

 

TSA are progressively phasing out the usage of cheques as a means of providing CSS/ER client assistance. TSA are transitioning to a new system where CSS/ER staff use a Centre Imprest card to make a direct payment (EFT) to the designated service provider (ie. Utilities company) instead of making out a payment via cheque. Please see  point 2.8.4. for information to guide sites on usage of Centre Imprest cards.

 

 

It is recognised that sites will need to retain an active Social Program cheque  account  to address situations which a direct EFT payment is not possible.  For example in many cases a client support assistance to a real-eastate agent can only be made by cheque.    However, it is stressed that ER assistance support by “cheque” should only be used as a “last resort”.

Mandatory Procedures for use of cheques (in cases where support cannot be provided via use of Imprest Card)

It is acknowledged that some ER workers may have no previous experience in making payments by cheque. Accordingly the following mandatory procedures are provided to guide this process:

Evidence required for payment of ER assistance by cheque:
It is an Audit mandatory requirement that copies of accounts (provided as evidence for assistance) MUST retain all client identification information i.e. The clients name, address and account number cannot be crossed out / covered.
Cheques must be made out to the name of the service provider  (i.e. utilities company).
The $$ amount of the cheque must be written in “words and figures” in the designated spaces on the cheque.
The ER worker must also record full cheque details on the “stub” of the cheque book. This includes – amount – the payee.  Plus the client name and SAMIS code and the names of authorized signatories.
Cheques must be crossed (two scored lines across the middle of the cheque with words “not negotiable” written between the lines.
Under NO circumstances can a cheque be made out to “Cash”.
Under NO circumstances can ER managers/workers sign a “blank cheque”.
All TSA ER client assistance cheques must be signed by two “authorised” staff.
Cheques should only be signed by the authorising persons on seeing and reviewing the documentation relating to the cheque.
The copy of the evidence documentation must be forwarded with the reimbursement documentation to the person/centre that undertakes issuing of cheques and/or authorising of payment using cheques for your site.
Please note: Sites are to record the process applicable to their site (including name of designated person responsible for issuing of cheques) in their Site Operations Guide.
For additional information on evidence required - see point 2.5.2 Staff Alert 8 : ER Assistances where clients must provide Documentation (Evidence).
Authorised signatories for cheques are reminded to review “Minute BAN”, which outlines the operation of a cheque account and the rights and responsibilities of bank signatories.
Cheque Book Security and Storage
When not being used the CSS/ER site cheque book must be stored in a locked safe. (Safe must be bolted to a wall or floor surface).
Security reminder: When using cheque book all ER workers must ensure that the cheque book is not left unattended on a desk and/or bench or anywhere in open view where it is potentially accessible to loss or theft.

Best practice:
If required to leave office at any point whilst using the cheque book it should be placed in lockable desk draw or file cabinet out of public view.


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2.7 Other Reportable ER Assistance Types

- 2.7.1 Referral - Internal / External 
- 2.7.2 Client Referral Form
- 2.7.3 Referral Process - (Doorways Integrated ER Service Delivery Model)
- 2.7.4 Referral to ER Case Management
- 2.7.5 Referrals to Financial Counselling (Internal and External)
- How to find a Financial Counsellor (External Referral)
- When is it Mandatory for TSA ER workers to refer a client to a Financial Counsellor
- 2.7.6 Referrals to NILS (No Interest Loans) - Internal and External
- 2.7.7 Postive Life Style Program - Internal Referral
- 2.7.8 Advoacy - ER Assistance
- 2.7.9 Information and Advice - ER Assistance
- 2.7.10 Education and Training - ER Assistance Provision
- 2.7.11 Community Capacity Building ER Assistance
- 2.7.12 Recording of Turn-away and Unment Need in ER Delivery
- 2.7.13 TSA Responses to Large Scale Disasters

Historically material aid was the most common form of ER assistance provided and included in reporting (SAMIS)

More contemporary ER assistance is focused on the wrap around support being provided to clients and capturing and reporting of these activities in addition to the material aid provided.  

This section of the handbook concentrates on building knowledge and awareness of the critical areas of ER assistance as detailed below.

  • Referral
  • Information and advice
  • Advocacy
  • Education and training
  • Community capacity building. 


2.7.1 Referral - Internal / External 

Referring clients to additional support options is a critical function of ER and ER intensive assistance.   

The standard ER intake assessment or material aid assistance assessment will often result in the identification of a range of factors impacting on the client over and above the presenting issue.  Some matters raised by the client may fall into the ER assistance categories; however many require a referral to a specialist service provider.

Referral Actions:

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes
  • ER workers must complete a ER client referral form with details of every referral suggested for client support.
  • SAMIS data entry: ER workers (and case managers) must record every client referral they make in SAMIS.

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2.7.2 Client Referral Form

A standard CSS/ER client referral form has been developed for use at all CSS/ER sites. This form has been designed to guide and inform the client referral process.  

Action:
A template of the client referral form is available at Section 5: Forms, Templates and Appendices of this handbook.   This template has been provided as a “word” document to enable sites to include “name and address” of site. It is recommended that after customising to site, the form be saved as a PDF to safeguard the integrity of the content

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2.7.3 Referral Process - (Doorways Integrated ER Service Delivery Model)

The Doorways Integrated Service Delivery model (see point 2.4.9)  provides a clear representation of the multiple referral options available to ER workers.  It also highlights the absolute imperative for ER workers to build knowledge on the internal and external services within their local communities (and beyond), so that they are well placed to connect their clients to the most appropriate service.

Referral to case management, financial counselling, PLP, NILS  and local corps community activities are often the first level of referral.  In addition ER workers need to build knowledge (and relationships) to be able to provide “warm” referrals to other local services ie. Family Domestic Violence, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Housing and Homelessness, Youth Services, Family Related Services etc. to ensure they are making appropriate referral and to ensure that they can provide the client with clear advice about the referral being proposed. 

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2.7.4 Referral to ER Case Management 

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

Doorways Case Management is an innovation of The Salvation Army, it is not a standard ER assistance provided across other DSS funded ER providers. 

Not all TSA CSS/ER sites have access to a Doorways case manager.  The referral option below is targeted to sites that do have CM availability.

Referral pathways - ER to Doorways Case Manager.

The most common referral to Doorways case management is likely to come from a TSA ER worker who has through their support of ER clients identified complex underlying issues that go beyond the range of supports offered through ER material aid and ER intensive assistance. 

Procedure:
When ER workers determine that a referral to a Doorways case manager is the best possible option for a client they are working with the steps they should follow are as follows:

  • Discuss option for additional assistance via a referral to Doorways case management with the client.  
  • Confirm with the client that he/she would like to take up this option.
  • Organise an appointment time/date for client to see CM.  If possible arrange for face to face introduction of CM to client during this phase.
  • Provide client with a referral form (which includes details of appointment).

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2.7.5 Referrals to Financial Counselling (Internal and External)

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

ER workers are encouraged to refer clients who present with complex financial issues to a financial counsellor.  This type of referral is an example of activation of a critical early intervention strategy.  TSA research has identified that the best outcomes will be achieved for the client experiencing debt related financial stress, if they are connected to a financial counsellor as early as possible in their debt spiral experience.

Financial counselling services are in high demand.  This often results in clients seeking FC services needing to go on a waiting list for an appointment  which reinforces the need to provide a referral early in contact cycle with the client.

The Salvation Army has a number of FC services across the country; however, not every TSA CSS/ER site will have access to an onsite financial counselling services.   If your site does not have access to an internal financial counsellor you are encouraged to find FC services in your local area and build relationship with these services so that you can make external FC referrals for your clients.

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How to find a Financial Counsellor (External Referral)

Financial counselling are free support services provided by not for profit organisations (DSS funded and or State funded) across Australia.  

ER workers seeking to connect with a local financial counselling service can go to the Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) website which has a search function to locate FC services across Australia. Web address: http://www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au/corporate/find-a-counsellor

The other FC referral option available is the Financial Counselling Telephone Helpline. This is a national telephone helpline service accessed by dialing 1800 007007 (same number in any state).  Clients calling this number will be connected to a financial counsellor in their state.  

In South Australia the FC Telephone Helpline service is delivered by The Salvation Army. In other states of Australia this service is delivered by a range of other community service providers. 

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When is it Mandatory for TSA ER workers to refer a client to a Financial Counsellor

ER workers MUST refer a client to a financial counsellor immediately in instances where the client needs assistance with financial distress related to “Credit” transactions. Specifically an ER worker cannot provide any advice or assistance to clients to address credit/debt related matters such as:

  • Loans of any kind e.g., personal loans, car Loans, mortgages etc. with banks, credit Institutions or payday lendors,
  • Credit card debt  (can often involve debt related to  multiple credit cards held by client)
  • Store credit (buy now pay later credit arrangements).

It is a legislative requirement, under the Australia Credit Protection Act 2009 and ASIC Corporations Act 2001, that credit related advice and assistance for TSA ER clients can only be provided by staff who meet the ASIC licensing exemption mandated qualification levels.   Within The Salvation Army qualified financial counsellors are the only people who can provide credit related (debt) advice and assistance for TSA clients.  If a TSA ER worker were to provide credit related advice to an ER client they would put The Salvation Army in breach of the above Acts, which could put at risk TSA’s ability to provide financial counselling assistance into the future.

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2.7.6 Referrals to NILS (No Interest Loans) - Internal and External

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

What is NILS?

The NO INTEREST LOAN SCHEME (NILS) provides individuals and families on a low income access to safe, fair and affordable credit.

The unique aspect to NILS is that there are:

NO FEES    -      NO CHARGES    -     NO INTEREST

 NILS is an initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance, who have set up a network of over 650 NILS providers across Australia.   

Internal Referrals to NILS

Some TSA ER/CSS sites are approved to offer NILS services.  In these instances sites can undertake an internal referral to NILS services which may be at the same site or a TSA site in close proximity.

External Referrals to NILS.

TSA CSS/ER sites that do not deliver NILS are encouraged to refer clients to a local NILS service for assistance. To find a NILS provider for referral purposes go to the GoodShepherd NILS web page:

http://goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au/find-provider

More information about NILS.

Maximum loan amounts may vary, but credit can start from $300 up to $1200 for essential goods and services. Once your application is approved, repayments are set up at an affordable amount over a 12 to 18 months period.

With NILS, no credit checks are made as this is a program based on trust and respect.

Loans are generally requested for the purchase of essential goods and services.

These may include:

  • Household items like fridges, freezers, washing machines, stoves, clothes dryers and some furniture
  • Some medical and dental services
  • Educational essentials such as computers and text books
  • Some other items as requested.

The client eligibility guidelines in relation to NILS Loans are as follows:- 

The prospective NILS applicant (ER client) must:

  • Have a Health Care Card/Pension Card or be on a low income
  • Reside in their current premises for more than 3 months
  • Show a willingness and capacity to repay.
  • In certain circumstances, the community organisation may consider amending the eligibility criteria upon loan application. 


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2.7.7 Postive Life Style Program - Internal Referral

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

What is the Positive Lifestyle Program?

The Positive Lifestyle Program is a 10-module course used by hundreds of Salvation Army chaplains, counsellors and PLP facilitators throughout Australia.

PLP encourages participants to consider 10 aspects of their lives: self-awareness, anger, depression, stress, loneliness, grief and loss, problem solving, assertiveness, self-esteem and goal setting.

Referral to PLP

When is a referral to PLP likely to be suggested.

It is more likely that a referral to PLP will occur during a Doorways case management process; however, there are instances when an ER worker providing ER intensive assistance may suggest to a client the option of participating in PLP could be beneficial.

CM referrals to PLP

A referral to PLP is a valuable contribution to the Doorways case management process.   CMs often suggest PLP to clients as an interim step following achievement of first set of goals.   This provides valuable opportunity for clients to combine the active aspects of CM with a reflective practice drawn out through progressing through the 10 phases of the PLP program.

Accessing PLP

The preliminary steps to setting up a PLP referral option for clients at specific CSS/ER sites are as follows:

  1.  Check to see if there is a qualified PLP facilitator within staff at site or local corps.
  2. Liaise with the PLP facilitator to confirm:
  • Availability  (day/evening and frequency of availability)
  • Maximum concurrent referrals possible
  • Location of PLP sessions.

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2.7.8 Advoacy - ER Assistance

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

Provision of advocacy by ER workers on behalf of ER clients is one of the DSS ER reportable assistance items.

TSA ER workers undertake extensive advocacy on behalf of their clients; however, in many cases these assistance are not being recorded in SAMIS.  As a means of capturing this important service (and ensuring ER workers extensive work is acknowledged) detailed below is an overview of all aspects of provision of advocacy as a prompt to support ER workers with reporting.

 “Advocacy” refers to the efforts of an individual or group to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert the interests, desires, needs and rights of yourself or another person.

An advocate is . . . a person who speaks up for, and defends the rights of him or herself, or of another person.

Within TSA ER environments the Advocacy our ER workers undertake is often provision of support to clients who may:

  • Be feeling intimidated, confused or uninformed when dealing with external organisations or people i.e. utilities companies, real-estate agents – landlords, local government, centrelink, etc.
  • Have had negative interactions with utilities companies, real-estate agents landlords etc. resulting in very ineffective and unproductive relationships and would like to “start again” in developing a way forward.  

Provision of advocacy support can be any of the activities listed below.

  • Listening to the client’s concerns and helping them to find solutions
  • Provision of moral support
  • Phoning utilities hardship lines on behalf of client to discuss options available to the client which may include negotiation of payment plans
  • Attending meetings with clients as a support person.
  • Supporting clients to gather information they may need related to situations that are causing them concern or so they are better prepared to address and find an outcome.
  • Helping a client to write a letter, or write a letter on behalf of the client.
  • Helping a client to understand how best to work with complex organisations.
  • Assisting clients to be aware of their rights and options. 


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2.7.9 Information and Advice - ER Assistance 

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

An ER intake assessment or ER assistance  discussion with a client has two main goals:

  • Collecting information from the client so the ER worker can work out how best to assist the client.
  • Providing actual material aid assistance combined with the provision of a broad array of information to support the client. 

Recording “Information and Advice” in SAMIS 

ER workers have excellent skills in recording the material aid assistance they provide for clients; however the recording of provision of “Information and Advice” is very under reported which needs to be addressed because this service “IS” being provided.  

Reportable “Information and Advice” service delivery in ER.

A list of the types of Information ER workers provide (as part of normal client assistance) has been detailed below as a prompt to highlight that every time an ER worker discusses these topics below or similar with a client they should include  information and advice as an assistance in SAMIS.

Explaining Case Management services as an option the client could consider.
Explaining financial counselling services as an option the client could consider.
What other services are available at the site.
What other services are available in the local area
How to access other services in the local area.
How utilities hardship help lines work.
Supporting client to understand complex bills and payment deadlines i.e. utilities accounts.
Where they can access resources related to their presenting issues i.e. Financial Self Help Tools web page.

Where they can access free internet services (booking computers at library)

What other resources are available for them in the local area
What resources/activities may be available for their children either at the site or within the local community.
AND THE LIST GOES ON.

It is recommended that provision of “Information and Advice” examples and tips is listed as a topic at site Staff Meeting to increase level of awareness, understanding and reporting at every site. 

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2.7.10 Education and Training - ER Assistance Provision

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

ER workers often provide both education and training within an ER intensive assistance environment. Every time an ER worker assists a client with development of a budget they are providing both “education and training”.   

As a guide, listed below are a range of activities currently undertaken by ER workers and CMs, which could be appropriately recorded as provision of education and training assistance.  

Assisting a client to develop a basic budget
Supporting a client with development of basic computer skills (this may be an activity undertaken by a skilled volunteer at your site)
Guiding a client on job interview techniques.
Increasing clients’ digital literacy skills –internet, mobiles, other devices.
Increasing clients’ financial literacy skills – paying bills on line, accessing centrelink statements.
Cooking for a family on a budget – one to one assistance (this may be an activity undertaken by a volunteer at your site).
Basic carpentry repair skills – mens’ shed activity

The above is only an example, there are many other “Education and Training” assistances being provided for clients accessing ER and it is important that the work TSA ER workers are undertaking is being reported and acknowledged. 

Resources for internal Education and Training

You’re the Boss

The TSA “You’re the Boss” workbook is an excellent resource for ER workers to guide financial literacy education and training sessions with ER clients.

A copy of this resource is available at section 5 of this handbook.

Financial Self Help Tools

For more digital literate clients the resources available in the TSA “Financial Self Help Tools” web page may be more appropriate. This site links to multiple resources, templates, budgets and guides.

Education and Training – Group Sessions

ER workers are encouraged to capture any group training sessions delivered at their sites in SAMIS.

Example:  
Personal development – confidence building  - positive thinking skills.

Referrals to short courses at community houses  

Recording of referrals of clients to local Community House or Neighborhood house activities can fall into one of three categories.

  • Education and training.  
  • Standard referral  
  • Community capacity building.  

ER workers need to consider the type of activity being undertaken by the client to determine the best reporting category. 

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2.7.11 Community Capacity Building ER Assistance

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

The integration of CSS/ER sites with corps provides multiple positive options to connect ER clients to activities which come under the DSS assistance category of “Community Capacity Building”.

Changed Practice:
Many ER workers have a long practice history of connecting ER clients to corps community programs as an automatic response to identified need.  However, in many cases this practice did not include recording this as an activity or referral within SAMIS.   

Ensuring that this client support is captured is critical into the future as it is a clear example of the unique and extensive array of ER assistance being provided by TSA ER workers. 

Capturing this data ensures that the good work of TSA ER workers and corps folk is reflected, reported and recognised in TSA SAMIS reports and DSS DEX ER reports.

The table below is provided as a prompt of the range of corps community engagement activities that could be considered for ER clients under the assistance type of community capacity building.

Community Meals Mothers Groups Playgroups
Homework Clubs Mens  Shed Community Gardens
Childrens Music Programs. Companion Clubs
(mature age)
Cooking Classes
Craft Workshops Literacy Supports Community Choir
Chaplaincy Mens Groups Coffee Clubs
Youth Groups School Breakfast Programs.  

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2.7.12 Recording of Turn-away and Unment Need in ER Delivery 

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

The reporting of ER turnaway clients and capture of unmet need is a critical element of identifying client demand trends to inform where resources need to be directed.  However, capture of this information is presenting considerable challenges for ER workers at TSA CSS/ER sites, primarily as there is confusion as to what constitutes a turnaway and unmet need episode.  

The following SAMIS definitions and examples have been included in this handbook to provide clarity around this complex issue to support ER workers to feel more confident in accurately capturing this information in SAMIS.

  • A turn-away is when a person requesting assistance, is not assisted in any significant way on the day they make the enquiry.
  • Unmet need is the identification of inability to provide a requested assistance type during an ER assistance meeting with a SAMIS registered client, confirming that requested assistance  could not be provided at the time of request.

Example of turn-away
Occasions where no ER assessment and no assistance was provided for the client on the day of enquiry due to:

  • No available appointments with an ER worker.
  • Insufficient resources available to support client that day. 

Please Note: 
A turn-away client can be both an unregistered TSA ER client and an registered TSA ER client.
 

Example of unmet need
Occasions where an ER assessment was undertaken but the request was outside the scope of ER assistance and/or there were insufficient resources available to meet the client assistance request.

Please Note:
Where the client has requested a number of assistance types but only part can be provided, and the remainder is not available or outside scope of ER delivery an Unmet Need – Within a case should be recorded in SAMIS.  
 

Incidence of over reporting of turn-away records.
Analysis of current SAMIS reports has identified that there is confusion at some sites where clients who have been offered a casual assistance i.e. food parcel, (i.e. a level of assistance has been provided) are still being incorrectly recorded as a turn-away.

It is highlighted that if an ER worker provides food or a  referral to a client asking for an assistance that is not available at the specific site, then this is no longer classified as a turn-away recordable  episode.

Extract – ER client assistance form.
The table below is included at the base of the ER client assistance form. It is provided to support workers in clarifying incidence of unmet need.  If the site cannot provide the assistance but refers the client to a provider who can respond to their request, the support should not be recorded as unmet need, but it should be recorded as a Referral.

Unmet Need:   Referral Recorded SAMIS Unmet need Entry
Assistance requested Could Not Provide (Select Reason)    
  No resources. (unmet need)  
  No resources – referral made  
  Outside Scope of ER  (unmet need)  
  Outside Scope of ER - referral made.    

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2.7.13 TSA Responses to Large Scale Disasters

SAMIS Data Entry Required?
SAMIS: Yes

Emergency Relief sites are often called on to support TSA responses to Large Scale Disasters, however it is highlighted that Large Scale Disaster Response is not a reportable TSA Emergency Relief Activity.  

Alert: 
Separate Specific Cost Centre and SAMIS Centre required for Large Scale Disaster Events.

Large scale disaster events need to have a separate specific cost centre and SAMIS centre created to monitor and record all disaster relief cards (EDA cards) distributed to impacted persons (multiple people impacted by the specific disaster event). 

Creation of a specific cost centre SAMIS centre for each large disaster event is critical to the ability to map and report on the assistance provided.   Ability to “silo” assistance directly provided to people during a particular large disaster event, within its own separate cost centre and SAMIS Centre is the only means of ensuring the integrity and completeness of the data.

What activates a TSA Response to a Large Scale Disaster.
Any formal TSA response to a large scale disaster event is predicated on TSA AUS Leadership formally advising THQ Social Programme Dept. and the respective division that a disaster event has been declared.  This advice is accompanied by an advice of the level of funding that has been allocated to the division to respond. 

The formal advice from TSA AUS Leadership  activates implementation of TSA procedures to respond to large disaster events which are clearly outlined in the following TSA minutes:


AXC 0413
Authority For Expenditure - Salvation Army Pre-Paid Debit Cards
AXC ATTACH 3 Procedures For The Issuance And Use Of TSA
Disaster Relief Cards
EDA Emergency Relief For Emergency Affected Person

Please note:

These Minutes have attachments that must be read in conjunction with the minute. i.e. One of the attachments to AXC ATTACH 3 is a letter to be given to the client explaining the guidelines for use of the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Card.

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2.8 Management and Monitoring of ER Sites

- Vouchers
- 2.8.1 Voucher Management - Pre-loading Vouchers/Gift Cards on SAMIS
- 2.8.2 ER Voucher (Gift Card) Handling, Storage and Security
- Site Management
- 2.8.3 Minimum Site Open Hours
- Site Open Hours - Best Practice - Access and Equity
- 2.8.4 Establishment of Site Weekly/Daily Spend Limits
- 2.8.5 Use of Centre Imprest Cards for ER Assistance Payments
- 2.8.6 Purchased and Donated Food Guidelines
- 2.8.7 Mandatory Monthly Site Performance Monitoring
- Financial Monitoring
- 2.8.8 Recommended SAMIS Report to Monitor CS/ER Site Performance
- 2.8.9 Setting up a CSS/ER Site Key Register
- 2.8.10 Staff Police Checks and Working with Children Checks
- 2.8.11 Working with Children Checks (WWCC)
- 2.8.11 Mandatory Reporting and TSA Reporting Child Abuse Policy 

Vouchers

2.8.1 Voucher Management - Pre-loading Vouchers/Gift Cards on SAMIS

Voucher functionality in SAMIS is a feature to:

  • Provide an efficient avenue to record all vouchers with $Value
  • Provide a reliable reporting tool especially at audit time
  • Prevent the ad hoc error in entering wrong voucher numbers and/or amounts

SAMIS team have provided a “User Guide” to support pre-loading of gift cards and vouchers”, for ER workers.  This user guide is available via the SAMIS homepage.  

Open SAMIS home page, select the “help” tab (top right of screen) then select “information” from the drop-down menu to access this user guide and other relevant worker supports. 

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2.8.2 ER Voucher (Gift Card) Handling, Storage and Security 

Voucher Handling.  
This guideline for voucher handling storage and security covers every voucher that has a dollar ($) value, the full range of voucher types can be found under section 2.6 of this handbook.    

Please note: Your site may not have access to the full range of vouchers – you should refer to your “Site Operations Guide” to confirm vouchers available at your site. 

Voucher Handling All vouchers/gift cards must be loaded into SAMIS immediately on receipt at the Site.
Refer to SAMIS guide (see 2.8.1 above)  to be clear on which serial numbers need to be recorded when preloading.
Recommendation that  sites order no more than 1 months forward supply of vouchers to hold as stock on hand.
Voucher Storage and Security All ER vouchers at the CSS site must be stored securely in a locked safe
Safe must be bolted to a wall or floor surface.
Under NO circumstances can vouchers be taken home by staff as a means of secure storage. This puts the staff member at risk and is a breach of the voucher storage and security guidelines.
Spare key and safe combination must be separately located, the decision on location to be agreed in consultation with divisional headquarters.
DHQ must retain a record of location of spare keys and safe combinations.
Limited staff should have access to the safe (indicatively CO and CSS Manager).
Daily quota of vouchers to be provided to ER assessor at beginning of ER work day. ER assessor to securely store daily vouchers allocation in locked draw or locked filing cabinet.
Vouchers should not be left on desks and/or benches or anywhere in open view where they are potentially subject to loss or theft.
Reporting related to Voucher Security. All staff must itemise vouchers allocated to a client both on the client assistance form and in SAMIS.
At end of days ER assistance delivery – CSS manager, CO (or worker) must run a SAMIS Assistance for Single Day report and match/reconcile data on report to all individual client assistance sheets. Recommended that the person undertaking the reconciliation sign the SAMIS report and sign to confirm that all assistance for the nominated date has been recorded and there is a signed client assistance receipt for every client supported.
On a regular basis (recommended minimum monthly) CSS mgr. or CO undertake a reconciliation of vouchers on hand match to SAMIS vouchers available report.
Action: Missing Vouchers If vouchers on hand reconciliation process identifies missing vouchers CO or CSS manager initiate action to find missing vouchers. If not found, the matter must be reported to the division, who may refer the matter to THQ Audit.
Removal of Vouchers from SAMIS In the event that a missing voucher cannot be located – CO or CSS manager can apply to their division for approval to remove missing vouchers from SAMIS. The actual removal can only be undertaken after written divisional approval has been received.
At point of removal – full explanation of efforts to locate must be recorded in SAMIS and name of DHQ person who has authorised removal recorded.
Any site that has repeated episodes of loss of or missing vouchers as identified by DHQ must be referred to THQ Audit Dept for review and/or investigation

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Site Management

2.8.3 Minimum Site Open Hours

(Aligned to level of DSS funding site receives)

Rationale for Minimum Site Open Hours

TSA have five (5) DSS ER Contracts across multiple states of Australia (Vic. SA, WA, Tas, NT).   The ER contract compliance and specific Performance Indicator requirements are identical in each of these locations. (See Section 3.1 for more detailed information re. DSS Contracts).  

The measurement model  used by DSS in relation to “Performance Indicators” is outlined below:-

 “Measured using benchmarking, comparing your achievement against similar service providers delivering comparable services, using characteristics defined in the DSS Data Exchange Protocols”

Accordingly, if DSS are comparing (benchmarking) a site against similar funded sites, the recommendation to set “Minimum Site Open Hours” based on the level of DSS funding each site receives, will support  consistency in site open hours across TSA sites in all states across AUS Territory.

Minimum Site Open Hours.

The table below models indicative minimum site open hours aligned to DSS funding levels only.

DSS Funding Level
(per annum)
Minimum
Days Open Per week
Minimum
Hour open per week
$100,000 +  5 days per week 30 Hours per week.
$70,000 + 3.5  Days per week 21 Hours per week
$50,000 + 2.5  Days per week 15 Hours per week
30,000  + 1.6  Days per week 9  Hours per week
$20,000 + 1 day (2 x ½ days) per week 6 Hours per week
$10,000 + ½ Day per week. 3 Hours per week
$5,000 At discretion of Site in consultation with Division  

Variation if site has “additional ER funding” over and above DSS funding.

If a site has multiple funding sources for ER client service delivery (in addition to DSS ER funding) the division may choose to  increase the minimum hours detailed above  to reflect total funding available.  

Please Note:  The site hours table above reflects indicative “minimum” site open hours.  Site open hours over and above the levels outlined is at the discretion of the divisional leadership (in consultation with the site).

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Site Open Hours - Best Practice - Access and Equity

It is recommended that if a site is proposed to be only open 2 or 3 days a week, that the nominated open days are positioned at either end of the week (i.e. not consecutive days) to address access and equity principles,  e.g  If open 2 days per week could the nominated day could be - Monday and Thursday

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2.8.4 Establishment of Site Weekly/Daily Spend Limits

Rationale for establishment of weekly and daily “spend limits for each DSS funded site.

DSS funding allocations to a site are required to be expended within the 12 month funding period.    Every site is required to manage their funding to ensure that they have the ability to provide support throughout the funded period (ie. The need to allocate a portion of the funding per month to ensure that there is still money available to distribute at the end of the 12 month period).  The critical issue is that by the end of June each year, each site is required to have fully expended the total DSS funding allocation the site has received.    

Establishment of site weekly/daily spend limits provides a “structured” approach to determining what percentage of the available funding can be distributed each week.  

Please see: Table below for an indication of what the weekly spend limits and daily spend limits would apply aligned with DSS Funding levels.   It is stressed that the amount indicated in table below relate only to Financial ($) material aid support.    It does not include assistance offered to clients from sources such as Salvos Stores, Telstra bill assist, OneSight, donated food etc.  For total site spend limit it is recommended that sites should calculate weekly spend limits for every additional assistances and record these as a separate section in the Site Operations Guide to support ER workers.

DSS Funding Level
(per annum)
Days Open Per week Indicative Weekly Spend Limits Indicative Daily Spend Limits
$100,000 +  5 Days per week $2,083 $416
$70,000 + 3.5  Days per week $1,458 $416 full day OR
$208 half day. 
$50,000 + 2.5  Days per week $1041 $416 full day OR
$208 half day. 
30,000  + 1.5  Days per week $625 $416 full day OR
$208 half day. 
$20,000 + 1 Day (2 x ½ days) per week $416 $208 per ½ day
$10,000 + ½ Day per week. $208 $208
$5,000 At discretion of Site in Consultation with Division   $104  
The above spend limits have been calculated on sites being open an average of 48 weeks per year.
Please Note:
If the CSS site receives additional cash ($) from other sources (i.e. in addition to DSS funding) the weekly spend limits identified above should be increased aligned to the available additional funding resources.

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2.8.5 Use of Centre Imprest Cards for ER Assistance Payments 

Centre Imprest card is the preferred method of payment of an ER client Assistance that requires a payment to be made directly to a supplier of services.  Example being:

-  Client assistance – utilities account/bill
-  Client assistance – training provider
-  Client assistance – school books, uniform or fees. 

All instructional procedures for setting up and use of  Centre Imprest cards for ER centres are documented in the following TSA minutes:

AXC ATTACH 2 Authority For Expenditure Using Salvation Army Debit Cards TSA Imprest Card
AXC 0413 Authority For Expenditure - Salvation Army Pre-Paid Debit Cards

Procedural Steps.  
Evidence to support payment of client assistance.
Documentary evidence (ie. copies of bills/accounts) is required for any ER assistance which involves payment of a client’s accounts/bills where TSA are making a direct payment to a supplier of services (i.e. EFT payments related to utilities, rent, phone, school or  training provider).

It is an Audit mandatory requirement that copies of accounts (provided as evidence for assistance) MUST retain all client identification information i.e.  the client’s name, address and account number cannot be crossed out / covered. 

Specific ER Assistances procedures related to payment via Centre Imprest card (EFT funds transfer). 

  • Approved Imprest card payments are to be processed/made in a timely fashion – preferably on the “same day”  approved.
  • Authorised person takes a photocopy of the original client utilities bill (or other account) which must be retained with Centre Imprest  card “log” to support Centre Imprest card transaction Statement reconciliation.
  • Reference number for Imprest Card Transaction is the “Tax Invoice Number” on the Clients Utilities Bill.
  • Authorised person to scan a copy of the utilities bill to be included as evidence of payment when submitting Imprest Card transactions to DHQ aligned to Imprest card “recharging” to maximum limit. 

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2.8.6 Purchased and Donated Food Guidelines

Donated food is the preferred model (most cost effective) for stocking for CSS/ER food supplies for clients as this maximises the ability to target financial support available directly to identified client needs.  However, there is also a need at many sites to purchase food  as donated food may not cover the range of “food staples” that many sites have on hand to distribute as food parcels to ER clients. 

Divisional Direction on food purchase practices.

Divisions across the Territory have developed and implemented division specific procedures governing how food is purchased by sites within their division.   Accordingly CSS/ER site mangers/CO’s are to be guided by the direction given by their divisional headquarters. 

Use of DSS ER funding to purchase food for distribution of clients.

Very early DSS (FaHCSIA) ER contracts – i.e. pre. 2009, had clauses specifying what proportion of DSS ER funding could be used to purchase food for distribution to clients as ER food parcels.  Many divisions/sites are still applying the percentage (25%) set in these old FaHCSIA (DSS) contracts to guide their operational delivery.

The current DSS ER funding agreements (standard agreement relating to all DSS funded providers of ER across Australia)  do not include any specific guidelines on what percentage of DSS ER funding can be used by the funded ER provider to purchase food for distribution as ER material aid client support.   

TSA AUS in the interests of consistency of DSS contract compliance and Emergency Relief operational practice related to DSS funded ER service delivery,  have set a AUS Territory wide guideline that “up to a maximum of 20%” of DSS ER funding allocated to a site can be spent on food for ER client distribution in the form of food parcels.  

The final decision on the actual percentage (i.e up to a maximum of 20%) will apply for sites/divisions  is determined by the respective divisional leadership team.  CSS/ER COs and/or site managers  are to be guided by their DHQ on what percentage will apply at specific sites.

Action:

DHQs provide advice to CSS/ER sites on what percentage of DSS ER funding can be spent on purchase of food for distribution to ER clients. 

CSS/ER Site COs, CSS managers or team leaders have responsibility to ensure that purchase of food transactions are kept under the designated level of annual spending. 

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2.8.7 Mandatory Monthly Site Performance Monitoring 

Financial Monitoring 

Responsibility for Monitoring Financial Performance.

Stringent monitoring of financial performance of all CSS/ER sites is a joint responsibility of the respective division (DHQ - DSPS and Divisional Accountant) and the Site COs and/or CSS site manager.   

It is also the responsibility of all ER workers (employees and volunteers) to be aware of the monthly site spend limits and ensure that assistances delivered at the site are aligned to the set monthly spend limits.   

Approved CSS/ER site budgets and monthly Income and Expenditure Statements (I &E’s) are the tools and reference documents that guide ability to ensure the site financial management processes.   Monthly spend limits are logically one twelfth of the total funding allocation for the site.

The following “best practice” guidelines are designed to cover ability to maintain strong financial management of ER spend limits and respond to the more unpredictable situations that impact all divisions and sites such as:

  • When funding adjustments (increases and decreases) occur after the annual site budget has been finalised.
  • When a site has a surplus or deficit in one month that is likely to impact on the end of financial year result.


  1. The Divisional Accountant provides I & E reports to every site on a timely basis as at the end of the month (within 3 working days of the end of the month).
  2. Divisional Accountant also provides a monthly status update summary to the site.  This status summary includes advice on:
    • Any monthly ER underspend of DSS ER funding (surplus funds) for the previous month.
    • Advice on adjusted (increase) of monthly spend limits for the current month – increased by surplus amount from month prior.
    • Any monthly ER overspends of DSS ER funding (deficit funds).
    • Advice on adjusted (decrease) of monthly spend limits for the current month – decreased by deficit from month prior.

  3. The CO and/or Site Manager communicates any changes in monthly spend limits to ER workers on the day of receipt of the divisional accountant’s monthly status update and adjusts all relevant site based spreadsheets to reflect any changes in monthly spend limits.
  4. Divisional accountant provides one to one training to any “new” COs and/or CSS managers on divisional site financial monitoring practice. This training to include guidance on reading I&E reports and what actions need to be taken at a site level to respond to any adjustments required in the divisional accountant monthly status update adjustments.

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2.8.8 Recommended SAMIS Report to Monitor CS/ER Site Performance

COs and CSS/ER site managers have ability to access multiple SAMIS reports that provide site based performance data aligned to the selected time parameters.   These reports are an exceedingly useful tool to keep track of performance and also to identify trends in demand and client demographics.

Listed below are a number of recommended SAMIS reports to support COs and CSS/ER site managers and team leaders.

  • Cases, Clients, Episodes and Unmet Need
  • Clients: Living Situation Summary by Suburb
  • Clients: Summary of New and Existing Clients
  • Assistance: Vouchers – Usage, Balance and Forecast
  • Assistance : by Clients for a Single Day
  • Assistance: by Selected Services Item
  • Assistance: by Worker
  • Assistance: by Card/Voucher Cheque
  • Assistance: Vouchers – List all available. 

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2.8.9 Setting up a CSS/ER Site Key Register

Site security is an integral ongoing management process. Keeping track of keys to the site (external and internal) doors, file cabinets, safes, desk draws etc. can become problematic if there is no concise record of which employees/volunteers have been allocated keys. 

This is particularly an issue in CSS/ER sites that are co-located and integrated within the TSA corps and corps building structure. In this situation many people may have access to exterior doors; however only CSS/ER staff should have access to the rooms designated for CSS/ER delivery.

All CSS/ER Sites are required to maintain a “Key Register” that clearly identifies:-

  • All keys (room/file cabinet/safe/desk draw etc.) used at the site. 
  • How many keys to each specific lock are held at the site.
  • Record of who has been allocated a key (including signature of person receiving key).
  • Record of when a key is returned to the key repository in the event of a change in staffing arrangements (including signature of person receiving returned key confirming receipt.)
  • Name of person responsible for maintaining (and monitoring) the key register.

A template for a key register has been provided as a resource at section 5 of this handbook. 

The completed site key register should be included with all other site specific documentation in the Site Operations Guide.

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2.8.10 Staff Police Checks and Working with Children Checks

The Salvation Army Integrity Checking Policy (ICP) outlines the checking requirements for all workers engaged by or working under the banner of the organisation.  The Salvation Army mandates police and finance checks for particular personal and requires that workers are compliant with legislative requirements for Working with Children Checks (or Working with Vulnerable Persons Checks). 

Staff Police Checks

Police checks within The Salvation Army are processed through CrimCheck via designated State Social Command, divisional sites and/or business unit sites.

Financial checks are processed through the Territorial Professional Standards Unit (professionalstandards@aus.salvationarmy.org ) through an external provider, Dunn and Bradstreet.

Application for a Working with Children Check is the responsibility of the individual, and is a requirement for workers engaged in child related activities.

All persons seeking to work or engage with The Salvation Army are required to have the mandatory checks prior to their commencement of duties and every three years thereafter.

In summary, the integrity check requirements for workers is as follows:

Who What checks When
Employees Police check mandatory
Finance check for selected positions as per ICP
Working with Children Checks as per legislative requirements, for those engaged in child related activities.
Checks must be undertaken prior to appointment, or as otherwise stipulated in policy.
Officers Police and financial checks mandatory.
Working with Children Checks mandatory for all officers as per legislative requirements
Checks must be undertaken prior to appointment, or as otherwise stipulated in policy.  All officer checks are processed via the Territorial Professional Standards Unit.
Volunteers Police and financial check requirements are determined on the risk associated with specific role profiles as determined in the Volunteer Integrity Check Matrix (SARMY).
Working with Children Checks as per legislative requirements, for those engaged in child related activities.
Checks must be undertaken prior to engagement, or as otherwise stipulated in policy.

If an integrity check shows a criminal conviction or other dis-closable outcome, The Salvation Army will conduct a risk assessment to determine  suitability for the role.  A criminal conviction does not automatically rule out an individual from working with The Salvation Army, but may require greater supervision or an alteration of allocated duties.  The Salvation Army recognises that the outcome of an integrity check is highly sensitive and will treat all integrity checks with respect to privacy and security of this information.

2.8.11 Working with Children Checks (WWCC)             

WWCC, or Working with Vulnerable Children Checks as they are in some states/territories, are mandated under specific state and/or territory legislation.

WWCC are required for people (paid or volunteer) engaged in child related activities.  It is the individual’s responsibility to apply for a WWCC.  A worker must show their WWCC to a relevant TSA representative who will record the card reference number and expiry date.

The requirements for checks, including process for registering for a check, and the duration of checks is set by different state/territory legislation.

Note: South Australia does not have a WWCC.  South Australia has an ‘employer driven’ system that legally mandates employers to conduct police checks on prospective employees or volunteers engaging  in child-related occupations – both paid and unpaid.

WWCC in

Go to:

Is valid for

Victoria

http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/

5 years

Tasmania

http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/working_with_children

3 years

Northern Territory

http://www.workingwithchildren.nt.gov.au/

2 years

Western Australia

http://www.checkwwc.wa.gov.au/checkwwc

3 years

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2.8.12 Mandatory Reporting and TSA Reporting Child Abuse Policy

Legislative Mandatory Reporting requirements

Mandatory reporting legislation specifies the conditions under which an individual is legally required to make a report of child abuse and neglect to the relevant government authority in their jurisdiction.

Mandatory Reporting legislation requires specific groups of people to report child sexual abuse or neglect to the relevant child protection authority who undertake the governance and guide the process of child protection within that state/territory.

Parliaments in all Australian states and territories have enacted mandatory reporting laws of some description.

The laws are not the same across all jurisdictions. The main differences concern who has to report, and what types of abuse and neglect have to be reported. 

Mandatory reporting legislation does not preclude other non-mandated individuals from making a report to the child protection authority or the police if they have reasonable concerns for the safety and wellbeing of a child, even if the individual is not compelled by legislation to make such a report. 

If you have a reasonable belief that a child is or might be at risk of abuse:

  • You do not have to prove that abuse has taken place. You only need reasonable grounds for your belief.
  • You do not need permission from parents or caregivers to make a report; nor do they need to be informed that a report is being made.
  • Your identity will remain confidential unless you need to give evidence if the matter goes to court. It is rare that this happens.

Mandatory reporting describes the legal obligation of certain professional groups and community members to report incidents of child sexual abuse. These people are called mandated reporters. It is a criminal offence for a mandated reporter to fail to report abuse where they have a reasonable belief that abuse has, or is likely to, occur.

TSA Policy Reporting Child Abuse

As a child safe organisation, The Salvation Army is committed to providing child safe environments in all its worship and program activities for all children, regardless of and with respect to their age, culture, ability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.

The Salvation Army’s commitment as a child safe organisation, to all children regardless of age, gender, ability, cultural or linguistic background, is founded on:

  • Zero tolerance of child abuse.
  • A child safe and child friendly organisational culture.
  • Recognition of the rights of children.
  • Child protection and safety as a shared responsibility.
  • A structured and responsive risk management approach.
  • Commitment of leadership within all levels of The Salvation Army to the Keeping Children Safe Statement of Commitment, Code of Conduct and Standards.

Guiding Principles

  • Child abuse is unacceptable.
  • All children have a right to be safe and protected from abuse.
  • Child sexual and physical abuse is a criminal act.
  • Child abuse will not stop unless adults take effective action on behalf of the child and report their concerns to the appropriate authorities.
  • A child should always be taken seriously if they allege abuse.
  • Intervention should aim to promote the relationship between the child and the non-abusing parent(s)/carer(s).
  • Children who have been abused have the right and need to be in a safe supportive environment. They also have the right to legal and protective intervention and to counselling and treatment services.
  • The first priority of intervention should always be to protect the child and to promote his/her recovery.

Reporting Requirements – ‘Consult, Report, Document’

If you have a reasonable belief that a child or young person (under the age of 18 years) has been or is likely to be abused, you must:

  • Consult and discuss with your direct line manager immediately;
  • Report to police or child protection authority with the support of your direct line manager; and
  • Document your concerns, discussions and actions taken.
  • All allegations of child sexual or physical abuse must be reported to police and other statutory authorities, and the Territorial Professional Standards Unit (TPSU) (professionalstandards@aus.salvationarmy.org ).
  • All allegations of child emotional abuse and or neglect must be reported to the relevant child protection authority.
  • Any concerns for an individual’s safety must be discussed and managed in consultation with the direct line manager, and should not compromise the safety of a child.
  • Your direct line manager will notify TSA leadership and TPSU of all allegations of child sexual and physical abuse, as per Policy Reporting and Notification of Sexual and Physical Abuse Minute (RNA).
  • If you are unsure at any stage what your responsibilities are or whether an incident constitutes abuse, consult your direct line manager or TPSU for advice.

Note for Victorian services

(Refer to section 5: Appendices for copy of: Overview of Victorian government legislation for the protection of children)

All workers within TSA Victoria need to be aware of new criminal offences related to child sexual abuse within the Crimes Act (Vic) 1958:

Section 49B – Grooming for sexual conduct with child under the age of 16 years;

Section 49C - Failure by person in authority to protect child from sexual abuse, and

Section 327 - Failure to disclose sexual offence committed against child under the age of 16 years.

NOTE:  Section 327 - Failure to disclose sexual offence committed against child under the age of 16 years, requires:

All adults over the age of 18 year who  hold a reasonable belief that a sexual offence has been or is likely to be committed by an adult against a child, must report that belief to the police.

This legislation applies to everyone within Victoria over the age of 18 years.

What is ‘grooming?’ Grooming:
Concerns predatory conduct undertaken to prepare a child for sexual activity at a later time,

Involves communication by an individual, by word or conduct, with a child or with a person who has care, supervision or authority for the child with the intention of facilitating the child’s involvement in sexual conduct, either with the groomer or another adult.

Does not necessarily involve any sexual activity – for example, it may only involve establishing a relationship with the child, parent or carer for the purpose of facilitating sexual activity at a later time.

Can also be targeted towards the parent, carer or other person who has a supervisory role towards the child with the intention of garnering the carer’s trust to facilitate access to the child.  

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2.9 Funding Sources for delivery of Emergency Relief

- 2.9.1 ER External Funding Sources
- 2.9.2 Department of Social Services (DSS)
- 2.9.3 Other Goverment (State and/or Local Government)
- 2.9.4 Corporate Donation
- 2.9.5 Internal (TSA) Funding Sources
- 2.9.6 Mission Support Funding (MSF)
- 2.9.7 Site Self-generated funding (Corps Thrift Shop)
- 2.9.8 Christmas Cheers
- 2.9.9 Divisional Approval re. Funding Applications

2.9.1 ER External Funding Sources

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2.9.2 Department of Social Services (DSS)

The Salvation Army successfully submitted an application to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for DSS ER Grant funding to deliver Emergency Relief Services  on behalf of The Department of Social Services (DSS) across the four (4) States and one Region within  TSA Australia Southern Territory.  

Under this successful application TSA were awarded DSS ER Grant Funding from 1 March, 2015 to 30 June, 2017 to deliver ER client assistance in all States and Regions of The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory (Vic. SA, WA, Tas. and NT). 

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2.9.3 Other Goverment (State and/or Local Government)

State Based Funding:

In some States of Australia the State Government also awards Grant funding to NFP providers to increase their capacity to provide Emergency Relief support.   This is not uniform across all States.

Local Government Funding:

Some Local Government Councils/Shires offer Grants to “Not For Profit” (NFP) organizations to provide  ER support  services to assist residents of the council or Shire Local Government Area (LGA).   This is a specific assistance that is at the discretion of the LGA.  It is usually offered on the basis of the Council or Shire nominating an amount of available funding and requesting  applications from interested NFP organisations from within the LGA boundaries. 

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2.9.4 Corporate Donation

Corporate entities are major supporters of TSA. 

In some instances Corporate supporters have provided donations to specifically support TSA with delivery of Emergency Relief, this is called a specified donation.  In this scenario the donations/assistance offered may be aligned to the core business of the corporate organisation. 

Examples of existing Corporate Support for ER delivery:

Telstra Bill Assist:

The Salvation Army receives (in kind) voucher support from Telstra nationally.  

Telstra provide TSA with a substantial amount of  indicative dollar ($) support in the form of $50 certificates/vouchers that TSA CSS ER sites can provide to clients experiencing hardship to support them with paying existing  Telstra Phone bills.

TSA ER assessors have discretion to offer clients multiple $50 certificates/vouchers up to a maximum of $500 for a one off assistance.  For more information on this form of assistance see point 2.6.9 in this handbook.

Kmart Wishing Tree (presents) and Coin Donations:

The Kmart Wishing Tree initiative is an ongoing support from Kmart to TSA.  Under this initiative Kmart collects presents for children donated by Kmart customers  - then passes these presents onto  TSA to distribute to children at Christmas time as part of the TSA’s Christmas Cheer client support.

Kmart also has collection tins at stores where the funds generated by these collection tins are passed on to TSA to increase client support options. 

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2.9.5 Internal (TSA) Funding Sources

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2.9.6 Mission Support Funding (MSF)

Internally generated funds collected via multiple avenues including Red Shield Appeal are made available to divisions to increase support resources within Emergency Relief delivery under the category of Mission Support Funding (MSF).

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2.9.7 Site Self-generated funding (Corps Thrift Shop)

In some localities (predominantly smaller rural townships) the local TSA Corps have established  TSA “Thrift Shops”  as one of their community support activities.  

TSA Thrift Shops offer multiple support options to ER clients in that they provide:-

  • Material aid in the form of giving clients vouchers to purchase clothes, household items and furniture.
  • Funds raised through Thrift Shop activities enable the local corps to increase support for the local community including provision of financial support for delivery of ER services.

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2.9.8 Christmas Cheers

A separate allocation of TSA Mission Support Funding (MSF) is allocated to all AUS Divisions to provide additional support options for people accessing TSA CSS/ER sites over the Christmas period.   

This additional Christmas Cheer support for ER clients is delivered in multiple forms:-

  • Vouchers Coles/Myer – Kmart
    (Please note: All TSA ER Client Vouchers are barred (will not process) point of sale purchases of cigarettes or alcohol).
  • Christmas Hampers
  • Presents for Children and Young Adults.  

It is highlighted that TSA CSS/ER sites do not under normal business practices distribute “cash” support for clients.   

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2.9.9 Divisional Approval re. Funding Applications

Individual TSA CSS sites must gain divisional approval prior to undertaking completion of “any” funding application with either Federal Government, State Government, Local Government or corporate supporters.

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2.10 Human Resources and Work Health and Safety - CSS/ER Sites

- 2.10.1 Staff Related - CSS/ER Site Admin
- 2.10.2 Human Resources & Work and Health Safety 
- Human Resources Infromation and Resources - HR Hub
- Work Health and Safety information and resources - HR Hub
- 2.10.3 HR Hub Overview
- How to access the HR Hub

2.10.1 Staff Related - CSS/ER Site Admin

The Salvation Army has standard procedures, policies, forms, templates and resources related to all aspects of staff associated activity applicable to all locations TSA AUS Territory wide.    This section is designed to provide a guide on how to access these common existing documents. 

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2.10.2 Human Resources & Work and Health Safety 

Human Resources Infromation and Resources - HR Hub
The HR hub has been developed as a central repository of all territorial human resources (HR) procedures, policies, forms /templates, resource center and staff entitlement information. 

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Work Health and Safety information and resources - HR Hub
The HR hub also provides a central repository for all territorial work Health and Safety (WHS) procedures, policies, forms and templates and general resource center.

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2.10.3 HR Hub Overview

The hub has been developed to provide ease of access to a standardised suite of territorial human resources and work health and safety documentation for all workers which includes officers, staff and volunteers across the territory.

The CSS HR and WHS information available in the hub is applicable to all Salvation Army, Community Support Service (CSS) workers across the Australia Southern Territory. It applies to all locations where The Salvation Army has an operational presence in relation to the delivery of CSS Services.   

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How to access the HR Hub
The HR hub link can be accessed through The Salvation Army Portal.

Step 1

  1. Click on Google search engine
  2. Type The Salvation Army Portal in the search bar
  3. Click on The Salvation Army (portal.salvationarmy.org.au/)
  4. Or access via link at  https://apps.aus.salvationarmy.org/


 

Open The Salvation Army portal, enter your user name and password to access to site. Insert details.

Username:            Your name (e.g. John Smith)

Password:             Your email password

Click log in.


Step 3

Once you have logged in via the portal, the home page will open.

Click on the HR Hub tab on the left hand side of your home page.

Step 4

The HR Hub is a Southern Territory site and consists of a number of manuals you can access through various tabs on the webpage.

Step 5

Users are able to navigate the site via the tabs provided.

The different tabs include:

  • Human Resources Manual (e.g. Introduction to the manual)
  • Health and Safety Manual (e.g. Work health safety policies)
  • Forms and Templates (e.g. Position description template, Integrity check)
  • Resource Centre (e.g. Information sheets, guidelines)
  • Employee Benefits (e.g. Links to salary packaging, EAP)
  • Contact Us (e.g. Contact details for each division and THQ).

A number of new policies have been developed and uploaded. Existing policies and procedures are regularly revised and amended, according to scheduled review dates. See:  What’s New and Updates section for details.

Step 6

To access the Human Resources Manual click on the link to open.

Step 7

This will open the manual you have selected. Choose which section of the manual you require and click on the link to open.

For example, 1.0 Introduction to this manual 

Step 8

A prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen and ask whether you want to open it.

Click OPEN.

The PDF document will open. It is able to be read, printed or saved. 


NB:  Documents on the HR hub are revised and updated as required – consequently for the most current and accurate information, the HR hub is your primary source of up to date information. 

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2.11 Emergency Relief - Volunteer Management

- 2.11.1 Introduction to Volunteers Management
- 2.11.2 Accessing Volunteer Management Resources

2.11.1 Introduction to Volunteers Management 

The Salvation Army values the contribution of volunteers who support the mission of the organisation in so many different ways.  Our army of volunteers offer skills, knowledge and expertise in a range of roles and programs – from collecting for the Red Shield Appeal, to IT business analysts, to shop assistants in our thrift shops.

Our Doorways volunteers add considerable value to the care and concern for those who need a helping hand. Being warmly greeted when a client first walks in the door, spoken to with dignity and kindness in an ER interview and helped with a food hamper and/or vouchers can make the world of difference to the person in need.

Resources to get you started:

TSA’s volunteer resources team has developed the necessary information and material on how best to engage and manage your team of volunteers. The resources are based around a volunteer’s engagement with the Army, called a lifecycle. The elements of the lifecycle include – plan, recruit, select, induct, recognise and retain and evaluate. Resources to support each of these elements can be found on TSA’s SArmy resources website, sarmy.org.au.

Planning is an essential first step to identify where and what gaps are in the present or future service. It is based on the tasks needing to be done and/or missing skill sets in the team. Having a proactive approach to what service improvements can be made can help identify what additional team members are required, ideally before they are required. Refer to SArmy-Volunteer Resources webpage for all your Doorways volunteer role profiles.

Recruitment is a key step in identifying positive new team members. Once you know the characteristics and competency needed for a specific role you are now ready to recruit. There are some great pointers & resources on the SArmy-Volunteer Resources webpage.

Selection is an essential step for both the Doorways team and the potential volunteer. Having the best match for the team and the potential volunteer is key. Matching the volunteer’s motivation and skill set with the role is setting both the volunteer and the team up for success. Integrity checks are required for all Doorways volunteer roles with support and direction on the SArmy-Volunteer Resources webpage.

Induction ensures a new volunteer feels supported and knowledgeable with the essential information on TSA and the work environment. The induction checklist on SArmy will assist you to tick off key elements such as WHS, TSA’s and Doorways mission, details of the building environment, etc.

Registration of a Volunteer is essential to ensure that all volunteers:

  1. Are registered on TSA’s Volunteer Management System to confirm them as volunteers (ie are covered by insurance)
  2. Complete the Volunteer Agreement form.

Retention is critical to maintaining a stable, healthy and productive team. See SArmy-Volunteer Resources webpage for ideas on retention.

Evaluation is ideally something you continue to do to ensure your volunteer(s) are enjoying their role, feel part of the team and generally feel their experience is meeting their reasons for volunteering.

The volunteer resources team is available to assist in the use of the volunteer lifecycle resources and provide volunteer management coaching and training.

Accessing Volunteer Management Resources.

To access the Volunteer Management System, volunteer lifecycle and other resources and information relating to volunteer go to TSA’s resource site SArmy: sarmy.org.au/en/Resources/Volunteer-resources/ 

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2.11.2 Accessing Volunteer Management Resources

Step 1

Go to The Salvation Army home page and click on sarmy.

Or click on link:   http://www.sarmy.org.au/

Step 2

Now click on Resources.

Step 3

When the resources page opens, scroll down the left hand column to the bottom of the page to Volunteer Resources.

Step 4

This is the home page for all the volunteer resources and access to the Volunteer Management System Log in. Click on link.

Scroll down page to access multiple volunteer resources. 

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2.12 TSA Training Options for ER Staff

 - List of internal TSA training options
- 2.12.1 How to Access - Learn

List of internal TSA training options 

All internal TSA training for staff and volunteers of the Salvation Army is coordinated through the Catherine Booth College -  School for  Learning and  Development (SLD).

Training is an opportunity to develop the necessary skills for working within the Doorways framework, whether it is in the delivery of emergency relief or case management.  It is an opportunity to reflect and review current practice to have a standardized common approach across all divisions. 

Approval for a staff member or volunteer to participate in a TSA training course is approved at the site level on a “case by case” basis.   Factors that will determine if an application to undertake training is approved are as follows:-

  • Suitability of the training course to meet identified skills gaps.
  • Ability for site/division to cover costs of training.
  • Ability to continue to provide advertised client services that may coincide with period of offered training. 
  • Approval from divisional headquarters for staff at site to undertake training.

List of internal TSA training options  -
Training available aligned to needs of staff and volunteers working in Emergency Relief Sites.

  • Emergency Relief Training
  • Case Management Training
  • Positive Lifestyle Training
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention
  • Hope for Life Workshops

Training access enquiries.
It is recommended that staff/volunteers seeking to participate in any of the above internal TSA training options seeking information about:

  • Training dates
  • Costs
  • Prerequisites
  • Approval Process.

Contact/emailing the nominated person listed below. 

Training Option Contact Name Contact Details
Emergency Relief Training Christine Pickens Christine.pickens@aus.salvationarmy.org.
Case Management Training Christine Pickens Christine.pickens@aus.salvationarmy.org.
Positive Lifestyle Training. Christine Pickens Christine.pickens@aus.salvationarmy.org.
Mental Health First Aid Christine Pickens Christine.pickens@aus.salvationarmy.org.
Non-violent Crisis Intervention Christine Pickens Christine.pickens@aus.salvationarmy.org.
Hope for Life Workshops Hennie Lanting Hennie.lanting@aus.salvationarmy.org.

Additional information on training can be sourced through accessing the Learn webpage.

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2.12.1 How to Access - Learn

Step 1

Once you have logged in via the portal, the home page will open.

Click on the Learn tab on the left hand side of your home page.

Or access at https://learn.salvationarmy.org.au/login/index.php

Step 2

Enter your user name and password to access the site. Insert details.

Username:            Your given given name.surname (e.g. John.Smith)

Password:             Your chosen LEARN password

Click log in.

If you do not have an account, click on create new account box on right side of side of the screen.

Step 3

Once you have successfully logged in, go to the LEARN webpage. 

For example, training information available on LEARN - search Emergency Relief Training.

EXAMPLE: Information available on Learn re. TSA Emergency Relief Training

Title: Emergency Relief Training
Training Provider: TSA - School for Learning and Development
Provider Type: : Internal
Delivery Method: Face to Face
Module Overview: This nationally recognised training is offered to
TSA Staff and Volunteers and includes three
units of competency from the Community
Services Training Package (CHC08). This 2 day
face-to-face training has been designed to assist
staff / volunteers to successfully complete
 TSA program in delivering Emergency Relief
Work /Services.
Module Objectives: The two days of training cover the following 7
section topics - The Emergency Relief
Environment; Determining and Assessing
Client Needs; Meeting Your Client's Needs;
Legal and Ethical Frameworks; Case Studies;
Contributing to the Agency
Accredited: Accredited
RTO Code:  
VET Qualification: Community Services Training Package (CHC08)
CHCCDE016 Deliver emergency relief services
CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically
 CHCCOM002 Use communication to build
relationships
Duration (hours): 14
Delivery Options: Onsite or Offsite
Indicative Costs: $187 until 30 June 2016
Notes: Registration Form to be completed

EXAMPLE:

TSA Case Management Training

The Salvation Army School of Learning and Development has capacity to provide 1 unit of competency in Case Management skills for staff providing  Doorways case management services for ER clients.  

The specific unit of competency is titled:- 

  •  Develop, Facilitate and Review all Aspects of Case Management CHCCSM005

It is highlighted that the TSA CM training is not a full qualification, it is only one unit of competency within the broader qualification of the Diploma of Community Support Services. Staff/volunteers who successfully complete the unit of competency CHCCSM005 will have completed one unit of a Nationally Accredited Diploma course. 

The unit of competency aligns with the nationally accredited elements of content PLUS has been customised to incorporate the Doorways RAISED approach to Case Management delivery. 

The unit is being offered as a support for individual CM staff and as a model to provide consistency of case management practice across all CSS/ER sites offering Doorways case management services for ER clients.

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