Department of Human Services

FOI Information Statement

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 (FOI Act) provides members of the public with a legally enforceable right of access to information held by South Australian Government agencies, subject to certain restrictions (or exemptions) that are set out within the legislation.

The following information statement for the Department of Human Services is published pursuant to Section 9 of the FOI Act.

Structure and functions of the Department of Human Services (DHS)

The functions of the department are based on a broad mandate to assist members of the community who, through circumstance, may be vulnerable, at risk of harm, or isolated, and to connect them with choices and opportunities within South Australia. The department works closely with people across South Australia to build communities where people are involved and they feel connected, safe and supported – consistent with its vision: Fairness, opportunity and choice for all South Australians. The department's services are provided on both a regional and local basis from offices around the State.

For further information:

DHS functions affecting the public

The work of the department encompasses a range of services designed to make a tangible and positive difference to the wellbeing of all members of the community. Our work falls broadly into the areas of, family support, disability, community support and services for older people, community partnerships, youth, women, volunteers, Aboriginal.

Public participation in agency policy development and the exercise of the agency's functions

The department regularly seeks external expertise and community opinion in the development of policy, including from statutory and non-statutory advisory committees. To connect with the community, consultation may be undertaken in the planning, development and implementation of policy.

The department consults with major interest groups and service providers, circulates discussion papers, calls for submissions on particular topics, and convenes public meetings on legislative reform and policy initiatives. The department also utilises the services of volunteers in a range of capacities and functions to assist in the provision of services to the community.

Types of documents held by DHS

The department holds a wide variety of documents that fall broadly into the categories described below:

  • corporate files containing correspondence, memoranda, minutes etc on the department's operations
  • accounting and financial reports on the department's business activities
  • client records (eg case notes)
  • personnel files relating to departmental employees
  • internal policies, procedures, and guidelines prescribing how various programs, activities and functions are to be performed
  • general administrative instructions and industrial circulars
  • general publications including annual reports, books, discussion and background papers, reports, reviews, serial publications, pamphlets, posters, greetings and common phrases, surveys, strategies, directories, evaluations, assessments and proposals

Documents available free of charge from DHS

Generally, the department's publications are available without charge and can also be accessed online. Requests for documents can also be made via email to DHS Enquiries.

Documents available free of charge include the following:

  • pamphlets
  • posters
  • application forms for services
  • strategic plans
  • fact sheets
  • annual reports
  • media releases
  • newsletters
  • community consultation/discussion papers

Departmental policy documents

The department maintains a substantial number of internal policy and procedure documents. These include policies and procedures relating to:

  • carers and volunteers
  • operational programs and service delivery (eg housing and disability services)
  • financial management
  • risk management
  • governance
  • human resources
  • information communication technology
  • workforce health, safety and welfare
  • procurement
  • records management

View a list of policies

Members of the public wishing to access internal policy documents can obtain copies (or arrange to inspect copies if they prefer) by sending a request by email to DHS Enquiries, by contacting departmental offices during normal business hours (8.45am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday) or by contacting the Senior FOI Officer, whose details appear below. There is no charge for accessing internal policy documents.

How to make an FOI application

Please visit our Freedom of Information page for details on submitting an application.

For any FOI enquiries, please contact the Senior FOI Officer on ph: 8413 9094 or email

Page last updated : 20 Mar 2020

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