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Department for Communities and Social Inclusion

Section A: Reporting required under the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Sector Regulations 2010 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987

Agency purpose or role

The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) brings together a range of services, funding and policy responsibilities which together support safety, equality, opportunity and justice across South Australia, particularly for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community.

DCSI has lead responsibility on behalf of the South Australian Government in the areas of disability policy, funding and services; social housing and homelessness; affordable living programs; youth justice; domestic violence; problem gambling; screening services and disaster relief and recovery. The department provides a wide range of grants to community organisations; leads the government's agenda to build thriving communities and promote resilience; and provides services to help older people remain safe at home. DCSI also has lead policy responsibility in relation to women; multicultural affairs; youth; volunteers and carers.

The department is committed to ensuring that all South Australians have access to quality services that protect and enhance the community’s wellbeing and provide support to people when they need it.


  • Support independence and participation
  • Make our communities stronger
  • Provide the best services.

Key strategies and their relationships to SA Government objectives

Key strategySA Government objective

Deliver services which improve outcomes for children and young people who offend. This includes custodial and community-based services which promote rehabilitation and reduce offending, whilst keeping the community safe.

The South Australian community benefits from the rehabilitation of young people who have offended, aligning with the Safe communities, healthy neighbourhoods priority of the South Australian Government.

Help people in financial hardship, including through a range of concessions, rebates and initiatives which provide assistance to people in need.

A key element of the State Government’s An affordable place to live strategic priority is to assist families who are struggling with cost of living pressures.

Provide housing options that are affordable and suitable. This includes social housing, homelessness services and private rental assistance.

The National Affordable Housing Agreement and National Partnership Agreements on remote housing and homelessness set out the government’s commitment to social housing services.

Progress the full and equal participation of women in the social, political and economic life of South Australia, including through strategies which target the unacceptable level of family violence.

Through Achieving Women’s Equality: South Australia’s Women’s Policy, the government is committed to achieving women’s equal participation in all aspects of life.

Increase opportunities for identified populations and communities.

The government has committed to a Thriving Communities agenda, in communities facing long term disadvantage, as well as to strategies to support diverse population groups across the state.

Provide efficient and effective employment-related screening assessments.

The South Australian Government aims to achieve safe environments for children and other vulnerable people.

Implement changes in departmental arrangements, functions and staffing in light of the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Commonwealth Aged Care Reforms.

In response to national reforms designed to provide more funding and choice to people with disability and older people, the government is transferring management of Domiciliary Care and some State Government disability services to the non-government sector.

Increase service and productivity through access to services and systems on any device, anytime, anywhere.

The Digital by Default Declaration commits the State Government to modernising the public sector by transforming its services through the use of digital technology.

Agency programs and initiatives and their effectiveness and efficiency

Program Name Indicators of performance/effectiveness/efficiencyComments

Concessions and Rebates

During 2016-17, the department achieved the target of providing an estimated 1.6 million concessions to eligible DCSI clients. This included the provision of 180,936 Cost of Living Concession (COLC) payments.
In the past year, the department strengthened processes to ensure that only eligible customers receive a concession. The department also continued to implement the Cost of Living Information (COLIN) System to administer COLC payments.

The department’s concessions and rebates programs provide financial support towards household costs for eligible South Australians. Assistance is provided through a range of concessions and rebates which provide valuable assistance to households on low or fixed incomes who are experiencing cost-of-living pressures.

Grants SA

From 1 June 2016, DCSI has distributed one-off grants to not-for-profit community organisations through the grants program, Grants SA. This program brings together four one-off grant programs - the Charitable and Social Welfare Fund (Community Benefit SA), Multicultural SA one-off grants, Volunteer Training Grants and the Volunteer Support Fund. In 2016-17, $3 million in funding was provided to support 318 projects.
In February 2017, DCSI completed an internal six-month review of Grants SA. The findings of the review confirmed the benefits to the community of simpler processes which reduced red tape, and that opening all year round with more flexible guidelines increased accessibility for the community.

Grants SA aligns with the government’s commitment to reduce red tape, simplify grant processes and make it easier for community groups to access grants.
Grant processes have been simplified with all funding assessed against the same criteria. Applicants use the same system to apply, receive payment, report and acquit their funding.

Ceduna Service Reform

In 2016-17, the Ceduna Service Reform implemented multi-agency action groups to address the four identified priorities of improved alcohol and other drug policy responses; justice issues; a consistent approach among ‘first response’ agencies; and better use of data and funding in monitoring and decision making.
The data indicators for the Ceduna Service Reform show seasonal fluctuations and monthly variations due to a transient target population. There is a general trend emerging in the intended direction on most indicators.
Data collection for the Street Beat initiative has also been refined through the development of a mobile application to ensure the collection of real time data.

The Ceduna Service Reform is contributing to a reduction in alcohol and other drug related fatalities or injuries by developing a service system that is coordinated, responsive, active and culturally competent.

Transition to the NDIS

As stated in the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) quarterly report as at 30 June 2017, there were 11,634 NDIS participants with an approved plan in South Australia and 482 supported in the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) gateway.
This equates to 12,116 participants which is 94% of the agreed transitional Bilateral Agreement target (12,887 participants) as at 30 June 2017.

The 12,116 participants can now receive the support they need to realise their potential and have greater choice and control over their lives. This includes about how and where they live their life.

Screening Services

The DCSI Screening Unit seeks to complete at least 95% of screening applications within 30 business days.
In 2016-17, around 96% received in that year were finalised within 30 business days.

Finalising the majority of screening applications within 30 business days is a key element in creating and maintaining child-safe organisations and safe environments for other vulnerable people.

Private Rental Assistance Program

During 2016-17, 29,210 customers were provided with bond guarantees (including cash bonds) through the Private Rental Assistance Program (PRAP) so they could secure private rental accommodation. This represents an increase of 8.8% from the 26,842 customers assisted in 2015-16.
In October 2016, Housing SA implemented PR Connect, a new online system which enables people to confirm their eligibility and apply online for private rental assistance through the website. In 2016-17, over 29,900 applications were submitted online through PR Connect.

PRAP supports low-income households to access private rental properties, providing bond guarantees (including cash bonds), rent in advance and rent in arrears (for existing tenancies).
As at 30 June 2017, 50% of the 21,137 applicants on the public and Aboriginal housing register had received assistance through PRAP.

Specialist Homelessness Services

During 2016-17, the South Australian Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) sector, including domestic violence services, assisted 22,401 clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with a range of services.
80% of clients who were rough sleeping on intake were subsequently supported into accommodation.

Early intervention to prevent homelessness and services to assist people access safe and stable housing contributes to a prosperous and safe South Australia.

Youth Justice

On 1 December 2016, the department’s Youth Justice Division was recognised in legislation through the implementation of the Youth Justice Administration Act 2016 and associated Regulations. This has enshrined in law the best practice and service to young people and the community that Youth Justice provides.
In 2016-17, 388 young people were admitted to the Adelaide Youth Training Centre and 448 young people commenced one or more community based orders.

The Youth Justice service delivery model is oriented towards challenging young people to take responsibility for their actions whilst recognising that children and young people have specific developmental needs - different to those of adults - and consequently require a different response.

Transition of Domiciliary Care Clients

During 2016-17, Domiciliary Care focused on transitioning clients with high needs to service providers funded to provide Home Care Packages under the new Commonwealth Government aged care arrangements. As at 30 June 2017, 362 clients required transition, compared to 640 at 30 June 2016.

The successful transition of clients to Home Care Package providers will ensure that they are supported by the appropriate level of care and are able to live independently in the community.

Legislation administered by the agency

Carers Recognition Act 2005
Cost of Living Concessions Act 1986
Disability Services Act 1993
Housing Agreement Act 1991
Housing Improvement Act 2016
Julia Farr Services (Trusts) Act 2007
Not-for-Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Act 2013
South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980
Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992
Volunteers Protection Act 2001
Youth Justice Administration Act 2016.

Organisation of the Agency

Community Services
Corporate Services
Disability and Domiciliary Care Services
Disability SA
Finance and Business Services
Housing SA
NDIS Reform
Office for Women
Office of the Chief Executive
People and Culture
Youth Justice

Other agencies related to this agency (within the Minister's area/s of responsibility)

The Department for Health and Ageing, which includes the Office for the Ageing, reports to Minister Bettison as the Minister responsible for the Ageing portfolio.

Employment opportunity programs

Program name Result of the program

DCSI Graduate Program

The annual DCSI Graduate Program helps to secure the department’s future workforce. Recruitment for the 2017 program began in July 2016, with 17 successful graduates commencing with the department in January/February 2017 on 12-month contracts.


Jobs4Youth is a State Government initiative to increase youth employment in the South Australian Public Sector.
In 2016-17, the department recruited four Administrative Trainees on 12-month contracts, with six graduates from the 2017 DCSI Graduate Program fulfilling the department’s annual program allocation.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development system Assessment of effectiveness and efficiency

The department’s Performance Development Framework provides a clear, structured approach to workforce development by supporting managers and employees to establish and maintain effective Performance Development Reviews. All completed Performance Development Reviews must be recorded on HR21.

The percentage of employees with a Performance Development Review increased from 51.8% in 2015-16 to 58% in 2016-17. As at 30 June 2017, 76.9% of Performance Development Reviews were current, with 58% reviewed in the 2016-17 financial year and 18.9% reviewed in the previous financial year but are still current. Of the remaining 23.1%, 9.5% had expired and 13.6% were not recorded.

Occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programs of the agency and their effectiveness

Occupational health, safety and rehabilitation programsEffectiveness

Health & Safety Plan 2016-2018

The Health and Safety Plan enables DCSI leaders and local management to improve divisional and workplace health, safety and wellbeing through targeted initiative and key performance indicators.

The Health & Safety Plan 2016-2018 is based on the four key pillars of the government’s Building Safety Excellence in the Public Sector strategy, contributes to South Australian public sector performance targets and aligns the department with the expectations of the Audit and Verification System for Safety and Injury Management (AVS) in the public sector.

Risk Management

The department maintains a responsive health and safety system to reduce the likelihood of serious harm or injuries to its workforce.

Target 2 of the government’s Building Safety Excellence in the Public Sector strategy encourages agencies to investigate and eliminate the root cause of work-related injuries. The target is a 30% reduction in new workplace injury claims by June 2022 from the 2012 baseline of 365 claims. During 2016-17, there were 247 new workplace injury claims, compared to 287 in 2015-16 (a 14% reduction).

Early Intervention

The department provides an integrated hazard and incident reporting system which initiates hazard alerts to key stakeholders.
All hazards, incidents and injuries are reviewed and early intervention measures actioned in the recovery and return to work process, with the support of workplace managers and the affected employees.

Target 6 of Building Safety Excellence in the Public Sector seeks to ensure that a rehabilitation assessment is completed within two business days of an injury being notified. The target for the department is a ten per cent improvement by June 2020 from the 2014-15 baseline of 85%.
During 2016-17, 94.78% of new claims had a return to work assessment within two business days, compared to 78.55% in 2015-16.

Health and Safety Representatives

Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) are elected to provide a means for workers to raise safety issues, and follow a process with management to resolve them.

The department has strengthened its HSR network to improve representation, consultation, cooperation and issue resolution. There are currently 92 elected HSRs and 13 Deputy HSRs across the department.

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraud Number of instances
Missing funds/property 1

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

During 2016-17, six fraud-related matters warranted further investigation. Of these, one matter was confirmed over this reporting period as fraud relating to missing funds/property.

In December 2016, the Incident Management Unit (IMU) was established through the centralisation of various functions across the department. The IMU now undertakes all investigations relating to potential fraud, misconduct or maladministration. This ensures consistency and efficiency in the department’s response to incidents and potential fraud and has strengthened controls and investigatory capacity.

Internal Audit also considers the risk of fraud in their audit program. This includes assessment of the current control environment to ensure effective protection against fraud and maladministration as a standard objective for most audit reviews.

The department’s Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Fraud and Corruption Control Plan document processes for identifying, responding to and reporting alleged fraud and other similar malpractices. DCSI also continues to create and maintain a culture of zero tolerance for fraud and corruption.

Data for the past five years is available at: under Government Reporting and Policy.

Whistle-blowers' disclosure

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 Nil

Data for the past five years is available at: under Government Reporting and Policy.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification Number of executives
SAES1 31

Data for the past five years is available at: under Government Reporting and Policy.

For further information, the Office for the Public Sector has a data dashboard for further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.


The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken and the total cost of the work undertaken.

All consultancies below $10,000 each Three consultancies which involve a Domiciliary Care Equipment Services pricing model review and the development of a Community Support Services business case. $15,216
Consultancies above $10,000 eachPurposeValue

NDIS industry and workforce development analysis with five sub-projects including:

  • delivery of a draft project plan;
  • development of a data tool to support analysis;
  • assessment of market development risk and opportunities;
  • assessment of industry and workforce impacts; and
  • delivery of report findings.
KPMG Professional advisory services in relation to the future commercialisation and/or transition to the non-government sector of Disability and Domiciliary Care Services. $102,884
KPMG Development of a report assessing options for the delivery of government run residential accommodation services. $101,628
PwC Development of a financial model to enable full unit pricing for Domiciliary Care services. $64,001
Flinders University of South Australia Literature review and a qualitative inquiry process to improve referral pathways to gambling help services. $29,396
Total all consultancies $645,363

Data for the past five years is available at: under Government Reporting and Policy.

See also for a list of all external consultancies, including nature of work and value. See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the SA Public Sector.

Financial performance of the agency

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2016-17 are attached to this report.

The audited financial statements of the department provide a true and fair view of the financial position of the department as at 30 June 2017 and its financial performance and cash flows during the financial year. The total comprehensive result for the department for the year ended 30 June 2017 was $5.9 million.

Other financial information

The department complies with across government monitoring and reporting requirements. This includes monthly reporting to the Department of Treasury and Finance on year to date performance and end of year projections. DCSI administers certain revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities on behalf of its Ministers, which are disclosed in the administered financial statements. The total comprehensive result of the Administered Items for the year ended 30 June 2017 was $11.2 million.

Correction:  Note 34 of the audited financial statements (Remuneration of board and committee members) incorrectly states that the appointment of Ms Jayne Stinson to the Premier’s Council for Women expired on 31 May 2017. Ms Stinson advised the Premier of her decision to resign from the Council on 5 May 2017.

Other information requested by the Minister(s) or other significant issues affecting the agency or reporting pertaining to independent functions

Under the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980, the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC) is required to present an annual report on its operations to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs by 30 September.

The Minister is required to table the report in both Houses of Parliament within 12 sitting days of receiving the report. The report is made publicly available at

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
18 Oct 2018
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