Department of Human Services

Start of main content.

Annual Report 2018–19


Hon Michelle Lensink MLC
Minister for Human Services

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of the Public Sector Act 2009, Public Sector Regulations 2010, Public Finance and Audit Act 1987, Carers Recognition Act 2005, Julia Farr Services (Trusts) Act 2007, Water Industry Act 2012, and the Youth Justice Administration Act 2016, and meets the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting Requirements.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the Department of Human Services by:

Tony Harrison
Chief Executive

30 September 2019

From the Chief Executive

From the Chief Executive

In accordance with the Public Sector Act 2019, I am pleased to present the annual report for the South Australian Department of Human Services (DHS) for the year ended 30 June 2019. The report outlines the achievements and performance of DHS, including the financial performance of the department, for the 2018-19 financial year.

A primary focus of the department has continued to be the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with the full Scheme becoming operational in South Australia from July 2018. I am pleased to report that the transition of state government disability clients to the NDIS is now complete.

Almost 30,000 South Australians are now accessing the NDIS, including around 16,000 who are receiving support for the first time.

On 1 November 2018, the department introduced free screening checks for volunteers, fulfilling the Government’s election commitment to abolish all fees payable by volunteers for screenings undertaken by the DHS Screening Unit. The passing of the Statutes Amendment (Screening) Act 2019, which commenced on 1 July 2019, enshrines this in law.

Also commencing on 1 July 2019, the new Working with Children Check established under the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 has replaced the previous child-related employment screenings. Wide-ranging communications were undertaken to prepare organisations for this reform, with a stakeholder kit released in May 2019 to provide information and tools about the new check.

In 2018, a review was undertaken of the operational administration of the major household concessions managed by ConcessionsSA to identify potential efficiencies and improvement opportunities. In the past 12 months, the department has been undertaking a program of reforms to progress the priority recommendations which include reducing ‘red tape’ and simplifying the application process.

Released on 1 March 2019, Committed to Safety: A Framework for Addressing Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence was developed by the Office for Women following consultation with the women’s safety sector and wider community. The document outlines a wide range of actions to address domestic, family and sexual violence and reflects South Australia’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. The department has also continued to implement the Government’s election commitments to support women and children at risk of domestic and family violence, through the implementation of the personal protection app and the statewide trial of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

Since 2015, the department has released an annual Youth Strategy for South Australia, identifying priority areas for government focus and providing a platform for collaborative work. In 2018-19, DHS commenced the development of a three year Youth Action Plan for South Australia (2020-2022). This longer timeframe aims to deliver a more strategic, sustainable and systemic approach, and will support coordinated and longer-term investment for young South Australians. It is anticipated that the Youth Action Plan will be finalised and launched in early 2020.

In the past 12 months, the department also experienced a significant change to its role and functions as a result of Machinery of Government (MOG) changes and the ongoing transfer of state disability services to the non-government sector. Through MOG changes, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet assumed responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and the SA Housing Authority commenced operations as a statutory corporation, separate to DHS.

Further changes to the department’s organisational structure came into effect from 1 July 2019, including the establishment of the Community and Family Services Division which comprises Safer Family Programs, the Community Services Directorate and the Early Intervention Research Directorate. Safer Family Programs was established through MOG changes, which brought together staff and functions from the Department for Education and Department for Child Protection. The new unit consolidates direct service delivery and commissioning of non-government child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention services that were spread across several government agencies.

Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank all DHS staff for their ongoing contribution to improving the wellbeing and safety of South Australians.

Tony Harrison

Chief Executive

Department of Human Services

Overview: about the agency

Overview: about the agency

Our strategic focus

Our Purpose

The Department of Human Services (DHS) delivers strategies, programs and services that improve the wellbeing and safety of South Australians.

Our Vision

Fairness, opportunity and choice for all South Australians.

Strategic Goals

  • Better services and programs that make a lasting difference for individuals, families and communities
  • A customer-focused organisation that puts people first
  • Accountable, efficient, open and collaborative government
  • A motivated, skilled, safe and inclusive workforce.

Our Approach

  • We focus on prevention, early intervention and connected services
  • We champion collaboration and engagement to get results
  • We reduce red tape
  • We prioritise agile and proactive design and delivery
  • We use data and evidence to plan and improve.

The Department

  • Commissions human services across the not-for-profit sector
  • Invests in the community through grants and funding
  • Provides core services in areas including:
    • youth justice
    • disability accommodation
    • concessions and rebates
    • employment-related screening
    • family safety and support
  • Leads government reform agendas, including disability inclusion and the transition to the NDIS, intensive family support services and women’s equality and safety.

Our organisational structure

DHS Organisational Structure 2018-19. There is a link to a plain text version on this page.

The above chart reflects the department’s organisational structure as at 30 June 2019. Changes to the organisational structure came into effect from 1 July 2019. View the current organisational chart.

Organisational chart in plain text

Changes to the agency

During 2018-19 there were the following changes to the agency’s structure and objectives as a result of internal reviews or Machinery of Government (MOG) changes:

  • On 1 July 2018, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) assumed responsibility for Multicultural Affairs from the department, and the SA Housing Authority (SAHA) commenced operations as a statutory corporation, separate to DHS.
  • In August 2018, the organisational structure of the department was reorganised to improve management-reporting processes and realign leadership roles. This included the establishment of the Community and Support Services Division, which consolidated functions that support and engage communities including Screening, Concessions and Support Services, Community Services and the State Recovery Office. A new Disability and Reform Division was also established to consolidate all aspects of disability service and NDIS reform processes.
  • On 1 October 2018, the Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD) joined DHS from DPC as part of MOG changes. EIRD plays a leading role in collaboration between the government and academic sectors; ensuring child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention is informed by evidence.

Our Minister

Hon Michelle Lensink MLC is responsible for the Human Services portfolio which comprises the communities, status of women, youth justice, NDIS and disability services and social housing programs.

Through DHS, the Minister has responsibility for community services and grant programs, concessions and financial resilience programs, youth justice, screening services, disaster recovery, and lead policy responsibility in relation to youth, volunteers and carers. Addressing domestic and family violence and managing the transition to the NDIS are key priorities of the Minister.

Our Executive team

DHS Executive Leadership Team as at 30 June 2019.

Tony Harrison, Chief Executive

Tony Harrison was appointed to the position of Chief Executive in June 2016 and is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of the department. Functions reporting directly to the Chief Executive include:

  • Finance and Business Services
  • Office of the Chief Executive
  • People and Culture
  • Youth Justice
  • Office for Women.

Lois Boswell, Deputy Chief Executive

Lois Boswell was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief Executive in August 2016. Functions reporting directly to the Deputy Chief Executive include:

  • Community and Support Services Division, which includes Screening, Concessions and Support Services, Community Services, State Recovery Office, Early Intervention Research Directorate and Communications and Engagement
  • Disability and Reform Division, which includes NDIS Reform and Services and Strategy and Accommodation Services.

Andrew Thompson, Chief Financial Officer, Finance and Business Services

Finance and Business Services provides financial services to the department, including budgeting, financial analysis, monitoring and reporting, management accounting, strategic financial advice and liaison with the Department of Treasury and Finance. It also monitors financial compliance and coordinates financial authorisations, risk management and provides financial and accounting policy advice.

The division is also responsible for the department’s Procurement and Grants Unit and Business Technology and Infrastructure functions.

Gerrie Mitra, Group Executive Director, Disability and Reform

The Disability and Reform Division oversees disability service delivery areas, disability reform and NDIS implementation activities. The division comprises:

  • Strategy and Accommodation Services
  • NDIS Reform and Services.

Joe Young, Executive Director, Strategy and Accommodation Services

Strategy and Accommodation Services is responsible for supporting people with a disability in community based group homes, and residents at Highgate Park and the Northgate Aged Care Service. The directorate is also responsible for the transfer of government disability services to the non-government sector and the implementation of activities associated with the Disability Inclusion Act 2018. This includes consultation around a State Disability Inclusion Plan and progressing Disability Access and Inclusion Plans across government agencies.

Nick Ashley, Executive Director, NDIS Reform and Services

NDIS Reform and Services has oversight of the key elements of the planning and implementation of the transition to the NDIS and supports service transfer activities. The directorate also oversees services delivered through the Disability Transition Unit (formerly Disability SA - Community Services), Domiciliary Equipment Service, Independent Living Centre and Continence Resource Centre.

Kim Summers, Executive Director, People and Culture

People and Culture provides strategic leadership, advice and operational implementation of strategies that support the recruitment, performance, development, management and wellbeing of DHS employees. The DHS Incident Management Unit operates as an independent function within the division.

Michael Homden, Executive Director, Youth Justice

Youth Justice is responsible for the statutory supervision of young people in contact with the justice system. Responsibilities include the administration of the Adelaide Youth Training Centre and supervision of young people on community-based orders.

Fiona Mort, Director, Office for Women

Priorities of the Office for Women include addressing violence against women, improving women’s participation in leadership and decision-making and women’s economic empowerment. The Office for Women also provides high quality statewide information and referral services through the Women’s Information Service and executive support to the Premier's Council for Women.

Nancy Rogers, Director, Office of the Chief Executive

The Office of the Chief Executive is responsible for a range of functions including executive support, governance responsibilities, correspondence and briefings, Cabinet coordination, Parliamentary business, coordination of policy advice on inter-governmental and intra-governmental matters, business intelligence and legal services.

Legislation administered by the agency

Carers Recognition Act 2005
Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016
Children’s Protection Law Reform (Transitional Arrangements and Related Amendments) Act 2017
Cost of Living Concessions Act 1986
Disability Inclusion Act 2018
Disability Services Act 1993
Julia Farr Services (Trusts) Act 2007
Not-for-Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Act 2013
Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992
Volunteers Protection Act 2001
Youth Justice Administration Act 2016

The South Australian Housing Trust, trading as the SA Housing Authority, is responsible to the Minister for Human Services to deliver better housing opportunities for all South Australians.

The agency's performance

The agency's performance

Performance at a glance

Number of NDIS participants with approved plan or supported in the Early Child Early Intervention gateway in South Australia 29,034
Approximate amount of funding allocated in household and transport concessions $160 million
Approximate number of eligible South Australians who received household concessions and rebates through DHS 184,000         
Screening applications received and finalised during financial year 174,597         
Approximate amount of grant funding distributed through Grants SA $3.2 million
Number of projects funded through Grants SA 274         
Over $12 million in funding was distributed through the Family and Community Development Fund $12 million
Total funding distributed through the SA HACC program $24.6 million
Approximate number of hours of service across the community through the SA HACC program 300,000
Number of women provided with information or advice through the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service 765
Number of client contacts with the Women’s Information Service 102,526         
Number of Gambling Help Services funded through the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund 28
Number of young people who attended events during SA Youth Week 9,664
Total number of downloads of the WeDo volunteering app 4,333
Number of interpreting assignments completed by the Interpreting and Translating Centre 63,000

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Key objectiveAgency’s contribution
More jobs The NDIS is predicted to create 6,000 full-time equivalent jobs in South Australia, with a number of initiatives being undertaken at both the Federal and state level aimed at market and workforce readiness, transition support and growth stimulation. South Australia is leading the design of a framework for the development of the National NDIS Workforce, in collaboration with the Commonwealth, New South Wales and Victoria.

In 2018-19, the department’s total spend with Aboriginal businesses was $4 million with 30 different businesses. This exceeded the 0.5% target committed to by DHS, achieving over 1% of total spend.
Lower costs DHS administers a range of concessions and rebates that provide assistance to low income South Australians. Concessions are provided for energy, water, sewerage, Emergency Services Levy (fixed property), Cost of Living Concession and Medical Heating and Cooling Concession. The department also supports people in financial need through the Emergency Electricity Payment Scheme, GlassesSA, the Personal Alert Systems Rebate Scheme, Transport Concession Card and the Funeral AssistanceSA Program.

The South Australian Concessions Energy Discount Offer (SACEDO) is an ongoing energy offer available only to South Australian energy concession customers. In 2018-19, a new 20% discount deal was negotiated with Origin Energy on usage and supply charges, up from 18%, which commenced on 15 April 2019. This rate is fixed until 31 December 2019.

Free screening checks for volunteers commenced on 1 November 2018. Volunteers (and students) were previously charged $59.40 (GST inclusive) per screening application.
Better Services In 2018, a review was undertaken of the operational administration of the major household concessions managed by ConcessionsSA to identify potential efficiencies and improvement opportunities. The review recommendations continue to be implemented and are delivering better outcomes for customers, including processing times for customer applications being reduced from two to three months to less than one week.

Commencing 1 July 2019, individuals are able to undertake their own screening check applications from start to finish. A new online application platform was implemented during 2018-19 to allow applicants to apply directly for screening checks.

Agency-specific objectives and performance

Agency objectivesIndicatorsPerformance
Provide efficient screening services Percentage of screening applications assessed within five business days of receipt. During 2018-19, the DHS Screening Unit received and finalised over 174,000 screening applications. Of these, 76% (132,735) were finalised in under five business days and 98% (171,615) within 30 business days of receipt.
Provide efficient, customer-focused concessions Recommendations from a review of ConcessionsSA are implemented to streamline administration and service delivery processes and achieve efficiencies. A program of reforms commenced to progress the priority recommendations of the review. A single combined application form for all household concessions was introduced. Operational systems were also improved so that customers no longer need to provide copies of a range of documents with their application or when their living arrangements change.
These changes have resulted in a significant reduction in the time taken to process applications, from two to three months to less than one week. ConcessionsSA is also due to process 250,000 less sheets of paper each year.
Support volunteers and encourage volunteering (1) Fees payable by volunteers for screening checks are abolished. The State Government fulfilled its election commitment by abolishing screening fees payable by volunteers from 1 November 2018. As at 30 June 2019, over 42,000 volunteers had benefited from the introduction of free screening checks for volunteers.
Support volunteers and encourage volunteering (2)Extend the WeDo app.Stage three of the full implementation of the WeDo app was completed in March 2019 and included supporter packages to increase the rewards available to volunteers and information to businesses.
Improve outcomes and opportunities for young people across South Australia A three-year Youth Action Plan for South Australia (2020-2022) is developed. Consultation on the Youth Action Plan took place during SA Youth Week in April 2019.
It is anticipated that the Plan will be finalised and launched in early 2020.
Protect the community and improve outcomes for young people in the youth justice system Number of Youth Justice clients who had one or more secure youth training centre admissions. In 2018-19, 299 Youth Justice clients had one or more secure youth training centre admissions, compared to 329 in 2017-18.
To reduce training centre admissions, whilst also protecting the community, DHS is leading the co-design of the Young People Connected. Communities Protected. State Plan to strengthen the range of connected supports for young people across the youth justice continuum. 
Promote equality and inclusion for the LGBTIQA+ community Hold a LGBTIQA+ roundtable to consult with the community and stakeholders on mechanisms to ensure that voices are heard at the highest levels of government. The LGBTIQA+ roundtable was held on 12 April 2019 at the Next Generation Health Club, Memorial Drive. A report from the roundtable will be issued in late 2019.
Minimise the harms from problem gambling Implement Phase 2 of the Gambling Harm Minimisation Strategy, targeted to people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The second phase of the Gambling Harm Minimisation Strategy was developed to educate individuals from CALD backgrounds and to minimise the risk of further gambling harm occurring. A suite of targeted educational materials will be made available for gaming venues by October 2019.
Advance women’s equality and safety (1) Develop a personal protection app to provide at-risk individuals with direct access to the South Australia Police and domestic and family violence services. Since 26 November 2018, women in contact with the Domestic Violence Crisis Line have had access to the personal protection app as part of a safety plan. The app has been provided to over 40 women since it was introduced.
Advance women’s equality and safety (2) Trial a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. The statewide trial of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme commenced on 2 October 2018. Additional funding was provided in the 2019-20 State Budget to extend the trial until the end of June 2020.
Advance women’s equality and safety (3) Hold a series of regional domestic and family violence roundtables. Regional roundtables were held in Mount Gambier, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Murray Bridge.
Advance women’s equality and safety (4) Develop a Women’s Employment and Leadership Strategy. Consultation was held to inform the development of the strategy. The final strategy will be delivered in 2019–20.
Advance women’s equality and safety (5) Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Women’s suffrage in South Australia. Celebrations were launched on 13 March 2019, and a range of events are taking place throughout the year. Small grants were provided to 28 organisations for commemorative activities.
Transition clients to the NDIS and support the full implementation of the NDIS in South Australia (1) All existing state-funded clients transition to the NDIS by 30 June 2019. In 2018-19, the target to complete the transition of all State Government disability clients to the NDIS was achieved. As at 30 June 2019, 29,034 South Australians had transitioned to the NDIS.
Transition clients to the NDIS and support the full implementation of the NDIS in South Australia (2) Finalise the step down of state individualised funding arrangements for clients in receipt of contracted services as they transition to the NDIS. As people moved to the NDIS, State Government funding ceased and the NDIS commenced payment for services. Disability host grant and brokerage payments ceased on 30 June 2019 (with the exception of out-of-scope payments).
Transition clients to the NDIS and support the full implementation of the NDIS in South Australia (3) A Disability Advocate is appointed to support people with disability through the NDIS transition. On 27 November 2018, it was announced that Dr David Caudrey had been appointed as the Disability Advocate. The position commenced in January 2019, for a one-year term and is attached to the Office of the Public Advocate.
Transition clients to the NDIS and support the full implementation of the NDIS in South Australia (4) Adult Therapy Services and Child and Youth Services are transitioned to the non-government sector. Minda Inc was selected as the new provider of ASSIST Adult Therapy Services through a competitive tender process. The business transferred on 30 November 2018 and staff commenced on 3 December 2018.

Child and Youth Services successfully transferred to the employee led mutual, trading as Kudos Services, on 1 October 2018 to provide Early Childhood Early Intervention and child and youth services under the NDIS.
Transition clients to the NDIS and support the full implementation of the NDIS in South Australia (5) Clients, families, employees, unions and the sector are consulted on the design and implementation of a process for existing clients to receive their supported accommodation services from the non-government sector. The following consultation was undertaken as part of a continuous process of listening and responding to stakeholders:
  • OzTrain conducted a consultation with staff, with the report released in December 2018.
  • The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) consulted with clients, with the report released in April 2019.
  • KPMG consulted with the non-government sector.
Transition clients to the NDIS and support the full implementation of the NDIS in South Australia (6) A market process is commenced in collaboration with the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) to transfer the commercial services of Domiciliary Equipment Services (DES) to the non-government sector. The department undertook a market process with DTF to transfer DES to the non-government sector. An initial market sounding concluded on 8 February 2019. A formal market process to identify a new provider commenced on 12 March 2019 and concluded in July 2019. However, a number of transfer objectives were not able to be satisfied.

Corporate performance summary

Budget Performance Indicators2018-19
Percentage of screening applications finalised within one calendar month (for screenings received and finalised in the same financial year) 95% 98% Yes
Number of active NDIS participants with approved plans 1 32,284 27,900No
Percentage of interpreting and translating centre clients satisfied with accuracy of services 2 99% 95%No
Percentage of interpreting and translating centre assignments completed to agreed or standard timelines 2 98% 95%
Percentage of agencies funded through the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund which achieve agreed outcomes within DHS service agreements 100% 100% Yes
Number of clients engaged in the Financial Counselling Assistance Program 2,000 2,444 Yes
Agencies funded through Grants SA achieving agreed outcomes as defined in service agreements 85% 92% Yes
Proportion of case plans completed in six weeks 75% 83% Yes
Proportion of community-based orders successfully completed 75% 79% Yes

1 The published target represents the total number of South Australians anticipated to receive NDIS support by 30 June 2019. In South Australia, 29,034 participants had approved plans or were referred to Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports as at 30 June 2019. 1,134 participants with approved plans have exited the Scheme, resulting in 27,900 active participants (including ECEI).

2 Due to the small number of feedback survey respondents, small fluctuations in feedback are amplified in percentages. In 2018-19, 41 survey respondents provided a response to 281 questions in total. Of these responses, 14 (5%) were deemed to be unsatisfactory. Survey responses assist the Interpreting and Translating Centre to address areas of concern and improve services.

Employment opportunity programs

Program namePerformance
Aboriginal Traineeship Program This is a State Government initiative to increase employment opportunities for Aboriginal people aged between 17 and 35.
The department’s program allocation for the 18 months from January 2019 until June 2020 is 11 trainees. As at 30 June 2019, six trainees have been recruited.
DHS Graduate Program The department did not conduct an annual graduate intake in 2019, primarily due to Machinery of Government changes that resulted in Housing SA commencing operations as a statutory corporation, the SA Housing Authority, separate to DHS. Housing SA had previously been the primary recruiter of the department’s graduates.

Agency performance management and development systems

Performance management and development systemPerformance
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.

Reporting the completion of Performance Development Reviews on HR21 is mandatory to meet the department’s reporting requirements.
The percentage of employees with a Performance Development Review in the past 12 months has increased from 73.6% in 2017-18 to 83.6% in 2018-19.

As at 30 June 2019, 70.7% of Performance Development Reviews were current, having been reviewed in the second half of the 2018-19 financial year. Of the remaining reviews, 12.8% had expired being over six months, 11% had expired being over 12 months and 5.5% were not recorded, of which 1.7% were new starters with less than 90 days of service.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program namePerformance
Health & Safety Plan 2016–2018 Modelled on the Building Safety Excellence in the Public Sector (BSEPS) strategy, the Health & Safety Plan 2016–2018 assists DHS to maintain an effective health and safety management system and support an organisational culture where health and safety is an integral part of everything we do. In 2018–19, DHS continued to work closely with stakeholders to deliver the Plan and address shared risks as duty holders to improve safety performance across the department.
Influenza Vaccination Program The Influenza Vaccination Program is part of the DHS Health and Wellbeing Program and contributes to infection control strategies and the prevention of seasonal pandemic influenza. All employees are encouraged to participate in the program, which promotes a healthy workplace, reduces influenza-related absenteeism, increases productivity and engagement, and prevents the flu spreading to other staff and clients.
Wellbeing and Safety Consultative Committee Following reforms to the department and Machinery of Government changes, a review was undertaken to consider how DHS could best support its workforce and consult on work health and safety (WHS) issues into the future.

As a result, the Wellbeing and Safety Consultative Committee (WSCC) was established to provide strategic advice to the Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team. It is also the principal forum for discussion and feedback about WHS strategic policy/program matters, monitoring and reviewing risks and performance, providing recommendations for strategic safety improvements and corrective actions.
Risk Management DHS maintains a responsive safety management system to reduce the likelihood of serious harm or injuries to its workforce. The BSEPS strategy includes a target to reduce the overall number of new workplace injury claims for the public sector. The target is a 30% or more reduction in new claims by 2021–22 (from base year 2011–12).

In DHS, the number of total new workplace injury claims continues to trend downward. During 2018–19, 196 claims were received, which represents a 12.5% reduction from the 224 claims received in 2017–18.
Early Intervention DHS provides an integrated hazard and incident reporting system that initiates hazard alerts to key stakeholders. The BSEPS strategy requires agencies to initiate a return to work at the earliest opportunity, with 80% (or more) of all return to work assessments to be undertaken within two business days of a workplace manager/supervisor being notified of an injury.

As at 30 June 2019, the department remains compliant with 88.27% of all return to work assessments being undertaken within two business days.
Health and Safety Education The department delivers programs on key health safety and injury management topics to target audiences. These include:
  • Passport to HR Success covers some of the fundamental human resource processes, with the target audience being middle line managers with direct reports and human resource responsibilities. The program includes a comprehensive WHS component.
  • Accommodation Services - Shift Supervisors Leadership Program delivers an ‘Identifying and Managing Risks’ topic that covers preventive risk management including identifying what potential and current risk factors may influence their ability to carry out their roles and what can be done to prevent workplace injuries.
  • Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Leadership and Management deliver topics on workplace hazards, consultation, risk management, injury prevention, safety systems and the Employee Assistance Program.

Workplace injury claims2018-192017-18% Change
Total new workplace injury claims 196 224 -12.5%
Fatalities 0 0 0%
Seriously injured workers* 0 1 -100%
Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1,000 FTE) 25.46 24.64 +3.3%

* Number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)

Work health and safety regulations2018-192017-18% Change
Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3) 11 9 +22.2%
Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Sections 90, 191 and 195) 0 4 -100%

Return to work costs**2018-192017-18% Change
Total gross workers compensation expenditure $6.66m $6.58m +1.2%
Income support payments - gross            $2.85m $2.67m +6.7%

** Before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at Data SA under Government reporting and policy.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classificationNumber of executives
SAES1 22

The number of executives is based on the number as at 30 June 2019.

Data for previous years is available at Data SA under Government reporting and policy.

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

Financial performance

Financial performance

Financial performance at a glance

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. The information is unaudited. Full audited financial statements for 2018-19 are attached to this report.

Statement of Comprehensive Income2018-19
Expenses 1,233,454 1,773,597 540,143 1,521,586
Revenues 163,539 186,159 22,620 284,108
Net cost of providing services(1,069,915)(1,587,438)(517,523)(1,237,478)
Net Revenue from SA Government 1,050,210 1,548,186 497,976 1,257,615
Net result(19,705)(39,252)(19,547)20,137
Total Comprehensive Result(19,705)(39,252)(19,547)20,346

* Variation between 2018-19 Budget and 2018-19 Actual

The 2018-19 Actual total comprehensive result is a deficit of $39.252 million, which is $19.547 million unfavourable when compared with the 2018-19 Budget. Explanations for variances in the above table are include in Note 1.4 of the Financial Statements.

Statement of Financial Position2018-19
Current assets 248,443 188,156 (60,287) 273,152
Non-current assets 152,802 170,873 18,071 193,304
Total assets401,245359,029(42,216)466,456
Current liabilities 131,726 111,100 (20,626) 164,831
Non-current liabilities 96,903 62,598 (34,305) 78,972
Total liabilities228,629173,698(54,931)243,803
Net assets172,616185,33112,715222,653

* Variation between 2018-19 Budget and 2018-19 Actual

The increase in net assets between the 2018-19 Budget and 2018-19 Actual result is mainly due to the decrease in short and long term liabilities relating to employee provisions.

Consultants disclosure

The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for the work undertaken during the financial year.

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each

ConsultanciesPurposeActual payment
All consultancies below $10,000 each - combined N/A Nil    

Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each

Total all consultancies equals $1,729,701

ConsultanciesPurposeActual payment
Community Business Bureau Undertake the NDIS Readiness Project to assist service providers make significant changes to enable them to function competitively in the NDIS environment. This is a continuation from the engagement undertaken in 2017-18. $303,875
Community Business Bureau Undertake the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Project to provide business support to organisations operating within identified thin market of disability service delivery in South Australia. $44,600
Dana Shen Consultancy Develop the Child and Family Support System (A Co-design Approach) for the children and family support system. $69,550
Julia Farr Association (Purple Orange)Provide community forums, consultation sessions, reports and assist in developing the first State Disability Inclusion Plan, as required by the Disability Inclusion Act 2018.$37,017
Julia Farr Association (Purple Orange) Host a co-design group to provide input into the consultation and initial feedback on the National Disability Data Assets. $18,764
KPMG Chartered Accountants Scope options for the development of Supported Community Accommodation Services. The engagement leverages existing knowledge and networks to inform the development of a transition strategy for Accommodation Services. $69,195
Michelle Lyon-Green Consulting Collection and presentation of key workforce data in the form of a workforce profile, a supply gap analysis, capability analysis and risk assessment for Disability Services. $31,750
OZ Train Pty Ltd Design and undertake a range of consultation activities to support engagement of staff involved in the delivery of Accommodation Services. $125,975
SNAICC - National Voice for our Children (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corp) Undertake the Culturally Responsive & Trauma Informed Service Delivery Pilot Project to develop training programs for staff. $37,941
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation Inc To design and undertake a range of consultation activities to support the engagement of clients in the development of the transition strategy for Accommodation Services. $84,600
University of South Australia Provide expert advice into the redesign of the child and family support system. $499,420
VUCA Pty Ltd Develop a cultural baseline across Youth Justice and further align to the ‘desired culture’ that will better support and enable the delivery of their strategic vision. $12,600
Exempt from Disclosure Details of consultancies exempt from disclosure under Premier and Cabinet Circular 27. $394,414

Data for previous years is available at: under Government reporting and policy.

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the South Australian Public Sector.

Contractors disclosure

The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for work undertaken during the financial year.

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000

ContractorsPurposeActual payment
All contractors below $10,000 each - combined Various $229,554

Contractors with a contract value above $10,000

The following table shows contractors greater than $10,000 (GST exclusive) reported under Note 3.1 Supplies and services - Contractors and agency staff of the DHS 2018-19 Controlled Financial Statements and under Supplies and services of the DHS 2018-19 Administered Financial Statements. This excludes transactions between government agencies and agency staff.

Total all contractors equals $1,750,328

ContractorsPurposeActual payment
Accru Harris Orchard Review of concessions processes $21,000
ACME Furniture Removals Furniture transport services $24,114
Alister Morton, Physiotherapist Provision of physiotherapy services $10,819
ASTAL Advising and assisting transition project for DHS ICT $119,238
Bookabee Services Australia Aboriginal Culture Awareness Training $23,300
Boundary Solutions Facilities management $20,301
Charles Darwin University External evaluation on the Community Services Support Program $126,932
Colmar Brunton Multicultural South Australia water consumer project $10,900
Community Data Solutions Business intelligence projects $71,782
Comunet Pty Ltd Network infrastructure for Child and Youth Services Mutual $88,478
Creative Systems Pty Ltd Supply and install office equipment $209,090
Crown Furniture Furniture transport services $27,420
Dimension Data Australia P/L Information technology services $25,757
District Council of Coober Pedy Provision of a youth service for young Aboriginal people $12,809
Eric Dayton Business intelligence project $64,200
Exon Security & Alarms Security and alarm systems $19,527
Hannan Duck & Partners Pty Ltd Accommodation Services Rostering Process Review project $30,000
Hender Consulting Lean Six Sigma services $56,206
Inlingua Text Pty Ltd Translation of information $12,015
Insync Solutions Pty Ltd IDM (Identify Management) express onboarding analysis $54,000
Kerri Muller NRM Supporting regional customers in financial difficulty $46,146
KPMG Chartered Accountants Professional services for secondment $37,433
Minda Incorporated Subcontracting of continuity of support services for clients transferring from DHS ASSIST Therapy Services $79,582
NEC Australia Pty Ltd Hire of System Centre Configuration Manager Engineer $62,545
NEC IT Services Australia P/L Maintenance of server and databases $168,210
Objective Corporation Limited Objective support $49,492
OZ Train Pty Ltd Engagement services for the transition process to the launch of the Child and Youth Services Mutual $11,500
Primed Training workshops $10,000
Showpony Advertising Business branding for Child and Youth Services Mutual $49,116
Simply Speaking Public Participation Program $25,966
Square Holes Pty Ltd Market research for Domiciliary Equipment Services $10,500
Sugarman Group International Occupational therapy services $110,271
University of South Australia Achieving water security for sustainability project $25,000
Wellness & Lifestyles Australia Allied health care services $21,789
William Buck (SA) Pty Ltd Establishment of payroll services to Child and Youth Services Mutual $14,890

Data for previous years is available at: under Government reporting and policy.

The details of South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website. View the agency list of contracts.

The website also provides details of across government contracts.

Other financial information

As required by the Public Sector Act 2009 and Public Sector Regulations 2010, the audited financial statements of the department for the financial year ended 30 June 2019 are included in the Appendix to this report. The department’s financial statements include both departmental and administered items.

The Financial Statements include assets, liabilities, income and expenses controlled or incurred by the department in its own right. The Administered Financial Statements include assets, liabilities, income and expenses which the department administers on behalf of the South Australian Government, but does not control. A separate set of financial statements is produced as these administered items are regarded as significant in respect to the department’s operations.

Other information

Nil to report

Risk management

Risk management

Fraud detected in the agency

Category/nature of fraudNumber of instances
Incidents related to missing client funds 12
Incidents related to missing client property 12
Poor/inappropriate practices relating to departmental record keeping 4
Anomalies identified in relation to the provision of services provided by non-government organisations to clients 2

NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

Strategies implemented to control and prevent fraud

DHS has a zero tolerance to fraud and corruption and a commitment towards fostering a culture of trust, integrity and honesty. This is achieved through maintenance of a robust internal control environment, supported by the DHS Fraud and Corruption Framework, which documents the processes for identifying, responding to and reporting of fraud and activities that could be perceived as fraudulent or unethical.

As a major component of fraud and corruption relates to organisational financial interests, an integrated approach comprising, but not limited to risk assessments, internal controls, reporting systems, investigative capabilities, staff training, and communication exists.

This includes Internal Audit, which provides independent assurance that risk management, governance, and internal control processes are operating effectively by considering the risk of fraud and maladministration as a standard objective in their audit program.

The Incident Management Unit (IMU) ensures that care concerns and misconduct matters are responded to in accordance with relevant legislative and departmental policies. IMU also triages, investigates and determines all misconduct and fraud matters relating to DHS staff.

Data for previous 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: 0

Data for previous years is available at: under Government reporting and policy.

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Julia Farr Services (Trusts) Act 2007

Act or RegulationRequirement
Julia Farr Services (Trusts) Act 2007 9 - Annual report

(1) The administrative unit of the Public Service that is primarily responsible for assisting a Minister in relation to the provision of disability services in the State must include in its annual report for each financial year a statement that sets out, insofar as is reasonably practicable, the following information, as at 30 March of the financial year to which the report relates, with respect to the persons who are residents of the Fullarton campus on 30 June 2007:
  1. the number of persons resident at the Fullarton campus;
  2. with respect to the persons resident at a place other than the Fullarton campus, a broad description of the nature of their accommodation;
  3. during the preceding period of 12 months -
    1. the processes used to plan and implement the relocation of any person to accommodation other than the Fullarton campus;
    2. the number of persons who returned to accommodation at the Fullarton campus, and the circumstances of their return.

(2) A report under subsection (1) should be prepared in a manner that does not identify a particular person.

As at 30 March 2019, 31 people with disability were living at the Fullarton campus, now known as Highgate Park.

During the 12 months since 30 March 2018, 28 clients have moved from Highgate Park to a variety of accommodation options. This includes one person who moved back to their family home, four who chose to move to a non-government service and three people over 65 years of age who moved to an aged care service close to their family. A further 20 people moved to purpose built houses which were part of the 100 new homes allocated for people with disability through the 1,000 Homes in 1,000 Days initiative.

Sadly, four residents passed away.

All people living at Highgate Park have participated in the Reconnecting to Community project, which has provided an opportunity to move to community accommodation. Of the remaining residents, 23 are preparing to move to houses being built through the 1,000 Homes in 1,000 Days initiative while eight have not decided on an accommodation option outside Highgate Park.

No previous residents returned to Highgate Park during the preceding 12 months and there were no new admissions.

Water Industry Act 2012

Act or RegulationRequirement
Water Industry Act 2012 Part 10 - Miscellaneous

87 - Consumer Advocacy and Research Fund

(6) The administrative unit of the Public Service that is, under the Minister, responsible for the administration of this Act must, on or before 30 September in each year, present a report to that Minister on the operation of the Fund during the previous financial year.

(7) A report under subsection (6) may be incorporated into the annual report of the relevant administrative unit.

(8) The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before both Houses of Parliament within 12 sitting days after the report is received by that Minister.

The department provides funding to projects through the auspices of the Consumer Advocacy and Research Fund (CARF) to support advocacy or research in relation to water usage that promotes the interests of consumers with disability, on low-income and/or in regional areas. CARF receives $250,000 (indexed) per annum, primarily from water retail licence fees.

Projects which received funding in 2018-19 included:

  • Water Pricing Inquiry Project (conducted by Business SA) to provide a consumer perspective on the Government’s election commitment to undertake an independent Water Pricing Inquiry.
  • High Water Needs of Consumers Living with a Disability Research Project (conducted by Julia Farr Purple Orange) to document the particular conditions of people living with disability which necessitates high water use.
  • Supporting Regional Customers in Financial Difficulty Project (conducted by Kerri Muller NRM Pty Ltd) that aims to provide minor and intermediate retailers with improved service options for customers in financial difficulty. This project also received funding in 2017-18.
  • Sponsorship of the 2019 SACOSS Energy, Water and Telco Conference ‘What Does it Mean to Put Consumers at the Heart’ which explored the consumer-centric transformation evolving in essential services across Australia.

Youth Justice Administration Act 2016

Act or RegulationRequirement
Youth Justice Administration Act 2016 9 - Chief Executive’s annual report

(1) The Chief Executive must, not later than 30 September in each year, submit to the Minister a report on -

  1. the operation of this Act and the work of the Department in relation to the administration of this Act for the financial year ending on the preceding 30 June; and
  2. any other matter as the Minister may direct.

(2) The Minister must, within 12 sitting days after receipt of a report under this section, cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament.

The Youth Justice Administration Act 2016 and Youth Justice Administration Regulations 2016 came into operation on 1 December 2016. The legislation is reflected in the Youth Justice service model, promoting contemporary practice that recognises assessment, case planning and rehabilitation programs as key to reducing re-offending.

During 2018-19, the Youth Justice Division continued to ensure that operational practices are consistent with legislative requirements through ongoing review of procedures and staff training.

DHS is currently implementing section 21A of the Act, which came into operation on 22 October 2018. This new section requires all people employed to work in training centres to undergo psychological assessment of a kind determined by the Chief Executive.

In the past year, Youth Justice also continued to explore improvements to information technology systems to increase the capacity to record and analyse client data to regularly review practice and monitor legislative compliance.

During 2018-19, Youth Justice continued to provide reports and records as required by the Training Centre Visitor (TCV). The role and functions of the TCV were established under the Act and include independent monitoring to ensure that the rights of residents of training centres are upheld. The current South Australian Guardian for Children and Young People was appointed as the TCV on 11 July 2017.

Reporting required under the Carers' Recognition Act 2005

Under Section 6 of the Carers Recognition Act 2005, the department is required to ensure all officers, staff and agents have an awareness and understanding of the principles of the Carers Charter, which promotes consultation with carers or their representatives in policy development, service planning and delivery. DHS must also consider carers who receive government services and carers who are employees.

The following information summarises actions undertaken by the department during 2018-19 to support compliance with Section 6:

  • employees were exposed to the requirements of the Act and Carers Charter during induction and training
  • flexible carer leave arrangements were available across the department
  • responsibilities under the Act and Carers Charter were raised at carers’ network and across-government meetings and during community forums
  • young carers were provided with the opportunity to participate in the development of a three-year Youth Action Plan for South Australia
  • the department, through the Community Services Directorate, continued to assist and liaise with other government departments that deliver services to carers or whose employees are carers
  • South Australian Home and Community Care (SA HACC) program funding continued to be provided to five statewide carer support organisations for a range of carer services.

In addition to the above, the department consulted with the Department for Health and Wellbeing to identify carer services and supports for carers that will be available outside of the NDIS, through a range of government and non-government (community-based) initiatives and the Commonwealth Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS).

Carers and service continuity remained a priority of the department during transition to the NDIS and implementation of the ICSS. DHS worked closely with the Carer Support Network SA during the roll-out of the NDIS, the Carer Gateway and establishment of Regional Delivery Partners under the ICSS.

Public complaints

Public complaints

Number of public complaints reported

Complaint categoriesSub-categoriesExampleNumber of
Professional behaviour Staff attitude Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile; cultural competency 19
Professional behaviour Staff competency Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided 8
Professional behaviour Staff knowledge Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge 0
Communication Communication quality Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer 5
Communication Confidentiality Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly 0
Service delivery Systems/
System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design 0
Service delivery Access to services Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities 66
Service delivery Process Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive 3
Policy Policy application Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given 0
Policy Policy content Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer 0
Service quality Information Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose 0
Service quality Access to information Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English 0
Service quality Timeliness Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met 3
Service quality Safety Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness 8
Service quality Service responsiveness Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations 24
No case to answer No case to answer Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate 0
   Total 136

Source: DHS Client Feedback System (note: complaints data is influenced by various factors including Machinery of Government changes, changes in service provision and relies on complaint data being entered into the Client Feedback System).

Additional MetricsTotal
Number of positive feedback comments 69
Number of negative feedback comments 136
Total number of feedback comments 205
% complaints resolved within policy timeframes 81%

Data for previous years is available at: under Government reporting and policy.

Service improvements for period

Service improvements that responded to customer complaints or feedback


In response to customer feedback, ConcessionsSA simplified and streamlined concession processes in 2018-19 to reduce red tape. As a result, ConcessionsSA is due to process 250,000 less sheets of paper each year. Customer service improvements include:

  • Simplified concessions application form: The number of questions on the customer application form was significantly reduced from 34 to 14 questions. Forms were also consolidated, resulting in a single application for all household concessions (energy, water, sewerage, Cost of Living and Emergency Services Levy).
  • Reduced supporting documents: Operational systems were improved so that customers no longer need to provide copies of a range of documents with their application or when their living arrangements change.
  • Shift in customer communication channels: DHS now seeks any missing customer information via communication over the phone, rather than by post.
  • Notification of approval: Written notification was introduced to advise the customer that their application was approved, reducing any uncertainty for the customer. A summary of concession payment methods and timeframes is included to help keep the customer informed.

As a result of service improvements, the processing time for customer applications has been reduced from two to three months to less than one week.

In 2019-20, further work will be undertaken to simplify and streamline online forms and to utilise SMS technology to provide concessions notification updates to customers.

Interpreting and Translating Centre (ITC)

Changes to the ITC Management System were made to address client complaints regarding invoicing and response times to booking confirmation. These include the centralisation of accounts and process enhancements.

Youth Justice

In 2018-19, following research into alternative options to partially clothed searches at the Adelaide Youth Training Centre - Kurlana Tapa, Youth Justice implemented the use of ion scanning machines that can detect various forms of contraband, such as illegal drugs. This has contributed to a reduction in the number of partially clothed searches being undertaken.

Page last updated : 12 Aug 2021

This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2021 DHS .[sm v5.5.6.6]