Department of Human Services

Service improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2019–20

The following summarises service improvements implemented by the department during the past 12 months in response to complaints or consumer suggestions:

  • In response to recommendations of the Ombudsman SA, the department committed to ceasing the use of resident-worn spit protection (RWSP) by 30 June 2020. In accordance with this commitment, RWSP has been removed from the Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre and removed from the list of approved mechanical restraints. The relevant Security Order has been revised, staff have been trained in adapted tactics and a General Manager’s Notice prohibiting the use of spit hoods has been issued to staff.
  • Feedback from clients influenced a significant organisational change within Accommodation Services. New roles were created to improve service coordination and quality and safeguarding in the service. New communication methods were also established with clients and their families and carers, with regular newsletters and family forums commencing, and a new vision launched for the services ‘Everything about you with you’.
  • As a result of COVID-19, many vulnerable people were unable to access their usual support networks when applying for assistance. ConcessionsSA introduced telephone applications for household concessions, with Customer Service Officers guiding people through the process and providing an instant outcome. A new online application form for Funeral AssistanceSA was also introduced as an alternative to the slower postal, fax and email applications.
  • In response to feedback from service providers, the submission process for annual performance reviews of contracted services was moved to the online portal used for service data reporting, streamlining the process for providers and reducing duplication.
  • The Interpreting and Translating Centre (ITC) has increased its capacity to deliver phone and video conferencing (with adjusted fees) and moved to electronic delivery of translation services. This mitigates client concerns about onsite and face-to-face interpreting during COVID-19.
  • Following the release of the report, An investigation into the experiences of Community Centre users in South Australia, a Community Placemaking grant was developed in partnership with Community Centres SA. The grant enables South Australian community centres to apply for a grant to help establish or improve infrastructure at centres, to ensure a more welcoming, friendly and safe environment.
  • Customer suggestions have been made to shorten time between grant funding application and notification. With the implementation of the COVID-19 Support Grant to respond to the needs of the community services sector during the pandemic, Grants SA initiated a more streamlined grants administration process, significantly reducing processing times and ensuring payment of grants was made as quickly as possible.
Page last updated : 02 Dec 2020

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