Department of Human Services

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Wednesday 16 February 2022

This is an archived Newsletter. The information may be outdated.

For the latest COVID-19 information, please refer to the SA Government COVID-19 website.

Dear sector colleagues,

I hope you're enjoying a safe transition back to the workplace as we continue to navigate our way through living with COVID-19 in South Australia. It’s hard to believe it’s February already, but at the same time, it feels like we have come a very long way since the start of the year.

I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you again for your ongoing commitment to deliver vulnerable South Australians the support and advocacy they deserve. Despite the challenges brought upon by COVID-19 in a changing global landscape, we have continued to stand up to the challenge and collectively achieve some outstanding results for our communities.

We are still working to assist NGOs in securing a supply of RATs for workers supporting vulnerable people in group or home settings, and hope this has been helpful to date.

If you have not been able to source RATs from a supplier, please contact us at DHSAssetsRequests@sa.gov.au to order enough supply for surveillance testing to cover a two week period, and we will endeavour to ensure your workforce has adequate supplies.

As you are no doubt aware we are heading to a State election on 19 March. This means from this Saturday, 19 February 2022, we enter a ‘caretaker” period. While the business of government continues and ordinary administration matters are still addressed, Government Departments must avoid any major decisions, contracts or undertakings that would bind an incoming government.

During this time DHS will of course continue to assist and support you, while ensuring we abide by caretaker conventions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us during this time.

I’d also like to share that our Community Connections team won a significant Award at the Premier's Excellence Awards held last week. The team has reformed the 35-year-old Home and Community Care initiative (HACC) and developed it into a new program to support socially isolated South Australians build vital connections with communities and services.  Many of you have helped in the evolution of this program and this recognition could not have achieved without your outstanding support and contributions.

We highly value the relationships we have built and developed with our sector partners, and your continuous engagement and expertise enables us to continue to implement initiatives and deliver services that meet the needs of our community. We look forward to evaluating this program with you and applying any learnings. Thank you! You can read more about the award in the article below.

Today’s newsletter also features articles about applications for At Home Care Grants, service and support options now available in Aboriginal languages, how to undertake the Rainbow Tick accreditation for your organisation, a collaborative pilot project that was aired on SBS World News, how to recognise your volunteers for their outstanding volunteer service, building a climate resilient community sector, and a reminder about our DHS Highgate Vaccination Clinic offering a low sensory environment to support people who may be feeling anxious about getting vaccinated.

We will continue to update you on developing COVID-19 information as it comes to hand, as well as any other news that may be useful for your organisation and workforce.

Finally, you may have seen media reports this week regarding a Health and Community Complaints Commissioner’s investigation and the release of Freedom of Information details into care concerns at our Transition to Home (T2H) disability community house at Hampstead.

T2H is a service that DHS Disability Services provides to people with disability who do not need acute care, to discharge from hospital into more independent accommodation before suitable long-term accommodation is available. We have accepted the Commissioner’s findings, with implementation already underway, and are genuinely sorry the client did not receive the level of support and care expected. 

However, as I know you will understand, there are many positive stories related to the support of clients by our dedicated staff at T2H and DHS is committed to providing services which reduce the number of people with disability unnecessarily in hospital.  In doing so, we will continue to work hard to ensure our clients are treated with respect and dignity at all times.

Take care and I look forward to strengthening our relationships and expanding upon our services together in 2022.

Ngaityalya (Kaurna, thank you)

Lois Boswell
Chief Executive

Read the NGO Newsletter online - 16 February 2022

Page last updated : 16 Feb 2022

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