Department of Human Services


DHS coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

The situation surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Australia continues to change rapidly. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to supporting vulnerable South Australians in this time of need by continuing our vital work in the community.

With the safety of DHS staff and clients as the top priority, we are rolling out a range of measures to support our people and partners during this time.

Bushfire recovery during Coronavirus

Bushfire recovery during Coronavirus

We are changing the way we deliver bushfire recovery community events.

The State Recovery Office is ensuring numerous communications channels remain open so that you can still receive advice and support.

This also provides communities an opportunity to share ideas and feedback for their recovery process, even though community events may not proceed. Facebook groups exist for online conversation for both the Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek fires.

Up-to-date information on each fire-affected region’s recovery
SA Recovery Facebook page.
Cudlee Creek Facebook page
Kangaroo Island Facebook page

Concession payments

Concession payments

ConcessionsSA continues to operate as normal during its response to COVID-19, except we are not using paper-based application forms. Instead, customers can:

The 2020–21 Cost of Living Concession will receive a once-off boost of $500, and be brought forward, for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment. This measure is to assist people who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of COVID-19.

For more information see the Cost of Living Concession web page.

Domestic, family and sexual violence services

Domestic, family and sexual violence services

The Office for Women is working with its partners to continue to deliver the essential support for women and their children.

You can still get support with domestic, family and sexual violence by phoning:

  • 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) - 24/7 toll-free national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line
  • 1800 800 098 – 24/7 South Australian Domestic Violence Crisis Line

The Women’s Information Service (WIS) phones also remain open  for information that promotes choice and empowerment.

Phone 8303 0590 Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Country callers, phone 1800 188 158

The WIS shopfront in Adelaide is closed until further notice. Physical distancing measures ensure clients, staff, volunteers and the community are safe.

DHS staff and office locations 

DHS staff and office locations 

Following the guidance of the Australian Government, DHS staff have begun working from home where possible and practicing physical distancing in office locations.

We have also increased our cleaning regimes to ensure good hygiene in the workplace.

DHS COVID-19 Response Team

DHS COVID-19 Response Team

A dedicated COVID-19 team has been established at DHS to support new policies and procedures, monitor impacts across our sector, bolster information sharing and advise on key decisions as the situation changes.


Interpreting and Translating Centre

Interpreting and Translating Centre

The Interpreting and Translating Centre provides linguistic and technical expertise in over 100 languages. We often interact with patients in hospital.

We are  limiting contact with customers in person and moving to phone and online interpreting services.

For translations, please email us a high-quality photo of your text.

The in-person counter at the Riverside Centre, is closed until further notice.

The phone line is operating as usual, from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Phone 1800 280 203

SA Health has COVID-19 information posters (6 simple steps to protect yourself and the ones you love) in more than 30 languages.

For more information, contact the Interpreting and Translating Centre.

Non-government service delivery

Non-government service delivery

The State Government is committed to working with the non-government sector to ensure the safety and wellbeing of South Australians.

We will continue to work collaboratively and share advice that will help the sector take practical steps to reduce risks. DHS has established a dedicated COVID-19 Response Team to help with this important work.

The department has also published a NGO coronavirus support page.


Commonwealth Health website

SA Health website

National Coronavirus Helpline – Phone 1800 020 080

Travel advice – Smart Traveller website

People with disability

People with disability

The department is working closely with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to ensure people with disability are prioritised in our response to COVID-19.

To protect the people we support in Accommodation Services disability group homes, from Wednesday 18 March 2020 some visitor and activity restrictions will be in place:

  • There will be restrictions in place for visitors in group homes and Northgate Aged Care facility
  • There will be restrictions in place activities outside homes.

These physical distancing arrangements are regularly being reviewed and updated according to the advice of health authorities. The measures are to support people with a disability being supported to live in the community to stay safe and well.

Visit the Accommodation Services Families Update page for further information.

Related information

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission - Coronavirus information

NDIS and disaster response (includes Easy Read documents)

Screening checks during Coronavirus

Screening checks during Coronavirus

The DHS Screening Unit continues to operate its online portals and its Hotline between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday, for general enquiries.

Face-to-face interviews with applicants have been suspended until further notice and these interviews are instead being conducted on the telephone.

The Screening Unit is working with SA Health to prioritise incoming applications for frontline health staff to ensure they can work as soon as possible.

Screening SA website
For general enquiries, phone 1300 321 592

Visiting vulnerable families and children 

Visiting vulnerable families and children 

We continue to support families and protect children through our Safer Families home visiting services.

A new guideline has been enforced, requiring staff to complete a risk assessment before visiting a home. This includes questions around whether anyone in the home is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or travelled overseas. We are also bringing in new ways to ensure children are safe, such as sighting children with technology (for example, video chats).

We will continue to adapt this guideline to protect our staff and families, while ensuring we stay connected with those who need our help.

We are also communicating regularly with non-government organisations providing services to vulnerable families and children, in collaboration with Aboriginal practitioners.

Youth Justice services

Youth Justice services

The Adelaide Youth Training Centre (AYTC) - Kurlana Tapa is continuing with essential visits and services for its young people in custody. Youth Justice staff are taking appropriate cautions and may ask additional questions of visitors at the point of entry to the centre.

Other services across Youth Justice may be affected as the situation progresses. Please contact the relevant Youth Justice office if you have any questions.

Page last updated : 24 Apr 2020

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