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Department of Human Services

Accommodation Services Family Update

Instructions for DHS Accommodation Services Family and Friends Forum

The intent of the forum is to provide you with an update about the response of our service to the COVID-19 situation and to also answer questions you may have.

Date: 3pm on Monday 6 April 2020.

There is no need to RSVP for this event.

Just click on the link below from your phone or computer and you will be able to enter the forum.

To join the live event:

  • Follow this link to the forum and it will open in your web browser.
  • Select Watch on the web instead (white button)

    Watch on the web instead
  • Select the "Join anonymously" link

    Join anonymously

Viewing requirements (compatible internet browsers)

  • Firefox
  • Google chrome
  • Microsoft edge


  • iOS
  • Android

You will join the live event or be placed in the lobby until the live event starts.

If you are having technical problems a summary of the event will be made available as soon as possible.

Please email us with any questions you may have prior to the forum.

Please email your questions to or phone us on 1800 952 962.

Please note that we are not able to respond to individual matters relating to your loved one at this forum.  If you would like to discuss a specific matter about your loved one, please contact your Service Coordinator or Team Leader.

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at Friday 27 March 2020

Thank you to the families and friends of those we support in DHS Accommodation Services for your understanding around our necessary response to the COVID-19 situation.

We will hold an online forum electronically with families and friends shortly and will contact you with details and a link to join in.

Here is an update on the impacts of the current situation for those we support.

The current situation

  • Social distancing measures now underway will be in place indefinitely
  • These measures are to help protect the health of the people we support, our staff and you, and keep everyone safe
  • We will continue to review the requirements across Accommodation Services and provide updates on this page if things change

Our staff response

  • Staff have protocols around COVID-19 to follow if they or the people they support are potentially exposed to the virus
  • There is also a process around social distancing to follow in the houses which details what is okay to do, and what is not okay to do
  • We know some people we support will still pursue their own choices, so Area Managers are recording their alternate choices and the efforts made to explain the situation to the person, and offer alternative activities or outings

You can continue to stay in touch

  • Staying in contact with your family member or friend is important for both them and you
  • We know that some of you are connecting with them by phone or using technology like FaceTime or video calls which is terrific and we encourage this to continue (each house has an iPad)

How to contact us and stay informed

  • If you need to get in touch with us, please phone 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm excluding public holidays)
  • You can also email us at
  • The latest information for family members and friends is available on this Accommodation Services family update webpage
  • Alerts and advice regarding COVID-19 are available on the SA Health website and Australian Government website

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at Wednesday 18 March 2020

As the situation around Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to rapidly evolve, we would like to update you about some of the changes Accommodation Services is making.

These changes are in place to help protect the health of the people we support and our staff, and keep them and you safe.

The main focus is on social distancing, which is designed to help minimise the spread of infection of Coronavirus in our community.

Visitor and activity restrictions are now in place

  • Non-essential visitors are not able to enter the homes within our service and the Northgate Aged Care facility
  • Non-essential activities outside the homes are also stopping, including group day activities
  • These social distancing arrangements are in place from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until Tuesday 31 March 2020 but will be reviewed and possibly updated
  • This is in line with Australian Government advice to protect vulnerable Australians by reducing visitors to all residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

There are some exceptions

  • We want life to continue as normally as possible for those we support during this time, while still trying to maintain social distancing measures to help prevent the risk of spread and keep everyone safe
  • To stay in contact, we are requiring that you make arrangements with the Area Manager to help us manage safety for the people we support (this may include some checks to make sure you are well)
  • You may also like to phone your family member or friend during this time, or have a chat using technology like FaceTime or other video calls (each house has an iPad)

Work arrangements and other key visitors

  • Our Area Managers will respond to specialist needs such as unique arrangements for emergency visits if a client is ill
  • We will also assist with challenging behaviours by looking at individual outings where safe and appropriate in open, unpopulated spaces
  • Each house has particular needs, and we are working through how these arrangements may change from house to house
  • There may be exceptions for people living in the houses who work, and we will liaise closely with employers to ensure they are providing a safe and hygienic workplace
  • Guidelines are being developed that involve recording client needs, sharing Positive Behaviour Support Team strategies to address anxieties, and measures to try and maintain lifestyle opportunities and stimulating activities within homes
  • We are also implementing initiatives to help improve understanding around hand hygiene, prevention of spread and importance of social distancing from the wider community

What else you can do

  • If you have any suggestions or ideas about in-house activities that could assist, please let us know by phoning 1800 952 962 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Thank you for your understanding during this time.

While there are many unknowns and the situation does present challenges for everyone, we are working to ensure there is flexibility where there needs to be.

Please rest assured that we are doing all we can to keep serving those we support, our staff and you as safely as possible.

Helpful information:

Frequently Asked Questions for family members and friends (updated 18 March 2020) (PDF 114.6 KB)

Australian Government Social Distancing Guidance (PDF 180.6 KB)

Useful information / contacts

Australian Government Department of Health

SA Health

Accommodation Services


South Australian Government

  • South Australia COVID-19 Information Line: Phone 1800 253 787 (8.00 am to 8.00 pm daily)
Page last updated : 01 Apr 2020

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