JaneAuthor: Jane Symonds

Detailed guidelines and application forms for the new Department of Social Services funding rounds were released this morning. All details are available on the Department’s website here.

Selection processes

Of the 21 programmes, 14 have an “open selection process” – that is, any appropriately qualified provider can apply.

Five Families and Communities programmes will be funded under a “direct selection process”, in which the Department will approach existing high-performing providers to expand delivery or deliver new services.

One programme in the Disability, Mental Health and Carers area is offered through an open process, but a direct approach will also be made to 13 service providers, whose current funding to deliver Family Mental Health Support Services will end on 31 December this year.

Funding for the much publicised Stronger Relationship trial – delivering education and/or counselling to couples with a view to reducing family breakdown – is being offered under a direct and restricted approach. Existing Family and Relationship Services providers, and non-profit providers currently offering education or counselling to at least 100 couples per year, can apply to be part of the Stronger Relationships Panel.

Programmes and funding available

As previously indicated, the Families and Communities Programme represents the bulk of the grant rounds, and covers activities including financial crisis and counselling, child and parent support, community capacity building, volunteering, multicultural affairs, gambling and peak body support.

Two grants are available under the Disability, Mental Health and Carers programme, focussing on sector development and early intervention, while just one offering is made under the Housing and Homelessness, and Ageing and Service Improvement programmes.

All application rounds will close on 23 July 2014, with the exception of the Stronger Relationships panel that will be open until 31 March 2015.

Advice for applicants

As we have previously outlined, the funding restructure supports the Government’s (and indeed all levels of government’s) intention to establish funding agreements with sustainable and collaborative organisations working in consortia and setting up referral pathways.

Questions regarding collaborative arrangements appear early in all application forms. Working or applying in isolation will not see success!