Promoting Good Practice

Paper 13: Good Living Conditions Project - Connecting Community Services to collaboratively address Domestic Squalor in the Illawarra

Verica Sajdovska and Sue Evans, UnitingCare Ageing South Eastern Region, NSW

UnitingCare Ageing South Eastern Region (UCASER) identified that older people who are disadvantaged and living in severe domestic squalor in the Illawarra would benefit from improved living conditions and an enhanced quality of life.

In 2007 DADHC released Guidelines for the Field Staff to Assist People living in Severe Domestic Squalor. UCASER was successful in achieving Bequest funding from UnitingCare Ageing NSW.ACT to undertake this 12 month project which will implement the above Guidelines in the Illawarra. UCASER is currently a HACC funded Domestic Assistance provider in the Illawarra.

The project is based on a community development approach to sustainable service improvement. It will develop an agreed local area protocol to implement the DADHC Guidelines. The purpose of this project is not to undertake the cleanup work, but to establish an interagency protocol, including pathways for referral, to ensure people living in severe domestic squalor are assisted in a consistent and systematic way.

The aims are the development of an Interagency Committee to map and review current practice, and identify how the local community services network can implement the Guidelines in the Illawarra and develop a protocol on interagency service support and responsibilities. Education (in form of educational forums and development of Squalor DVD), information and advice will also be offered to service providers.

  • Progress on the project so far.
  • Project challenges and how they are being overcome.
  • Where to when Protocol has been finalised
  • The project covers the areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama LGAs and will particularly support people from rural and remote areas, people with dementia and those who are socially isolated or experiencing mental illness.