Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Minister addresses hoarding and squalor conference

22 February 2012

Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance, has today opened the second National Conference on Hoarding and Squalor, organised by Catholic Community Services.

The Minister said hundreds of delegates are attending the conference from throughout Australia and the world.

“The purpose of the conference is to raise awareness and understanding of the complex circumstances contributing to squalor and hoarding behaviours and identify priorities for agencies working with this vulnerable client group,” Mr Constance said.

“It will also provide an opportunity to share the findings of academics, providers and consumers as we work towards improving client outcomes.

“Most people living in squalor are socially isolated and have little contact with their families, friends and neighbours.”

People who are currently being assisted by case management programs range in age from 25 to 94 years.

This financial year, the NSW Government has allocated more than $1.4 million in recurrent and one-off funding under the Home and Community Care program (HACC), to assist people living in squalor.

“The HACC program is a joint initiative of the Australian and NSW Governments and provides basic maintenance and support services for frail aged and younger people with a disability and their carers,” Mr Constance said.

Recurrent funding has been allocated for case management services in three areas:

  • $323,000 in the Hunter;
  • $105,000 in south east Sydney; and
  • $80,000 in northern Sydney.

One-off funding has also been allocated for case management in a further three areas:

  • $315,000 in the Illawarra;
  • $315,000 in the Southern Highlands; and
  • $315,000 in south west Sydney.

The Minister said the NSW Government, through its Homelessness Action Plan, also funded Catholic Community Services to promote the use of new guidelines for agencies assisting people living in squalor, with training provided to a wide range of government and non-government staff.

“An e-learning tool, on-line and telephone assistance and a web-based Squalor Toolkit were also developed,” Mr Constance said.

“As a result, there have been a number of improvements including improved awareness of the availability and use of the guidelines, increased confidence in managing elements of squalor and more appropriate referrals to agencies providing case management services for people living in squalor.”

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