Review of Social Support and Respite in the Home and Community Care (HACC) and Aged Care Programs

Project Type - Ageing and aged Care


The Department of Health (the Department) appointed Health Outcomes International (HOI) to review the range and effectiveness of models of social support and respite services funded by the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program and the Aged Care Support for Carers Program (SCP) in Victoria in terms of ability to meet needs of clients into the future within the principles of an Active Service Model (ASM) framework and the Well for Life principles and philosophy. 

 The review focused on two aspects:

  1. What is being delivered in Victoria at the moment? (a stock take) 
  2. What are the barriers and drivers or supports to implementation and delivery of social support services that operate according to the core elements of effective service that are identified in the review?

Key methodological approaches for this project included:

  • a literature scan to provide a body of evidence in relation to current social support and respite service models that have been implemented in Australia and overseas and to inform the consultations with nominated stakeholders 
  • extensive stakeholder consultations including:
    • a service provider survey to provide a snapshot of the types of social support and respite service provided by HACC and SCP service providers. The results from this survey provided a rich body of evidence for service providers to make a comparative analysis of their programs and utilise the findings to assist in future service planning
    • service provider and consumer focus groups in each of the eight (8) Victorian regions. The focus groups were designed to gather feedback from social support and respite participants about the programs and how well they met their needs and what services they might need into the future.

HOI produced and comprehensive and evidence based final report focusing on the following three (3) key areas:

  • the current ‘State of Play’ of Victoria’s Social Support and Respite services funded by HACC and SCP in the context of how they support social connections and support care relationships
  • the ‘Ideal’ Future Service Response that emerged from the evidence obtained through the literature scan, service provider survey, and service provider and consumer focus groups
  • future considerations the Department will need to consider to achieve the ideal future service response in line with Departmental policies and philosophies to support care relationships and social connections given the current state of play.