Policies and procedures

Information about key policies, procedures and guidelines relating to service agreements
  • Aboriginal therapeutic home based care program and funding guidelines

    The Aboriginal therapeutic home based care program and funding guidelines assist Aboriginal community controlled organisations funded to deliver Aboriginal therapeutic home based care.

    The overall objective of Aboriginal therapeutic home based care is to enhance therapeutic care for Aboriginal children and young people in foster and kinship care placements through the enhanced capacity of care teams and staff to deliver a trauma-informed therapeutic response to children and young people.

  • Business continuity management

    Business continuity management (BCM) ensures an organisation can safeguard people and critical operations, while also upholding community confidence by encouraging organisational resilience.

    Business continuity refers to the capability of an organisation to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.

    This could include:

    • denial of access to the building
    • loss of Information Technology systems and telecommunications
    • loss of vital records (paper based and electronic)
    • loss of key personnel and/or high absenteeism (e.g. Pandemic).

    The Department of Health and Human Services' approach to BCM

    The Department of Health and Human Services takes an all hazards approach to business continuity. This approach aims to identify the department’s dependency on key resources (personnel, information technology and facilities) and the impact on service delivery if they become unavailable.

    The Department of Health and Human Services Business continuity policy facilitates the development of consistent business continuity plans, clarifies roles and responsibilities of executives, managers and staff, and sets out the business priorities following a disruptive event.

    Developing Business Continuity policies and procedures

    All Victorian government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, are advised to comply with the current best practice standards when developing their Business Continuity policies and procedures:

    • AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management - Principles and guidelines
    • International Standard ISO 22301 Societal security - Business continuity management system - Requirements
    • International Standard ISO 22313 Societal security - Business continuity management system - Guidance.

    All Victorian government agencies are also required to comply with the Victorian risk management framework and insurance management policy.

    Further information

    For further information or guidance on business continuity management, visit: 


    For assistance with business continuity management, email Health and Human Services Business Continuity at: businesscontinuity@dhhs.vic.gov.au

  • Child protection manual

    The Child protection manual provides essential practice guidance for professionals who work with vulnerable children, young people and families in Victoria. 

    The manual operationalises the legislative requirements of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and is structured to make it easy to find policies and procedures relating to: 

    • intake
    • investigation 
    • protection
    • closure
    • case planning
    • quality of care concerns
    • police history checks
    • case transfers and more.
  • Disability support register guidelines

    People with a confirmed need for disability support must be registered with the Disability support register (DSR) to be eligible for ongoing disability support. The DSR is a database of all the people with a confirmed need for funding to purchase supports that meet their disability needs or for supported accommodation.

    The Disability support register guidelines explain how an application for ongoing disability support is registered, assessed and considered for approval.


  • Fire risk management

    An organisation entering into a service agreement must have in place an appropriate system to protect people under its care. For this reason, the Department of Health and Human Services is keen to clarify its role and the role of organisations in protecting the department's staff and clients from fire risk.

    A critical part of this commitment is the development of a Fire Risk Management Strategy. Fire risk management procedures and guidelines have been developed to aid compliance with the department and the Director of Housing's obligations for fire risk management in buildings.

    For further information about fire risk management, see section 4.1 of the Service Agreement Information Kit

  • Funded organisation performance management framework

    The Funded organisation performance management framework (FOPMF) provides a uniform set of tools and policies for Department of Health and Human Services monitoring of organisations funded through a Service agreement to ensure a transparent and consistent approach to performance monitoring.

    The FOPMF Overview for the funded sector introduces the framework, identifies which types of organisations will be involved, details the background and drivers for its development, identifies its principles and objectives, how it will operate and who is responsible for instigating the process.

  • Home-based care program requirements

    Home-based care is provided by approved carers in their own home to children and young people who are unable to live at home with their family because of a significant risk of harm or abuse.

    The Department of Health and Human Services funds Community service organisations to manage home-based care programs.

    The Home-based care program requirements outline the minimum practice necessary to ensure a consistent approach to high quality services delivery.

    Foster care spot audits

    The term 'home-based care' includes all forms of foster care. In April 2017, the department commenced spot audits of organisations providing foster care in Victoria. The audits provide another mechanism to foster continuous improvement for organisations managing foster care placements.

    This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the spot audit process.

  • Homelessness and housing reform launch sites

    Three areas - Brimbank Melton, Hume Moreland and Inner Gippsland - have been selected to launch a new way of working across the homelessness and social housing service systems. The objectives of the launch sites are to:

    • design and test new service approaches to reduce homelessness

    • increase housing choices

    • integrate homelessness services with social housing and broader social services responses

    • create pathways that are seamless, scalable and sustainable

    • embed an environment and culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

    The Department of Health and Human Services has committed to working with service users, service providers and other stakeholders to design the reforms and new ways of working.

    What is the Launch Sites framework?

    The Launch sites framework aims to guide stakeholders through the process of redesigning delivery and rethinking how we use our resources (funding, people, physical and social capital) to deliver better outcomes for people who are homeless or in housing crisis.

    Further information

    FAQs for general stakeholders

    FAQs for homeless and housing providers

    Inner Gippsland area presentation

    Inner Gippsland area profile

    Hume Moreland area presentation

    Hume Moreland area profile

    Brimbank area presentation

    Brimbank area profile

  • L17 Family violence portal

    Family violence referrals and reports by Victoria Police are made through the Victoria Police Risk Assessment Management Report (L17) to child protection and community service organisations.

    The Department of Health and Human Services has worked in partnership with Victoria Police, Department of Justice and Regulations and community service organisations to streamline L17 referrals and reports by creating the L17 Family Violence Portal for child protection and family violence outreach services.


    An online training course has been developed to provide a comprehensive overview of the L17 Family Violence Portal.

    Further information


    For assistance with the L17 Family violence portal, email L17Portal@dhhs.vic.gov.au 

  • Lead tenant program requirements

    Lead tenant is an out-of-home care placement option providing medium-term accommodation and support to young people aged 16-18 years, who have been placed away from the care of their families by Child Protection.

    Lead tenant programs provide a safe and semi-independent living environment in which young people are supported by one or two approved adult volunteer lead tenant/s, who provide day-to-day guidance and mature role modelling, supported by professional staff. The Department of Health and Human Services funds Community service organisations (CSOs) to provide lead tenant programs.

    The Program requirements for lead tenant services in Victoria outline the minimum practice requirements for lead tenant programs for CSO staff, to ensure a consistent approach to high quality service delivery.

  • Occupational health and safety

    In Victoria, workplace health and safety is governed by a system of laws, regulations and compliance codes which set out the responsibilities of employers and workers to ensure that safety is maintained at work.

    Worksafe Victoria is the occupational health and safety arm of the Victorian WorkCover Authority, a statutory authority of the Victorian state government. It takes the lead role in the promotion and enforcement of health and safety in Victorian workplaces.

  • Policy and funding guidelines

    The Policy and funding guidelines (PFG) detail the parameters that funded organisations are expected to work within.

  • Private rental assistance program requirements

    Private rental assistance is a preventative intervention that provides holistic support to households vulnerable or at risk of becoming homeless. It is available in a flexible manner, delivering support and practical assistance that is tailored to the needs of each household.

    The private rental assistance guidelines set out the department's expectations and minimum program requirements for agencies delivering private rental assistance.

    For further information, contact your local area private rental assistance program provider.



  • Records management for funded organisations

    A well maintained records management system supports the delivery of quality client-centred services.

    The Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the community services sector and the Public Records Office of Victoria have produced a range of records management fact sheets and guides for funded organisations.

    Fact sheet 1: General information on recordkeeping

    Fact sheet 2: Storage

    Fact sheet 3: Access and security

    Fact sheet 4: Record disposal and transfer

    Fact sheet 5: Freedom of information and funded organisation records

    Fact sheet 6: Digitisation

    Checklist for the transfer of records to DHHS (editable)

    Record retention guide for organisations funded under the Service agreement

  • Residential care services program requirements

    Residential care services provide 24 hour care in staffed residential settings for children and young people who are unable to live at home with their family because of a significant risk of harm or abuse.

    The Department of Health and Human Services funds Community service organisations to provide residential care services.

    The program requirements for Residential care services outline the minimum practice requirements for residential care services for Community service organisations staff to ensure a consistent approach to high quality services delivery.

  • Restrictive interventions

    A restrictive intervention is an action that is used to restrict the rights or freedom of movement of a person with a disability. It includes chemical restraint, mechanical restraint, physical restraint and seclusion.

    A disability service provider must comply with Part 7 of the Disability Act, 2006 about the monitoring and reporting of the use of restrictive interventions.

    Restrictive Interventions Self-Evaluation Tool (RISET)

    The RISET is an online learning tool for people with an interest in restrictive interventions. The tool is a survey that guides users through important information to help them understand when a restrictive intervention has occurred.

    To find out more about RISET, visit the Department of Health and Human Services Disability workers training page.

    Access RISET.

  • Service agreement information kit

    The Service agreement information kit (SAIK) provides essential guidance to organisations that hold a service agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education and Training.

  • Targeted care packages

    Targeted care packages (TCP) were introduced by the Victorian Government in 2015 to enable a child or young person's transition from residential care to an alternative living arrangement. TCPs enable appropriate supports to be developed to prevent the entry of a child or your person to residential care.

    The TCP implementation manual outlines the operational processes and decision-making points for the development and implementation of targeted care packages (packages) for children and young people in Victoria.


    Variation form

    Approval form - commence scoping a package

    Proposal assessment and approval form

    Form A - package administration arrangements

    Form B - goals and deliverables

    Form C - funding schedule

    Budget year acquittal and reconciliation form

    Package closure approval form

    Referral form

    Submission coversheet


    Guide to types and stages

    Guide to end of financial year acquittal

    Guide to end of financial year acquittal (CSO)

    Guide to activity templates

    Referral for TCP guide - CRIS for child protection

    Frequently asked questions

    Targeted care packages FAQ for providers

  • Victorian housing register

    On 18 September 2015, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley announced the creation of a housing register to consolidate all social housing applications into a single register.

    The Victorian housing register (VHR) is being designed and implemented in partnership between the community housing sector, the homelessness services sector, including family violence, and the Department of Health and Human Services.


  • Whole of Victorian Government contracts

    The Victorian Government has negotiated a range of favourable Whole of Victorian Government contracts for the purchase of goods and services.

    Each contract has specific rules associated with it. It is important to read the terms and conditions carefully before entering into a contract. For some contracts, you may be obliged to use the contracted supplier(s) for the duration of the contract. The supplier(s) may not be obliged to provide the goods and services to you under certain circumstances. 

    Advantages of using Whole of Government contracts

    • access to the buying power of a very large group
    • suppliers are selected using rigorous processes to ensure they meet the Victorian Government procurement objective of value for money
    • supplier performance levels are agreed in advance for example customer service levels, accuracy and timeliness of transaction data such as invoices and provision of reports in agreed format and on time
    • contracted suppliers can be engaged with relative ease
    • purchasing processes have been streamlined to be as simple as possible
    • price and performance of suppliers is monitored for continuous improvement
    • availability of the required goods or services may be more assured
    • monthly sales, performance and usage reports are often an agreed service provided by suppliers
    • processes for resolving issues of under-performance or pricing and other disagreements are in place
    • compared to ad hoc purchasing, the option of paying invoices monthly for some contracts can increase transactional efficiencies.

    Further information

    Visit the Victorian Government Purchasing Board for extensive information on State Purchasing Contracts.