Victorian social services framework- what is new?

As of the 1st of July 2024, the Victorian Social Services framework is now in effect, replacing the Victorian Human Service Standards and providing a cohesive regulatory framework for all registered social service providers in Victoria. 

The new Social Services Framework now also includes the introduction of the Social Services Regulator, which is an independent statutory authority established under the Social Services Regulation Act 2021 (Vic).

Jonathan Kaplan has been appointed as the inaugural Social Services Regulator. Within this role he is responsible for conducting several measures designed to support the safe delivery of social services including:

  • Ensuring service providers understand their role in protecting the rights of service users;
  • Defining roles and responsibilities of service providers;
  • Responding to risks of harm through monitoring and enforcement powers; and
  • Identifying and responding to any risks of harm to service users.

Victorian Social Services Standards

The new framework aims to both increase efficiency of the social service system by simplifying registration and reporting requirements for providers, and improve the safety of Victorian consumers who engage with the social service system.

To reflect this streamlining of the social services system, the new framework features six standards, which are as follows:  

  • Safe service delivery; 
  • Service user agency and dignity;  
  • Safe service environment;  
  • Feedback and complaints;  
  • Accountable organisational governance; and  
  • Safe workforce.  

The standards apply to a range of different providers in Victoria including:  

  • Out of home care services for children and young people;  
  • Community-based child and family services;  
  • Disability services provided or funded by the department, or funded by Transport Accident Commission or WorkSafe;  
  • Supported residential services; and  
  • Homelessness support services such as referral, support and accommodation services. 

The Regulator has recently issued guidance that includes suggested actions and success indicators for meeting the requirements of each service standard.

Victorian Child Safe Standards

In addition, the Regulator will now also oversee the Victorian Child Safe Standards, primarily focusing on informing and educating organisations about their obligations under these standards.   

However, in the case of more extreme circumstances, the Regulator is also able to take further regulatory action to ensure an organisation’s compliance with the Child Safe Standards and to address serious risks to the safety of children and young people. 

How SPP can help your organisation

To help providers ensure that they understand and comply with all of the requirements, recommended actions and indicators of success featured within the new Victorian Social Services Standards, we’ve built a self-assessment module in SPP that reflects this new framework.

And for providers who have been using our existing self-assessment moduleto follow the current Human Services Standards, we have a mapped self-assessment so that you can quickly compare the two sets of standards and identify any additional areas of work required.

In addition, we also have a separate self-assessment for the Victorian Child Safe Standards!

Ready to meet the new Victorian Social Services Framework?

Sign up to SPP to see how our self-assessments can help you with your social service compliance!

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SPP has been a great resource for understanding and mapping Standards, preparing for Audits and also sourcing resources for policy development. I would recommend it to other organisations to complement their quality and compliance work. Information can be easily shared, and evidence gathered to support all work done.
Community mental health service provider, Victoria
I like the speed and ease of SPP, I love how it maps multiple standards. It’s so convenient, I couldn’t imagine the nightmare to do the work manually. The templates are great for gap analysis. SPP resource templates are great for implementing new policies in the office and for what we do day to day.
Large provider of settlement services to immigrants, New South Wales
I have found the SPP system amazing. It provides a structured way to work through the standards and then provide a succinct report on the evidence being provided for a surveyor to view how we meet the standard. I used this in our recent accreditation survey, the auditor was very impressed, AND we are now accredited for ISO 9001. Thanks again. A great system.
Provider of diverse range of health programs, Queensland
We really like SPP. We use the resources in the Reading Room and couldn't have passed our accreditation with flying colours without SPP.
Advocacy, support and education provider, Australian Capital Territory
Everything is going well with SPP. It’s helped us through three lots of accreditation over the past nine months plus some internal auditing, so I’m very glad to have had it to assist us through the processes.
Large regional multi-service provider, Victoria