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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2011): Homelessness - overseas

Responding to people sleeping rough: dilemmas and opportunities for social work

C. Parsell

Australian Social Work, vol.64, 2011, p.330-345

This article critically analyses different approaches to outreach to rough sleepers in Australia. Despite their relatively small numbers, rough sleepers have been identified as a priority group for intervention at the national, state and territory level. Moving beyond traditional charity approaches or interventions that simply 'move people on', emerging models of assertive outreach have been implemented in Australia as part of broader strategies to reduce homelessness. It is argued that assertive outreach interventions are more likely to succeed if linked to the capacity to enable rough sleepers to access independent tenancies. An assertive outreach response to rough sleeping under which services are flexibly delivered in a manner that encourages people to engage represents progress and is consistent with social work principles.

Violence against homeless women: safety and social policy

S. Murray

Australian Social Work, vol. 64, 2011, p. 346-360

Over the past 20 years, there has been an acknowledgement of the links between domestic violence and homelessness which has led to the funding of specialist domestic violence services. However, not all homeless women are assisted by these specialist services, either because they are not homeless due to domestic violence or because they fall through gaps in the system. Instead of being placed in crisis accommodation, such women end up in caravan parks, rooming houses and sleeping rough where they are exposed to increased risk of violence and intimidation. It is concluded that there is a need for greater efforts to prevent homelessness and for social policy that enhances homeless women's safety.

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