The National Homeless strategy, The Way Home: A Strategy to Address Adult Homelessness 2008-2013, provides a commitment to have in place national quality standards in respect of homeless services in Ireland. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has been working on a set of standards, which will inform service users, as to what they can expect of services and provide services with a framework for continuous improvements in their services.
The objectives of the standards are to:
The NQSF will be applicable to all homeless service provision in receipt of section 10 funding, whether the service is statutory, voluntary or private. It will apply to homeless services for single adults, adult couples and for adults with dependent children.
The NQSF has been developed via an extensive consultative process. Expert opinion was provided by a National Advisory Group, comprising of members from Local Authorities, service users, NGOs, as well as Housing and Education providers and Tusla. Extensive feedback was considered from Focus Groups held in locations nationwide-including Limerick, Dublin, Sligo and Cork.
The NQSF adopts the overarching themes used by HIQA. The standards have been developed and informed by drawing from a range of other Frameworks, including QuADs (Quality in Alcohol and Drug Services) and Supporting People-used in Northern Ireland.
The model for the NQSF includes 8 themes under which the standards are organised.
Each theme consists of a number of standard statements, which describe the high level outcome required to deliver effective homeless services. The features under each standard statement give examples of what the service may consider to reach the standard statement and to achieve the required outcome.
We are currently working on National Quality Standards for homeless services that will be implented in 2017
Putting People First is a good practice guide for homeless services. This publication was produced by the the Homeless Agency (now DRHE) to be used as a tool by the providers of services to homeless people in developing and improving service quality and practice. It contains quality standards and performance measures for homeless services - devised by service providers themselves.