Quality standards for homeless services

National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF)    

Supporting individuals and families experiencing homelessness is a key priority of Government.  To assist in ensuring that homelessness services provided are of a high standard, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has developed a National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) on behalf of the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government.  

WHY DO WE NEED A NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARDS FRAMEWORK?
The policy aim is to achieve services for people experiencing homelessness that are well organised, co-ordinated and integrated and focused on moving people out of homelessness, as quickly as possible, into long-term, sustainable housing. 

THE OBJECTIVES OF THE STANDARDS ARE TO:
Promote safe and effective service provision to persons experiencing homelessness

  • Support the objectives of National Homelessness Policy, i.e. enabling people to move into and sustain housing with appropriate levels of support.
  • Establish consistency in how persons experiencing homelessness are responded to across different regions and models of service delivery.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARDS FRAMEWORK TO KEY STAKEHOLDERS?Quality standards support service providers in meeting their core objectives. Service users, providers and funders all require sustainable outcomes, which in the area of homelessness can be categorised as:

  • Where possible, preventing homelessness
  • Moving people who use homeless services out of emergency provision as quickly as possible
  • Supporting persons, who were formerly homeless to sustain housing with levels of support appropriate to their needs.

Benefits for Service Users: a National Quality Standards Framework informs service users as to what they can expect from homeless services.
Benefits for Service Providers: Having an agreed National Quality Standards Framework assists organisations to ensure they are clear about their responsibilities to deliver safe and effective services and that services provided ultimately result in the prevention and/or the reduction of time spent in homeless services.
Benefits for Funders: Funding bodies or service commissioners are concerned with the effectiveness of the service relative to expenditure and its success at preventing and reducing homelessness. Funders include national and local government through various departments but primarily the DHPLG, local authorities and the HSE as well as donors to organisations providing homeless services. 

WHAT SERVICES ARE COVERED BY THE NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARDS FRAMEWORK?
People at-risk-of or experiencing homelessness receive support from a broad range of specialist and mainstream organisations.

The National Quality Standards Framework will be applicable to all homeless service provision in receipt of Section 10 funding, whether the delivery mode is via a statutory, voluntary or private service provider.

The National Quality Standards Framework will apply to homeless services for single adults, for adult couples, and for adults with dependent children.