New community service

Mary Wooldridge

Mary Wooldridge

A PROGRAM that links up various services for vulnerable people will soon be rolled out in Bendigo.

The aptly named Services Connect will link up services such as child protection, disability services, homelessness services and drug and alcohol clinics.

The program integrates the services so that Department of Human Services clients have one central point of contact, rather than having to go to apply to a whole host of agencies to receive the help they need.

Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge said the program meant that the department could provide more targeted assistance to its clients.

"By giving people one clear plan of support we help people build the strengths  and capabilities they need to move out of disadvantage rather than continually cycling through it," she said.

"Individuals and families have told us they are looking for a simpler experience of human services, with one person to contact, for information to be better coordinated so they only need to tell their story once, and for their services to be managed in a coordinated way."

Services Connect was first rolled out last year after the Napthine government committed $12-million to the program in the 2013/2014 State Budget.

A further $17.8-million was allocated to the program for the 2014/2015 Budget, allowing the program to extend to four new regions across Victoria.

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