Human Services Needs Analysis
Our Social Infrastructure Planning Team recently completed a Human Services Needs Analysis, designed to give us a better understanding of the issues, needs, gaps and barriers to health and wellbeing that impact residents and service providers in Yarra Ranges.
This included information from a survey sent to nearly 200 organisations which provide health and human services within the Yarra Ranges, as well as to Council teams providing services to the community.
Key findings from the analysis included:
- Nearly all services report ongoing pandemic impacts within the community in terms of physical and mental health, social impacts and financial impacts.
- Residents are having challenges in accessing locally the services which they need, with barriers including cost, transport and lack of availability. Service providers have identified a range of unmet community needs for human services, particularly for vulnerable groups and households experienced financial stress.
- Services are facing major challenges in coping with growing demand from the community for human services, including costs, government funding, staffing, infrastructure issues and limited availability of local services to refer people to.
- The service types with the most reports of increased demand over the past four years are emergency and food relief services, housing and homelessness support, social connection and support, mental health services, and financial support services. These areas also have the main service gaps, along with transport access and youth services. The Hills and the Valley experience the highest level of service gaps.
- The factors driving rising community need for services include increases in service demand per person, complex chronic health issues, mental health issues, social disconnection, and living costs; alongside challenges with access to transport or affordable housing. Reduced use of preventative health care during the pandemic has exacerbated health issues.
The next steps for the project will be to share these insights more broadly, to use this work to inform upcoming strategic and advocacy work, and to work with service providers to develop appropriate responses.
Both the Executive Summary and the detailed report are available to download below.