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Stephen Hawkins | Backbone Support


Q Shelter


Stephen Hawkins

In March 2020, Stephen joined the Service Integration Initiative team at Q Shelter in the position of Service Integration Facilitator to provide backbone support to the Regional Care Coordination Facilitators across Queensland. Since 2008, Stephen has embraced the opportunity to host a number of roles across non-government and government domains. With demonstrated experience in designing and implementing a number of integrative service delivery frameworks, Stephen’s vision is to see a creative and dynamic service sector uniting in response to the needs of the community’s most vulnerable. Stephen has a keen interest in workforce development, previously investing time as a university field supervisor in hosting placements for social work, psychology, counselling and human service students. In addition to Management, Psychology and Counselling qualifications, Stephen is also a certified Agile project manager.

Informed by the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-2027, and driven by Partnering for Impact and Partnering for Growth, the Queensland Service Integration Initiative aims to create better outcomes for people who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness by enhancing existing care coordination mechanisms, identifying and enabling sector capability building opportunities and encouraging innovation in transforming the housing and homelessness sector. Auspiced by a number of place-based organisations through funding provided by the Department of Housing and Public Works, there are Regional Care Coordinators located at nine locations across the state; Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Brisbane (x2), Redlands, Logan and Gold Coast.

In adopting a Collective Impact approach, the provision of backbone support is considered one of five core elements in delivering multi-disciplinary and cross sector initiatives. The backbone support role aims to provide ongoing support to the 10 Regional Care Coordinators across the nine priority locations. Support will focus on facilitating the creation of a shared vision and guiding principles, and aligning regionally based actions, community engagement and workforce development consistent with the initiatives scope and respecting local context. Backbone support will also ensure that each Regional Care Coordinator has the necessary tools and resources available to them when enhancing existing coordination mechanisms. Finally, the backbone support role will establish a set of measures within an evaluation framework that will focus on the progress and impact of the initiative at the human, service and systems level.

This initiative will help drive improved processes and practices responding to the needs of vulnerable people who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness.