In November 2019, Vicki Ford commenced as Program Director-Service Integration for the Office of the Regional Director, Department of Housing and Public Works. Vicki is substantively employed as a Social Worker working in the area of Adolescent Forensic Mental Health within Queensland Health and has been seconded into the service integration role until November 2020. Vicki has a range of experience working across a number of government departments and the not for profit sector, working in the child protection, youth justice, housing and homelessness, mental health and alcohol and other drug spaces. Vicki is passionate about working towards social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities with a special interest in working with people who experience chronic homelessness due to a range of biopsychosocial issues.
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 eight other locations across the state in addition to Cairns; Townsville, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Brisbane (x2), Redlands, Logan and Gold Coast.
The Townsville based Service Integration position is embedded within the Department of Housing and Public Works Placed Based Response Team and provides a conduit between the broader housing and homelessness sector and the department. This position has a helicopter view of the service system allowing for the identification of service delivery gaps as well as creating connections between services, leading to an integrated service response. The position also leads the Case Coordination Group which is comprised of both government and non-government organisations. The Case Coordination Group focusses on collaborative care planning and intervention for vulnerable individuals with complex needs who experience chronic homelessness.
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.