Part two: Voice of a Social Worker – “The best successes might be the ones we never see.”

A Launch Housing social worker reflects on a career supporting people in crisis at Launch Housing’s St Kilda entry point, in this two part series Voice of a Social Worker. Read part one in this series.

For Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) workers it’s about creating that initial conversation, planning and focusing on engagement and community assistance for people who arrive at the St Kilda entry point.

“We define success differently at IAP as we only see those in crisis. So, to us the success lies in linking people with the right mental health support or providing them with a hotel for the night.” – Etta

Success in IAP looks different for each client. At times people will return to let you know they got a job after you assisted them to establish a stable tenancy.

“I believe the best successes might be the ones we never see, because they’ve moved along their pathway to safe and sustainable housing and no longer need our assistance.” People in a housing crisis often experience shame alongside isolation, and trauma, and truly struggle to get their basic needs met.

“For families in crisis anything you can do to minimise the shame that is at times present when in crisis with their children is critical. It’s about letting them know there’s services available to help through this temporary experience. ”

Social Workers in Initial Assessment and Planning

“As an IAP Coordinator my success is also seeing my staff develop their skills, and grow into a strong cohesive team while they continue to provide professional care, empathy and skilful work in a tough environment daily.” – Etta

Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) is often the first, or only contact point, for those who are marginalised and disenfranchised.

It’s therefore ideally placed to identify and advocate for clients who may need additional help.

“The target cohort is so broad it’s so important to be able to connect into other services that are needed.”

IAP workers have strong engagement, assessment, and problem solving skills to assist people in crisis to find the right services they need. The characteristics of social workers in IAP encompass all of this in addition to patience, a high tolerance and compassion.

A Gateway to Services – Homelessness Entry Points

The Victorian homelessness system is organised into designated homelessness access points. This framework, called Opening Doors, provides a coordinated homelessness service response for people in the community.

The Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) workers provide an assessment, housing information and assistance to individuals and families in a housing crisis at these entry points.
IAP services are offered at Launch Housing Collingwood, St Kilda, and Cheltenham.

Learn more about Initial Assessment and Planning services.