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Print this page Print this page Assessment & Mandatory Procedures for YA & DSP - Unreasonable to Live at Home

Mandatory procedures in assessment

All assessments for independent status under the 'unreasonable to live at home' (UTLAH) category must follow a number of mandatory procedures.

Explanation: The procedures result from ministerial directions and related government policies on the way assessments should be conducted for homeless youth.


The mandatory procedures are as follows:

  • personal contact with recipients,
  • contact with parents unless:
    • the young person refuses permission, or
    • there are circumstances of family violence, neglect or abuse, or
    • if contact with the parent presents a severe risk to the young person or others such as siblings, or
    • it has been verified that there has been no parental concern for at least the past 2 years.
  • independent third party verification of the circumstances claimed (see example), AND
  • privacy provisions governing the release of information about homeless recipients where this is in the public interest.

Example: Contact with grandparents, school counsellors, religious leaders.


The following also apply mandatory procedures for people under 18 years of age:

  • referral under the youth protocol as set out in the Commonwealth/state/territory youth protocol requirements, and
  • referral to a Reconnect Service where available and appropriate, and
  • intensive follow up of all UTLAH recipients identified through the social work assessment as being at high risk.


Assessment for under 18 year olds

All assessments of eligibility for independent status based on UTLAH provisions for students and unemployed people under 18 years, will always be conducted by a Centrelink social worker. This assessment must include the following:

  • referral for appropriate support, including to relevant government and community facilities,
  • assessment of whether the young person can be regarded as independent under social security legislation, policy guidelines and related procedures, AND
  • ongoing social worker contact with severely disadvantaged or vulnerable people, especially those aged under 16 years.


Assessment for over 18 year olds

Assessment of independent status based on UTLAH provisions for students and other young people aged 18 years or older, will be conducted by a Centrelink officer, with support from a Centrelink social worker if required.


Youth protocol referral

Social workers assess and refer youth protocol cases and may then progress any claims from people referred under the youth protocol against independent status provisions. If the young person is under a state or territory court, ministerial or departmental order or direction, claims should be assessed under separate 'state care' independence provisions.


If the young person is not under such an order or direction, they may be assessed under the UTLAH provisions.


Act reference: SSAct section 1067A(9) Unreasonable to live at home

Policy reference: SS Guide Unreasonable to Live at Home (YA & DSP), Assessment of Extreme Family Breakdown & Other Similar Exceptional Circumstances, Assessment of Serious Risk, Parents Unable to Provide a Home (YA & DSP)


Last reviewed: 20 September 2013


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Last Edited: 16/08/2013 4:07:05 PM

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