Homeswest housing - antisocial behaviour

Extract from Hansard
[COUNCIL — Wednesday, 23 February 2011]
p931b-932a
Hon Lynn MacLaren; Hon Simon O'Brien

HOMESWEST HOUSING — ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Hon Lynn MacLaren to the minister representing the Minister for Housing

(1) By regional Homeswest area, how many complaints regarding anti-social, disruptive behaviour were
received by month for the last 12 months?

(2) What dollar value per regional area is spent on investigating, following-up and taking action on antisocial
and disruptive behaviours?

(3) By regional Homeswest area, what percentage of Homeswest properties are the subject of these
complaints?

(4) What percentage of complaints are substantiated?

(5) What evidence is required for Homeswest to substantiate a complaint?

(6) What percentage of these complaints are resolved by Homeswest to the satisfaction of local
communities and other tenants?

(7) Which Homeswest policy delineates duty of care for children, families, and individuals living on these
estates?

(8) Where children are involved in drug violence and/or anti-social behaviour issues, what policy standards
ensure child protection?

Hon SIMON O’BRIEN replied:

The Department of Housing advises:

(1) The Department does not record this information in aggregate form.

(2) This information is not available. The management of the disruptive behaviour management strategy
forms a part of the Department's tenancy management and is incorporated into all regional budgets.

(3)-(4) This information is not available.

(5) The Department may, during the course of an investigation into a complaint of alleged disruptive
behaviour, obtain evidence from a number of sources to substantiate a complaint.

In the interests of procedural fairness and natural justice the tenant is given the opportunity to respond
to the allegation verbally or in writing. If the tenant accepts responsibility for the incident, it is
considered to be substantiated.

If the tenant denies the alleged incident or offers a different perspective, the viewpoint of an
independent witness or witnesses to the incident may be sought. Those witnesses may include
neighbours (not the complainant) and / or the police if they were involved.

If additional views are sought they must be obtained only to the extent they relate to the incident
alleged.

(6) This information is not available.

(7) The Department understands it has a duty of care to all clients and others who may be affected by its
decisions, act of omission or negligence.

The Department recognises that the Department for Child Protection has the primary responsibility for
the provision of protection for, and care of, children and young people, and support for at risk
individuals and families in crisis. Protocols for the exchange of information and the referral of children
and families at risk exist between the Departments.

The Department's Privacy, Confidentiality and Duty of Care Policy provides practice guidelines for
staff in this area.

(8) Whilst the Department for Child Protection has the primary responsibility for the provision of
protection and care for children, the Department of Housing understands keeping children safe is the
responsibility of all. The Department recognises that the needs of children should be a guiding factor in
decision making and will share relevant information with other government agencies in accordance with
legislation.

The Children and Community Services Act 2004 provides for the exchange of relevant information
relating to the wellbeing of a child or group of children between the Department for Child Protection
and interested parties including the Department of Housing. The "best interests of the child" is the
paramount principle for information sharing practices.

Information can be shared where there is a legitimate purpose to do so. Legitimate purposes for sharing
information include discussing concerns about the wellbeing of a child, group of children or a family
the Department of Housing is working with.

In addition, a protocol exists whereby the Department of Housing will refer (with consent) all tenancies
at risk of eviction where a child under the age of sixteen is part of the household to Department for
Child Protection for collaborative work.