Clients who enter into an agreement, or who are ordered to attend community support services are monitored by the Commission. Service providers are required to submit regular reports by the fifth day of each month advising if the client has attended and engaged with the provider and the progress they are making towards achieving their goals. The Commission collaborates with service providers to maintain consistent reporting criteria, encourages each service provider to engage in a quality assurance process in regard to the quality of information provided and conducts information sessions and updates in the communities when required. Service providers are encouraged to attend conference proceedings in each welfare reform community and discuss the decision-making processes with the Commissioners.
Each agreement or order is monitored by the Commission for the period of the agreement or order. As a result of the progress reports received from service providers, clients are assessed to determine if they are fulfilling their obligations under the agreement or order. Together with local knowledge, additional information is sought from agencies and service providers where appropriate to decide upon the best course of action for the client.
It should be noted that the number of clients monitored during the case management phase includes those who are incarcerated, out of the community, in a hospital or on probation orders. Their circumstances are monitored to ensure that where change occurs, such as release from prison, they are supported on their return to the community.
Where a client is suspected of not complying with their agreement or order, a preliminary review is conducted in regard to their attendance and engagement with service providers. Subsequent to reviewing the client’s compliance with the case plan, the Commissioners may request an update on the client’s current income management status. If the client is already on an existing income management order with a substantial amount of time remaining, the Commissioners may either elect to continue with the current income management order and review it at the six and ten month review periods or may increase the percentage of income management. The client may also then continue to be conferenced throughout this period should new notices be received.
Where the Commissioners recommend proceeding to a show cause conference the client is ordered to attend before the Commission to explain their non-compliance. After due consideration and where considered appropriate, a CIM order may be made.
The complexity of client obligations requires comprehensive information sharing and cooperation between the Commission, service providers and associated agencies to ensure clients can realistically meet the requirements of their agreements or orders. Each show cause is therefore assessed on a case by case basis to ensure that clients are treated in a fair and just manner.
Clients may submit an application to amend or end their agreement or order. Commissioners view the hearing of the applications as an opportunity to engage with clients. For some clients, this may be their first conference attendance as the CIM order may have been invoked due to their non-attendance at two previous conferences. The client must provide reasons for seeking to amend or end their agreement or order and each application is considered on its own merit. When CIM orders are revoked clients are encouraged to continue to address any remaining challenges and to exercise personal responsibility in their lives.