S77: Casa Venegas – from good works to evidence based.

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By September 17, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Bronwyn Howlett, Leanne Craze

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Casa Venegas - from good works to evidence based.

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Bronwyn Howlett has over 20 years management experience in the mental health and disability sector and has worked in both government and community managed organisations. She is currently Director of Casa Venegas at St John of God Social Outreach, is an Occupational Therapist and has a Masters of Business Leadership.

Leanne Craze has a PhD in Social Work and a well-established reputation in providing sound and inclusive consultations, research and report writing services including the development of the National Framework for Recovery Oriented Services and the National Engage and Participate in Mental Health Project for the National Mental Health Commission.

Casa Venegas, a program at St John of God, is on a journey from reaching out to homeless people by providing accommodation and housekeeping to providing an evidence based contemporary service. Following a review, the program is currently articulating a new model of care and service design. This presentation reports findings from the literature about a mix of housing, support and treatment that assists people on their journey of recovery journey and living a contributing life. An initial finding discussed is the importance of building a diverse property portfolio that enables the offering of a range of flexible tenancy options. Highlighted is the critical role played by the quality, amenity, “look” and location of housing stock. Key learnings about the interplay between tenancy support, psychosocial and recovery support and clinical treatment are also shared. The analysis includes a discussion of the interrelationship between the practice of supporting social inclusion and the practice of working in partnerships. We will conclude the presentation with an overview of the new service design and our plans for further evaluation and future research.

Learning Objectives Learning Objective 1 answers the question of what I the importance to recovery of the quality, amenity, “look” and location of housing stock for an accommodation program.
Learning Objective 2 answers the question of what is the critical perspective on the inter-relationship between the practice of supporting social inclusion and the practice of working in partnerships.

Brolin., Brunt,D., Rask,M., Syrén, S. & A. Sandgren (2016) Striving for meaning—Life in supported housing for people with psychiatric disabilities, International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 11:1, 31249, DOI: 10.3402/ qhw.v11.31249; https://doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v11.31249
Costello, L., Thomson, M. and K. Jones (2013) Mental Health and Homelessness: Final Report. Prepared for the Mental Health Commission of NSW, Sydney. Accessed on 01/10/208 at: https://nswmentalhealthcommission.com.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/Final%20Report%20-%20AHURI%20-%20Mental%20Health%20and%20Homelessness.pdf
Forchuk, C. , Nelson, G. and Hall, G. B. (2006), “It's Important to be Proud of the Place You Live In”: Housing Problems and Preferences of Psychiatric Survivors. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 42: 42-52. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6163.2006.00054.x

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