Accessing a supported residential service

Key messages

  • Supported residential services (SRS) are privately run supported accommodation services. SRS are not clinical settings
  • SRS are not specific mental health or disability support facilities and staff may not be trained to work with people with a mental illness, disability and/or cognitive impairment
  • An SRS requires information about the individual’s health and personal support needs prior to accepting a referral
  • Each SRS has its own referral process and SRS have the right to refuse a referral.

Determine whether SRS is the most appropriate accommodation type

SRS are an accommodation option for people who need extra support to live in the community. SRS may also be used as an interim step in a longer-term plan to support independent living. More information about SRS can be found on the Supported residential services overview webpage.

Before making a referral you should determine if an SRS is the most suitable option for the prospective resident. The individual and referring services should consider all housing options, including SRS, rooming houses, disability services, residential aged care and retirement villages.

SRS are not clinical services and may only provide assistance with the activities of daily living. SRS facilities co-operate with a range of health and community services to assist residents to get any additional support they need.

The Living in an SRS: a guide for residents and prospective residents explains:

  • residents’ legal rights and protections
  • the types of services residents can expect SRS to provide
  • fees and charges
  • how to make a complaint.

Find the right SRS for the individual’s health and personal support needs

Each SRS determines the people they accommodate, the services they provide and the fees they charge. This means that SRS vary greatly. SRS admission is voluntary.

When considering an SRS, people are encouraged to:

  • review the list of registered SRS
  • ask the SRS to provide the information they have for prospective residents, including the Residential and services agreement, which includes the fees to be paid and the services the SRS will provide
  • review the SRS’ information for prospective residents
  • take the opportunity to visit the SRS before moving in.

Share information with the SRS

Individuals can make their own referral, or they can have someone assist them. This could be a nominated person, guardian, family or carer as appropriate. Anyone assisting with the referral process should obtain the person’s consent to disclose their information to the SRS.

SRS will ask questions about the person’s health and personal support needs. The SRS must be able to make an informed decision about their ability to support an individual prior to accepting a referral.

Referrals by service providers

Service providers may make referrals to SRS on aa person’s behalf. The service provider should conduct a risk assessment as part of the referral process to determine the person’s suitability for an SRS placement.

Obtain the person’s consent to disclose their information to the SRS and give them the chance to visit the facility before placement. Each service provider will need to consider the legislation and organisational policies that apply to their situation. For example, mental health services are bound by the confidentiality and information disclosure provisions of the Mental Health Act 2014.

Service provider referral information

Each SRS has its own referral process. Contact the SRS to confirm their referral process and request a copy of their referral form.

At minimum, referrals should provide the following information:

  • name of the service provider making the referral
  • your name and contact number
  • contact name and phone number of health care providers, including mental health triage service (or other 24-hour contact details)
  • other key contacts (such as family members or other services)
  • relevant history or current assessments
  • medication - name, purpose, dose and frequency
  • discharge care plan or hospital discharge summary, if appropriate
  • any behavioural issues or medical conditions, and guidance on appropriate action for managing these issues.

Accepting a referral

The SRS will use the information provided to decide whether they can provide the right support for the person, and meet their statutory and regulatory obligations. SRS have the right to refuse a referral.

Referrals need to provide SRS with as much information as possible so the SRS can make an informed decision about whether they can meet a person’s needs and contribute to a successful placement. Finding the right SRS reduces the risk of homelessness and disruption for the individual.

Residential and service agreements

The resident and the SRS must complete a residential and service agreement (RSA). The RSA documents the terms and conditions, including:

  • support services provided
  • fees
  • house rules
  • changing the agreement
  • terminating the agreement
  • circumstances for a notice to vacate.

Costs are negotiated between the resident and the proprietor based on the resident’s accommodation and support needs.


Mental health services and supported residential services - A guideline to promote the collaborative support of residents (Word)

Living in an SRS: a guide for SRS residents and prospective residents

Say no to abuse - Supported Residential Services