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.

About SRS

Supported residential services (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.

SRS are privately operated. SRS must be registered with the Victorian Government and are monitored to ensure they provide legislated standards of personal support and accommodation.

The Human Services Regulator unit of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing regulates SRS activities through the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 and the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Regulations 2012.

More information about SRS can be found on the Supported residential services overview webpage.

Determine whether SRS is the most appropriate accommodation type

Before making a referral you should determine if an SRS is the most suitable option for the prospective resident. Referring services and the individual 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 form part of the continuum of accommodation and support. They meet their responsibilities through co-operation with a range of health and community services to provide support to their residents.

SRS admission is completely voluntary. Costs are negotiated between the resident and the proprietor based on the resident’s accommodation and support needs.

To learn more about SRS: 

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. 

Appropriate placement reduces the risk of homelessness and disruption for the individual.

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 individual’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.

Further information for service providers referring an individual to an SRS can be found on the Referrals by Service Providers to SRS webpage.

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.

Residential and service agreements

Residents can negotiate terms and conditions with the SRS proprietor. The residential and service agreement documents the terms and conditions, including:

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


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

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

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

Say no to abuse - Supported Residential Services