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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

4.24 Hoarding and squalor resources

Hoarding and squalor - practical resource and key messages statement for service providers

Department of Health and Human Services

Who does this policy apply to?

The Department of Health and Human Services developed these practical resources to assist and guide multiple service providers, from multiple sectors, supported by all government departments, to appropriately respond to and manage situations involving people with hoarding behaviour or a squalid living environment, and associated circumstances.

Policy purpose

  • Life situations involving hoarding behaviour and squalid living environments are complex and generally need to involve a broad range of service providers.
  • The aim of a service response, particularly one that relates to complex life situations, is to enable and empower the person to act on their own behalf, to exercise their rights and be confident of the services and resources available to assist them.
  • This practical resource does not attempt to define any aspect of diagnosis or clinical intervention, as that skill and responsibility lies in the professional areas of psychology, psychiatry, psychogeriatrics and geriatrics, as well as the broader ambit of mental health.

Legislation and /or regulation

Not applicable

Organisation requirements

Government funded organisations and businesses can refer to this best practice resource to:

  • develop capacity to work together when responding to such situations involving hoarding behaviour or squalid living conditions
  • better understand practical service response requirements to these complex life situations
  • to actively respond and no longer ignore such cases.

People of all ages, including children, may display hoarding behaviour or live in squalor.

These two publications (June 2013), a Hoarding and squalor practical resource for service providers and a Responding to hoarding and squalor – Key messages statement for service providers, are applicable to multiple sectors, programs and services.

These hoarding and squalor resources are available at: (external link, opens in a new window).

For further information

Alison Beckett, Senior Policy Adviser, Policy and Analysis Unit, Ageing and Aged Care Branch Telephone: (03) 9096 7924