How Penelope Can Fulfill DSS Requirements Efficiently: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Written by Ray Sabharwal

The Department of Social Services (DSS), is Australia’s leading governmental department in implementing the development and delivery of social policies, payments and programs. They work to ensure a fair society and improve the wellbeing of their community members by responding to their needs in a timely manner.

 The functions of the DSS include:

  • Ageing research
  • Income security and support policies and programs for families with children, caregivers, the aged, people with disabilities and people in hardship
  • Income support policies for students and apprentices
  • Services for families with children, people with disabilities and caregivers
  • Services for older people, including their caregivers
  • Policy for and promotion of active ageing, other than employment policy
  • Community mental health
  • Community support services
  • Family relationship, Family and Children’s Support Services
  • Social housing, rent assistance and homelessness
  • Child support policy
  • Housing affordability
  • Services to help people with disabilities obtain employment
  • Arrangements for the settlement of migrants and humanitarian entrants, other than migrant child and migrant adult education
  • Non-profit sector and volunteering
  • Multicultural affairs

 To supply all these services and more, the DSS works in partnerships spanning from governmental bodies to non-governmental organisations.

Apply for Government Funding

The DSS has a Community Grants Hub where a large inventory of active grants are provided in assistance to families and individuals in need. They offer easy and consistent grants in many fields, from Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Program Management to Community Child Care Funds.

 “We fund services and payments that assist families, children and older people, provide a safety net for those who cannot fully support themselves, enhance the wellbeing of people with high needs, assist those who need help with care, and support a diverse and harmonious society.” (DSS Directory)

 If your organisation is interested in receiving funding, email For any questions or application details, visit this page.

Fulfill DSS Requirements Efficiently

As an Australian social service or not-for-profit agency, complying with DSS requirements can be challenging at times, especially when it gets time-consuming.

Fortunately for Australian service providers, Athena Software’s Penelope case management software is designed to ease that pain. Penelope’s DSS module helps your agency manage the submission of eligible services to the DSS. We have fully integrated the DSS service tracking and reporting requirements into Penelope, to form a streamlined and user-friendly workflow to help you save time. This work-smart integration also includes: DSS Client Information, Certificates/Parenting Agreements, Session Information and Assessments, DSS Client Assessments, Goal Planning, and Agency Outlet Information, all in one centralised location. Learn more about our DSS module here.

 Additionally, with our partnership approach, Penelope automatically and securely uploads your data to DSS servers via an automated web service and allows you to access additional tools like outcomes evaluation, assessment, and goal planning tools.

Success Speaks – Centacare

Centacare Catholic Family Services, with more than 80 active services, needed a cost-effective and centralised system to manage and report on their clients’ data. One of the reasons they chose Penelope was the fact that the built-in DSS module allowed compliance with government reporting requirements and reduction of duplicate data entry. According to Kathy Knightly, Centacare’s Client Data Systems Manager:

 “A key decision to choose Penelope was due to its connection to the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services (DSS) data system which meant we weren’t only investing in a case management system, but we could also enter the Government’s data requirements into Penelope and it would automatically transfer across to the DSS data system, therefore alleviating double entry.” (Centacare Catholic Family Services)

Download this one-pager to learn more about how Penelope can help you enhance your organisational efficiency and reduce costs. Better yet, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Penelope experts to understand how it might integrate with your current technology stack.

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