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Please visit our new Human Services Dataset (HSDS) web hub for the latest information and resources.

Key to the success of the Investment Approach is the underpinning data set, known as the Human Services Data Set, or HSDS.

It brings together data collected by individual government agencies to a take a unique and powerful view of service usage and effectiveness to improve outcomes.

The separate data are de-identified and linked by a specialist data linkage centre, meaning all records are anonymous. For more information, refer to the governance and privacy page.

About the data

The data set is unprecedented in scale in NSW, bringing together 27 years of data, over seven million records, from over 60 frontline data sets in 11 government agencies.

The service streams, outcomes and life events included in the model are as follows:


Child protection

  • Concern reports
  • Risk of Significant Harm (ROSH) reports
  • Safety Assessment, Risk Assessment and Risk Reassessment (SARA)
  • OOHC episodes (own and next generation)
  • Number of placements in out of home care (OOHC)
  • OOHC placement type
  • Primary issue given as reason for concern report and SARA
  • Restoration


  • Social housing tenancies
  • Private rental assistance
  • Homelessness services


  • Custody
  • Community supervision
  • Court finalisations
  • Cautions
  • Youth conferences
  • Legal Aid


  • Public hospital admissions
  • Private hospital admissions
  • Emergency department presentations
  • Ambulance patient contact events
  • Childbirth
  • Opiate treatment programme


  • National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) year 3 results
  • NAPLAN year 7 results
  • HSC completion
  • Unexpected government school moves
  • Resource Allocation Model (RAM) equity loadings

Mental health

  • Hospital admission for mental health
  • NSW Ambulatory mental health

Alcohol and other drugs (AOD)

  • Hospital admission for AOD
  • Proven AOD offences

Parental risk indicators

  • Parent in custody
  • Parent interaction with justice
  • Proven AOD related offence or AOD hospital admission
  • Proven domestic violence related offence or victim of domestice violence
  • Treatment for mental health in NSW hospital or ambulatory services

Commonwealth services

  • Welfare
  • Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS)
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Future plans for the data

Their Futures Matter will conduct an annual process to integrate new data sets and update existing data.  This will create an increasingly powerful tool with clearer and more in depth insights.

A baseline has been created, with data added each year, providing the unique ability to measure service effectiveness and population outcomes. Added data allow for more specific and detailed insights to be gained, analysing deeper into specific sub-population features and characteristics.

Key documents