The last decade has seen a major shift in the provision of institutional and community care for frail elderly people in Australia. This shift reflects both a new philosophy which emphasises supporting people to live independent lives in their own homes and the fiscal pressures under which public budgets have been operating. The centrepiece of the new policy paradigm - the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program introduced in 1985 - laid out a blueprint for the development of community care programs. In 1989, the Social Policy Research Centre embarked on a new program of research designed to investigate how community support services were actually operating, to what ends and with what effects. In 1992, we published the interim report of the study, ‘Community Support Services and Their Users: The First Eighteen Months’, which outlined the research methods and presented some preliminary results. This report builds on that account and adds information gleaned from the interviews held since then. The report looks at organisation and funding from the point of view of both elderly people who wish to remain in their own homes and of the people, both family and those involved with formal services, who help to supply the support which allows them to do so.