VICSEG New Futures

Question 1 – How have you adapted service delivery in response to the bushfires, floods and Coronavirus pandemic? When has it worked and when hasn’t it worked? How will this affect how you deliver services in the future? Have your service adaptations included better integration with other initiatives?

Yes, we have had to adapt our service delivery model due to COVID-19. We have used online platforms like Zoom to run group sessions and phone calls and video calls to provide one-on-one support to individuals .It has worked when families needed emergency relief materials, information in different languages about the pandemic, parenting support, connecting with school for remote learning etc. It has been very challenging to organise mental health support(counselling) for children as services were stretched to the limits and also while trying to support FV victim-survivors as there were lot of complexities around their safety, organising transport to leave/reach local police station, contact refuge, organise case management from FV Specialist services. We have faced significant challenges during COVID in the above mentioned areas.
Our learnings around the use of technology has been a great experience for our team and everyone has stepped up and gone above and beyond their roles to support the communities that they work with. We have adapted our programs to the emerging needs of the community and delivered programs in the most suitable manner given the challenging circumstances.

Question 2 – Are the proposed key outcomes for the families and children programs the right ones? Are there any major outcomes missing? How can we include strengths-based outcomes that focus on family or child safety?

Yes, the proposed outcomes are the right ones.
In order to have strengths-based outcomes that focus on family or child safety, I think all community services organisations funded by DSS should have Child Safety Policy and Procedures in place and ensure that all their programs are being delivered in accordance with those policies and procedures. Everyone working with children should have received accredited Child Safety training. This is best practice. Also, make it compulsory for all community services workers working in DSS funded projects undertake cultural competency training and universal FV training.

Question 3 – What tools or training would support you to effectively measure and report outcomes through the Data Exchange Partnership Approach?

All our programs funded by DSS are evidence based and have their individual tools to measure outcomes(pre and post surveys) and client satisfaction.
It would be great if these evidence based tools can be integrated with DEX. The current DEX system for instance doesn’t let us capture direct outcomes from our evidence based parenting programs. It will be easy if we can create our own score to reflect our specific program and use that in conjunction with what is currently available in current score.

Question 4 – Do you already have a program logic or theory of change outlined for your program? Did you find the process useful? If you do not have one, what has stopped you from developing one? What capacity building support would assist service providers to develop program logics and theories of change?

Yes, we do.

Question 5 – If longer-term agreements are implemented, how can the department work with you to develop criteria to measure and demonstrate performance? How can the Data Exchange better support this?

-have KPIs set for each year which are achievable and realistic.
-flexibility to introduce new programs without going through the long process of new grant agreement if the current program no longer meets the needs of the changing demographics of the Community or needs of the communities change.

Question 6 – What does success look like for your service, and how do you assess the overall success of your service?

-when families and children feel safe, feel connected to their local communities, have access to local services as per their needs.
-We are able to understand and respond in a culturally appropriate manner to the needs of the vulnerable newly arrived migrant and refugee families.
-adapt our programs
-continued engagement with the communities
-measured outcomes via evidence based tools
-client satisfaction surveys

Question 7 – Do you currently service cohorts experiencing vulnerability, including those at risk of engaging with the child protection system? If not, how does service delivery need to adapt to provide support to these cohorts?

Yes, we do. I have worked with the LGA Best Start team in an improvement project which involved working with Child First and ensuring that better referral pathways are established and families at risk of engaging with the CPS are receiving the much needed support.

Question 8 – If you are a Children and Parenting Support or Budget Based Funded service provider, do you currently link with a Communities for Children Facilitating Partner or other regional planning mechanism to understand what other services are provided in the community and what the community identifies as their needs? How does this work in practice? Would you value the increased support of being attached to a local Facilitating Partner?

No. We are a CfC funded Community Partner

Question 9 – For all providers, are there other ways to improve collaboration and coordination across services and systems?

-opportunities for organising CoPs involving all community partners working in a particular sector
-organising annual seminars specific to geographic areas (eg. Metro Melbourne) to showcase some of the great work that is happening across different FPs so that we can all learn from each other.

Question 10 – The capability building support offered under Families and Children Activity programs has gone through several iterations. What works well? What do you think should change?

– professional developments
-ongoing training and supervision
-attending networks and working groups

Question 11 – Aside from additional funding, how can the department best work with you to support innovation in your services while maintaining a commitment to existing service delivery?

-make the grant application process simpler and quicker