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?
During Covid lockdowns we adapted our service delivery to be more available online in the form of live sessions for children who could no longer attend group sessions, and met service delivery needs the best we could via phone and email support. Living in a regional area our services have resumed back to normal with the exemption of covid safe practices.
Question 3 – What tools or training would support you to effectively measure and report outcomes through the Data Exchange Partnership Approach?
It is extremely difficult to report on outcomes through the partnership approach for some services our organisation is delivering under the CAPS program, The questions asked in the SCORE rating were not relevant. This lead us to pull out of the partnership approach all together due to the department pressuring us for a certain percentage that was unachievable to due the transient nature of our community. For example, as part of our CAPS program we deliver supported Playgroups that attract a very large amount of service users. We do not know in advance when these service users will be returning and how often they visit which makes it impossible to post score them. The questions asked are irrelevant to a playgroup (for example, I am better able to deal with the issues I presented with). The reporting system needs a major overhaul and to be more flexible, relevant and user friendly and needs to take in to account the many different services offered under the CAPS program.
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?
We do not have a program logic or theory of change. Our outcomes are evidence based approaches which works well for the current programs we deliver. In order for service providers to develop program logics and theories of change, the department would need to provide extensive training to service providers within organisations as I find it is very easy to get caught up and lost in all the paperwork, reporting jargon and deliver the programs required all at the same time. It all needs to be simplified and made into a quick and easy process so more time can be made for delivering the actual programs instead of filling in difficult paperwork.
Question 6 – What does success look like for your service, and how do you assess the overall success of your service?
Success in our service is shown through data on our internal database that shows high numbers of service users and a high volume of returning services users. Success is also shown through community feedback via word of mouth, through in house surveys handed out to services users whom participate in a particular service and also through the volume of new services users who have been referred from existing or previous services users.
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 reach out to those families who need the most support by providing services to them that are free of charge, private and confidential and easily accessible such as free counselling, supported Playgroups where parents can seek advice, information and referrals through the CAPS worker, community events and information and training sessions including parenting workshops. Our service actively engages and collaborates with other child and family related organisations such as Family Therapy, Domestic Violence Services and Child Health to ensure that needs are met for vulnerable families.
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?
We collaborate with many local child and family related services and organisations to provide services to the local community. CAPS worker attends seminars and meetings with the Early Years Network through the Dept of Education in order to collaborate and keep up to date with services and needs within our community.
Question 9 – For all providers, are there other ways to improve collaboration and coordination across services and systems?
It would be great if all CAPS workers in the local area could meet and share ideas and discuss services and needs across the local community. A compulsory event that was organised by the Department.
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?
To be flexible on outcome reporting. Offer different ways that this can be achieved, not just the SCORE system under the partnership approach. To understand that not every program is the same and outcomes can be measured in many different ways and allow flexibility in this to happen, particularly for services in remote and regional areas as the needs are different to that of a metropolitan area. Change the AWP and AWPR system/template so that it is simplified and less onerous.