CatholicCare Victoria (formerly Centacare Ballarat)

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?

Our programs have primarily been delivered on line during the Pandemic.
This has worked well for remote families where access to mediation, counselling, family therapy and group work has been impossible. We have found our “No shows” have reduced in counselling and many clients indicate this is due to the reduction in pressure when attending on line as opposed to in person.
This doesn’t apply to all clients but may to those with high levels of anxiety.
Not having to arrange transport, child care etc and the expense associated with this, has meant greater access for some.
For similar reasons many remote parents have been able to access school support via zoom and other platforms. This was critical during home learning when stress on parents was significant. We deliver school support in many rural locations and all staff focused on reducing parental anxiety.
We will continue to work this way into the future.
What will be important is the assessment that takes place in relation to why clients select on line as opposed to in person. There will be added risks associated with this in relation to family violence and mental health which staff will need to be aware of.
There are risks to on line work given we cannot pick up on particular behaviors and nuances on line.

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?

The proposed outcomes are the right ones.

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

It is important that families/individuals/clients are able to tell us what outcomes they hope to achieve and to report against those.
This would require both a measurement tool as well as narrative reporting.

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 have program logics for our programs.
What works is when we have particular staff members with an interest in theories of change who are able to engage the whole team. Teams don’t always have resources to dedicate to this. There is often a disconnect between staff on the ground and the capacity building support staff. Ideally, both teams sitting and working together in the field would work.
My experience is that clients often appreciate the opportunity to share what they know and ideas they have. Therefore, client input into program logics is important.

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?

Building relationships with department staff is important. This allows department staff to really understand particular locations, client groups and areas of need.
The continual changing of allocated staff makes this difficult.
Face to face meetings with staff from the department out in the field is important.

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

We utilize the SCORE program and family star.
However, engaging clients in this work is important and the best indicator of success is what they report to us.

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?

Providing teams the opportunity to network and understand different roles is critical. This provides the opportunity to learn what is available for clients.
We do need to work on increasing the value of networking opportunities in the field. Given we are so accountable for our time this can be challenging however, we do find that the CMS Penelope provides for this work and ensures it is seen as valuable.

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?

Yes, being attached to local partners (If there is one) would be beneficial.
Having a consistent department rep would also support this work.

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

Ensuring consistent DSS reps who are located in local areas and making face to face visits.

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?

The inclusion of clients in this work is critical

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?

By having consistent DSS staff allocated to areas this provides the opportunity for conversations and a genuine understanding of what the work entails. We are then more inclined to discuss flexible options with our DSS rep and seek their support.