Youth & Family Education Resources PL

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?

In regards to delivery of our CAPS infant massage family sessions, we had to take these to online zoom platform in order to keep up service provision during the COVID restrictions. We were surprised at the positive uptake of parents with this mode of delivery. Now that we have been able to offer face to face sessions again, most families are preferring face to face so the zoom sessions still offered are smaller groups. It is beneficial however to be able to meet the need of parents by continuing to offer zoom and face to face. COVID restrictions do limit our face to face attendance numbers so groups have to be smaller than before in an ongoing basis which decreases our reach. WE work closely with other services in community centres to ensure we are all working to be COVID safe.
We have lost our capacity to deliver infant massage groups in our local Aboriginal Corporation Centre as their board has ceased external providers coming in indefinitely due to increased risk to elderly Aboriginal people who use the building daily.
Our Core of Life Youth sessions in high schools were severely impacted as some high schools designate our service provision as essential so we are able to deliver sessions for youth once they returned back to the schools after mandated home schooling but other schools took a more conservative approach and ceased service delivery of all external providers. This impacted our reach. SChoolks are now re engaging in 2021. During 2020 due to decreased service delivery we had the opportunity to take the time to re develop some of our evidenced based resources for youth to improve program content. Our delivery of facilitator Training workshops is national so it has been challenging re scheduling training workshops. Due to the high percentage of interaction and role-play content we decided to reschedule rather than turn the program into a digital online 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?

Our program is evident based but assistance in evaluating the outcomes would be appreciated as this is not captured in Dex reporting for our specific program. We do evaluate our youth programs pre and post session delivery and collate the surveys on survey monkey for our own use and for provision to schools and other organisations so they can see the increase in knowledge and awareness post session delivery. WE would like to ba able to capture more qualitative data but need assistance with this.

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?

Stock take reports have always been our tool to provide a more wholistic report of our performance, progress, engagement with stakeholders and partnership with regional organisations to assist with program sustainability. For us DEX reporting does not capture the depth, quality and collaborative working of our service and delivery.
It would definitely be more sustainable for our program delivery if we were assured of more than 2 years of funding at each interval. Being a national program and working towards each region we service to become sustainable takes time and commitment. continual revisitation and support from our organisation working beside other education and health organisations in each community. If we are able to guarantee we will mentor and support service provision in a region following training provision over an extended period, we are more likely to have buy in from within the given local region and sustainability would become more reachable. Uncertaintanty breeds lack of future planning and commitment between organisations.

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

Success to YFEF is demonstrated by gathering evidence of:
-Quality engagement and commitment with other stakeholders
-Service providers being supported by their management in health/education and community sectors to attend training and also supported by their management and mentored by YFER to engage and provide program delivery together for young people in high schools and community settings as a result of training.
– Young people engaging with Core of Life youth sessions, completing pre and post evaluation surveys which demonstrate short term outcomes for students.
– Increase in knowledge and awareness about pregnancy and parenting choices and challenges as a result off program delivery
– Parents attending infant massage with their babies are engaged, and feedback suggests positive growth in their connection with their baby and other parents. Focus group post 4 weekly group feedback is gathered along with photographs once permission is granted.

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?

YFER engages with local health and education providers prior to program delivery with an effort to target the most vuklnerable. Our programs are also developed as early intervention programs to assist this who may be heading towards becoming vulnerable. This target group is under serviced. If we can access young people prior to them becoming extremely vulnerable they may have an opportunity to build their resiliency and action connections with community to strengthen their support web.

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 YFER currently links with CfC Facilitating Partners to support what services are already in place and work together to provide programs for families and service providers. We find being a nationally focused service that having the freedom to consult and link in with CfC whilst remaining our own entity is more beneficial for our service delivery than perhaps being attached to a nominated Facilitating Partner in a designated given region.

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?

Our current amount of funding which has remained constant for years has become challenging to continue to provide quality service delivery to our high standard, continue to achieve increased service delivery whilst trying to foster capacity building within our organisation and collaborative structure.
Aside from existing funding for service delivery, ideally increased support for staff to have access to external evaluation support and staff learning opportunities would be very supportive for our team to build our capacity to in response, continue to provide quality up to date, relevant service delivery. WE don’t have much capacity to support staff to broaden their skills. Having an extra allocation provided for staff capavcity building in the form of conference attendance or presentation, further development of IT or professional skills would enhance our service delivery for families and increase staff job satisfaction.

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?

See question 10 please.
Perhaps DSS could provide workshops to assist with increasing capabilities eg digital applications like illustrator, video production, evaluation made easy workshops to support organisational staff working on grant projects to better capture and measure outcomes.

Question 12 – Is there anything else you would like to share about the ideas and proposals in the Discussion Paper?

Discussion paper is very valuable as a tool for gathering input. We hope the findings from this discussion paper are actioned so we may all improve our service delivery and measurement of success.