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 service delivery has only been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue to meet client needs and provide services, we implemented telehealth based service options. This was affective with the older cohort in the FMHSS program. This assisted with adaptability and alibility to have a greater service reach. This will be an ongoing option for clients who utilise the service and can be utilised for future lockdown periods or when experiencing the affects of natural disasters on service delivery to ensure service continuity. This was not an effective engagement option for the younger cohort due to attention, sensory stimulation and restrictions with therapy options. This barrier was addressed by working more closely with parents and families to develop skills and strategies. It was identified that this is not a long term solution as it compromises the child centered approach. Long term viability of telehealth as a service delivery option will require ongoing or additional funding to the program.

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 these are the right key outcomes for the cohort. We cannot identify any missing factors. Utilising strengths based language throughout the measure will be necessary to facilitate strength based outcomes.

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

Easy access to the data exchange and easy upload. Intuative interface. Clear user manuals and guides. Training for all staff (ongoing) in a standardised manner and an interactive real time helpdesk. Buffer period to tease out teething issues and understand requirements or 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?

We currently do not have a program logic for the FMHSS program. This is something that is being explored at an organisation level and would be welcomed within the FMHSS service to identify improvement areas. In order to develop a program logic/ theory of change the organisation would require consultation regarding timeframes support for implementation.

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?

The commitment of ongoing funding is very beneficial based on the above rationale. It will alleviate community anxiety around service access and contribute to workforce stability. As workplace and community anxiety regarding funding will be removed, this will allow more opportunity to focus on service quality and measuring outcomes for targeted consumer groups. As previously discussed, the data exchange will need to be intuitive, easy to use and provide accurate reporting on outcomes and client profiles.

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

Success is better outcomes for young people, young people and their families empowered through resources and capacity building work. Success is identified both qualitatively and quantitatively via the SCORE, organisational based assessments, quality supervision and program oversight by qualified practitioners and reflection on achievements via the annual report.

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?

The FMHSS program meets this cohort as part of its standard service provision.

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

Complimentary service types and wider multi-disciplinary approaches to services would help in remote communities. In remote regions FMHSS can be one of the only supports offered to children and young people experiencing mental health issues. This puts a lot of pressure on the service to fill gaps within the community. It would be great to extend the service to open up the provision for additional supports.

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?

Service innovation based on outcome measurements will be fundamental in capacity building. Grants to test and explore gaps, differing service models and adjuncts to current programs will assist in the exploration of useful service design and ongoing options for consideration.

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?

A focus on outcomes rather than targeted hours/ designated percentage target would be a step in the right direction. This will allow space to be creative and explorative in differing approaches to service delivery that will have impact.

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

The proposal is exciting and it will be great to be involved in its implementation.