Catholic Church Endowment Society Inc

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?

Centacare Catholic Family Services (Catholic Church Endowment Society Inc), manages the Kids in Focus (KIF)Program under the DSS Children and Parenting support services.

Kids In Focus provides a home visiting service targeting caregivers experiencing substance misuse issues. Support is provided for caregivers to reduce the harm of substance use and increase their understanding of the impact of their use on their parenting.

During the intensive phase of COVID the KIF site was closed from March to June 2020. During this period staff worked from home and conducted home visits with strict screening and risk assessment questions, use of PPE and hand-sanitizer. All face to face home visits had to be approved the Manager. No Home visits occurred during short lock down periods. during non-lockdown periods, the site still had some staff visiting on a rotational basis (as approved by the Manager). Staff were approved to work from home but are required to keep a ‘working from home record.’ If home visits could not be conducted alternatives were offered via phone or Zoom or Skype, Face time.

All staff were transitioned back to sites from July 2020, with strict COVID plans in place. All sites have QR Codes, social distancing , PPE, increased cleaning of sites. All staff are equipped to work from home when the need is required and approved by Managers.

A combination of home visits, phone support and virtual meetings occur on a regular weekly basis and is dependent on client needs. Some families have continued to receive intensive therapeutic and practical support from Family Workers up to 3 times a week.

KIF provided material goods to families who were affected by bushfires and COVID.
The KIF work was not compromised and the team continued to work with the families they were supporting.

Additional Laptops and PPE were purchased at the expense of Centacare not from the program funding.

During COVID is was essential that KIF maintained contact with families as many other services such as NDIS and DASSA suspended face to face services, which caused increased anxiety for parents.

Experiences from COVID has lead to increased IT and PPE equipment that supports other forms of contact and has enabled staff to be more efficient, as they can access the case management system remotely. This enables the staff to conduct more home visits while gaining efficient access to the Centacare system to support case recording.

KIF has been well integrated into Centacare systems and other services. KIF refers to Centacare internal NDIS, AOD and Group work services. This worked extremely well during COVID and has continued.

Floods did not occur in SA or the KIF geographical coverage areas.

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 outcomes are the right ones some additional could include:-

Safety Outcome 1: Children are protected from abuse and neglect.
Safety Outcome 2: Children are safely maintained in their homes whenever possible and appropriate
Permanency Outcome 1: Children have permanency and stability in their living situations.
Well-Being Outcome 1: Families have enhanced capacity to provide for their children’s needs
Well-Being Outcome 2: Children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs.
Well-Being Outcome 3: Children receive adequate services to meet their physical and mental health needs.

Suggest using strength based assessment tools i.e.. NCFAS.

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

Increase more options re. evidence based assessment tools and training.
For example NCFAS, Outcomes Stars or Protective Factors Survey
(PFS)- (Assessment tools that focus on parenting, safety and wellbeing).

The Data Exchange Dashboard could be improved to document outcome measures and outputs.
It would also assist if national data trends could be published on the data exchange

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?

KIF has a program logic and is in the process of developing a new theory of change.
Centacare has extensive supports in place to develop program logics and theory of change.
This process is helpful in refocusing new KPI’s, outcomes and outputs.
Centacare works collaboratively with government partners to ensure the Program Logic is in-line with the program requirements.

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?

Centacare has established research and evaluation team that works across Centacare programs to develop Program Logics and Theory of Change. This team would work in partnership with DSS to provide revised documents.

Other points:
-Data Exchange need to reflect specific program outcomes and KPI’s.
For example: DSS Service Type does not include specific categories for KIF i.e. Attachment, substance use, DV, homelessness, CP, Mental health.

-Revise the Client focused form in-line with program needs.

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

Success would aim to achieve the following:-
-Outcomes and KPI’s achieved
-Feedback mechanisms in place and accessed by clients. Clients report positive feedback and areas of improvement for program service delivery.

Examples of success:
•Increase parenting capacity
•Family reports increased family functioning
•Decrease drug use
•Connection to community supports
•Increased school attendance for children
•Learn new parenting skills
•children remain safely at home with their parents
•Families gain increased knowledge and confidence on how to access supports

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 all the KIF families are experiencing vulnerability, including those at risk of engaging with the child protection system.

-In Jan 2020 to Jan 2021, approximately 72% of families had current Department for Child Protection involvement.
-100% were subject to a DCP notification but not all had an open case with DCP.
KIF is always at capacity with a waiting list.
-The KIF geographical coverage needs to be extended to cover other areas in the northern metropolitan areas.
-In 2020, DCP opened an second office in Elizabeth and requires more services to refer to. The need for intensive family support services in the North is increasing.

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, KIF does link in with Communities for Children Facilitating Partner and other key NGO and private services in the Northern area. Works well but services are often at capacity and there are waiting lists to contend with.

KIF is one of a few home visiting services, the majority of services require families to access them outside of their homes. KIF assists families who have disengaged from primary services to learn how to access primary services. This involves education, self-esteem development and motivational development. All services provided by KIF are trauma informed and the majority of families have experienced intergenerational trauma.

Examples of referring partners include:
Anglicare CFC, Dads Business (CFC), AOD, NDIS, mental health services, GP’s, Health clinics and DV services.

Additional services are required:
school holiday programs, parenting skills group, women groups, literacy groups, practical skills group, play groups- circle of security, attachment parenting groups, and self-care (emotional and physical self-care).

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

Yes. Federal and State to work collaboratively to deliver a service map of all the funded services in LGAs.

To develop formal process with funding bodies and services to address needs of families when services are at capacity. This is to ensure families do not fall between the gaps and are left of waiting lists, while issues become more serious i.e. develop an additional fee for service process to compliment block funding initiatives- to cope with overflow of work, The fee for service incentive could allow for temporary staff or short term contracts to address waiting lists.

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?

What works well:-
-Length of contracts allows for service continuity.
-Respectful contract management arrangement, trust in service,

Areas of development:-
-Improvements: DEX exchange data needs represent KPI’s and outcomes.
-Process for service proposal to manage waiting lists.
-Current grant arrangements do not allow for service growth or innovation.
-Current grants need to accommodate brokerage for families.

Centacare’s research and evaluation team support innovation by providing latest research in key areas that support programs.
Centacare leads current research in vicarious trauma and uses this to improve service delivery. Centacare has a strong focus on staff well-being and safety. All staff are provided access to an EAP service. All home-visiting services use a Worker Safety Application to track locations and ensure staff are traceable at all times. This sis in recognition that staff are regularly worker in high risk environments.

Centacare provides extensive staff training in attachment, trauma informed practice and specialist therapeutic training i.e. Circle of Security, Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), Therapeutic Framework, A therapeutic approach to intergenerational trauma and Management Borderline Personality Disorder Online Training.

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?

Opportunity to propose revised service model of the KIF service, inclusive of evaluation proposal.
Service model to include voice of the clients (children and adults).

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback