Odyssey House Victoria

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?

Odyssey House Victoria: KIF covers all of Melbourne Metro offering intensive outreach Specialist Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Family services
Services delivery was modified utilising Health Direct except in cases of High Risk families.
For parents whose children are in OoHC access is limited to online or by phone. Problematic when children are young/babies. Increase in Family Violence, gambling AOD. Internet access was not affordable for many families.

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?

Language and intent need to be strengthened in line with the Family Violence and Child safety Royal Commissions. Outcomes should include:
Increased parenting capacity
Increased Mother & child safety
Increased family functioning
Increased parental attunement to Childs need
There also appears to be a lack of specific Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islander outcomes.
The outcomes read more like Motherhood statements, which ambiguous when trying to measure.

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

Continuing from the previous answer, stronger outcome question’s will help clarify responses. Currently we do this through our Activity Work Plan, it would be helpful if this was incorporated as part of our DEX responses. The ability to answer in a more nuanced way to accurately reflect the work we do with very complex families who often are not accepted by mainstream family services.

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 use a number of evidenced based tools to measure change these include the following: Parenting under Pressure: tools are administered on entry and at 3 monthly intervals & include
Alcohol Use Initial & Subsequent
Daily Hassles
Mindful Parenting
Strong Souls
Parts A & B,
MARAM Family violence risk assessment
Comprehensive AOD assessment and initial screener
Safe & Together Practice model

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?

Have certainty of funding in this bespoke program will assist to plan longer term and give time to build a rigorous and measurable program logic in partnership with DSS. The tools we currently use will enable us to achieve this if the Outcome measures align. I believe this could be very achievable in a short amount of time. Its Clarity of outcome questions that align with our already used evidenced based measurement tools.

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

Increase antenatal and postnatal engagement
Decrease AOD misuse
Improve birth and pregnancy outcomes
Increase likelihood of infant discharge to mother’s care
Decrease in child protection involvement
Intervention in the social network for monitoring and safety
Increase parenting capacity
Repair attachment related relational trauma
Increase healthy social and community networks
Decrease in Family Violence family violence
Increased Family safety and wellbeing

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?

Due to the complexity of the families that we work with KIF can provide long term interventions where required. In all interventions, the goal is to increase parenting capacity, reduce and or eliminate AOD use and facilitate families to connect positively and productively with their communities, which all increases safety for children. 98% of the Families have both AOD and Family Violence and have Child protection involvement.

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?

Our Partnerships and MOU’s include:
The Royal Women’s Hospital Womens Alcohol & Drug Service
Family Drug Treatment Court
Drummond Street Services
Kids First
We also have agreements with:
Melbourne University
La Trobe University
Griffith University
Western University Canada
Safe & Together Institute USA

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

Having long term consistency of funding helps to strategically plan and build collaboration and coordination across services and systems. Closer collaboration with DSS and our FAM’s

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?

To increase capability and innovation requires increased and consistent funding to access evidence based models/tools and measurements that often have a cost associated. Also, the models/tools and measurements required for the client group that KIF works with are bespoke, mainstream models will completely miss this cohort.
Odyssey House supports Professional development and is committed to Best practice evidence based interventions. We are constantly looking for extra funding opportunities but under current conditions these are rare.

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 Department can commit to and support bespoke programs with unique service needs for Families who do not access main stream family services and who these services would struggle to engage with. Our programs respond to some of the most vulnerable and complex families and with a commitment to longer funding agreements we can build on our capabilities and our innovative practice models.

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

I feel that we have covered most things we are also planning a written submissions