Presentation on theme: "Currently, up to 80% of families reported to child safety services do not require a statutory child protection intervention but would benefit from support."— Presentation transcript:
Currently, up to 80% of families reported to child safety services do not require a statutory child protection intervention but would benefit from support. Families are more likely to engage with a support service when it is offered to them in a non-stigmatising, non-threatening way and without the support service being provided through a report to a statutory child protection agency.
To intervene early and prevent issues for families escalating to a point where intrusive intervention is required to keep a child safe, families need to be able to access the right services at the right time. It is clear that the solution to alleviate the existing and mounting pressure on the tertiary system is not found in funding more of the same or one- size fits all approaches, particularly when considering the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
Collaboration between service providers and the delivery of wrap-around or joined- up services are increasingly seen as being more successful in engaging with vulnerable families and providing the multi-layered support that delivers better outcomes for children and their families. Services Connect (Victoria) Child FIRST (Victoria) Tri-borough Family Recovery (Westminster) Los Angeles Prevention Initiative Demonstration Project (PIDP) Magnolia Place Community Initiative
The CommSync initiative focuses on the key areas research has shown as necessary to create safe and supportive environments in which children achieve the best results and live free of abuse and neglect These four goal areas anchor the Initiative: Economic stability Good health Educational success Safe and nurturing parenting
Programs, resources and services designed to address the impact of poverty on disadvantaged families, particularly those with young children, need to recognise that the foundations to addressing child abuse and neglect are to build capacity to better cope with the stressors of everyday living. Housing Employment and training services Budgeting and finance programs Income support services Practical supports Brokerage funds Emergency relief program Rental assistance Clothing Household goods Transport assistance Legal services
Primary child and family health services need to work alongside targeted and intensive services for vulnerable families or for those children where a health or development need is identified, with particular attention to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. Ante-natal services Child health services General Practitioner Dental services Nutrition and fitness Family planning programs Sexual health programs Adult and child mental health services Immunisation education
Quality learning experiences, particularly in a child's first 5 years, lay the foundation for their future success in school and life. Ante-natal education Child development School readiness Tutoring Adult literacy programs (including CALD) Library services Playgroups Cultural awareness programs
The factors most commonly associated with the occurrence of child abuse and neglect are domestic violence, parental substance abuse and parental mental health problems. These types of problems are complex, often inter-related, chronic in nature and rarely occur in isolation. Child-parent relationships (Attachment) Parent – adolescent relationships Culturally specific parenting education Domestic Violence Drug and Alcohol Disability services Behaviour management Young parents Father inclusive programs Grandparent support Mentoring programs Family contact
Bringing these programs together in a community, place-based service delivery hub, increases access to and utilisation of beneficial services, activities, resources and supports, both within the place-based hub as well as through community outreach.
To achieve genuine collaboration, all relevant professionals, community service organisations and government (local, state and federal) need to work together to make the service delivery experience a seamless one, and to better understand incentives and disincentives embedded in the system that may limit the chance of success. To avoid duplication and maximise existing funding, CommSync is designed to build upon services, relationships and programs within the community. A community place-based service delivery hub removes the constraints of working in silos and presents the opportunity to develop outcomes-based, client-centred programs.
Lead Agency CommSync will use a non-government, lead agency model, responsible for the coordination of relevant services and the development of a collaborative model which provides children and families within their community, programs across the four key areas of Economic Stability; Good Health; Educational Success; and Safe & Nurturing Parenting. Child and Family Wellbeing Teams The lead agency will work alongside representatives from government who will be located in the hub to form a multidisciplinary service delivery team – the Child and Family Wellbeing Team. Child and Family Wellbeing Teams Working within the Lead Agency, the Child and Family Wellbeing Team will deliver programs, services and resources consistent with the principles of the model through the following functions: Community education and support Service linking Community based intake Triage and referral services Place-based and community outreach services Casework / Case Management
Strong coordination and linkages are critical across all levels of government, each of which should play a vital role in identifying and responding to vulnerable families. Stakeholders would include services from the following agencies: Community Based Organisation Local Government State Government Federal Government CommSync will develop partnerships with universities to support research, evaluation and student placements.
Strong coordination and linkages are critical across all levels of government, each of which should play a vital role in identifying and responding to vulnerable families. As reflected in the Carmody Report, the CommSult Team will bring together senior government and non-government representatives to provide oversight and promote the support of families to care for their children within their communities through a single case plan. The CommSult Team will lead in providing messages about everyone taking responsibility for child protection. The CommSult Team will be an off-site enabling team, supporting the initiative with responsibilities for: Matrix Management – providing professional support and linkages for CommSync staff Resourcing – Advocate for services and resources within each respective agency Case Forum – provide expert advice on key complex issues
CommSync shifts the paradigm of work with children and families to one of inclusiveness that sees the child, family and community as a whole - as the client. In recognition of the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system, CommSync services will be culturally appropriate and accessible. CommSync services will adapt to deliver programs across the entire child protection system as government shifts from provider to enabler.
Implementation will need to be a phased process, undertaken by a team of professional staff committed to the philosophy of family preservation who have abilities, knowledge and skills in practice, leadership and management. The implementation team will need to consider numerous factors, including: The Governments response to the Carmody Report The capacity and readiness of the government and non- government sectors for the shift in paradigm towards early intervention, prevention and family preservation Strong leadership and management to drive the necessary cultural change to support the paradigm shift Government funding, policy and practice
The CommSync Initiative addresses recommendations from the following chapters of the Carmody Report: Chapter 4 – Diverting families from the statutory system Chapter 5 – Designing a new family support system for children and families Chapter 6 – Child protection and the non government service sector in Queensland Chapter 10 – Workforce – Shared frameworks with the non government sector and government Chapter 11 – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and the child protection system Chapter 12 – Improving public confidence
Project Team Sue Gill - Chris Boyle – Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Mt Gravatt Child Safety Service Centre Brisbane Region (07)