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Effective multi-organisation collaboration in action: Working together to produce a best-practice program for vulnerable families Savoy Martenstyn The.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective multi-organisation collaboration in action: Working together to produce a best-practice program for vulnerable families Savoy Martenstyn The."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective multi-organisation collaboration in action: Working together to produce a best-practice program for vulnerable families Savoy Martenstyn The Benevolent Society & Jaimie Tredoux, CHETRE, UNSW

2 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Research team: Associate Professor Lynn Kemp – CHETRE, UNSW Dr Rebekah Grace – Children and Families Research Centre (CFRC), Macquarie Uni Dr Jacqueline Barnes - Birbeck, the University of London Dr Les Hems – Net Balance Research Institute Professor Graham Vimpani – University of Newcastle Jaimie Tredoux – CHETRE, UNSW Jayne Meyer-Tucker – Good Beginnings Australia Heather Smith – Good Beginnings Australia Mandeep Paddam– Benevolent Society Sarah Fogg – Benevolent Society Grainne O’Loughlin– Karitane Program Coordinators: Savoy Martenstyn - Benevolent Society Alice Tan - Good Beginnings Australia Bob Walker – Good Beginnings Australia Sophia Nabi – Karitane

3 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Why the Collaboration To develop and deliver a best practice volunteer home visiting program for vulnerable families across four states: Queensland, NSW, Victoria & Tasmania

4 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Why the Collaboration To conduct rigorous evaluation of the Volunteer Family Connect program, exploring outcomes for families and for volunteers.

5 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Volunteer Home Visiting Strength based community intervention intended to compliment and work in conjunction with professional services Trained volunteers support vulnerable families with young children under 5 years Build bridges between families and community 5WO8

6 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Volunteers do: Visit families in their home once per week for two hours. Model positive parenting strategies Provide assistance to access professional and community support Support families to recognise and meet their own needs and the needs of the child/ren Receive ongoing training and supervision from program coordinators

7 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Volunteers don’t: Give professional advice Provide babysitting Do housework Provide transport CyE

8 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Funding Supported through Philanthropy Awaiting the outcome of ARC Linkage application Seeking the interest of the corporate sector in both the program implementation and the research.

9 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Collaboration in action

10 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Collaboration in action

11 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Collaboration in action Continued development of standardised manual Training Focus groups volunteers & coordinators separately Research pilot

12 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Collaboration in action Monthly- research steering group Quarterly – coordinator VC Bi annually – coordinator forum

13 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Research partnership: Why an RCT? Internationally and in Australia there is a dearth of evidence for the effectiveness of volunteer home visiting programs Little formal scientific investigation into the impact of volunteer home visiting programs on parent and volunteer outcomes Highly rigorous evaluation of volunteer home visiting programs is needed to inform government and non-government decision making about these types of programs

14 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT What we already know about VHV Outcomes for VHV families: May lead to improved outcomes to maternal wellbeing and enhanced sense of maternal competence May be an effective vehicle for the distribution of health and other family support information Has been associated with higher rates of breastfeeding and reduce child accident risk Improved social connectedness has also been identified as an important outcome.

15 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT What we already know about VHV Outcomes for volunteers: Increased knowledge and skills A stronger sense of social cohesion, reduced loneliness and isolation Improved sense of confidence and purpose

16 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT What we hope the research will tell us impact of VHV program outcomes for families including the health and wellbeing of the mother and child: benefits of volunteering on a VHV program, including the health and wellbeing of the volunteer and ongoing participation of volunteers in meaningful occupation: support needs of families who most benefit from VHV and how those families are best identified: program costs and benefits and assessment of the overall social and economic return gained by investment in this program.

17 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT What we are measuring Maternal competence Parenting skills Social capital Parent-child relationships Family functioning Home environment

18 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT What the pilot has told us importance of building strong working relationships between service delivery organisations and researchers the development of a best practice model of VHV

19 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT Where the research will go from here

20 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT What have we learned through the collaboration “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success” Henry Ford

21 VOLUNTEER FAMILY CONNECT “It is the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Charles Darwin The VFC project has been made possible by the prodigious support of a private philanthropic family to whom our gratitude is boundless.


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