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Emerging trends, Opportunities and Challenges for community service organisations : The Victorian Government agenda for vulnerable children and their families. Broad overview of the reforms…. Comprehensive and strategic Whole-of-government objectives are ambitious and forward-thinking

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Emerging trends, Opportunities and Challenges for community service organisations: The Victorian Government agenda for vulnerable children and their families

broad overview of the reforms
Broad overview of the reforms…
  • Comprehensive and strategic
  • Whole-of-government objectives are ambitious and forward-thinking
  • There are subtle and not-so-subtle potential game-changers
  • Overall good management of the tension between being prescriptive and enabling
  • Cross over with reform agendas in other sectors: community mental health, housing, drug and alcohol etc.
strategic collaboration
The Government/Community Services relationship…

“…this strategic relationship needs to be long term and based on an explicit understanding of the respective and different responsibilities and roles of government and the community sector”

(PVVC 2012, p. 435)

Strategic collaboration…
how can we understand the agenda
How can we understand the agenda...
  • Development of Services
  • Population-based approaches
  • Area-based approaches
  • Responses to our most vulnerable
  • Integrated service provision
  • Child centred family focus
  • Collaborative approaches
  • Legal Responses
  • Governance monitoring & accountability
  • Establishing and strengthening
  • Performance framework
  • Governance monitoring accountability
  • Accountability systems
  • Training, support and development

Capacity of Community Service Organisations

  • “a ... more pro-active role” for Government aimed at improving the overall structure and capacity of CSOs (Cummins et al. 2012, 441).
  • 3 elements of capacity identified
  • Governance
  • Quality: able to evidence outcomes
  • Financial viability in community service organisations

Accountability and Transparency

  • Strengthening data collection
    • Enhancing IT effectiveness
    • Collecting data to inform improvements and changes
    • Outcomes evidence: capacity to engage in research
  • Performance measures and indicators
    • Evidence of greater participation in services
    • Build capacity to demonstrate links between services and with other providers –collaboration at the local level
  • Accountability systems
    • Registration, Department of Human Services Standards: external audits
    • Review: Children’s Commissioner new regulatory functions
    • ACNC: legislation for Australian Government registration and governance review of CSOs expected by December 2012

Collaborative and integrated practice

across service systems- ‘no wrong door’

opportunities and challenges
Opportunities and challenges?
  • We have a chance to…
    • Reinforce whole-of-government responses
    • Change the way we do business through child, family & community focus
    • Start measuring things that matter to children and communities
  • Develop better accountability and monitoring frameworks
    • Develop better understandings of real cost and need
    • Build a workforce and organisational capacity and capability through training and system clarification
    • The challenge is to decide where to invest limited resources … and to work out smart ways of maximizing the investment
    • Change the lives of vulnerable children and families
further information
Further information

Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare


[email protected]