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Human Services: The case for change. Gill Callister Secretary, Department of Human Services. Human Services: The case for change. Purpose: To set out the case for change in human services and present a vision for a new, more effective and efficient human services system for Victoria.

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Human services the case for change
Human Services: The case for change

  • Gill Callister

  • Secretary, Department of Human Services

Human services the case for change1
Human Services: The case for change

  • Purpose:

  • To set out the case for change in human services and present a vision for a new, more effective and efficient human services system for Victoria.

  • The document is intended to:

    • Begin a dialogue across the human services sector

    • Outline the rationale and evidence for reform

    • Present consolidated feedback from the sector about the challenges and potential ways forward


Human services the case for change


A contemporary approach
A contemporary approach

We need to assist people to achieve their goals in all phases of their lives and in all domains of disadvantage.


Human services the case for change

Testing our ideas, starting with case management

The key features of Managed Support have been developed and we will continue to refine them as we learn about how the new model works in practice.

  • The two lead regions are Southern Metropolitan Region (SMR) and Barwon South West (BSW).

  • The trial site in SMR is at Dandenong, while the trial site in BSW is split between Geelong and Portland.

Geelong (pictured) and Portland,


Dandenong, SMR

The new case management model commenced at the trial sites in February 2012.


Human services the case for change

Creating a contemporary organisation

Local areas: deliver services where people are, when and how they need them, local responsiveness

Integration: move from a program/problem focus to a person/place focus , break down silos, greater focus on long term outcomes (social and economic participation)

Demand: move services to where people need them - reflect trends in population growth and demand - manage demand

Rural Victoria: investing to shift executive positions and increase flexibility of resource allocation ('surge capacity') for areas of high demand

Local decision-making within a strong accountability framework: push decision-making closer to the front-line, time to refocus the organisation on service delivery


Human services the case for change

Taking a big step: A new organising framework for bringing it to life

Service delivery

  • Seventeen local areas (two to nine LGAs per area)

  • Based on Child First catchments

  • Responsible for direct service delivery in that catchment



Service delivery oversight

  • Four administrative divisions

  • Mix of metropolitan and rural catchments

  • Manages relationships across division



Policy and corporate support

  • Current divisions consolidated into three groups organised along functional lines – policy, program, corporate

  • Two Deputy Secretaries maintain portfolio focus



Human services the case for change

Areas: moving from program and problem to person and place it to life

  • Integrated cross program decision making

  • Increase proportion of EOs in regional Victoria

  • Local leadership and working relationships

  • Manage relationships with agencies at the local level


Human services the case for change

Divisions oversee and support areas it to life

  • Oversight of areas

  • Mix of rural and metro in each division

  • Manage flexible distribution of resources and expertise across areas

  • Manage larger and more complex agency relationships

  • Child Protection managed at division level in the short term


Victoria s vulnerable children our shared responsibility
Victoria’s Vulnerable Children – our shared responsibility

  • The Directions Paper calls for “broad transformational change”

  • This encompasses policy innovation, culture change, legislative change and new or expanded programs

  • “Government needs to work better across portfolios and to formally accept our part of a shared responsibility for improving outcomes for vulnerable children”

  • Commits to a funding package of $336m over 4 years

Key policy principles
Key Policy Principles responsibility

  • The Directions Paper identifies three key policy principles to guide reform:

    • Shared responsibility across government, the sector and the community for protecting vulnerable children and their families

    • Connected services that cut across silos and better meet the needs of children and families

    • Working in local areas to provide better services in areas with high concentrations of vulnerability

Five action areas
Five Action Areas responsibility

Building effective and connected services
Building Effective and Connected Services responsibility

  • New Initiatives

  • Establishing three new Multi-Disciplinary Centres to provide a more holistic response for victims of child sexual assault

  • Whole-of-government Alcohol and Drug Strategy

  • Whole-of-government Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and their Children

  • Future Directions

  • Exploring feasibility of single case plans across services and departments for children known to child protection

  • Building on the newly established “Services Connect” trials

“No service that deals with a vulnerable child or family should be considered ‘stand alone’.”

Enhancing education and capacity building
Enhancing Education and Capacity Building responsibility

  • New Initiatives

  • Peri-natal Emotional Health Program extended to metropolitan Melbourne

  • Reform to Student Support Services, including a new online case management system

  • New teacher training to increase capacity of school to support vulnerable children with challenging behaviours

  • Future Directions

  • Reforms to Maternal and Child Health, as part of a new Memorandum of Understanding with the local government

  • A Whole of Government project to streamline services for vulnerable young children (aged 0-4)

  • Work to reform the CSO sector to ensure adequate capacity and quality

“Our starting point must be to help vulnerable children and families before they are reported to statutory child protection services, to strengthen families and to prevent abuse before it occurs.”

Making a child friendly legal system
Making a Child Friendly Legal System responsibility

  • New Initiatives

  • Establishing a new Children’s Court in Broadmeadows

  • Expanded New Model Conferencing

  • Children not required to attend Court

  • Future Directions

  • Structure and role of the Children’s Court Clinic

  • Additional legislative change, including less adversarial trial model and simplifying orders

“When families do come to court, procedures should encourage respectful communication among parties and minimise distress and confusion for the children.”

Providing safe stable and supportive out of home care
Providing Safe, Stable and Supportive Out-of-Home Care responsibility

  • New Initiatives

  • Permanent Care and Stability project

  • Additional funding for Therapeutic Residential Care

  • Zero-fee training places for young people leaving care

  • Future Directions

  • Five year plan for out-of-home care

  • Complementary five year plan for Aboriginal children in out-of-home care

  • Whole of Government project to improve access to mainstream and targeted services for children and young people in out-of-home care

“When parents abuse or neglect their children and the children are removed from their family homes, the collective resources of government become a substitute for the family.”

Introducing accountability and transparency
Introducing Accountability and Transparency responsibility

  • New Initiatives

  • New Commission for Children and Young People

  • Strengthened role for Children’s Services Coordination Board

  • New Department of Human Services Standards for funded community services organisations

  • Future Directions

  • Whole-of-Government project to develop a performance framework including outcomes targets

  • Better and more effective use of data and data sharing across programs and departments

“To drive improvement in outcomes for vulnerable children, there needs to be a wholesale improvement in the accountability and transparency of the support provided.”

2012 13 budget outcomes highlights
2012-13 Budget Outcomes – highlights responsibility

  • $16.3 million to sustain the enhanced MCH service

  • $20.8 million for demand for ChildFIRST and Integrated Family Services

  • $8.3 million to provide early childhood education for three- year-olds known to Child Protection

  • $16.5 million to engage vulnerable families in early learning

  • $17 million to establish a new Children's Court in Broadmeadows

  • $29.7 million to expand and develop the Stronger Families initiative

  • $29.6 million to significantly expand therapeutic residential care

  • $3 million to establish a Commission for Children and Young People

  • $19 million to recruit 42 new statutory child protection workers

  • $51.4 million to reform the child protection workforce

Next steps
Next Steps responsibility

  • The Directions Paper is a roadmap for further reform

  • The Vulnerable Children and Families Strategy will be developed over the next 12 months

  • This will involve consultation with other government departments and key stakeholders

  • The Vulnerable Children and Families Strategy will be released in 2013