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WORKING WITH ‘THE SYSTEM’. A SOLUTION FOCUSSED APPROACH TO WORKING WITH A CHILD PROTECTION AUTHORITY David Zarb Karen Hulmes Mofflyn, Perth, WA. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT . Do Strengths Based and/or Solution Focussed principles apply to programmes as well as clients?

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working with the system

WORKING WITH ‘THE SYSTEM’

A SOLUTION FOCUSSED

APPROACH TO WORKING WITH

A CHILD PROTECTION

AUTHORITY

David Zarb

Karen Hulmes

Mofflyn, Perth, WA

things to think about
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
  • Do Strengths Based and/or Solution Focussed principles apply to programmes as well as clients?
  • Do agencies have a responsibility to change/improve CP systems?
  • Do we look at ourselves as critically as we look at ‘the System’?
  • Are we ‘victims’ at the mercy of ‘the System’ or ‘experts’ with the capacity to challenge and develop it?
mofflyn ifs
MOFFLYN IFS
  • Reunification
  • Tertiary Family Preservation
  • Metro – wide (9 DCD offices)
  • 4 work pairs, SSW / FCW
  • Average 13 weeks per family
  • 5 cases per pair
previous intake model
PREVIOUS INTAKE MODEL
  • Waiting lists (sometimes over 3 months)
  • Paper based referrals
  • Office based
  • Minimal case discussion at intake stage
  • DCD expectations 80% reunification, 20% family preservation.
results
RESULTS
  • Balance of reunification / family preservation referrals never achieved
  • By 2001 only 30% reunification
  • Referrals for family preservation increasingly involving lower CP risk levels
  • Cases had to be renegotiated upon allocation
  • Agency blamed DCD for inappropriate referrals

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programme outcomes
PROGRAMME OUTCOMES
  • 30% funding reduction
  • Lack of reunification cases cited as justification
  • Field staff expressing frustration with waiting lists
  • DCD introduce central referral point
  • Perception that agency difficult to engage particularly around complex high risk cases
evaluation
EVALUATION
  • Waiting lists not appropriate for high risk cases
  • Agency needed to be more active in ensuring appropriate referrals
  • Paper based referral system creates unnecessary frustration for DCD staff
  • Insufficient resources devoted to building relationships
  • Agency having minimal impact on case practice despite a metro wide brief
  • Agency taking minimal responsibility
modified intake system
MODIFIED INTAKE SYSTEM
  • Increased resources devoted to intake/case consultation.
  • Waiting lists eliminated
  • Paper referrals limited to accepted cases
  • Active participation in case planning discussions
  • Active decision to promote consultation role to improve referrals and to promote better practice by sharing ‘expertise’.
what happened
WHAT HAPPENED?
  • The referral mix was corrected
  • Increased participation in case planning processes
  • Referral process less cumbersome for field workers
  • Mofflyn work focussed on the family as goals for work better clarified at intake
  • Increased goodwill between DCD and Mofflyn
  • Mofflyn expertise increasingly recognised and utilised, notably for complex and political matters.
things to think about1
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
  • Do Strengths Based and/or Solution Focussed principles apply to programmes as well as clients?
  • Do agencies have a responsibility to change/improve CP systems?
  • Do we look at ourselves as critically as we look at ‘the System’?
  • Are we ‘victims’ at the mercy of ‘the System’ or ‘experts’ with the capacity to challenge & develop better CP practice?