Victoria`s Vulnerable Children – Our Shared Responsibility 2013
Transcript Victoria`s Vulnerable Children – Our Shared Responsibility 2013
Victoria’s Vulnerable Children – Our Shared
Children and Youth Area Partnerships – reducing child
Background and context: Activity to date
• Report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry released.
• Victoria’s Vulnerable Children – Our Shared Responsibility Directions Paper released.
• Ministerial Committee and Children’s Services Coordination Board established.
• Victoria’s Vulnerable Children – Our Shared Responsibility Strategy 2013–2022 and first
implementation bulletin released.
• Release of service sector reform – A roadmap for community and human services reform.
• Baseline Performance Data Report and second implementation bulletin released.
• Out-of-home care: a five year plan released in
• Implementation of Area Partnerships.
• Annual performance report.
• Further Implementation Updates.
Background and Context: Service Sector
• The Service Sector Reform project aims to improve how government and
the community sector work together to improve the lives of vulnerable and
• In responding to Professor Shergold’s report, Government endorsed a
number of principles including that there would be genuine partnership
with the community sector and shared governance through joint
contributions to service design and sharing responsibility for program
• Area Partnerships are an important first step for the Victorian
Government in developing a new way of working to better join-up
social services in Victoria.
Background and context
Victoria’s Vulnerable Children – Our Shared Responsibility Strategy
A shared definition
“Children and young people are vulnerable if the capacity of parents and family to
effectively care, protect and provide for their long-term development and wellbeing
A shared responsibility across sectors
Including health, housing, education, community service organisations, justice,
police and local government.
Background and context
Background and context
Why Children and Youth Area Partnerships?
• A collaborative approach is needed.
• Vulnerability and disadvantage has a geographical context.
• A practical mechanism to effect change.
What will Children and Youth Area Partnerships focus on?
“What will it take in your community to keep vulnerable children safe from harm and
have every opportunity to succeed in life?”
Key functions for Children and Youth Area Partnerships
•Priority setting, service coordination, service co-design, community engagement; and
•The partnerships will not: make policy; respond to individual cases; pool funding;
commission services; or undertake holistic area planning.
Developing the Area Partnership model
Large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than
from the isolated intervention of individual organisations.
Evidence of the effectiveness of this approach is still limited, but examples suggest
that substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most
serious and complex social problems if not-for-profit organisations, governments,
businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create
Achieving change requires a systematic approach to social impact that focuses on the
relationships between organisations and progress towards shared objectives.
This project is an opportunity to test a new way of working. It can be used
across a range of public sector services to fundamentally change the way in
which we provide services to Victorians.
Making collective impact work
The Five Conditions of Collective Impact
1. Common Agenda
All participants have a shared vision for change including
a common understanding of the problem and a joint
approach to solving it through agreed actions
2. Shared Measurement
Collecting data and measuring results consistently across
all participants ensures efforts remain aligned and
participants hold each other accountable
Participant activities must be differentiated while still
being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of
Consistent and open communication is needed across the
many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and
create shared motivation
Creating and managing collective impact requires a
separate organisation(s) with staff with a specific set of
skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiative and
coordinate participating organisations and agencies
3. Mutually Reinforcing
5. Backbone Support
Collective Impact and the Area Partnership model
Five critical enablers for success
1. Good data
2. Dedicated resources
4. Local flexibility
3. Right people in the room
5. Knowledge of leading practice
The right people in the room – getting the balance right
Area Partnerships bring together Victorian Government departments, including: the Departments of
Education and Early Childhood; Health; Human Services; Justice; and Victoria Police, to work with local
government and the community sector to reduce child and youth vulnerability.
Group needs to have authority to make
decisions and effect change
Members need to have necessary authority
to share data, endorse priority issues,
direct actvity, commit resources, and
change internal operating procedures.
Members will likely be:
• DHS: Area Director (potential chair)
• DEECD: Deputy Regional Director (potential chair)
Decisions informed by practice and
grass roots experience
Connecting senior management and
• Achieved through working group membership,
requirement that responses to any priorities
engages through reform of practice
• Evaluation to include extent of practice
• VicPol: SuperIntendent.
• DH, DoJ: Regional Directors
• Local government: Director Human Services
• Community Sector: CEO, Deputy CEO or
Engagement with practice?
Level of Seniority
Area Partnership level (authoriser)
Front-line staff (practitioners)
Level of contact with clients and residents
Each partnership will need to
consider how each member
organisation can act to
enable change in service
practices to improve
outcomes for clients.
This will require a
mechanism to identify what
needs to change in on-theground practice and a range
of reform options for senior
decision-makers to consider
which will drive improved
practice (for example,
behaviour) in their
Engaging with the community sector
Representation for the sector drawn from existing
structures (e.g. Child and Family Alliances).
Other members based on local priorties and needs.
The group will be most effective where:
• Values match between participants.
• Individual members believe their participation makes a difference.
• Shared belief in positive long-term outcomes.
Some individuals, agencies or networks will always be relevant and need to be at
We will work with the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) to develop
Area Partnership Model with mechanism for
Area Partnership Forum
Developing shared work priorities
Enabling partnerships to organise around a shared set of priorities
for which the members share a common ownership will be critical to
Action should align with the Victoria’s Vulnerable Children – Our
Shared Responsibility Strategy 2013–2022 Performance and
Centrally set broad priorities:
Safety and neglect
Participation in early childhood services and
Area Partnerships determine local priorities and
approach to implementation
other key partners
Launch group members
identify key priorities
and emerging issues
(informed by data and
Launch group hosts
workshop/ meetings to
test priorities with
sector and local
Agreed shortlist is
developed based on
where members can
have impact and
framework for action
forwarded to the CSCB
A framework for
action is developed
which details the
theory for change
and steps to achieve
Networks provide six
reports to Children’s
Possible framework for relationships with other networks
Relationships with existing networks will be tested in each launch site.
Those consulted to date have highlighted the number of networks which already
Area Partnerships seek to build on existing good practice and work, not duplicate or
The following schema provides a framework for considering these relationships.
Existing entity may
most or all of their
activities into the
are represented on
or for a limited period
based on current
that cover issues
but are not critical or
not engaged with a
that cover the same
area or may
Area Partnerships offer an opportunity to simplify existing governance structures
Potential launch process
Identify chair and
launch group and invite
Agree relationship with
existing networks, finalise
membership, hold first
meeting, appoint Principle
Review membership as
priorities change over
time, 6 monthly
progress updates to
CSCB and VCRU.
Review area data
profile , assess service
challenges and identify
Endorse priorities, review
implementation of work
and escalate any issues
Hold Area Partnership
Forum to test priorities.
Working group engages with
community and implements
framework for action.
Regular feedback on
progress and impact of
Review and refine
initial list of priorities,
identify measures to
determine impact .
activity against measures,
based on implementation
advise on how model could
Continue to monitor
share learning and
release data report on
A backbone of support is required
Creating and managing collective impact requires a separate organisation
or unit with staff and a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for
the entire initiative and coordinate participating organisations and
Backbone provided by Vulnerable
Children’s Reform Unit
During the establishment phase of all 17 Area
Partnerships, the VCRU will act as the
backbone of the initiative, to provide support
and ensure a consistent approach is applied
to implementation across the state.
Accountability and monitoring.
Principles for engagement with Aboriginal
communities and groups.
Driven by local champions
Divisonal and Regional partners are a
critical factor to success – in particular the
chair. The chair will need to acting as an
influential champion to ensure the right
people are around the table and engaged
from the relevant sectors. This would need
to at least include:
The chair (likely from DHS or DEECD)
actively overseeing the priority projects
Project managers – support staff funded
by the Victorian Government.