Project Update - June 2017

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Work continues on implementation of the Strong Families, Safe Kids redesign project, with significant progress across the four broad implementation streams and the start of further work on Out of Home Care Reform:

  • Stream 1:   Child Wellbeing and Risk
  • Stream 2:   Cross Government Coordination and Integration
  • Stream 3:   Improved Practice
  • Stream 4:   Information Exchange and Evaluation
  • The next phase of reform within Out of Home Care (OOHC)

The Project Team will continue to release regular updates for stakeholders, which will generally include a summary of progress under each of these streams.

Stream One – Child Wellbeing and Risk

A Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework has been released, fulfilling a key deliverable in the Strong Families, Safe Kids Implementation Plan. The Framework presents a contemporary and accessible definition of child wellbeing to ensure that everyone, in all parts of Tasmania’s service and support system as well as in the broader community, has a strong, common understanding of child and youth wellbeing.

The Framework is based on The Nest, a national, evidence based initiative on child and youth wellbeing developed by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Young People (ARACY) which articulates a vision for the wellbeing of Australian’s children and young people based on the following six ‘domains’:

Six domains of wellbeing in Australian children and young people: Being loved and safe, being healthy, participating, having material basics, learning and having a positive sense of culture and identity.

The first version of the Framework is intended to provide the foundation for an ongoing discussion on child and youth wellbeing. It will be a living document that will evolve over time to reflect our maturing collective understanding of this crucially important topic. The Framework will be made available to view and download at

The Project Team will now look to continue to build partnerships across the sector to embed the Framework into policies and services, as well as building on the Framework through the development of common outcomes and indicators to track our progress on improving child and youth wellbeing.

Stream Two – Cross Government Coordination and Integration

Work towards the development of a new service model for the provision of advice and referral to vulnerable children and families (Action 10) is progressing well. An extensive consultation process was undertaken with a broad range of stakeholders from staff, government agencies and non-government sector. Consultation included a proposed model and following feedback on that model, further refinements were made. The final model for the new service has been developed and will be known as the Children’s Advice and Referral Alliance (CARA). An overview of the model is available at

Work is well progressed on the development of a model for brokering Intensive Family Engagement Services, which includes the development of appropriate criteria and processes to support access to those services (Action 13). A Request for Proposal process will be launched shortly, seeking to identify and engage Community Sector Organisations capable of providing Intensive Family Engagement Services.

Stream Three – Improved Practice

Following consultation on the co-design of the proposed Court Teams, statements of duties have been drafted and it is planned that these positions will be advertised in the near future. Children and Youth Services is currently working with HR to establish the two Staff Wellbeing positions (Action 17). The Project Team continues to meet regularly with staff and Unions.

There are a number of positions that have been filled to date, including:

  • Four Clinical Practice Consultant and Educators, with a further three to commence in the next few weeks. Further positions will be appointed by the end of 2017. These roles are an important addition to the clinical governance within the CSS, promoting and supporting high standards of ethical and professional practice within the CSS through mentoring and practice support for frontline staff.
  • Two Hospital Liaison positions, one dedicated to working out of the Launceston General Hospital and one working out of the North West Regional Hospital. These positions have an important role regarding children in out of home care who are clients of the Tasmanian Health Service. There is now a Liaison position in each major hospital in Tasmania.
  • A Team Leader for Assertive Family Intervention.
  • A Support Worker Team Leader.
  • Four Support Workers have been appointed and are embedded in Child Safety Teams across the State.

There will be further positions appointed by the end of this financial year or early next financial year, including:

  • Clinical Practice Consultant and Educators
  • Health professionals focussed on staff wellbeing
  • Unit Coordinator positions, designed to relieve the administrative burden of front line staff, are being developed.
  • Child Safety Trainers and Educators
  • Aboriginal and Multicultural Engagement Officers will be appointed as part of the implementation of the Advice and Referral Alliance and
  • Court Coordinator positions will be advertised in the near future.

Stream Four – Information Exchange and Evaluation

Work is underway to develop a strategy to roll out new technology to support Child Safety Workers that takes into consideration existing IT infrastructure and lease requirements. Devices have been identified and will be trialled shortly (Actions 18, 20).

Out of Home Care – next phase of reform

The next phase of reform within Out of Home Care (OOHC) aligns with the Strategic Plan for Out of Home Care in Tasmania 2017-2019 and the Commissioner for Children and Young People’s 31 January 2017 report Children and Young People in Out of Home Care in Tasmania. Both reports identify development of a Quality and Accountability Framework for OOHC in Tasmania as a key element within a broader reform agenda to improve outcomes for children and young people in OOHC.

The OOHC project which is being run collaboratively between Strategic Projects and Children and Youth Services encompasses elements which will see the development of:

  • An Outcomes Framework for children and young people in OOHC;
  • A Quality Framework which articulates the standards and measures to be employed by the Department, service providers and carers for the benefit of children and young people;
  • An Accountability  Framework to ensure that we are meeting the Outcomes and standards that we have set; and
  • A future model for Family Based Care.

Developing a Quality and Accountability Framework will guide and inform efforts to build a coordinated, integrated and accountable system which improves outcomes for children and young people, supports carers, identifies the standards by which we will operate, measures our work and embeds a culture of continuous improvement. Put simply, the Quality Framework will tell us what success looks like for children and young people in OOHC; the Accountability Framework will tell us how to be sure we’re achieving it.

The OOHC project will also examine Family Based Care and seek to identify a future model for foster care.  It is based on the recognition of the critical role that carers play within the OOHC system and that we need to develop better ways of recruiting, training, supporting and working with carers.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions or comments related to this update, or to the Strong Families, Safe Kids Implementation Project generally, please direct them to the Project Team at

You can also keep updated by signing up for email updates at