Strong Families, Safe Kids External Update - August 2016

Implementation Project Update - August 2016

Implementation of actions detailed in the Strong Families, Safe Kids Implementation Plan (the Plan) for the redesign of the child protection system formally commenced in July 2016. The Project Team is committed to ensuring that all stakeholders are kept up to date on the progress of the project, and will be issuing regular progress updates like this over the life of the project.

You can download a PDF version of this update here: Strong Families, Safe Kids Project Update - August 2016.

The Project Team

A small project team has been established within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic Projects Unit to drive the implementation of the redesign. Responsibility for the various elements of the redesign has been divided between the Project Director and two Sub-Project Managers, with an additional staff member providing dedicated project support.

Structuring the Redesign

As detailed in the Implementation Plan, Strong Families – Safe Kids consists of 30 actions, which will deliver a more integrated system capable of responding innovatively and effectively to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children. The project team has divided these 30 actions across four project streams and 11 sub-projects to provide a structure under which the implementation of the actions can be progressed in line with the timelines in the Implementation Plan.

The four project streams are:

  1. Child Wellbeing and Risk: ensuring all parts of the system are focused on supporting children and families through common understanding and shared commitment.
  2. Cross Government Coordination and Integration: reducing pressure on statutory services by improving access to and linkages between key services.
  3. Improved Practice: improving the ability of Child Safety Service to respond to and manage children and families who require a statutory intervention.
  4. Information Exchange and Evaluation: building a robust governance and evaluation framework to support the delivery of the redesign.

A diagram of these project streams and the 11 sub-projects that fall under them is available here: Project Streams and Sub Projects.

Activity to Date

The project team has progressed a number of key initiatives in July 2016, focusing on specific actions that will form the basis of the broader redesign project. Some of the work progressed to date include:

  • Establishing and hosting the first meeting of the Project Oversight Committee
  • Inviting expressions of interest from staff for the Employee Reference Group that will inform the implementation of the redesign.
  • Advertising of key additional positions that will provide support to enable frontline staff to focus on their critical role.
  • Completion of initial groundwork to support:
    • the promotion of the ARACY Common Approach in Tasmania
    • development of a child wellbeing framework
    • development of a cross-sectoral information sharing agreement
    • the proposed review of family support services; and,
    • changing the name of Child Protection Services to Child Safety Service from 30 September 2016.

Upcoming Activities

The project team will continue to progress a range of actions earmarked for implementation in the second half of 2016 and into 2017, including:

  • Expressions of interest from the broader child wellbeing sector will be invited in the near future to participate in the Cross Sectoral Child Wellbeing Consultative Committee, which will help inform the implementation of the redesign. Detailed information on the role of this Committee will be made available to stakeholders when EOI’s are invited.
  • One of the key early actions for the project team is the preparation, in consultation with the sector, of a Child Wellbeing Framework to promote a robust and common understanding of child wellbeing, including developmental milestones. Further information on how the project team intends to work with key stakeholders to design this Framework will be available soon.
  • The project team will be commencing consultation with staff to inform the development of the Advice and Referral Service and the restructure of current child protection resources into small child safety teams, focusing initially on the development of court teams.

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 CPSRedesignTeam@dhhs.tas.gov.au.

You can also register your interest in the project by emailing the above address. Future regular project updates will then be sent to you directly, as well as being published here.