Regional Intake and Regional Intake and Referral Services - NCOSS
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Regional Intake and Regional Intake and Referral Services - NCOSS

UpdateOnRegional Intake andReferral ServicesKeep Them Safe Cross Sector ForumJenny Marshall, Manager , Keep Them Safe Implementation UnitPrimary Health & Community Partnerships Branch, NSW Health21 August 2009

1. Wood Inquiry findings supporting thecreation of different pathways• Too many reports to DoCS which do not warrant exercise ofits considerable statutory powers. Case closures becauseof insufficient resources.• “Differential response systems” adopted elsewhere egVictoria• Call for a shift in the way the needs of children and youngpersons are understood and services for children andyoung persons [and their families] are delivered• Emphasis on child protection ti as a collective responsibility –whole of government and community1

2. Wood Recommended Model:Statutory protection for children & young people ‘at risk ofsignificant harm’.Reports below statutory threshold but child or young personin need of assistance: Child Wellbeing Unit or mandatoryreporter refers family to:• new Regional Intake and Referral Services• Brighter Futures• Domestic Violence Line; and/or• the agency working alone or in combination withanother appropriate agency or NGO2

3. Wood Recommended Model Cont’dReports meeting statutory threshold for responsewithin 3-10 days, i.e. risk not as high (Rec. 10.2c)• Referral to RIRS if outside criteria for BrighterFutures• Possible role in RIRS for seconded DoCS’caseworkersNote, however, Keep Them Safe’s focus is on therole of RIRS in meeting the needs of children andyoung people below the statutory threshold.3

4. Wood Recommendations- Role of RIRS (10.1, 10.2)• Determine the nature of services required and refer family toappropriate p NGO or other State or Commonwealth agency forservices such as:! Case management! Home visiting! Intensive family support brokerage! Quality child care! Housing; and/or! Parenting education• Note list is not exhaustive. Other services might includemental health or drug and alcohol services for the parents.4

5. Keep Them Safe Commitment- Staged implementation of RIRS1. RIRS trials (commencing within 12-18 months)• for 12 months• three locations (mixture of metropolitan, andrural/regional)• two service models (telephone advice andaugmented service with more active referrals;possible brokerage funding)• outside trial area – identify referral pathways• Evaluation and decision about best model2. Establishment state-wide (commencing within 2-3 years)5

6. Keep Them Safe Commitment - Role andaccountabilities of RIRSRoleAccountabilities• Aim to improve access toservices for children andfamilies in need of assistancebut below statutory threshold• These families require moresupport than offered byindividual government agencies• Putting families in touch withservices in the local area• Linkages to culturallyresponsive local l services forAboriginal children/families• Determine appropriateservices for the child/family,building on rather thansupplanting agency action,expertise and capacity• Drive improved linksbetween local governmentand non-governmentservices, and provideadvice to agencies tosupport better realignmentof local services6

7. Keep Them Safe Commitment – RIRS andAboriginal Children• Establishment of Child Wellbeing Units and RIRSshould include appropriate referral pathways forAboriginal children, young people and families• Linkages to culturally responsive human andjustice services in local l communities• Consideration of lessons gained from VictorianLakidjeka model (also a specific DoCS’ led actionin Chapter 5: Better Supporting Aboriginal Childrenand Families)7

8. Role of NSW Health• Nominated as “lead agency” for RIRS in GovernmentAction Plan with NSW Health as fund-holder• Assumption that many children and young people inneed of assistance under the threshold for statutoryintervention will require a health response as well asother services• Opportunity for NSW Health to work in partnershipwith the NGO sector and other agencies in ensuringintegrated approach to service delivery for thesefamilies8

9. Role of NGOs• Wood Report – the service should be operated andstaffed by an NGO• at least one in each DoCS’ region in finalimplementation• Minister Burney’s commitment to consult extensivelywith key stakeholders including peak groups, othergovernment agencies and funded d NGOs• Separate long- term commitment to NGO capacitybuilding9

10. Planning Workshop with NGO Peak Groups5 June• Co-hosted by NSW Health and NSW Council for SocialServices• 14 NGO peak groups represented – broader representationthan traditional ‘child protection’• Workshop group sessions with focus on:1. guiding principles and intended outcomes of the service2. more detailed questions about desirable features of servicemodels, site selection, project risks, components ofevaluation10

11. Key principles identified at workshop forRIRS operations" Child and family focussed" Active skilful, positive engagement with family on voluntarybasis" A non-stigmatising service" Localised responses. Good knowledge of and connectionswith local service networks and community.• Staff are trained/ qualified and have good support" Immediate responses – answering calls promptly; p noreferrals to waiting lists11

12. Key outcomes identified at workshop" Evidence of reduced risk / children and young people aresafer and reach their full potential" Families supported in accessing services to meet theirneeds" Reduced crisis for families/ reduced pressure on tertiaryservices" Better usage of services/ improved co-ordination" Improved knowledge about access to services and gaps12

13. Key challenges identified• RIRS as champions for the new system recommended by Wood:! modelling effective partnerships! driving cultural change! promoting generational change in families• Having the services available to which the RIRS can refer people• The voluntary nature of RIRS referrals13

14. Other considerations• Tender specifications not overly prescriptive• Need for alternative name: “Child WellbeingReferral Service”?Workshop Report is now available14

15. Next Steps and TimeframesBy end August 2009:• Evaluation consultant selected• Pilot locations agreed by KTS SOG• Request for tender developed (incl. criteria to be met byapplicants & outcome measures against which h the pilots will beevaluated)• Arrangements for tender process in place:! Probity oversight by NSW Health Procurement Branch! Governance Committee/Evaluation ti committees15

16. Next Steps and Timeframes (2)September 2009Request for Tender goes live (NSW Government e-Tendering website)Industry briefing – 2 weeks after Request for Tender5 weeks turn around for submissionsOctober 2009Evaluation Consultant develops evaluation plan for pilotsAnalysis of submissionsNovember 2009Successful applicants notified and contracted by NSW HealthJanuary 2010Phased implementation of the pilots16

17. Implementation arrangements• Accommodation for the services• Recruitment and training of staff• Information technology• Operational guidelines• Referral protocols and tools17

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