Targeted Earlier Intervention Program Reform newsletter - Edition 36
Outcomes Framework – message from the ED
I’m delighted to share the TEI Outcomes Framework with you. The TEI reform presents an unprecedented opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families. The framework provides our roadmap for how we’re going to get there.
Each year we invest more than $134 million in targeted earlier intervention. We know this work is worthwhile, we know that we need to intervene early and prevent problems from escalating. TEI can contribute to reducing the number of children and young people at risk of significant harm and entering out of home care.
So how do we prioritise earlier intervention?
As outlined in the TEI Reform Directions Report, the current service system relies on loosely connected data reflecting outputs rather than outcomes, which hinders our ability to learn about what works, who for, where, and in what context.
The reform directions included the development of a performance, monitoring and evaluation framework to improve the way we measure performance and client outcomes, and to help move towards more evidence-informed practice.
The framework was developed in line with The NSW Human Services Outcomes Framework and included extensive consultation with NGOs, Peaks, Districts, and other FACS teams. Particular collaboration occurred around the development of the TEI program logic to clearly show the link between the current situation; the current evidence-base; TEI activities; the mechanisms of change; TEI client outcomes; and the TEI reform aims.
The opportunity is significant. If successful, together we can contribute to positive outcomes such as preventing children from entering the child protection and out of home care system and staying safe at home.
The thinking outlined in the outcomes framework will allow us to demonstrate how we are making a difference in the short, medium and long term. Vulnerability requires a range of supports through education, health, safety, housing, economic, social and community – in other words a multi-pronged approach. This framework allows us to acknowledge and understand that. It allows us to show how you are part of a bigger picture.
Implementation of the TEI Outcomes Framework will include tools and training to support service providers with developing their own program logics; how to use the Personal Wellbeing Index to measure client outcomes, and data collection for the TEI program.
The outcomes framework is comprehensive, with the focus on explaining the rationale for this evidence and outcomes based approach. For this reason we’ve also attached a brochure that pulls out the key elements relevant to you. The evaluation framework looks to the long-term. The performance and monitoring looks at the more immediate measures and data you’ll be gathering.
We know just how important local services like a community centre can be for someone facing increasing vulnerability and issues. Places where relationships have been established can provide a soft and a safe entry point for those who may hesitate to make contact with a more formal service.
The framework provides us with the thinking for demonstrating the evidence and the outcomes to show the contribution that your work makes. Ultimately, over time we are hopeful that we’ll see the contribution these services make to breaking intergenerational cycles of vulnerability and disadvantage.
Paul O’Reilly, Executive Director, Inclusion and Early Intervention