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It\'s all about the sum of the parts, isn\'t it?

by PeakCare on 7th September 2011

Home -> Articles -> 2011 -> September -> It\'s all about the sum of the parts, isn\'t it?

Amongst the range of changes to be made to the United Kingdom’s child protection system, Professor Eileen Munro recommended that there be a shift away from conducting inspections of individual organisations to police their compliance with various guidelines, rules and performance measures. In place of this, she recommended that an inspection system be created that allows for an examination of the contributions being collectively made by all key services in achieving an effective child protection system at a local level.

Professor Munro noted that this should include an examination of the contributions being made by local health services, education, police and the justice system to the creation and maintenance of an effective child protection system. According to Professor Munro, if “rules” are to exist, those that should be focussed upon are those that are developed to ensure that organisations are effectively working together.

Can you imagine what it would look like if a similar shift in approach was to occur within Queensland?

For example, what would it be like if, in place of evaluating the compliance of individual non-Government organisations with the outputs stipulated in their “service agreements”, there was a shift towards regularly assessing the contributions being made by all key services – both Government and non-Government owned – to the achievement of agreed-upon outcomes being sought for children, young people and families within a particular community?

Non-Government organisations often report to PeakCare Queensland that their capacity to meet the requirements of “service standards” associated with the licensing of care services is often impinged upon by other organisations such as Child Safety Service Centres, if they are not adequately fulfilling their defined role and responsibilities in relation to a number of practices or procedures.

What would it look like if the approach taken to the assessment of services in relation to their licence applications was changed to also incorporate an evaluation of the collaborative performance of Government organisations (such as Child Safety Service Centres, Youth Justice Services, public health and education services) in meeting the requirements established by licensing?

How could these approaches be best managed in ways that promote a shared “learning culture” in preference to a “compliance culture”?

Lindsay Wegener – Executive Director, PeakCare