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QFCC Services Directory is in the Spotlight

by PeakCare Qld on 11th June 2015

Home -> Articles -> 2015 -> June -> QFCC Services Directory is in the Spotlight

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Most of us in the community services sector know that keeping abreast of available service options and also ensuring up-to-date contacts and resources is a significant and often burdensome requirement of all organisations needing to make appropriate and timely referrals when working with children, young people and their families. Just keeping our own contact lists up to date seems like a major feat at times.

It is no exaggeration in stating that for decades community service organisations and government partners in service delivery have been grappling with maintaining up-to-date resource lists. Most go it alone and all too many practitioners recall this task being a major one assigned to them back when they were students on placement.

A centralised process has long been called for.

It’s easy to imagine then that when the Carmody Report made the significant recommendation 6.1 – mandating the Queensland Families and Child Commission (QFCC) to establish and maintain an online community services directory as per the Taking Responsibility roadmap – that the sector and government partners probably let out a collective sigh. Finally a centralised resource that would take responsibility for this burdensome activity and ensure that all working in the field could access up to date and relevant information.

No one who’d grappled with this task alone for years was under any illusion of the difficulty of this task, in spite of how simply recommendation 6.1 reads. For many months now the QFCC has been investigating how best to implement recommendation 6.1 so that there is a sustainable, publicly available tool to connect families and children with local support services. This also includes assisting stakeholders and community members by ensuring they have the appropriate information required when seeking assistance for themselves and those they are supporting.

For the past year the QFCC has been consulting with key stakeholders to ascertain the most effective and impactful way moving forward with the creation of a community services directory. Feedback has noted that the top two requirements highlighted for the directory are that it is sustainable and maintainable.

Many people have shared their ideas and feedback on making the directory a great fit for the sector. We are looking forward to the next step in developing the directory, as we’ll see all the ideas come together to create a resource that will benefit the entire sector,” says Project Manager, Reyelle McKeever.

She further comments that the engagement of the sector is a critical touchstone for the project: “The directory will always need support and engagement from the sector, so I want to continually remind them of how much this directory depends on their contributions and commitment”.

During consultations the QFCC has been investigating options for the directory build. They intend on creating a resource that will become a ‘must have’ tool for professionals working in the sector. They are also working with others who’ve already created relevant information platforms as part of other child protection reforms to ensure that what they offer is value added to processes already in place.

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and the QFCC have partnered in order to develop and deliver the community services directory.

InfoXchange Australia recently won the contract to build the directory, as well as a system to provide Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support services with an information system to help manage enquiries, referrals and cases. The directory will be integrated with this system to create a seamless process for professionals to identify services available and assist with streamlining referrals.

The directory component of the system will also be publicly available on a unique website for the community and other professionals to access. This public-facing website will be aligned with the Talking Families campaign to support parents, families and the community to seek assistance when needed.

For further information contact Project Manager, Reyelle McKeever via email reyelle.mcKeever@qfcc.qld.gov.au.

Next steps as noted by QFCC:

  1. Refine our project plan to align with the Department’s IT project, as well as the Talking Families campaign.
  2. Finalise our communication strategy, including our branding and ‘look and feel'.
  3. Build the directory based on the requirements we have gathered