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Ramp It Up

by PeakCare Qld on 12th June 2014

Home -> Articles -> 2014 -> June -> Ramp It Up


In the past few weeks, our sector has seen three new child protection bills passed by Parliament, a new Social Services Investment Framework released, the announcement of an unprecedented financial investment in child protection reforms in the State Budget, the ‘settling in’ of the governance arrangements established to exercise oversight of, and guide, the reforms, and steps taken towards ‘co-designing’ the roll-out of a Government investment in a Community-based Referral (CBR) ‘model’ as a component of its investment in family support.

During this same period, PeakCare has established two yammer networks (the Bills Consultation network and Paving thePathways to Family Support network); conducted two ‘Yam Jams’ and one webinar; hosted one roundtable meeting of Members and Supporters; co-hosted a ‘co-design workshop with the Department, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak(QATSICPP) and Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS); released a discussion paper; produced and released seven short videos; and brought you news of the child protection reforms via our weekly eNews and blog posts – all for the purposes of keeping our Members and Supporters informed about developments as they occur, seeking your feedback and views, and engaging your active participation in influencing and shaping the reform agenda.

During a meeting of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Service Reform Project Committee that I attended yesterday, a senior government official used the phrase, ‘ramp it up’ to describe the action now being required of various government departments in relation to their planning, coordination and implementation of the family and child service reform agenda arising out of the Government’s response to the Carmody Inquiry recommendations. This is a message that now equally applies to the non-government sector. With the recent announcement of the allocations made to child protection reforms in the State Budget providing substance to the Government’s commitment to reform, it’s time for non-government organisations, both individually and collectively, to also ramp it up!

This means staying well-informed about the progress of the reforms and what they will mean to you, your organisation and client groups, playing a constructive role in informing the design and development of the reforms, and being prepared and ready for their implementation. The message is clear – ramp it up or get left behind!

PeakCare fully recognises the demands that this will place on organisations in the midst of the busy-ness of their daily operations and delivery of services. It is also recognised that some organisations are now being engaged in regional governance arrangements and some place-based planning processes that are also placing demands on their time and efforts. PeakCare’s view is that without some very clearly articulated processes for linking ‘central’ and ‘local’ policy, program and service development, the program of reforms will not proceed smoothly or well. Such an ambitious program of reform will require highly effective conduits between policy makers and service providers and between central and regional arms of both government and non-government organisations in order to ensure a purposeful exchange of information, a clarity in the description of the roles and responsibilities being exercise by various parties, and an agreed upon scope of what constitutes the primary business of central ‘forums’ and the business of those established regionally. Without these clearly articulated conduits, there is the risk of unnecessary duplication or waste of effort and the potential for working at ‘cross-purposes’.

To address, at least in part, these issues, PeakCare will soon be writing to our Member Agencies and Supporters requesting their nomination of at least one person to serve as our ‘conduits’. These will be persons upon whom PeakCare will be relying to disseminate information within their organisations and local networks and, where required, facilitate the collection of information and advice. They will be people who are, or will need to become, well-versed in the reform agenda and have the ability and standing to bring matters to the attention of the appropriate persons within their organisation and local networks. They will be persons who can assist in linking the business of central forums (such as the Stakeholder Advisory Group) with the regional governance arrangements that have already been established or are now emerging in some areas of the State. They will be persons who, as a network, can serve as a ‘sounding board’ for PeakCare and who, in performing this role, are able to represent sector-wide interests rather than the interests of their own organisation only. They will be the persons with whom PeakCare works to ensure that the non-government sector is well-positioned to ramp it up and no-one is left behind.

While PeakCare works to refine the role that these nominated people will play and how this will be undertaken, your suggestions and advice about what will best work for you is sought. Please enter your thoughts and views about this proposal below.

Lindsay Wegener

Executive Director - PeakCare QLD