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Review Implementation: Review Of First Year

7 October 2004

Child, Youth And Family Baseline Review Implementation: Review Of First Year

This month marks a year since a comprehensive review of Child, Youth and Family’s role and operations was completed.

“It is a good time to reflect on how successful we have been in addressing the recommendations made in that review,” says chief executive Paula Tyler.

The Child, Youth and Family Baseline Review was released in October 2003. It looked at the Department’s role and services and how those services are delivered and made recommendations on changes to be implemented.

Paula Tyler says all organisations such as Child, Youth and Family benefit from thorough reviews from time to time.

“It provides an opportunity for an organisation to move forward and we have seized that opportunity. We are increasingly moving to incorporate the implementation of the recommendations into the core business of the organisation”

Paula Tyler says a review of implementation progress in the first nine months has just been received by the Department.

“Child, Youth and Family commissioned the review in June to gain independent feedback on progress achieved so far and to assist us in managing and adjusting the Implementation Plan to ensure it delivers the best results possible.”

The Baseline Review implementation is a big multi-year change programme which is being conducted alongside key business as usual issues being undertaken by Child, Youth and Family management and staff.

“Given the pressure the organisation has been under this year, with the significant increase in the volume of notifications (up 40% in the year to August) and changes in leadership, I am very pleased with the progress to date on implementing the recommendations.

“This is a key priority for me and one I will be focussing on over the next year. I am keen to ensure the major parts of the change programme become business as usual activities. To deliver quality services we need clear, efficient management systems, excellent information and the appropriate level of staffing. Good management and good systems support good practice and assist frontline staff to deliver sustainable quality services to children and families.”

Paula Tyler says the review team found that the implementation programme is gathering pace with a number of projects well under way.

“This first review was a positive and constructive assessment of implementation progress to date and provided us with some useful areas to focus on”, she says.

Most of these areas build on current action being undertaken by Child, Youth and Family management.

“The programme is set up to continually identify areas which need to be addressed and the recommendations confirm we had correctly moved to take action in most of these areas,” says Paula Tyler.

She says independent reviews are one of the elements of the Baseline Review Implementation Quality Assurance Plan and further reviews are planned.

Paula Tyler is positive about the opportunities presented by the Implementation programme.

“Looking forward into the next year, we have identified a number of areas that we want to focus on. These include programmes to enable more community involvement, getting the right response to the right children at the right time through more appropriate ways, focusing on permanent placements, better integration of responses at the policy and delivery ends and sound management of the Department.

“Child, Youth and Family is one of the government departments where you can directly see the difference you make. Our work intimately touches the lives of people on a day to day basis. We deal with people at the most vulnerable points in their lives. Our work is based on strong beliefs about the value of children in our society.”

NOTE TO EDITORS The First Principles Baseline Review Report was signed off by Cabinet and released in October 2003. The review was set up to look at Child, Youth and Family’s role, services and how those services were delivered. It also considered the appropriate level of resources the Department needs to operate effectively. The final report contained 70 recommendations aimed at enabling the Department to move ahead on a sustainable basis, within resource constraints, while meeting its performance targets and demonstrably achieving its desired outcomes.

In October 2003 the chief executive resigned and the Department had two acting chief executives before the appointment of Paula Tyler in May 2004. Mrs Tyler was Deputy Minister of the Children’s Services Ministry in Alberta, Canada. She commenced work with the Department in August 2004.

The Programme Office was established within CYF in February 2004 to initiate and coordinate a range of projects to address the recommendations in the report.

In September 2003, Child, Youth and Family developed an initial implementation plan for the programme of work associated with the Baseline Review recommendations. The approach taken to the development of this initial plan was a phased approach, providing detail for the early phases of the programme and noting the need to develop further detail and clarity about the following phases as the programme of work progressed. In this way early learnings could be captured and incorporated into the remainder of the work programme. In line with this approach, a revised Plan was developed and signed off by Ministers in May 2004.

Periodic independent reviews of progress against the Implementation Plan are integral to the Quality Assurance Plan. The reviews are scheduled to be performed at regular intervals over the five phases of work until October 2007 in order to assess progress against the Implementation Plan and to recommend changes in approach with the objective of increasing the effectiveness of the Plan.

Currently there are 18 projects underway with six completed to date.

ENDS

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