Capturing outcomes with Caretakers Cottage

February 2017

Through the Expert Advice Exchange (EAX), ARTD have worked witrih Caretakers Cottage to capture the outcomes of their transitional accommodation service, Options Youth Housing.

The EAX, an initiative of the NSW Government’s Office of Social Impact Investment, connects non-government organisations and social enterprises with leading legal and professional services firms, financial institutions and other companies to provide pro bono on growing and sustaining their impact.

When Caretakers Cottage first came to us, they said they needed some support with strategic planning. But after our Managing Pncipal Consultant Sue Leahy and Senior Consultant Alexandra Ellinson talked with them further and did a detailed SWOT analysis with the team, we realised that what they needed was to capture their outcomes. So we worked with them on a tool to capture client wellbeing in seven domains, from living skills and education to accommodation, family connections, health, safety and wellbeing. By applying the tool at entry, every three months during the service, and after leaving, caseworkers systematically collect information to assess and document changes. Caseworkers can also use the assessment as an opportunity to have supportive conversations with clients about their wellbeing, and to develop a shared understanding of their progress.

Caretakers Cottage was concerned about not creating more work for the sake of doing more work. But they have found that the tool has helped them to better monitor their work and to focus on what the client needs. As well as increasing the staff’s capacity to consistently assess client wellbeing, it really energised the staff because they are now collecting evidence that shows the impact of their work. 

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework released

February 2017

The Framework sets out a nationally consistent approach to quality and safeguards for the NDIS to be introduced in 2018–19. This is needed to ensure that capability is built in the new market-based system, the rights of people with disability are upheld, the benefits of the NDIS are realised, and that people have access to the same safeguards no matter where they live.

The Framework is aligned with the NDIS principle of choice and control and takes a risk based approach. It consists of developmental, preventative and corrective measures targeted at individuals, the workforce and providers. Key components are:

  • an NDIS Registrar to manage the NDIS practice standards and certification scheme, establish policy settings for worker screening, register providers, oversee provider compliance, and monitor the effectiveness of the NDIS market
  • an NDIS Complaints Commissioner to facilitate the resolution of complaints about providers of NDIS-funded supports and investigate serious incident reports and potential breaches of NDIS code of conduct
  • a Senior Practitioner to oversee approved behaviour support practitioners and providers, provide best practice advice, review the use of restrictive practices and follow up on serious incidents related to unmet behaviour support needs.

ARTD worked with DSS, State and Territory Governments and the NDIA to develop the framework. The voice of people with disability, their family members and carers, service providers, advocacy groups and representatives of professional organisations captured through public consultations and submissions informed the framework design.

You can access the framework here You can also see our report on the consultations here

Governments have indicated there will also be further opportunities to contribute to the Framework in the design and implementation phases.

Broadening your evidence cost-effectively

February 2017

ARTD Director, Andrew Hawkins, is speaking at the Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy Improving program outcomes and success conference in Canberra on 21 March 2017. He joins other thought leaders in policy, research and evaluation to discuss how sound evidence can be used to improve policy.

Andrew’s presentation will draw implications from the academic research to meet the needs of policy makers for cost-effective monitoring and evaluation of interventions into complex systems. He will challenge the audience to move away from a set of assumptions about measuring outcomes that are useful when evaluating relatively simple things—like fertilisers, drugs and bridges—towards methods that are more appropriate when dealing with new or developing interventions in very complex systems. Cutting through the complexity, he will provide a step-by-step guide for monitoring and evaluation investment decisions that are appropriate to the nature of the intervention, the questions being asked, and the time and resources available.

Early bird registrations for the two-day conference close on 10 February.