Families and Children Expert Panel
The Australian Government is investing $5 million to 2019 to establish and manage the Families and Children Activity Expert Panel (the Panel). The Panel of 42 research, practice and evaluation experts will support Families and Children service providers in the delivery of robust evidence-based practice, with a focus on prevention and early intervention approaches.
During consultations with the sector in 2013, there was broad based consensus for increasing the use of evidence-based programs and practices, focusing on prevention and early intervention and moving towards true outcomes measurement and reporting. There was also recognition of the need for additional assistance for service providers to achieve this goal.
The Panel reflects the Government's commitment to Australian families and responds to calls from the sector for government support in strengthening service design and delivery. Panel members will be engaged to support service providers to deliver high quality services.
The role of the Panel includes:
- providing implementation support and training for organisations in the use of evidence-based programs and practice;
- supporting the development of outcome measures that organisations can use to measure the extent to which they have helped their clients;
- providing training and support in the development and evaluation of outcome measures;
- supporting organisations to trial and evaluate new approaches, particularly in prevention and early intervention; and
- conducting research and evaluation activities.
A high-level Steering Committee was established by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to provide guidance and advice on the work of the Panel, including identifying emerging issues or trends in service delivery.
The Steering Committee is chaired by Professor Patrick Parkinson and membership includes prominent specialists from the service provision and academic sectors whose expertise covers the work of the Families and Children sector.
The Industry List members are a resource for Families and Children service providers who can use their existing funding to purchase help to plan, implement and evaluate existing programs.
It is expected that Families and Children service providers will use their allocated funding to purchase assistance in respect of program planning, program implementation and/or program evaluation and outcomes measurement.
A Families and Children service provider will initially discuss scope and details of the assistance required with AIFS. AIFS will work with the service provider to identify suitable List members. Families and Children service providers will directly approach preferred List members to request a quote. The service provider will select a List member and directly enter into a Contract for Services with the List member.
Nb. The Department has no involvement in these contractual arrangements.