Families and Children Expert Panel project
The Australian Government is investing $5 million to 2019 to establish and manage the Families and Children Activity Expert Panel project (the Expert Panel project).
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 Expert Panel project supports Families and Children Activity service providers to achieve this by providing assistance to plan and implement high quality evidence-based programs, measure outcomes and conduct evaluations.
Administration and coordination of the Expert Panel project is undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), through the Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) information exchange. CFCA will provide support and capacity building directly to Family and Children Activity (FaC) service providers or engage an organisation with relevant expertise to undertake more formal projects if more intensive support or expertise is required.
The Expert Panel project 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 evaluate 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 other research and evaluation activities.
The Families and Children Activity (FaC) Industry List service helps to connect Families and Children service providers with research, practice and evaluation experts. Service providers can access independent support and guidance to plan, implement and evaluate new and existing programs, using their existing funding.
Families and Children service providers can use their allocated funding to purchase assistance in respect of program planning, program implementation and/or program evaluation and outcomes measurement.
CFCA will help service providers to scope what particular assistance is needed and will match them with suitable Industry List members to provide a quote for assistance. Families and Children service providers will select an Industry List member and directly enter into a Contract for Services with the List member. After the project between the service provider and the Industry List member has been completed, CFCA will work with both parties to help share general outcomes of the project with the broader sector, where appropriate.
Nb. The Department has no involvement in these contractual arrangements.
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