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Chapter 2.2 Purpose 2 Families and Communities

Contribute to stronger and more resilient individuals, families and communities by providing targeted services and initiatives.

Summary and analysis of Outcome 2 performance

We operate in an environment in which the strength of families and communities is influenced by a complex array of circumstances, social norms and people’s personal aspirations and motivations. Parenting, relationship, and financial management skills also contribute to positive outcomes for families and children.

Our performance contributes to positive outcomes alongside the significant effort made by state jurisdictions, local communities, other government agencies, and families.

We support families and children to improve their lifetime wellbeing by responding to specific needs and encouraging independence and participation in the community. We provide assistance through numerous programs of grants, procurements, and subsidies. We support new parents through Paid Parental Leave arrangements. Through this assistance, we help individuals and families, and strengthen community capacity to provide support and meet local needs.

We work across the Australian and state and territory governments to foster inclusive social behaviours that strengthen social cohesion, such as mutual respect, trust and belonging. We support the development of strong and resilient families and community harmony by providing support and early intervention to people at risk of a range of social harms including domestic and family violence, child abuse and neglect, sexual assault against women and children, racism, and discrimination. We also work with state and territory governments to reduce the harm from online gambling through a National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering. We support those affected by institutional child sexual abuse to access redress through the National Redress Scheme.

We work in partnership with the community sector to support individuals and families to navigate financial crises and build financial wellbeing, capability and resilience. This includes programs such as Emergency Relief, which provides immediate financial or material aid, such as food, clothing, vouchers or help to pay bills. A sector led National Coordination Group has been established to provide advice on the delivery of Emergency Relief and Food Relief nationally in response to the unprecedented challenges and demands presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key results

In the past year, our contributions to improving the outcomes for families and communities include:

  • delivered strong results for the Cashless Debit Card in current sites and made program improvements such as the payment of interest for Cashless Debit Card participants
  • delivered key activities under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (National Plan) and worked with states and territories to boost frontline services during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • delivered key activities under the Third (2015–2018) and Fourth (2018–2020) Action Plans of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 (National Framework)
  • commenced the development of the national successor plan to follow the current National Framework, as recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (recommendation 6.15)
  • supported the community sector in a collaborative, timely, and coordinated manner to provide front-line assistance to vulnerable people in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019–20 bushfires
  • delivered changes to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme to support working parents impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, by allowing time spent on the JobKeeper Payment to count towards the Paid Parental Leave work test.

Outcome 2 Programs and Key Activities

Outcome 2 comprises three programs underpinned by a number of activities that seek to contribute to stronger and more resilient individuals, children, families, and communities. The tables below outline how the objectives of this purpose were achieved through delivery of measurable activities. Our program performance in 2019–20 is measured through agreements in place with relevant service providers and the performance of key activities is assessed using cross program performance indicators and measures.

Table 2.2.1: Outcome 2 Programs and Key Activities

OUTCOME 2 FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES

Program 2.1

Families and Communities

Program 2.2

Paid Parental Leave

Program 2.3

Social and Community Services

Refer to Table 2.2.2 for program performance results

Key activities

  • Families and Children
  • Family Safety
  • Protecting Australia’s Children
  • Financial Wellbeing and Capability
  • Volunteering and Community Connectedness
  • Cashless Debit Card
  • National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Key activities

  • Parental Leave Pay
  • Dad and Partner Pay

Key activities

  • Social and Community Services Pay Equity Amount

Refer to Table 2.2.3 for index of key activities performance results

Performance Results of Programs

Mehis section describes the 2019–20 results of the program performance measured through agreements in place with relevant services providers.

C2.3 Extent to which payments and service provision meet program objective

This criterion explores a range of payment and service provision parameters that indicate progress towards outcomes, rather than impact. These include whether funds have been spent consistent with the program objective, satisfaction with services, community and service system capacity, service usage by priority groups, and payment coverage.

C2.3.1 Program performance criteria and associated milestones/standards

This indicator assesses whether funds have been spent consistent with the program objective. It focuses on appropriate delivery of grants, procurements, and subsidies for which the department receives appropriations.

Table 2.2.2: Program performance criteria and associated milestones/standards

Intermediate outcome performance measure

PBS performance criteria

Target

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Program 2.1: Families and Communities

Delivery by organisations is in accordance with specified requirements, which may include service level standards, of the contracts and agreements between organisations and the department. Agreements and contracts require:

  • support and capacity building that contribute to strengthening individual and family functioning and communities

Milestone/standard:

Standard of delivery is performed in accordance with the terms and conditions of organisations’ contracts and agreements with the department

Met

Met

Met

Program 2.2: Paid Parental Leave

Agreement is in place with Services Australia to provide assurance that the delivery of the payments below are made in accordance with relevant legislation, policy and guidelines:

  • Dad and Partner Pay
  • Parental Leave Pay

Milestone/ standard:

Agreement is in place

Met

Met

Met

Program 2.3: Social and Community Services

Delivery complies with relevant legislation

The funds appropriated to the department are issued to meet the Australian Government’s share of the pay increases

Milestone/standard:

Payments were made as described

Met

Met

Met

Program 2.4: Program Support for Outcome 2

Total departmental funding for Outcome 2

Milestone/standard:

Departmental funding is expended to achieve agency outcomes

$202.334m

$244.017m

$236.448m

Performance Analysis of Outcome 2 Programs

Outcome 2 program performance criteria (as outlined in the 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements) are about having agreements in place and compliance with legislation.

For the Families and Communities program, the criteria relate to having agreements in place with organisations who deliver services and supports that contribute to strengthening communities and individual and family functioning. These agreements contain the agreed service level standards and expectations between the department and the organisation delivering the services. In the context of the financial year, these agreements were essential during the period to deliver, for example, emergency relief payments and grants to providers who were supporting communities through bushfires, COVID-19 and other economic impacts. These providers are geographically located in communities to provide on the ground support in service areas as set out in the funding agreements we have in place. In terms of assurance and support to these providers, the Community Grants Hub who administers and monitors performance of grant providers have regular reporting and engagement at the local level.

In 2020–21, program performance will be focused on measuring the effectiveness of the services delivered by the organisations, by seeking feedback from the users of the services. In addition, we will measure the impact of policy development through engagement with stakeholders and we will measure the delivery of services for the Cashless Debit Card and National Redress Scheme through timeliness and outputs reporting.

For the Paid Parental Leave program, the criteria is having an agreement in place with
Services Australia, to ensure payments are made in accordance with the policy and guidelines set by the department. In 2020–21, similar to Outcome 1, this will be measured through the level of payments accessed by the eligible cohort to maintain a focus on providing targeted payments to those in need.

For the Social and Community Services payments, the focus is and continues to be payments being made as prescribed by legislation and to the eligible grant recipients to provide the basis of effective administration of the payment.

Performance Results of Key Activities

This section describes the performance of the key activities in Outcome 2. The table below outlines our Corporate Plan performance criteria and indicators for Outcome 2, which show how we intend to measure what we achieved, how well we did, and how much we did. Not all activities report against every performance criterion.

Table 2.2.3: Cross program performance criteria for Outcome 2 — Families and Communities

Programs: 2.1 Families and Communities; 2.2 Paid Parental Leave; 2.3 Social and Community Services; XP Cross Program

Measure Hierarchy

Performance criteria

Indicator/Output

Program Reference

Results Table Index

Outcome — What did we achieve?

C2.1 – Extent to which assisted individuals and families have improved individual and family functioning

C2.1.1 – Percentage of assisted individuals and families with improved circumstances in areas relevant to individual/family needs

2.1, XP

2.2.4

C2.1.2 – Percentage of assisted individuals and families who achieve individual/family goals related to building capacity and connections

2.1, XP

2.2.5

Intermediate Outcome — How well did we do?

C2.2 – Extent of contribution to implementing national initiatives

C2.2.1 – Contribution to reducing violence against women

2.1

-

C2.2.2 – Extent of progress in implementing the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020

2.1

2.2.6

C2.2.3 – Extent of progress in implementing the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

2.1

2.2.7

C2.3 – Extent to which payments and service provision meet program objective

C2.3.1 – Program performance criteria and associated milestones/standards (PBS)

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

2.2.2

C2.3.2 – Extent of satisfaction with services

2.1

2.2.8

C2.3.3 – Extent of community and service system capacity and capability improvement

2.1

-

C2.3.4 – Percentage of assisted individuals who are from priority groups or locations

2.1

2.2.9

C2.3.5 – Percentage of new parents supported to take paid parental leave

2.2

2.2.10

Output — How much did we do?

C2.4 – Delivery measures

C2.4.1 – Number of individuals assisted (PBS)

2.1, 2.2

2.2.11, 2.2.12

C2.4.2 – Number of applications received for the National Redress Scheme

2.1

2.2.13

C2.4.3 – Number of organisations contracted or receiving grant funding to deliver services (PBS)

2.1

2.2.14

C2.4.4 – Number of institutions that have joined the National Redress Scheme

2.1

2.2.15

C2.4.5 – Administered outlays (PBS)

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

2.2.16

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–20 and Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20.

C2.1 Extent to which assisted individuals and families have improved individual and family functioning

This criterion captures elements of the outcome purpose: stronger and more resilient individuals, families, and communities. It represents the main areas where improved individual and family functioning is an expected outcome of service provision. It is measured through two indicators, which focus on improved circumstances and achievement of, or progress towards, goals.

C2.1.1 Percentage of assisted individuals and families with improved circumstances in areas relevant to individual/family needs

This indicator captures the main areas where improved circumstances for individuals and families are an expected outcome of service provision.

This indicator considers a range of areas (such as family functioning, financial resilience, age‑appropriate development, and personal safety) to provide a high-level summary on how a family functions. Specific measures track improvements by individuals being assisted through programs for families and children, and financial wellbeing and capability programs.

Analysis

There are a number of activities that may have contributed to clients reporting improved circumstances, including:

  • delivery of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters in 100[1] communities across Australia, including 50 Indigenous-focused sites
  • delivery of the Communities for Children Facilitating Partners, which supports children and families in 52 disadvantaged communities across Australia
  • delivery of the National Redress Scheme, with community-based services in place to support survivors throughout their redress journey
  • community-based support services for those affected by institutional child sexual abuse throughout their redress journey
  • delivery of Children and Parenting Support services in 805[2] outlets across Australia, including service delivery in Western Australia and South Australia to support the Cashless Debit Card trial
  • delivery of Intensive Family Support Services in the Northern Territory and Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia, providing intensive support to families with children aged 0–12 years of age and where child neglect concerns are present
  • delivery of the Adult Specialist Support Services (Find and Connect Support Services and Forced Adoption Support Services) to improve outcomes and enhance wellbeing for people adversely affected by past institutional and child‑welfare practices and policies
  • delivery of Family and Relationship Services in 499[3] locations across Australia, including counselling services to families and individuals at critical family transition points such as family formation, extension or family separation, and education and skills training to strengthen family relationships
  • delivery of the Strong and Resilient Communities Activity, which builds strong, resilient, cohesive and harmonious communities to ensure that individuals, families, and communities have the opportunity to thrive, be free from intolerance and discrimination, and have the capacity to respond to emerging needs and challenges
  • delivery of additional Emergency Relief and Financial Counselling to support people impacted by the 2019–20 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic
  • delivery of the Cashless Debit Card program to support people, families, and communities in places where high levels of welfare dependence co-exist with high levels of social harm:
    • 12,577 participants across four trial regions were participants on the Cashless Debit Card as at 26 June 2020
    • delivered 83 information sessions on the transition to the Cashless Debit Card in the Northern Territory and Cape York region in over 70 communities as part of engagement with over 3,400 community members and over 120 stakeholder and local organisations
    • improved Cashless Debit Card systems including to allow for monthly payment of interest on balances in Cashless Debit Card accounts
    • successfully delivered a pilot of Product Level Blocking technology which uses
      Point-of-Sale systems and PIN Pads to identify and automatically block the purchase of restricted items rather than blocking at the merchant level.

The outcome areas of community participation and networks, education and skills training and employment saw declines in the percentage of clients achieving a positive outcome
(from 2018-19 to 2019-20). One of the factors influencing this change was the movement of Settlement Services to the Department of Home Affairs via machinery of government changes
in July 2019 and as such were included in the 2018-19 results but not the 2019-20 results.
Settlement Services have a strong focus on strengthening community participation and supporting migrants to become independent through education and employment. As a result, settlement service organisations reported high numbers of clients against these domains.

The decrease in results in some outcome areas, for example ‘community participation and networks’, ‘education and skills training’, ‘employment’, ‘physical health’ and ‘housing’ corresponds broadly with the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic. The introduction of social distancing measures, restrictions on community gatherings, as well as the interruptions and changes to regular training and education mechanisms, (i.e. as courses transitioned online or were delayed or cancelled) impacted the results in the second half of the 2019-20.

Table 2.2.4: Percentage of assisted individuals and families with improved circumstances in areas relevant to individual/family needs

Outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Cross program

Percentage of assisted individuals and families with improved circumstances in areas relevant to individual/family needsabc

  • All circumstances

71.0%

72.1%

70.8%

  • Age-appropriate development

57.5%

61.7%

59.4%

  • Community participation and networks

58.6%

67.9%

64.7%

  • Education and skills trainingd

58.7%

69.2%

  • Employmentd

43.9%

61.1%

  • Family functioning

58.1%

58.9%

59.7%

  • Housing

52.3%

59.6%

60.6%

  • Material wellbeing and basic necessities

66.1%

69.6%

67.6%

  • Mental health, wellbeing and self-care

58.8%

58.6%

59.7%

  • Financial resiliencee

64.4%

60.7%

59.4%

  • Personal and family safety

49.8%

51.3%

52.1%

  • Physical health

49.5%

55.7%

50.1%

Families and Children

Percentage of individuals with improved family functioning, including child wellbeing, safety and developmentf

68%

66.8%

66.7%

Financial Wellbeing and Capability

Percentage of assisted individuals with improved financial wellbeing, capability and resilienceg

74.7%

74.4%

71.9%

a To measure outcomes only clients with at least two corresponding outcome domains have been counted.

b The number of activities funded under the Families and Communities Program may vary across financial years. Data relating to Family Law Services is excluded as it is funded by, and under the policy responsibility of, the Attorney-General’s Department.

c Strong and Resilient Communities Activity replaced Strengthening Communities from 1 April 2018. Data is not comparable as a reduced number of organisations were funded to deliver services before the commencement of the Strong and Resilient Communities Activity.

d ‘Employment’ and ‘Education and skills training’ was reported as a combined domain in 2017-18. This was split into two new domains in 2018-19.

e Description of this performance measure in 2017–18 was ‘Money management’ and was changed to ‘Financial resilience’ in 2018–19.

f For this measure, all domains relating to the circumstance outcome type have been included.

g Measured by provider reports of client assessments, for clients whose needs were met through Financial Crisis and Material Aid, Commonwealth Financial Counselling and Financial Capability, and Financial Resilience services. Changes in the number of organisations reporting may affect comparability over financial years.

C2.1.2 Percentage of assisted individuals and families who achieve individual/family goals relating to building capacity and connections

This indicator captures the main areas where goal setting is a function of service provision and reporting is applicable.

Analysis

Activities that may have contributed to clients reporting improved knowledge, skills, behaviours, and engagement with services include:

  • delivery of Children and Parenting Support services in 805[4] outlets across Australia, including service delivery in Western Australia and South Australia to support the Cashless Debit Card trial
  • delivery of Commonwealth Financial Counselling services to help people in financial difficulty address their financial problems, manage debt and make informed choices. These services are provided by community and local government organisations, through face-to-face meetings, a National Debt Helpline and website
  • delivery of Family and Relationship Services in 499[5] locations across Australia, including counselling services to families and individuals at critical family transition points such as family formation, extension or family separation, and education and skills training to strengthen family relationships.

Table 2.2.5: Percentage of assisted individuals and families who achieve individual/family goals related to building capacity and connections

Outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Cross program

Percentage of assisted individuals and families who achieve individual/family goals related to building capacity and connections abc

  • All goalsd

75.8%

76.8%

78.0%

  • Under 15 years

77.5%

78.0%

74.8%

  • 15–64 years

75.4%

77.2%

78.3%

  • 65 years and over

77.4%

66.3%

83.3%

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse

79.7%

82.4%

82.9%

  • Do not identify as culturally and linguistically diverse

75.3%

74.8%

75.9%

Families and Children

Percentage of individuals with improved knowledge, skills, behaviours, and engagement with servicese

74%

73.8%

74.9%

Financial Wellbeing and Capability

Percentage of assisted individuals achieving individual goals relating to financial wellbeing, capability and resiliencef

78.8%

77.7%

80.5%

a To measure outcomes only clients with at least two corresponding outcome domains have been counted.

b The number of activities funded under the Families and Communities Program may vary across financial years.

c Data relating to Family Law Services is excluded as it is funded by, and under the policy responsibility of, the Attorney-General’s Department.

d Outcome performance measures are collated from programs supporting people in achieving different outcome circumstances.

e The submission of outcomes data is mandatory for some programs but not others, meaning not all service providers have submitted the additional data. To measure outcomes only clients with at least two corresponding domain SCOREs (Standard Client/Community Outcomes Reporting) have been counted. For this measure all domains relating to the goals’ outcome type have been included.

f Measured by provider reports of client assessments, for clients who were assisted to improve their financial wellbeing through Financial Crisis and Material Aid, Commonwealth Financial Counselling and Financial Capability, and Financial Resilience services. Changes in the number of organisations reporting may affect comparability over financial years.

C2.2 Extent of contribution to implementing national initiatives

This criterion captures the high-level contribution by our department to the larger effort made by state jurisdictions, local communities, and other government agencies on key national initiatives.

C2.2.1 Contribution to reducing violence against women

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 (the National Plan) represents a commitment by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to reduce violence against women and their children, delivered through a series of three-year Action Plans.

State and territory governments have primary responsibility for funding front line services to support women who have experienced or are at risk of violence. In 2019–20, we continued implementation of the Fourth Action Plan delivering:

  • primary prevention activities, including the second phase of the Stop it at the Start campaign, complemented by Our Watch’s Doing Nothing Does Harm, and No Excuse for Abuse campaigns. These activities aim to change community attitudes and behaviour that can lead to violence against women
  • continued support of national services for women, including:
    • 1800RESPECT, which responded to 267,869 phone and online contacts
    • DV-alert, which delivered domestic violence response training to more than 5,560 frontline workers
    • Keeping Women Safe in Their Homes initiative, which supported 3,458 women and their children who have experienced violence to remain in their own homes, or a home of their choice, where it was safe and appropriate to do so
  • community-led prevention project initiative, which funded 16 organisations to support innovative and community-led primary prevention activities that challenge the underlying social, economic, and political conditions as well as historical and cultural factors that allow violence-supportive attitudes and behaviours to thrive
  • $150 million under the Domestic Violence Support Package to support all Australians at risk of, or experiencing, family and domestic violence through this COVID-19 pandemic, that includes:
    • $130 million to state and territory governments through the National Partnership on COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses to bolster support for domestic, family and sexual violence service
    • $20 million to boost key Commonwealth programs under the National Plan.

Analysis

A reduction in prevalence rates of violence against women requires sustained action by all tiers of government. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey data from 2016 (the latest results available) shows that rates of cohabiting partner violence have remained steady, and rates of sexual violence have increased since 2012 (from 1.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent); a result that may be driven by improved reporting and does not preclude a reduction in prevalence rates being achieved in coming years. The 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS), by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) showed most Australians were more likely to understand that violence against women involves more than just physical violence in 2017 than they were in 2013 and 2009.

C2.2.2 Extent of progress in implementing the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020

The Third Action Plan 2015–2018 (Third Action Plan) of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 (National Framework) included three strategies focused on national efforts to improve the wellbeing of Australia’s children:

  • Strategy 1: Early intervention with a focus on the early years, particularly the first 1,000 days for a child
  • Strategy 2: Helping young people in out-of-home care to thrive into adulthood
  • Strategy 3: Organisations responding better to children and young people to keep them safe.

Analysis

We are leading a number of initiatives that continue beyond the end of the Third Action Plan, including:

  • delivery of the Towards Independent Adulthood (TIA) trial, which has implemented
    a one-on-one mentoring model that aims to assist young people leaving out-of-home care engage with training and education, get a job and secure a place to live, and develop skills to live independently. As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the young people in the trial, service delivery was extended to 31 March 2021 to ensure adequate support was available during this difficult time
  • the National Community Awareness Raising (NCAR) strategy ended in June 2020 and raised awareness in the community of the importance of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life
  • an evaluation of NCAR is being undertaken and is expected in September 2020
  • the continuance of the Inter-jurisdictional child protection linkage solution named
    Connect 4 Safety. This solution enables child protection workers to undertake a real time search to identify whether vulnerable children will have links to other jurisdictions. All state and territory child protection agencies are progressively on-boarding to the solution during 2020.

Actions under the Fourth Action Plan 2018–2020 (Fourth Action Plan) of the National Framework continue to be delivered. The Fourth Action Plan has four key priority areas:

  • Priority 1 — Improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at risk of entering, or in contact with, child protection systems:
    • developing a guide to Support Implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP)
    • investment in ongoing data development for new national indicators to measure compliance with the ATSICPP
  • Priority 2 — Improving prevention and early intervention through joint service planning and investment:
    • implementation of Stronger Places, Stronger People, a place-based, collective impact initiative that focuses on interrupting the cycle of childhood vulnerability and poverty
    • seven communities have been announced in Logan, Rockhampton, and Gladstone in Queensland; Bourke in New South Wales; Burnie in Tasmania; the Far West Region (including Ceduna) in South Australia; and Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory
  • Priority 3 — Improving outcomes for children in out-of-home care by enhancing placement stability through reunification and other permanent care options:
    • a Permanency Outcomes Performance Reporting Framework was agreed, and new permanency indicators were reported in Child Protection Australia 2018–19, released on 18 March 2020
    • development of a nationally consistent approach to guide timely permanency decision making for children in out-of-home care. The National Approach may not be publicly available until the first half of 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Priority 4 — Improving organisations’ and governments’ ability to keep children and young people safe from abuse:
    • priority 4 is being led by the National Office of Child Safety (NOCS) in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Table 2.2.6: Extent of progress in implementing the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Cross program

Assess whether the department has implemented the actions under the Third and Fourth Action Plans of the National Framework, for which the department is responsiblea

Result: Met

Completion of the Towards Independent Adulthood (TIA) trial

Completion of the National Community Awareness Raising (NCAR) communication strategy

Parenting Research Centre and the Frame Works Institute release Phase 2 of the Perceptions of Parenting Research – Workshop held

Development and delivery of the First 1,000 Days landing page on the Raising Children Network website

Development of the Bringing Up Great Kids in the First 1,000 Days train the trainer package

Limited tender process for delivery of National Child Protection Information Data Sharing Solution (Connect 4 Safety) completed, vendor contracted. Solution progressively being on boarded by state and territory child protection agencies

Building Capacity in Australia’s Parents (BCAP) trial completed

Completion of a guide to support implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP), including workshops to support implementation of the ATSICPP

Investment in ongoing data development for new national indicators to measure compliance with the ATSICPP

Agreement of Permanency Outcomes Performance Reporting Framework. New permanency indicators reported in Child Protection Australia 2018-19

Development of a nationally consistent approach to guide timely permanency decision-making for children in out-of-home care

Result: Met

Formation of Priority Area Working Groups to drive delivery of actions to meet the objectives of priorities in the Fourth Action Plan

Regular meetings and consultations with the Child and Families Secretaries Group, the National Forum for Protecting Australia’s Children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Working Group to oversee the implementation of actions

Continuation of the Towards Independent Adulthood (TIA) trial by working with Western Australian Department of Communities to support TIA participants

Sharing information nationally to help ensure child safety’ challenge, Stage Two, Proof of Concept Phase successfully completed

Evidence review published on timely decision-making and outcomes for children in out-of-home care

Result: Met

Development of National Principles for Child Safe Organisations

Towards Independent Adulthood (TIA) trial governance structures agreed with Western Australia’s Department of Communities and service providers

Stage One, Feasibility Study phase successfully completed

Commencement of the Building Capacity in Australian Parents (BCAP) trial pilot phase

Parenting Research Centre and the Frame Works Institute release Phase 2 of the Perceptions of Parenting Research ‘Talking about the Science of Parenting’ report

a 2019–20 measure was updated from the 2018–19 version to reflect the maturity of the activity / actions taken to implement the framework.

C2.2.3 Extent of progress in implementing the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended the Australian Government, along with state and territory governments, establish a National Centre to address child sexual abuse by reducing stigma, promoting help-seeking, and supporting good practice (Recommendation 9.9).

Analysis

The Australian Government has committed $22.5 million over five years to establish a National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (National Centre). The Australian Government is working closely with all states and territories to ensure the National Centre delivers a five-year work plan that will address the scope of the recommendation. The National Centre will intersect with the National Strategy for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse to deliver outcomes that will reduce further traumatisation of those living with past child sexual abuse, and work to prevent future harm.

The National Centre, once established in 2020–21, will partner with victims and survivors in all its work.

The timeframe for delivering the National Centre was extended from December 2020 until early 2021. The extended timeframe will ensure any impediments to selecting a provider to deliver the National Centre due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been minimised.

Table 2.2.7: Assess whether the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse is on track to be operational in the second half of 2020

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Cross program

Assess whether the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse is on track to be operational in the second half of 2020

Result: Not met

The National Centre will launch in February 2021. The initial timeframe has been extended to accommodate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

National online survey conducted through Engage to capture the views of diverse stakeholders, including victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, their families and caregivers, and the sector

Nineteen face-to-face consultation workshops conducted with government and non-government stakeholders

Ongoing engagement with states and territories

Ongoing coordination and collaboration with the National Office for Child Safety in delivering the Royal Commission’s recommendations

C2.3 Extent to which payments and service provision meet program objective

This criterion explores a range of payment and service provision parameters that indicate progress towards outcomes, rather than impact. These include whether funds have been spent consistent with the program objective, satisfaction with services, community and service system capacity, service usage by priority groups, and payment coverage.

C2.3.2 Extent of satisfaction with services

Feedback from individuals, service providers, or stakeholders on the impacts of services helps our department better understand how well funded services meet the needs of individuals and communities. The decrease in satisfaction is due to the changing nature of the survey between 2018-19 and 2019-20, and the varying participation rates.

Table 2.2.8: Extent of satisfaction with services

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Strong and Resilient Communitiesa

Percentage of individuals satisfied with service provision

95.8%

90.7%

92%b

Families and Communities Service Improvement

Extent of members’ satisfaction with service provisionc

84%

90%

a Strong and Resilient Communities Activity replaced Strengthening Communities from 1 April 2018.

b Data relates to Community Capacity Building from 1 July 2017 to 31 March 2018, Strong and Resilient Communities from 1 April 2018 and Digital Literacy for Older Australians from 1 July 2017.

c New performance measure for 2018–19. Data is based on data from member surveys conducted by the organisations during the 2019–20 financial year.

C2.3.3 Extent of community and service system capacity and capability improvement

The Families and Communities Service Improvement (FCSI) Activity was established in 2014 to build capacity within the families and communities’ sector by funding peak bodies to deliver conferences, research, pilots, policy advice, evaluations, and other overarching service initiatives.

Six peak bodies are funded to deliver FCSI: the Australian Council of Social Service, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, Families Australia, Family and Relationship Services Australia, Economic Justice Australia, and Volunteering Australia.

We also fund two programs that support capacity and capability improvement through the Australian Institute of Family Studies. The first is the Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) Information Exchange, which is an information hub for evidence, resources, and support for professionals working in the child, family, and community welfare sector. The CFCA produces a number of publications, including papers, resource sheets, practice guides and webinars, which are published electronically and are free to access.

The second program is the Families and Children (FaC) Expert Panel Project. In 2019–20, the FaC Expert Panel Project implemented a number of universal and targeted activities to meet the varying needs of FaC Activity service providers. These include:

  • development and publishing of evaluation and planning resources to support service providers to use evaluation findings for decision-making and continuous improvement
  • facilitation of professional development workshops to enhance best practice implementation in child and family service delivery
  • development and publication of resources and training for a ‘genuine partnerships’ project, in collaboration with SNAICC, which supports non-Indigenous service providers to better respond to the needs and aspirations of Indigenous children, families, and communities
  • providing specialised support to Communities for Children Facilitating Partners to apply
    evidence-based practices in their programs.

C2.3.4 Percentage of assisted individuals who are from priority groups or locations

This indicator shows the extent to which Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse people are accessing services.

Providers of Families and Children activities aim to ensure their services are sensitive and accessible to anyone who faces a real or perceived barrier to receiving assistance. This includes delivery of Children and Parenting Support services as part of the Cashless Debit Card package, through Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in the communities of Kununurra, Wyndham, Ceduna, Koonibba, Yalata, and Oak Valley as well as providers’ access to culturally appropriate activities and supports.

Table 2.2.9: Percentage of assisted individuals who are from priority groups or locations

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Families and Children

Percentage of individuals from priority groupsa

23.8%

20.5%

12.6%

  • Indigenous

11.7%

9.0%

7.8%

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse

5.9%

5.3%

4.8%

  • People with disabilityb

7.7%

7.4%

Strong and Resilient Communitiesc

Percentage of individuals assisted from priority groupsd

31%

19.2%

12.8%

  • Indigenous

9.7%

6.6%

1.2%

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse

21.4%

12.7%

11.6%

Volunteer Management Activitye

Percentage of individuals assisted from priority groups:

12.4%

14.0%

18.2%

  • Indigenous

1.4%

1.7%

1.3%

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse

11%

12.3%

16.9%

Financial Wellbeing and Capability

Percentage of individuals from priority groupsfg

26.1%

24.9%

24.0%

  • Indigenous

18.8%

19.2%

18.5%

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse

7.3%

5.7%

5.5%

a Data across the three years is not comparable due to program changes (for example commencement of new services and cessation of some programs). This captures clients identified as Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse and people with disability.

b New performance measure for 2018–19.

c Strong and Resilient Communities Activity commenced on 1 April 2018.

d Data relates to Digital Literacy for Older Australians and Strong and Resilient Communities Activity. Digital Literacy for Older Australians started providing services in 2017–18, was fully implemented in 2018–19, and expanded reach of its network in 2019-20 resulting in an increased number of individuals assisted, including in priority groups. Volunteer Management Activity became separate funding stream on 1 January 2018 and is now reported separately.

e Data consistency and quality continues to improve over time as providers get used to using the Data Exchange.

f Data may not be comparable across years as some organisations may modify the way they collect data and report to the department.

g This is a count of individual and group clients assisted.

C2.3.5 Percentage of new parents supported to take paid parental leave

This indicator shows the reach of the Paid Parental Leave scheme among new parents, including the proportion of mothers who received Parental Leave Pay, how they received their payment, and the proportion of parents paid the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay or two weeks of Dad and Partner Pay.

There are two payments under the Paid Parental Leave scheme — Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay. Parental Leave Pay provides eligible working parents up to 18 weeks’ pay based on the rate of the national minimum wage ($740.60 per week). Dad and Partner Pay provides eligible working fathers and partners two weeks’ pay based on the rate of national minimum wage.

Analysis

In 2019–20, a total of 171,712 parents started receiving Parental Leave Pay and a total of 92,343 fathers or partners received the Dad and Partner Pay.

The proportion of mothers receiving Parental Leave Pay has decreased from 53.8 per cent of all mothers with newborns in 2018–19 to 51.1 per cent in 2019–20.

Table 2.2.10: Percentage of new parents supported to take Paid Parental Leave

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018-19

2017-18

Parental Leave Pay

Percentage of mothers for whom Parental Leave Pay has been paid as a proportion of all mothers in the same yeara

51.1%

53.8%

48.5%

Percentage of parents paid government‑funded Parental Leave Pay by employers

68.7%

68.3%

68.5%

Percentage of parents who have taken the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay

96.6%

96.6%

96.6%

Dad and Partner Pay

Percentage of dads and other partners who have taken the full two weeks of Dad and Partner Pay

96.9%

96.6%

95.9%

a Annual figures for all mothers in the same year are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication ABS report 3222.0—Population Projections, Australia, 2012 (base) to 2101, Table B9. Population projections, by age and sex, Australia—Series B estimates of persons aged 0 for June 2018, 2019 and 2020.

C2.4 Delivery measures

C2.4.1 Number of individuals assisted

Table 2.2.11: Number of individuals assisted

Output performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Families and Children

Number of individuals assisteda

457,612

604,825

648,377

Transition to Independent Living Allowance

Number of recipients

1,415

1,490

1,221

Financial Wellbeing and Capability

Number of individuals assisteda

581,837

660,137

669,804

Number of individuals engaged with Income Managementb

26,649

24,943

24,800

  • Vulnerable Welfare Payment Recipient Measure

1,755

1,481

1,581

  • Long-term Welfare Payment Recipient Measure

16,867

15,592

14,944

  • Disengaged Youth Measure

4,550

4,020

4,096

  • Voluntary Income Management

3,168

3,510

3,857

  • Child Protection Measure

124

147

185

  • Cape York Welfare Reform—Income Management

135

129

n/p

  • Supporting People at Risk Measure

50

64

<5c

Number of people on the Cashless Debit Cardb

12,577

11,301

5,207

Strong and Resilient Communitiesd

Number of individuals assistede

525,854

292,866

57,590

Volunteer Management Activityf

Number of individuals assisted

106,900

105,208

112,244

Volunteer Grants

Number of individuals assisted

245,855

282,792

0g

National Initiatives

Number of contacts answered by 1800RESPECT—the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service (telephone and online)h

267,869h

163,551

98,466

Paid Parental Leave

Number of individuals assistedi

  • Parental Leave Pay

171,712

178,758

159,372

  • Dad and Partner Pay

92,343

91,762

81,882

a The decrease in data reported for 2019–20 is due to the department undertaking a data quality exercise that resulted in service providers reporting fewer unidentified group clients during the 2019–20 period. While there has been no policy change to service delivery and numbers of individual clients and sessions is consistent with previous years, the number of individuals reported as unidentified group clients has decreased.

b Income Management and Cashless Debit Card data is a point in time snapshot as at 26 June 2020.

c Numbers less than five have been withheld for privacy reasons. Numbers have not been provided (n/p) to ensure figures less than five cannot be derived from totals.

d Strong and Resilient Communities Activity commenced on 1 April 2018.

e Data relates to Digital Literacy for Older Australians and Strong and Resilient Communities Activity. Digital Literacy for Older Australians started providing services in 2017–18, was fully implemented in 2018–19, and expanded reach of its network in 2019–20 resulting in an increased number of individuals assisted. Volunteer Management Activity became a separate funding stream on 1 January 2018 and is now reported separately.

f Data consistency and quality continues to improve over time as providers get used to using the Data Exchange.

g As 2017–18 Volunteer Grants funds were deferred to support a combined round in 2018–19, there was no selection round in 2017–18.

h These numbers include every contact to the service, including hang ups, pranks and wrong numbers.

i For Parental Leave Pay this is the number of individuals and families who started receiving payment in the financial year. For Dad and Partner Pay this is the number of individuals and families who received payment in the financial year.

Table 2.2.12: Number of individuals who have received a payment under the National Redress Scheme

Output performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Number of individuals who have received a payment under the National Redress Scheme

Families and Communities

Number of individuals

2,504

239

C2.4.2 Number of applications received for the National Redress Scheme

Table 2.2.13: Number of applications received for the National Redress Scheme

Output performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Number of applications received for the National Redress Scheme

Number of applications

3,127

4,200

C2.4.3 Number of organisations contracted or receiving grant funding to deliver services

Table 2.2.14: Number of organisations contracted or receiving grant funding to deliver services

Output performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Number of organisations contracted or receiving grant funding to deliver services

Families and Children

430

424

410

Financial Wellbeing and Capabilityab

331

373

346

Families and Communities Service Improvement

6

6

6

Strong and Resilient Communitiesc

3413

1,308

106

Volunteer Management Activity

52

52

52

Volunteer Grants

2,711

5,003d

e

National Initiativesf

93

104

100

a Data is not comparable across years due to funding rounds being conducted in 2018–19. Organisations with different reporting arrangements for subsidiaries or delivery partners may mean the total number of delivery organisations is higher than reported.

b This is a count of organisations delivering the program.

c Strong and Resilient Communities Activity replaced Strengthening Communities from 1 April 2018. Data is not comparable as a reduced number of organisations were funded to deliver services prior to the commencement of the Strong and Resilient Communities Activity. Digital Literacy for Older Australians started providing services in 2017–18 and was fully implemented in 2018–19, resulting in an increased number of Network Partner organisations in 2019–20.

d Combined 2017–18 and 2018–19 Volunteer Grants funding round.

e As 2017–18 Volunteer Grants funds were deferred to support a combined round in 2018–19, there was no selection round in 2017–18.

f This figure includes organisations contracted or receiving grant funding under both the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 20102022, and the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009–2020.

C2.4.4 Number of institutions that have joined the National Redress Scheme

Table 2.2.15: Number of institutions that have joined the National Redress Scheme

Output performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Number of institutions that have joined the National Redress Scheme

Number of institutions or groups of institutions that have joined the National Redress Scheme during the yeara

177

47

a Reflecting total number of non-government institutions or groups of institutions. All Commonwealth and state and territory governments are also participating in the Scheme.

C2.4.5 Administered outlays

Table 2.2.16: Administered outlays

Output performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Families and Communities

Families and Children

$290.99m

$271.74m

$258.27m

Transition to Independent Living Allowance

$1.84m

$1.95m

$1.65m

Settlement Services

$196.24m

$163.68m

Financial Wellbeing and Capabilitya

$218.42m

$111.07m

$99.97m

Families and Communities Service Improvement

$2.73m

$2.60m

$2.60m

Strong and Resilient Communitiesb

$57.45m

$53.84m

$36.76m

Volunteer Management Activity

$5.54m

$5.73m

$2.92m

Volunteer Grants

$12.39m

$19.00m

c

National Initiatives

$102.76m

$75.16m

$72.48m

Paid Parental Leave

Parental Leave Pay

$2,269.88m

$2,177.77m

$2,082.31m

Dad and Partner Pay

$129.68m

$136.95m

$111.74m

Social and Community Services

Social and Community Services

$411.92m

$377.10m

$430.72m

a Funding is for the Financial Wellbeing and Capability Activity, and Welfare Quarantining.

b Strong and Resilient Communities Activity replaced Strengthening Communities from 1 April 2018.

c As 2017–18 Volunteer Grants funds were moved forward to support a combined round in 2018–19 there was no selection round in 2017–18.

[1] The number of communities has been sourced though the Data Exchange (DEX) and the number of Indigenous sites from the publicly available program guidelines. For information on DEX visit https://dex.dss.gov.au/

[2] This figure is not comparable with previous years as organisations have continued to transition to the new way in which information is now reported through DEX. There has been no change in service delivery, any changes in outlets is due to how DEX data is captured and reported by service providers. Data not recorded in DEX is no longer reported.

[3] This data has been sourced though the Data Exchange.

[4] This figure is not comparable with previous years as organisations have continued to transition to the new way in which information is now reported through DEX. There has been no change in service delivery, any changes in outlets is due to how DEX data is captured and reported by service providers. Data not recorded in DEX is no longer reported.

[5] This data has been sourced though the Data Exchange.