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We can achieve our outcome goal by:
- establishing inclusive and accessible, person- and family-centred service design and delivery
- designing our policies and programs in partnership with the communities affected by them
- using contemporary, customer-focused digital technologies to better connect people, communities and service systems
- taking a system-wide approach to integrating services and reform regulations, ensuring all Victorians can access safe and effective services
- using best-practice approaches to data and predictive analytics, and forecasting
- supporting a modern, diverse and skilled workforce in the department and in service-delivery agencies
- improving performance monitoring and service delivery to get the best results for people using our services
- building an evidence base about what works for children, families and individuals with complex needs
- seeking, listening to and acting on what clients tell us matters in making services better and safer
- building a pro-integrity culture that maximises the impact of investments and activities for our clients, boosts trust in government and improves our organisational climate
- establishing a more modern and dynamic approach to managing risk.
As a new department, we have an opportunity to build on and learn from our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to prepare for future events.
To achieve these aims we will need a skilled, diverse and capable workforce both in the department and across service delivery agencies. We need digital solutions that allow us to rapidly adjust as new needs emerge, allowing us to connect with people and communities wherever they are located.
We aim for ongoing improvement and more community involvement when finding solutions and will need innovative and collaborative online platforms to ensure we can provide communities with up-to-date, customer-focused and accessible information.
This will allow the department to continue to work flexibly and be able to respond to future challenges in improved ways. It will also help us collaborate more effectively with communities and our partners, and to stay on top of community expectations and changes.
These solutions will also allow people needing our support to flexibly self-serve where they can, and to access current information in a fast-changing environment.
The experiences people have when they have contact with our services are one of the most important sources of information about the quality and safety of those services. The data we collect is vital for:
- keeping us accountable
- assessing outcomes
- developing and designing better, safer services and future initiatives.
Data is a significant asset for the department, allowing us to:
- analyse and better understand the needs of our service users
- design programs and other initiatives that better meet people’s needs
- assess what Victorians might need in the future.
Our data is highly sensitive and can be misused, and we recognise that data security is essential to our ongoing work.
We will work to improve our data collection to ensure it is appropriate, inclusive and collaborative. We will use new techniques and modern demand models to help us improve outcomes for people and communities. This will also help to keep data safe and secure.
Making a difference
To achieve results, we need high-performing service systems that can grow to meet the community’s changing needs. We have a duty to keep the people who use our services safe from preventable harm while working to deliver positive outcomes for all Victorians.
We are taking the best evidence of what works and translating it into our day-to-day operations. We will foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement and ensure our frontline practitioners receive the support they need to do their important and challenging work.
We will need to improve the way we oversee and manage service systems to ensure ongoing safety and performance. We will make sure we are monitoring, evaluating and improving to deliver safe, effective, person-centred services for everybody, every time.
We need performance and reporting functions to provide a system-wide view and critical business intelligence to support operations and portfolios. We need a better understanding of how we are performing as a department and as a broader community services system.
We will use a new Strategy and Performance function to provide a greater understanding of performance across the department. We are aiming to deliver operational insights that support system-wide and portfolio-based performance analysis while strengthening the links between operational performance and strategic data and analytics.
We will also need to build the evidence base of what works by more effectively evaluating our programs.
We will strengthen local partnerships to enable collective, collaborative and focused action to drive better outcomes for and with clients and communities.
All activities involve some risk. To allow us to effectively deliver services and programs in an increasingly complex world, the department has developed a more contemporary model of identifying and managing risk.
The new policy will be built into the everyday work of the department, creating a dynamic approach aiming to identify emerging issues that might affect the department achieving its objectives for Victorians, while better dealing with uncertainty.
We will develop a new business technology strategy while continuing to deliver other improvements across the department.
In line with the whole-of-government digital strategy, technology improvements will be customer-focused, solve the right problem and build on best practice. We will develop initiatives in partnership with our business units. We will aim to connect different areas of the department, people and digital technologies. Innovation will be purposeful.
We have improved the digital infrastructure for the Personal Hardship Assistance Program and Emergency Management Learning and Development. These changes mean we can mobilise our staff and provide faster access to help in emergency situations.
Current initiatives will connect case management for child protection and family violence service users. We are also updating technologies for managing the housing wait list. This will mean people can check the status of their housing application faster using the Victorian Housing Register.
Our workforce, both in the department and in our service delivery agencies, is our biggest asset. Without our people, we would not be able to meet the complex needs of our communities. To continue to deliver effective services and programs to our communities, we need a skilled workforce that can be where they are most needed. We also need a workforce that reflects the diversity of Victoria’s population.
We are establishing an increased workforce focus so that we can lead the way on attraction, retention and wellbeing. Greater investment in our people will help to ensure that all staff members are safe and healthy at work, are valued for their strengths and expertise, and are supported to deliver the crucial functions and operations that our department leads.
We will leverage our partnerships across government, with the sector, universities and TAFEs to effectively drive a whole of community service workforce response. We will focus on the future supply of skilled people to build and increase workforce skills and expertise, while using better data to plan and forecast what we need in the future.
This new function will ensure we can meet the service delivery needs of the future with a committed, well trained and dedicated community services workforce. It will also help our staff to feel genuinely supported, enabled to do their best work and have access to meaningful and satisfying career pathways.
Employing and keeping the best people across our community services sector will support delivery of the government’s significant investments in family violence and mental health reforms, child protection, youth justice, housing and homelessness.
Key focus areas in 2022-23 include:
The Child protection workforce strategy 2021–2024, which will focus on attracting new child protection practitioners over the next 12 to 18 months. It will also support existing Child Protection practitioners to stay.
The strategy’s key goals include:
- advancing Aboriginal self-determination
- refreshing the Child Protection Professional Development and Wellbeing program and delivery of local wellbeing and development initiatives
- rolling out a statewide approach to hard-to-recruit areas
- ongoing partnerships with leading tertiary providers (TAFEs and universities).
We will refresh the housing operating model and housing capability framework. This will improve our ability to deliver culturally appropriate housing services that meet our clients’ needs.
We will roll-out Strengthening the foundations: first rolling action plan 2019–22 of the Building from strength: 10-year industry plan for family violence prevention and response. This will help to increase the skills and capacity of the family violence and sexual assault workforces – across the areas of both response and prevention.
We will also continue to work with our partners at the Commonwealth level and across broader Victorian Government jobs and training initiatives to build the NDIS workforce. This workforce will have the size, capability and quality to deliver the best NDIS outcomes for Victorians with disability.
Explore our website for more information about these initiatives.