For those of you who haven’t heard about this project yet, Laying Foundations emerged from the Queensland Family and Child Commission’s (QFC) Strengthening our Sector Strategy; a strategy which has been developed as a road map for building capacity and capability within the child and family support sector.

In establishing this particular project, the QFCC recognised that concentration on the ‘business of the business’ would be core to assisting the sector towards long term organisational effectiveness, sustainability and security.

As the QFCC’s partner in this project, it is the Community Service Industry Alliance’s (CSIA) role to work with the sector, and guide them through an evidence-based process of exploring business transformation.

Aside from the obvious roles performed by the child and family support sector, non-government organisations are required to deliver increasingly innovative service solutions to meet the growing complexity of issues experienced by vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families

The lingering question on many minds is: how do we empower and enable organisations to be successful at this mighty challenge?

Sue Gleed, QFCC Assistant Commissioner, Advocacy, Policy, and Sector Development said: “We understood this process needed to be owned by the sector; and the QFCC’s role was one of facilitation and to support the ideas to be sector led, owned and driven.

“Our partnership with the CSIA is an excellent opportunity to combine the QFCC’s whole of system mandate in the child protection and family support reform process, with the CSIA’s Industry expertise and future-focused business savvy”.

A partnership evolves

A few weeks ago, Margaret Harley became the newest addition to the CSIA office.

She has come in at the end of stage one of the Laying Foundations project and has a very big job ahead.

Right now, Margaret is starting a series of workshops and interviews around the State, centred on the Laying Foundations Stage One Report; which profiles businesses in the Child and Family Support Sector for the very first time.

In an intensive desktop research exercise, the CSIA reviewed 200 non-government organisations from the child and family support sector applying a business maturity scorecard. The Scorecard is comprised of eight domains which were derived from the Forecasting the Future’s success imperatives. Organisational data came from publicly available sources such as their webpages, annual reports, ACNC records, etc.

The report is a great platform for solid Industry discussions about business maturity and industry development. From here, the CSIA is approaching organisations to help enrich the data and to fill out the picture of businesses in the sector

In the upcoming workshops and interviews, Margaret and colleagues will be reaching out to organisations of all sizes and geography from within the sector for help to finish what they’ve started.

“We want to talk to organisations about the data we’ve got and gain deeper insights into the current state of business in the child and family support sector,” says Margaret.

“We need to build a complete tool for Industry benchmarking and we can only do that with the help of the sector,” she said.

If you can’t make one of the workshops, you can also make contact directly with Margaret via email.

Why build an Industry benchmark?

Building an Industry benchmark provides guidance to those developing strategies, tools, resources and programs to help with Industry development, and with the transformation needed to respond to an increasingly challenging business environment.

“It tells us where to focus our energies in order to help our industry know which factors to respond to first,” Margaret says.

“For example we want to find out if businesses in the sector of different sizes and geography experience the same pressures and how responses may need to vary to meet different experiences.  We want to build case studies that will assist us in understanding the data already collected, and that will inform the creation of a future Industry development action plan.”

When and where are the workshops?

A full schedule of workshops will be released very shortly on the CSIA website.

From 8 May through to 23 June 2017, Margaret will be taking the Laying Foundations event series to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Toowoomba.

Each of these workshops will explore the results from Stage One of the Laying Foundations project and discuss how this relates to experience of organisations in each location.

If you want to have a hand in shaping Industry development activities for the child and family support sector, then this is the event for you.

The intent here is to create an approach that can also be scaled for the wider Community Services Industry to adopt.

Most importantly, your participation is required to build a future for the industry that is created by the industry and reflects genuine industry priorities.

Don’t forget, you can also contact Margaret directly.

What comes after the workshops?

The next step in Laying Foundations for the future of the sector will be the establishment of an Industry Development Leadership Forum.

This will be a group of business leaders from various parts of the Industry, representing organisations of all sizes and geography.

Their job will be to review the information coming from the workshop series, make their own recommendations as a result, and then take those recommendations into the Industry for action.

“We’re seeking expressions of interest for this group now, so if you work in child and family support services and have an interest in business development, please let us know” says Margaret.

A few words from the Queensland Family and Child Commission

Sue Gleed, QFCC Assistant Commissioner, Advocacy, Policy, and Sector Development says:

“It’s important that we have strong, sustainable non-government organisations in our sector – to help vulnerable children and families today, and be around to continue providing a backstop for the community into the future.

“Our NGOs have to be flexible and adaptable – ready to help our citizens and communities affected by real social change create both opportunities and challenges.

“Future focused organisations will have the freedom and flexibility to invest in their own successful future. This could be investment in future priorities considering system and service disruptors such as new technologies, models of service delivery and cultural change.

“We need to create an environment for Industry to decide its own strategic direction. We see this work as assisting to create the momentum to support the industry to meet the challenges of the future.”

Get involved with shaping the future of your sector.

Register here NOW!

If you’d like to have a chat with Margaret, click below to contact her.

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