Laying Foundations for Industry Excellent, the final report

The Laying Foundations for Industry Excellence project undertook research to support the community services industry to build future sustainability.

CSIA has produced the Laying Foundations Final Report that sets out the future directions for an industry development agenda.

The final report was presented at the first Leadership Forum hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) and CSIA.  More than 60 senior leaders in child and family services came together at the State Library in Brisbane.

The forum focused on the vital next steps in responding to the 2012 Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry’s Taking Responsibility – a Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection.

General Manager Programs, Matthew Gillett, took participants through findings of the Laying Foundations for Industry Excellence report, which included research into business maturity of 200 organisations delivering child and family support services.

The report showed as strong appetite for change in our indusry – through collaboration, information sharing and building our already growing digital capacity.

“This report sets out a five point industry development agenda that has strong support from industry stakeholders,” Matthew said.

“It’s exciting to have a room of industry leaders who want to work collaboratively with us on the next phase of the Laying Foundations Project.”

What is next?

The final report focuses on an industry development agenda for the child and family support sector, providing a way forward to achieving business excellence. CSIA are working hard to deliver on the outcomes of the final report, while working closely with the community services industry.

For the next six months, the agenda is focused around five priorities that were identified during the first phases of the project:

Ongoing evidence and business planning.

Stage two of the project explored using a maturity scorecard to measure the industry’s overall performance across six key areas: transparency and accountability, funding and financing, research and innovation, collaboration and cooperation, digital capability and outcomes focus. The results are published in the Laying Foundations for industry Excellence Stage Two report.

While the results provide a clear picture for internal business development, it was found that a range of persistent external systemic issues were negatively impacting organisations. To support industry to find ways to robustly meet external challenges leaders agreed that measuring performance excellence was a strong method. With this in mind, the following was agreed:

  • Recommendation one: Make the business maturity scorecard tool widely available to support business development in the industry.
  • First action: digitise the maturity scorecard to include assessment and priority setting, promote and support industry uptake and aggregating data for industry-wide insights

Industry-led approach to Reform

This priority is closely linked to the work on the Commissioning for Outcomes: an industry-led approach report. As the Laying Foundations project progressed through the stages, it became evident that a significant amount of work needed to occur around commissioning, especially as a sustainable way forward for industry. That was when the Commissioning for Outcomes project was developed as a separate piece of work. CSIA and our industry partners have already made significant progress on this, and you can find out more here.

The right people

A key theme that developed through the stages was the challenges in attracting, developing and retaining a skilled workforce. Organisations in the regions indicated they are challenged by a number of factors out of their control to create the workforce they require. It was agreed that the next phase needed to focus on the following:

  • Recommendation three: develop an industry level strategy for workforce supply and capability development.
  • First action: review current workforce initiatives to improve coordination and identify priority gaps.

Leading with Optimism and Excellence – an industry response

The evidence base from data collected through stages one and two of the project offers a deeper understanding of the current state of the family and child sector, with a view to appreciating its future development needs to ensure it flourishes. Through its key findings, this project has described some of the challenges and opportunities ahead and establishes a platform for further work that will focus on industry excellence and its future sustainability. Our focus moving forward is:

  • Recommendation four: Establish an excellence agenda for the industry that moves the focus beyond mere compliance
  • First actions: develop and Excellence Framework for Child Safe Organisations; showcase examples of business excellence already occurring in the industry.

Looking ahead

With the success of the first industry forum, plans are underway for another two in the next six months. One will be dedicated to ongoing evidence and business planning, with a focus on the digital scorecard. The second will further explore the workforce planning agenda.

  • Recommendation five: Industry should continue to provide leadership in defining and delivering an industry development agenda over time.
  • First action: work with industry, government and other stakeholders to ensure industry development priorities are understood and addressed.

QFCC Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon said it was important to share the stories of the innovative work coming out of the partnership with CSIA.

“We want to ensure that what we have achieved is sustainable beyond the Carmody reforms, when the impetus and funding dies away,” Cheryl said.

If you would like to find out more read the reports here or send an email to [email protected]