Commissioning for Outcomes: a new Tailored Support Program within intensive foster care

CSIA is leading a new commissioning for outcomes project that will co-develop with industry a new Tailored Support Program investment logic.

CSIA is working in collaboration with the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW), and Industry to deliver the work.

With a focus on building a more sustainable approach, the project will apply the methodology outlined in the Commissioning for Outcomes: An Industry-Led Approach report.

This methodology highlights how the community services industry can influence and shape a commissioning approach to the existing intensive foster care investment.

CSIA CEO Belinda Drew said the methodology focusses on achieving better outcomes for children and families accessing child and family services.

“Our goal is to put children and families at the heart of the conversation about changes that might lead to an outcomes-focussed investment approach,” Ms Drew said.

What is this project?

The purpose of the project is to co-design and test a new approach to outcomes-focused investment in intensive foster care (IFC) services by applying the principles and findings of the Commissioning for Outcomes report to this type of care.

The project will be industry-informed and led, evidence-based, and oriented for action. It will be iterative and involve key stages:

One: Research and discovery mapping to understand the current state of investment in IFC, to provide an evidence base and system-readiness assessment.

Two: Conducting design workshops with industry stakeholders with the aim of drafting a program logic for future investment in a Tailored Support Program and assessing areas of readiness across the systems excellence framework.

Three: Developing a final report including recommendations for a new program logic, implementation arrangements and industry development priorities.

Ms Drew said throughout the project CSIA will focus on the expertise of industry involved in existing IFC service delivery.

“By jointly understanding what works, we will reverse engineer this knowledge and expertise into the design of a new investment logic,” Ms Drew said.

How will this benefit the child and family industry?

The project will provide an opportunity for industry to be part of shaping the future of care services for children and young people. It will support services to articulate what works and what is needed. It will also help identify areas for action across industry for change. This will inform a different way of investing in intensive foster care to ensure better outcomes for children, young people and families.

What is commissioning for outcomes?

In a nutshell, commissioning for outcomes addresses how resources are applied to address people’s needs and achieve outcomes in a service or program area. It is a strategic approach to designing, resourcing and delivering effective and efficient services, focusing on clearly defined outcomes and ensuring that services respond to individual and community needs.

“When it comes to commissioning what we’re really talking about is a partnered approach to investing in social change that brings both the capability of government and the capability of industry together in a genuine partnership,” Ms Drew said.

The Commissioning for Outcomes report was developed thanks to four industry leaders who funded the project:

  • Key Assets
  • Life Without Barriers
  • Logan Together
  • UnitingCare Queensland.

Here is a brief video that encapsulates what we mean by commissioning for outcomes. It’s worth reviewing and thinking about what commissioning opportunities you see for your organisation.

What’s next in the project?

The next step is for CSIA to engage with individuals and organisations, both government and non-government. This process will gather their experience and views of the current intensive foster care system, as well as identifying where and how improvements can be made.