Designing a new Tailored Support Program within Intensive Foster Care

CSIA and Industry recently worked through a two-day design process to influence and shape an investment logic for the future of intensive foster care.

CSIA is working in collaboration with Industry and the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW), to explore the opportunities for a new Tailored Support Program within intensive foster care.

With a focus on building a more sustainable approach focusing on valuing outcomes for children receiving therapeutic responses while in family based care, the project applies the methodology outlined in the Commissioning for Outcomes: An Industry-Led Approach report.

CSIA CEO Belinda Drew said, ‘We’re looking at what it would take for Industry to be ready to transition to a new commissioning environment and the readiness factors that prioritises systems excellence. That idea is critical in this work.’

To begin with, CSIA engaged with system stakeholders including individuals and organisations, both government and non-government through a discovery interview process. This involved gathering their experience and views of the current approach to investment within the intensive foster care system, as well as identifying where and how improvements can be made.

“The rich contributions of the interview process have enabled a better understanding of current service delivery and investment approaches, especially where contemporary practice has moved on from the original program design and onto reimagining a future approach to this investment,” said Ms Drew.

To shape the next phase of the project, representatives from across Industry came together for two workshops co-facilitated by Associate Professor Ingrid Burkett from the Yunus Centre at Griffith University and the CSIA team.

The workshops were jam-packed with sessions reviewing evidence of the current investment, program design and scope of services, exploring themes from the discovery interviews and building a Theory of Change to support a new program design.

We have a wrap up of what was achieved across the day for you.

Reviewing the Evidence

In this session, Industry took a deep dive into a range of workshop collateral that explored the current investment logic and data for the existing intensive foster care analysing it for current and future state narratives from the perspectives of the service provider, child and family, carer, and funder (Government).

Thematic Analysis of Discovery Interviews

Four key themes emerged from the previously completed interviews:

  • Placing children at the centre of investment design for improving outcomes
  • Building a capable future-focused workforce
  • Investment design that recognises the scope of future service delivery
  • Culture and relationships need to be transformed to support transitioning to commissioning for outcomes.

In this session Industry analysed these themes, looking at the structural, system and cultural changes enabling a shift towards improving outcomes.

Theory of Change

These sessions focused on tackling the broad goals, outcomes and evaluation using the Theory of Change process.

CSIA has been using the Theory of Change process across its programs and on the business itself. The visual process allows you to map from the problem and the key steps to take towards the best outcome. This provides more purposeful planning, strengthens determination and makes programs easier to evaluate.

With intensive foster care in mind, participants formed groups and reflected on what it might take for a future where investment is focused on outcomes. Industry worked productively together in the first workshop to develop components of a draft Theory of Change for this future.

The CSIA team took this session and distilled the rich input from this process. They formed the draft components of the Theory of Change and program design for Industry to discuss in the second workshop.

‘The aim for day two is further defining, refining, agreeing, disagreeing, affirming, confirming or rejecting what we’ve come up with,’ said Ms Drew.

Through the day two session, Industry enthusiastically took the time to review the draft components of the Theory of Change and program logic and provide input and feedback.

Next Steps 

As CSIA, Industry and Government collaborate on this innovative approach for the future of investment, the next step in the project is to synthesise the content from the workshops and use this to develop the final Industry iteration of the Theory of Change and program logic.

To ensure it is an accurate representation of what the future of investment may look, a final round of discussion will be held with Industry, before briefing our co-investors for the work in Government.

‘We want to shift the relationship, build a different culture and take a new approach to investment into the future’, said Ms Drew.