Improving lives of children and families: An insight into two sides of the outcome measurement story – SIMNA Tasmanian Chapter 29 October 2015
Our latest SIMNA Tas event hosted an engaging conversation with Louise Schoe (Department of Social Services (DSS) and Michael Voumard (Anglicare) about how data is being collected and used to work towards better outcomes for children and families.
Louise discussed the new Data Exchange (DEx) data capture platform of DSS, which is one aspect of their aim to build a more constructive relationship with service providers.
Michael gave examples of how Anglicare, and the Communities for Children project they lead in Launceston and the Tamar Valley, is drawing on three voices to inform their work – the voice of their clients, the voice of children and youth, and the ‘voice’ of statistical data.
DEx aims to simplify the impost of data collection and reporting, and shift the emphasis of reporting from outputs towards outcomes, using a uniform approach to measuring client outcomes called SCORE. DEx offers to provide services with an overview of community data, based on ABS and other government data sets, as well as interactive benchmarking reports with data visualisations that allow comparisons of individual services against others of similar size and location. Louise emphasised these reports are intended to act as conversation starters within organisations and between organisations and DSS.
Further information on the DSS Performance Management Framework can be found on the DSS Website: www.dss.gov.au –> Grants Management –> Programme Reporting -> The DSS Data Exchange Framework. https://www.dss.gov.au/grants/programme-reporting
Michael talked about what Anglicare is learning by listening to their clients’ experience of their services across the state. Another area of evidence is through the voice of statistical data. The State of Launceston’s Children report, released in 2014, told Anglicare and their partners about the unacceptable outlook for young children in the Launceston area. Michael then highlighted how the voice of children and youth was being heard through the Speak Up Challenge, capturing their aspirations and practical needs, and giving a fresh insight into what could be done now to improve social inclusion for young people.
Another State of the Children report is planned in 2017-2018 to document progress. Interim progress and reports will be posted online. See more at http://www.community-it.org.au/
A lively Q&A closed the session, along with a short discussion about SIMNA TAS and open feedback about the session from the 17 attendees. We look forward to bringing you more SIMNA TAS events in 2016.