Author: 
Richard Fahy, Lutheran Community Care
Outcomes Working Group February 2015

Lutheran Community Care’s vision is aligned to making quality of life better for the clients we serve. In the light of this it is important to us that we can also quantify what has changed for the client since they have been using our services. Through adopting an outcome-based framework we seek to be able to provide information that will more accurately inform us if our direction is aligned with our strategic intent. Additionally the process allows the program outcomes to be front and centre, and defined in a way that is clear to both the organisation and, most importantly, the clients.

Lutheran Community Care sees the outcomes co-design process as an important part of assisting the industry along this journey towards more targeted information capture. It is important that all services are clear about how they perceive their programs are geared to achieve results. It is not an easy path and with large numbers of contributors at workshops to date the co-design process has initially been slow. However, QCOSS in collating the information with the department have an opportunity to sift through and find common measures that relate to multiple services and once outcome measures are  built, industry members have great potential to argue their case and success to government, families and clients.

It has taken Lutheran Community Care around nine months to implement a framework around its community services, including: mental health, disability, domestic violence refuge, youth and family since QCOSS ran its first outcome workshops in 2014. The most resource intensive process is ensuring that the outcomes are clear, simple and the information can be easily obtained. Lutheran Community Care chose to follow the Results Based Accountability TM framework and tether all community programs to the strategic plan so that outcomes can be measured at all levels.

Lutheran Community Care believes that both the outcomes co-design process and individual organisation’s work in this space are an important part of evolving to a changing funding landscape and reporting in all levels of human services. Both of which are seeing a growing emphasis on outcome measures in order to demonstrate value for money and ultimately, that the clients we support every day are experiencing change in their lives for the better.

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