Identify a strong lead agency or champion for the MTSC concept and credible people in leadership positions who can drive the project and are willing to stay committed to the process over a lengthy time. Successful and sustainable initiatives require champions who are passionate about the project, willing to promote its benefits to others, and to put energy into the project in the early stages. Both internal and external champions need to be identified and involved in the initial planning process.
If possible, conduct initial research into local community needs and services: A peak body, local council, university, or the lead agency/champion could identify local community needs for services and the barriers to effective access to and provision of services through:
- Collection and analysis of survey and Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
- Consultations with community members.
- Consultations with local service providers and community organisations.
- Reviewing existing research and government policy reports.
This information is vital to building a good case for funding and support for the MTSC concept. This step may need to be taken once the project coordinator is appointed.
To be most successful, a holistic, community development approach to the project is needed. This approach encourages those involved to see service planning within a larger system of local programs and services (SHAN, 2005). Successful MTSCs also take a client-focused, needs-based approach to service delivery.
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