The Queensland Government is renewing community services. This process will require organisations to work collaboratively, redesign and cost programs, and transition to new service delivery models. You can read a blog article about these changes on the Community Door website.
The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) will be providing organisations with workshop-based support and a range of resources as the renewal process occurs. You will find links to relevant information, tools and resources from this page.
What is renewal?
Renewal refers to the process government is using to review its existing investment in community services and ensure that resources are allocated based on community need. The review process varies between government Departments, but overall it is designed to give government an opportunity to make decisions about the kind of outcomes and services they are purchasing on behalf of Queenslanders.
What does this mean for my organisation?
The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services has announced its approach to funding youth services as part of its broader strategy - Queensland Youth Strategy: Connecting Young Queenslanders. The Department is implementing a new results-based investment and service delivery approach that focuses on purchasing and providing three types of services:
- access services (information, advice and referral)
- support services (one-on-one specialised support and assistance)
- integrated response services (intensive, coordinated responses to complex needs).
The Department has outlined the new program model that will be used to fund youth services in Queensland and will be supporting existing youth service providers to transition to this model. At this stage services are not required to go to an open tender process for this funding.
The first regions to be transitioned will be the North Coast and Central Queensland. In the coming weeks, existing providers from these two departmental regions will be invited to attend information sessions hosted by the Department. These sessions are scheduled to occur from May to June, where the new model will be presented and discussed by the Department. These sessions also provide an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarity around what types of services the Department will fund.
QCOSS and the Local Government Association of Queensland are working on how to best support services and Councils through these reforms. Our representatives will be attending the Department’s information sessions, and we will use these as an opportunity to assess the needs of funded youth services during the transition period.
Other programs that are funded by the Queensland Government through the Department of Communities are likely to be reviewed between 2014 - 2015.
Homelessness programs that are now managed by the Department of Housing and Public Works and will be 'realigned' between 2013 - 2015. The process for realignment is still being determined, but the underlying drivers and desired outcomes are similar to renewal.
How can I get ready?
Look for opportunities to collaborate
There is a strong message from government that collaborative service models will be required.
To help you understand, build on and formalise your collaborative practices, we have a range of collaboration tools and resources available on Community Door.
Staying informed of government reforms is vital. You can do this through your peak bodies:
- Access information on renewal published by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
- Read the Queensland Government Social Investment Reform Communiques
- Visit the QCOSS Youth Renewal Page
- Sign up to receive updates on renewal from QCOSS
- Contact the Local Government Association Queensland for more information about what these reforms mean for councils.
- Become a member of QCOSS to receive regular updates on a broad range of reforms.
Access training and other support
- QCOSS Youth Renewal Workshops - March 2015
- Youth Support Orientation Workshops – March and April 2015
- Check out QCOSS’s capacity building events during 2015
- Check out the Sector Readiness Initiative and see what training and support is available
- DIY Toolkit (Development, Impact, You) - A great resource with some practical ready to use tools
Here are some of the ways you and your board can start preparing for reforms:
- Re-examine your vision, mission and values and the needs of your client group
- Consider your funding base and financial sustainability
- Determine the full-cost of delivering your current services, and consider how this might change in any new service models you may propose
- Think about the outcomes your service currently delivers - what data or evaluation results do you currently have?
- Access the organisational development toolkit
- Learn how other organisations are rethinking how to get the best use out of their existing resources.
- QCOSS has developed a Youth Services Renewal Toolkit. This toolkit walks you through a series of strategic questions to help you understand what these reforms will mean for your organisation, your service delivery models and the young people you work with.