Streamlining: helping government deliver streamlined services for vulnerable families and children

The Parenting Research Centre is a partner in a whole-of-government initiative in Victoria that focuses on vulnerable children from the antenatal period through to four years of age.

In this project, Streamlining Services, we are implementing a more integrated, collaborative and family-centred approach to service delivery. This project is based on streamlining, an evidence-informed approach that can lead to improved service outcomes. It has been influenced by a service model developed in the UK called Team around the Child.

Streamlining enables services to respond more effectively to children who are vulnerable due to health, learning or developmental issues, or due to family circumstances such as poverty and mental health issues.

A family-centred service approach also helps families access the services they need, when they need them. This approach is particularly important for families who need multiple services where coordination can be an issue.

We are implementing the approach across two service levels:

  • universal services, such as maternal and child health
  • secondary services, such as specialised support for those who need targeted help in disability, early childhood intervention or family support.

A team of practitioners, that can include family support workers, social workers and maternal and child health nurses, plan and deliver services together, with parents as integral members of the team. A lead professional coordinates the process.

We are implementing streamlining in three municipalities:

  1. Latrobe
  2. Whittlesea
  3. Yarra Ranges.

The approach may be scaled up across Victoria, following our evaluation of the project.

Partners: Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne and Deakin University.

Funded by the Victorian Government Departments of Education and Training, and Health and Human Services.