Page 3134 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Minister, is the panel confident that governance arrangements are now in place to deliver on the issues raised in the reports of the Public Advocate and the Auditor-General?
MS BURCH: It has always been important that, after the milestone review panel has completed its work, governance arrangements are in place to ensure that the work of monitoring and continuous improvement goes on. In this context, the report of the panel states:
The Panel is confident that governance arrangements are in place to deliver the Information Management System which will provide a platform for addressing many of the issues raised by the Public Advocate’s report. These issues included accurate recording of information, timely responses, and support for frontline staff.
I think it is a very commendable effort of the directorate to get a response like that from the milestone review panel. The panel noted that these arrangements will be critical in bringing about change and improved service delivery, particularly in the areas of out of home care, early intervention and kinship assessments. The program of projects the panel were reviewing will be reported on and will undergo scrutiny through the CSD board of management, and this process is also supported by a project management officer providing expert input to the operations.
The executive of the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support has commenced a process to govern the more comprehensive refreshing the service agenda of continuous quality improvement. I am pleased that that group continues with very clear direction.
Progress towards a full implementation of all recommendations, as well as the Auditor-General’s recommendations, will be a regular item for consideration at the CSD Audit and Review Committee who will advise the Director-General directly. As minister, I of course will receive regular updates on that progress.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.
MS BERRY: Minister, what additional changes have been implemented in the care and protection system that complement the decision review panel report’s findings?
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for the supplementary. The program of work to respond to the reports of the Public Advocate and monitored by the quarterly milestone review panel is designed to make a long-term difference and embed improved practice and programs. This has been effective and has been demonstrated through changes such as the kinship care team and the complaints unit. These teams are now well embedded into the office for children and there has been a noticeable decrease in complaints—in particular concerns raised by kinship carers.