CEO’s Report: Community services and the burden of reporting

Community agencies are required to report a variety of things across a number of programs and government departments. While accountability and transparency on agency arrangements are important, the burden of reporting can be high. Recently I’ve been involved in discussions on two important reporting initiatives.

On the 9th October, KPMG presented its work reviewing DHS’s Critical Incident Management Response and Management Approach to a number of representatives from peak bodies including Domestic Violence Victoria (DVVic), National Disability Services (NDS), Centre For Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (CECFW), Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) and Community Housing Federation of Victoria (CHFV). This work is hoping to refine the reporting approach and may lead to improvements in the system.   Representatives from all organisations represented agreed that:

  • Duplicated reporting must be avoided at all costs
  • Agency quality and accreditation processes should be used to demonstrate lessons learned and the changes that have been implemented following critical incidents.

 On the 10th of October, DHS in partnership with the Commission for Children and Young People, presented to a range of specialist homelessness service providers, a draft set of child safe standards as well as its proposed approach to capacity building following the Betrayal of Trust 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry Report.  We were fortunate to have senior representatives from Vincentcare, Qantum, Ladder, Lighthouse, Hope Street, Melbourne City Mission, Family Access Network and CHFV make the time to be there.  Again, there was a strong consensus that the standards proposed build on and complement the DHS and other standards that organisations are already accredited against. DHS indicated it understands how important it is to involve the existing accrediting bodies in integrating these new standards. The Consultation document and feedback form was in CHP’s last edition of eNews which can be found here. Feedback is welcome until the 29th October.