Like you, being in lockdown didn’t cause the work at Fams to slow down during July. Here are some of the key projects Fams worked on.
- Fams held a sector consultation to inform our response to the consultation paper: Implementing the successor plan to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020
- We launched the report, Telepractice in family work study: The pixelated experiences of workers and managers. The report received local media coverage and was included in a range of national publications.
- Fams finalised meetings with every DCJ District commissioning team to better understand local TEI milestones. While Fams has had a high-level, state-wide perspective of where contract negotiations landed, we have had no line of sight at a District level. Generally, we heard that some organisations traditionally funded to deliver sector development activities had negotiated to transition to front-line client service delivery. We also know that some Districts do not have local sector development organisations funded through TEI. In order for Fams to target its support of the sector we needed to better understand:
- how many organisations received 2+3 year, 3+2 year, or 5 year agreements;
- what milestones were negotiated to meet local need;
- what support was available through locally funded sector development organisations to meet that need, and where can Fams endeavour to fill existing gaps.
Fams hears from you regularly through our fortnightly Practice Conversations so we have some sense of what the TEI sector feels they need. It is important for us to clearly understand the Department’s perspective so we can bridge any disconnect and not leave the sector open or exposed to misunderstanding until it’s too late. This is most critical for organisations with a two year contract due for recommissioning negotiations in 2022.
Particularly, in the absence of ongoing DCJ funding for a Sector Assistance Strategy, Fams is committed to ensuring that we are available to support TEI-funded organisations achieve their milestones and be strongly placed to continue focusing on supporting those who matter most in your communities.
- Our CEO attended Minister Alister Henskens’ Sector Leaders meeting. We heard an update about the Social Sector Transformation Fund. The Minister advised that all of the Tranche 2 funds were allocated before 30 June 2021, going to around 440 organisations. Fams questioned this allocation, given the Open Grant Guidelines identified:
- $20,000 available for around 500 organisations
- $50,000 available for around 300 organisations
- $200,000 available to three organisations.
We heard that the Tranche 2 was under-subscribed at the lower ends and funds reallocated. DCJ are currently collating the data on SSTF Tranche 2. Fams will continue to seek information to ensure that the sector is properly informed about the allocation of this one-off opportunity for small to medium organisations to access much-needed additional funding.
Successful applicants in the Select Grant Tranche 3 are yet to be announced by the Minister.
- Fams held talks with Simone Walker, Deputy Secretary DCJ, about the latest COVID-19 restrictions and their impact on the sector.
- We met with Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services Justice, Kate Washington MP, to discuss Fams’ work and sector priorities.
- Fams held meetings with AbSec to help inform how their Aboriginal Case Management Policy can be implemented in the TEI Program. We will be ‘In Conversation’ with Bill Pritchard, AbSec at a date to soon be announced.
- We continued our project work with:
- Fams provided individual support to organisations on issues that matter to them, including using DEX.
- We continue to work with DCJ Central Office on DEX resources, most recently around privacy and consent in data entry.