Partnership embraces collective impact to support families
Part of a Victorian whole-of-government collective impact initiative, Loddon’s Children and Youth Area Partnership is an alliance of government, service providers, communities and businesses working together to drive collective effort to support vulnerable families and create better outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care.
The Partnership covers an area more than 19,000 square kilometres and spans six local government areas: Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges.
The area has a diverse and growing population, and a buoyant economy based on agriculture, retail, health, property and manufacturing. But there are also pockets of socioeconomic disadvantage.
Reflecting this diversity, the Partnership is led by a Steering Committee of leaders from 25 local agencies, including Victorian, local and commonwealth government, as well as community and local services.
This leadership group has senior representation from across education, health, community health, mental health, alcohol and other drug support, family violence services, youth partnerships, child protection, Victoria Police and early years’ services.
Together the partners have identified a shared agenda to work on two common priorities:
1. Act earlier to support families in which children may be vulnerable (focusing on families with children 0-8 years).
2. Achieve better outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care.
The Partnership is also supporting communities to try new ways of working together at the local level, with the aim of aligning efforts, planning and practice across the area to bring about universal change.
Activities to date include:
In 2016, the partnership gained the commitment of more than 20 local organisations to adopt the Charter of Commitment, which aims to develop a shared capacity to deliver high quality services to families, children and youth.
All members agreed to four pillars of competency that are essential in supporting vulnerable children, young people and families, and will work together to embed the competencies within the work of their organisations by ensuring they are reflected in organisational policies, and that all staff at all levels incorporate them appropriately.
The pillars are:
Understanding trauma and brain development
Respecting culture and cultural difference
Understanding the impact of long-term poverty and the importance of social inclusion
Sharing information and integrating our services
New tools and products have been developed to help agencies to measure and build on their skills at an organisational level across the four pillars of the Charter of Commitment.
Fact sheets about each of the pillars are also available, along with suggestions for professional development opportunities.
For more information on how you can get involved in the work of the Loddon Area Partnership, contact Louise Payne, Principal Advisor, Loddon Children and Youth Area Partnership on 03 5440 3111, or email Louise at firstname.lastname@example.org.