Annual Report 2014-15

Preamble

Public availability of report

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ website is: http://www.communities.qld.gov.au

This annual report is available on our website at: http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/about-us/corporate-publications/annual-report

Enquiries and further information

For enquiries or further information about this report, please contact the Director, Governance and Complaints:

Telephone: 07 3898 0332

Email: corpgov@communities.qld.gov.au

Other languages and formats

The Queensland Government is committed to providing accessible services to Queenslanders from all culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. If you have difficulty understanding the annual report, you can contact us on 13 QGOV (13 74 68), and we will arrange an interpreter to effectively communicate the annual report to you.

© The State of Queensland (Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services) 2015.

Copyright protects this publication. Excerpts may be reproduced with acknowledgment of the State of Queensland (Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services).

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Attribution

Content from this annual report should be attributed as: The State of Queensland (Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services) Annual Report 2014–2015.

ISSN: 2201-084X

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Letter to the Minister

28 September 2015

The Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP
Minister for Communities, Women and Youth
Minister for Child Safety
Minister for Multicultural Affairs

The Honourable Coralee O’Rourke MP
Minister for Disability Services,
Minister for Seniors and
Minister Assisting the Premier of North Queensland

Dear Ministers

I am pleased to present the Annual Report 2014–2015 and financial statements for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

The report is prepared on the basis of the current administrative arrangements for this department applying for the whole of the 2014-2015 financial year. That is, it reflects the structure, operations and performance of the department as it now exists.

I certify that this annual report complies with:

  • the prescribed requirements of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009
  • the detailed requirements set out in the Annual Report Requirements for Queensland Government agencies.

A checklist outlining the annual reporting requirements can be found in Appendix 6.

Yours sincerely

A.G. Hayes
Acting Director-General
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services 

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Director-General’s message

I am pleased to present the 2014–15 annual report for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

The department exists to enable vulnerable Queenslanders to participate in and contribute to a fair, resilient and prosperous Queensland. We strive to help build safe, caring and connected communities, deliver quality frontline services, and create jobs and a diverse economy.

The department is a leading contributor to Queensland’s social and human services sector and our three service areas – child safety, disability services and community services – are undergoing major changes.   The reforms underway are aimed at investing in prevention and early intervention, providing greater choice and control, and enabling our clients to improve their quality of life.

This year saw many achievements that demonstrate how we are making a real difference to the lives of Queenslanders. Some highlights include::

Child and Family Services

  • commissioning new local and community-based Family and Child Connect services and extra Intensive Family Support Services, plus a first tranche of extra Domestic and Family Violence funding
  • substantially progressing the second stage of the audit of children and young people in care
  • reducing the number of child protection intakes
  • training more than 3500 departmental and non-government staff and managers in the Strengthening Families, Protecting Children Practice Framework
  • introducing unprecedented engagement in co-design and innovation
  • undertaking substantial work and effort on the government’s response to the ground-breaking report Not Now Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence.

Community Services and Industry

  • continuing Social Services Investment reforms and red tape reduction initiatives that delivered benefits for hundreds of funded organisations, and refocusing our efforts towards outcomes-based programs
  • starting work to create new womens’, youth and seniors strategies
  • providing community recovery responses to assist the people of Central Queensland, North Coast, Brisbane and South-East Queensland, deal with major natural disasters
  • provided $672,000 in grants under the Valuing Diversity Grants Program to support more than 100 multicultural events in 2015 attended by more than 1.1 million people
  • delivering Queensland Multicultural Week involving 86 events across the state attended by almost 90,000 people.

Disability Services

  • commissioning more than $1.1 billion in services with Queensland’s non-government sector organisations
  • reducing the anxiety of Accommodation Support and Respite Services (AS & RS) clients and staff by committing to the continued service provision of government accommodation and respite services as a provider in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) environment for high and complex needs clients
  • advancing negotiations for an early NDIS launch, the NDIS Bilateral Agreement and a Queensland NDIS Workforce Strategy
  • engaging and supporting people with disability, their families and carers, service providers and support workers to ensure a smooth, well-managed implementation of the NDIS
  • reducing waiting times for disability service assessments
  • moving people with disability out of inappropriate health and hospital settings
  • providing increased choice of services to more than 1600 people with disability through the Your Life Your Choice program
  • developing a system for reporting the use of restrictive practices to improve the lives of people with disability
  • supporting the non-government sector to support people with high and complex disability support needs through the delivery of training aimed at implementing best practices

Our corporate areas continued to provide great support to our frontline staff by delivering more learning and development opportunities, equipping us with better technologies, running effective financial, funding, and human resource systems, providing legal services and advice, reporting and analysing our data, undertaking reviews, handling complaints and investigations, managing our facilities and delivering our capital programs.

I was especially pleased with work undertaken during the year to help build the capability of our staff. This includes launching the department’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan — known as Respectfully Journey Together —  undertaking a significant realignment of central office teams, refreshing Operational Performance Reviews, and implementing the 2014 Employee Opinion Survey Action Plan and the 2015 employee opinion survey.

The department has provided great support to our two Ministers — the Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP, and the Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, the Honourable Coralee O'Rourke MP.

I would like to thank our non-government partners, volunteers and departmental staff for their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment to deliver services that make a positive difference in so many Queenslanders’ lives.

With a new ambitious five-year strategy to guide our path I look forward to continuing to transform our services by providing great customer service, investing and working smartly, building strong and collaborative partnerships, and enabling our workforce and industry.

Michael Hogan
Director-General

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Part 1: Overview

1.1 About us

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services is committed to enabling vulnerable Queenslanders to improve their lives, delivering better public value and reducing disadvantage.

The department was established in April 2012 through the Governor-in-Council, under the authority of the Public Service Act 2008 and the Queensland Government Gazette No. 77. We are accountable to two Ministers; the Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs and the Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland.

Our objectives are to:

  • for our clients: improve well-being, safety, capability and participation of vulnerable Queenslanders
  • for communities: improve liveability, resilience and cohesion in Queensland communities
  • for our partners: improve capability, sustainability, innovation and productivity of social service systems in Queensland.

Our priorities to revitalise frontline services for Queenslanders are:

  • create pathways to social and economic participation
  • work closely with our partners
  • strengthen disability services through greater consumer choice and control
  • ensure value for money
  • embrace innovation
  • direct community recovery activities that promote resilience
  • cut red tape so resources can be directed to frontline services
  • drive reforms that deliver value for money and manage public investment
  • build the capacity of the community sector.

The department makes a significant investment in frontline services through non- government organisations (NGOs).

In 2014­–15, the department contracted services from 1186 government and non-government organisations with approximately $1.469 billion to support individuals, families and communities.

The department also invested $91.418 million for services from the Commonwealth for the delivery of disability services for people over the age of 65.

We are responsible for administering (or jointly administering) legislation that regulates the services we deliver or fund (more details are contained in Appendix 1).

Multicultural Affairs Queensland transitioned to the department following the gazettal of Administrative Arrangements Order (No. 1) 2015, further strengthening the department’s capacity to enable Queenslanders of all backgrounds to participate in and contribute to a safe, caring and connected Queensland.

1.2 Our clients

To fulfil our objectives and improve the well-being, resilience, safety and participation of vulnerable Queenslanders, we provide services ranging from everyday support for families and individuals to services in emergencies.

These services are delivered across Queensland through seven regions and supported by a central corporate office.

Our clients come from a diverse base and we are responsible for supporting some of the most disadvantaged Queenslanders, including:

  • children at risk of harm and their families
  • people with disability
  • people who are subject to domestic and family violence
  • older people.

We support carers, volunteering, young people, women, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people and communities affected by natural disasters.

We work closely with other government and non-government health and human services organisations to support our clients and to improve their lives.

1.3 Our budget

In 2014­–15, we worked to:

  • ensure value for money and return on social investment in services and service delivery models
  • maintain effective budget management
  • identify efficiencies through service and business innovation
  • ensure investment is targeted towards services that support the most vulnerable.

The adjusted budget for the department in 2014­–15 was $2.521 billion.

The department also administered:

  • a published budget of $236.2 million on behalf of the state to reimburse providers for concessions to eligible pensioners, seniors and veterans for rates, electricity, water, reticulated natural gas and electricity for life support
  • payments for natural disasters on behalf of the state and Australian governments. For example, grants for Emergency Assistance, Essential Household Contents, Structural Assistance, and the Essential Services Safety and Reconnection scheme.

Comprehensive financial statements can be found in financial statements (PDF, 6.5 MB) financial statements (XLSX, 712 KB).

A financial summary is also provided.

1.4 Our people

Our people are our most valuable resource and deliver outstanding customer focused services across Queensland.

As at 30 June 2015, we had 5933.67 full-time equivalent staff. Of these, 58.65 per cent were employed in frontline roles, 30.74 per cent in frontline support roles and 10.61 per cent in corporate roles.

1.5 Our contribution

The department contributes to delivering the government’s objectives to:

  • deliver quality frontline services
  • build safe, caring and connected communities
  • create jobs and a diverse community.

We do this by:

  • implementing the government response to the Bryce report
  • supporting a seamless transition to the NDIS
  • improving out-of-home care and post-care experiences for Queensland children and young people
  • building social cohesion and connectedness through community action and partnerships
  • implementing an NDIS launch site
  • supporting people with high and complex care needs to choose their preferred provider
  • assisting communities to develop resilience to respond to and cope with the impact of natural disasters
  • supporting the government’s participation with the Australian Government to address violence against women
  • enhancing services to support social and economic opportunities for young people
  • preventing and responding to violence against women and children.

1.6 Our key challenges

There are environmental factors that shape our strategic direction and service delivery, including:

  • population growth and changing demographics resulting in increasing demand for services
  • increasing expectations for better access to integrated services
  • major state and national reforms
  • the impact of natural disasters on Queenslanders and on the state and national economies.

However, effective risk management enables the department to make informed decisions about opportunities and challenges, including:

  • managing demand for services
  • maximising return on investment and results for Queenslanders
  • developing the government’s enabling role in delivering services to vulnerable people
  • improving information systems to support business innovation and reform
  • engaging stakeholders to co-design and deliver services
  • growing industry workforce and organisational capability.

 In addition, the Financial Accountability Act 2009 requires the department to establish and maintain appropriate systems of internal control and risk management.

1.7 Reform and innovation

Our reform and innovation agenda is motivated by our determination to reduce disadvantage and enable vulnerable Queenslanders to improve their lives.

Our agenda is focused and driven by:

  • Queensland Government priorities
  • The Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry
  • Transition to the NDIS 
  • The Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland
  • Corporate Services Reforms

We will implement our reform agenda through an approach which is customer-centric, innovative and collaborative. We will work in partnership with other government agencies, non-government organisations and our customers.

Key reforms in Child and Family Services, Disability Services and Social Investment will focus on growing capacity and capability in Queensland’s social services, investing in prevention and early intervention and enabling our clients to choose and control the services they receive.

1.8 Child and Family Services reforms

The Child and Family Services reforms will deliver on the department’s responsibilities set out in the government’s response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Report.

Over 10 years, the program will build a new support system for children and their families that will have a greater focus on supporting families to provide a safe and secure home for their children.

Families will receive support earlier to care for their children, and the capacity of the non-government services sector will be increased to provide more of the services that vulnerable families need.

Over half of the additional $406 million funding over five years for the child and family reforms has been allocated to secondary support services that will support families to care for their children and keep them at home. Over time, this will result in fewer children being cared for within the child protection system.

The following strategic priorities guide and support the overall program of reform:

  • share responsibility for the safety and well-being of Queensland children
  • support Queensland families earlier
  • working better with Queensland families who are in contact with the child protection system
  • improve out-of-home care and post-care experiences for Queensland children and young people
  • meet the requirements and needs of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities
  • deliver quality services to Queensland children and families through a capable, motivated workforce and client-focused organisations
  • build a responsive, accountable, cost-effective and sustainable child protection system in Queensland
  • enhance the significant contribution made by foster and kinship carers who will remain the primary placement provider for children in care through improved support and training, so they are better equipped to meet children’s needs.Social investment reforms

1.9 Disability services reforms

In May 2013, the Queensland Government signed a Heads of Agreement with the Australian Government for full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Under the NDIS, separate state-based schemes will change to a national scheme.

This NDIS will give Australians with significant and permanent disability choice and control over the support they need and how that support is provided. This NDIS will commence in Queensland from July 2016 and be fully implemented by 2019.

The Disability Services Reform Program will prepare Queenslanders, including people with disability, families and carers, providers and the broader community, for the implementation of the Queensland Disability Plan 2014–19: Enabling choices and opportunities and the introduction of the NDIS.

The Queensland Disability Plan is designed to drive actions that will achieve a successful transition to the NDIS, and create accessible and inclusive communities by contributing to commitments under the National Disability Strategy 2010­–2020.

The priorities of the Queensland Disability Plan are to:

  • support people with disability and communities to be well-informed and confident about what the NDIS means for them
  • support people with disability, families and carers to exercise choice and take up opportunities
  • support non-government disability service providers to operate in a competitive market-based environment
  • develop a skilled and strong workforce to ensure sector capability to deliver services
  • prepare Queensland Government departments to transition disability funding and services to the National Disability Insurance Agency
  • enhance mainstream services and facilities to enable genuine choice and participation in all areas including education, employment, health, justice services and housing
  • promote genuine participation in the community.

1.10 Social investment reforms

The Social Investment Reform Program implemented relevant commitments under the Social and Human Services Investment Blueprint 2014­–19.

The blueprint sets out the department’s plan for transforming the way investment in services is made and managed. The following priority areas were identified to achieve this transformation change:

  • more innovative solutions
  • focus on customer services and results
  • smarter investment
  • simpler processes
  • stronger partnerships
  • dynamic workforce.

The department’s Social Investment Reform Program also contributed to whole-of-government reforms that were led by the Social Services Cabinet Committee.

The department is continuing to evolve its approach to reform and is working with industry to identify existing good practice to be sustained (for example, red tape reduction and service delivery outcomes) and new priorities to be tackled, including jobs and skills.

1.11 Our regional highlights

1.11.1 Brisbane Region

The region covers 1220 square kilometres extending from Bracken Ridge in the north, Wacol in the south-west, to Wynnum in the south-east.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed 1122.35 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014–­15 recurrent outsourced service delivery funding allocation provided to all services across the region was $357.48 million.

Achievements

  • Commenced implementation of a new 72 hour women’s shelter in partnership with the Department of Housing and Public Works.
  • Established three Local Level Alliances which are currently operating within the catchment areas of Brisbane North, Brisbane South and Brisbane South West. Each Alliance is co-chaired by a government and non-government agency representative, and guided by a charter and an operational model with a focus on coordinating services and systems as a community, knowledge and resource building and creative responses to emerging issues. The Alliances will have a pivotal role at the local level in building the new service system to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.
  • This year has been characterised by training and professional development with over 300 Child Safety staff attending the Foundational Training, and Managers, Team Leaders and Senior Practitioners participating in the Leading Practice sessions to support the implementation of the department’s Framework for Practice. As we move forward, the focus will shift to embedding practice change and building skills to strengthen families and protect children.
  • Supported 364 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their support through a host provider or move to a direct payment model under Your Life Your Choice.
  • Commenced the development of criteria to identify service provider contracts that would benefit from a 5 year contract term.
  • Supported 74 school-leavers with disability to access transitional support; 65 of these school-leavers now access ongoing disability support.
  • Commenced procurement and planning for an integrated response to domestic and family violence in Brisbane.
  • Worked with government partners to identify and map areas across Brisbane that had identified high incidences of domestic and family violence.Provided clinical services to 1035 clients.

1.11.2 Central Queensland Region

The region covers 494,966 square kilometres, extending from Rockhampton in the north to Kingaroy in the south, the Northern Territory border in the west to Hervey Bay in the east.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed  581.63 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014–­15 recurrent outsourced service delivery funding allocation provided to all services across the region was $163.105 million.

Achievements

  • Administered more than $15 million in personal hardship assistance grants and assisted more than 31,000 people following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Marcia.       
  • In preparation for the roll-out of Child and Family Reforms, the region undertook a series of stakeholder and partner information sessions as a means of ensuring service providers were well positioned for the release of the Family
    and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support tenders. Tenders were let with successful providers notified in May 2015.
  • The department committed $5000 for service providers and stakeholders to engage and support the development of a suitable model for the delivery of domestic and family violence services in Bundaberg.
  • Supported 215 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their support through a host provider or move to a direct payment model under Your Life Your Choice.
  • A review of the engagement strategy between local area coordinators and the Woorabinda Aboriginal Community was undertaken and significant changes were implemented resulting in substantial improvements in community engagement and acceptance. Disability Services now has 26 community members registered for local area coordinator services in this location.
  • To prepare for transition to NDIS, the region hosted an NDIS Industry Forum, which explored growing the workforce needs for NDIS readiness.
  • Service delivery improvements continue to be experienced from the amalgamation of the Rockhampton South and Rockhampton North Child Safety Service Centres. The co-location provides a more coordinated and consistent delivery of child protection services to the Rockhampton area and has created an environment where the Child Safety Service Centre, Placement Services Unit and Community Services can progress opportunities for cross-program partnership and streamlined service delivery to vulnerable children and families.

1.11.3 Far North Queensland Region

The region covers 273,157 square kilometres, extending from the international border between Australia and Papua New Guinea in the north, to the Cardwell Range in the south, and Croydon in the west.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed 329.39 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014–­15 recurrent outsourced service delivery funding allocation provided to all services across the region was $98.077 million.

Achievements

  • Facilitated a Domestic and Family Violence Roundtable in Cairns in June 2015 focusing on engaging business, government and community sector in collaboratively changing attitudes to domestic and family violence and sharing responsibility for response and prevention.
  • Established three Communities of Practice groups to foster collaboration and strengthen practice between government and non-government agencies and upskill our child safety workforce capabilities.
  • Supported 99 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their support through a host provider or move to a direct payment model under Your Life Your Choice.
  • Commenced a capital upgrade to the existing Women's Shelter in Lockhart River that will enable a co-located emergent placement and family contact options that will support sustaining connections with family and community as well as enhancing the Women's Shelter.
  • Successfully transitioned FNQ Youth Services to the revised service model that provides a targeted case-management approach to reconnecting at-risk young people to family, community, education and employment and training.

The Child and Family Cultural Advisory Team (CAFCAT) was established and is made up of the Identified Child Safety Support Officers and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Practice Leader. CAFCAT staff led culturally responsive practice within their respective work groups by ensuring cultural protocols were adhered to and children in care received appropriate cultural support.

  • Implemented collaborative responses for children with disability coming into contact with the child protection system to ensure no relinquishments of children with disability due to support needs.
  • Reconfigured existing and enhanced placement funding to achieve better value for money and improved out-of-home placement outcomes.
  • Led and supported a number of non-activated human and social, community recovery responses, including responses to the Manoora tragedy, Panama Banana Disease and the Ravenshoe explosion incident.
  • Fielded a team of regional male staff members in the ‘Walk in Her Shoes’ event coordinated by the Cairns Collective Impact on Domestic and Family Violence to support the active engagement of men in the campaign against violence against women.

1.11.4 North Coast Region

The region covers 12,036 square kilometres, extending from Rainbow Beach in the north, to Gympie in the west, to Redcliffe and Samford in the south, and Woodford in the south-west.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed 564.29 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014­–15 recurrent grants allocation or all services across the region was $193.38 million.

Achievements

  • Held two successful Partners in Cultural Practice Workshops, which brought together staff from the department, community partners and key representatives from the region’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Supported 281 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their support through a host provider or move to a direct payment model under Your Life Your Choice.
  • Expanded the award winning  Partnership Response at Domestic Violence Occurrences (PRADO) service model into the Redcliffe, Pine Rivers, Sunshine Coast and Gympie areas to respond to domestic and family violence.
  • Partnered with Information Services and young people in prototyping the new application titled Kicbox. This allows kids in care a virtual way of interacting with their care team as well as having their own online space to safely store information, such as a birth certificate and reports, and photographs.
  • Supported young people in care through the expansion of the Careers Aspirations Strategy which seeks to ensure earning or learning pathways on the transition to independence.
  • Significantly increased community-based support to vulnerable families living in the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Moreton Bay Regional Council areas. In addition to new family support services the funding also included resources to build community level alliances which will enable the development of local solutions to prevent and intervene early with families who without help may otherwise require Child Safety interventions.

1.11.5 North Queensland Region

The region covers 539,581 square kilometres, extending along the coast from Ingham in the north to St Lawrence in the south and extending west to the Queensland –Northern Territory border.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed 468.59 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014–­15 recurrent outsourced service delivery funding allocation provided to all services across the region was $148.46 million.

Achievements

  • In partnership with the CREATE Foundation, the region produced a short film for young people in care.  The ‘Speak Up and Have Your Say’ video empowers young people to participate in the case planning process and enables stakeholders to support young people to voice their opinions and concerns.
  • Provided capital funding to the Upper Ross Community Centre to establish a new purpose-built facility to enable the provision of a broad range of community programs for individuals and families in the Kelso, Rasmussen and Condon areas. Construction was completed this year and the centre was occupied in April 2015.
  • Commenced implementation of a new 72 hour women’s shelter in partnership with the Department of Housing and Public Works.
  • 153 people with disability in the North Queensland Region are managing their funding through Your Life Your Choice allowing more families to have greater choice and control over the supports they receive and prepare for the NDIS. In the region, 25 families have chosen direct payments and are managing their own funding and supports, while the remainder have chosen to go with a host provider model.
  • Provided funding for new Domestic and Family Violence  services for Charters Towers, Hughenden, the Burdekin, Ingham and Townsville. Services include court support, counselling and children’s counselling and support.
  • Provided Life Without Barriers (Townsville) with capital funding under the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial (EPCIT) to provide long-term and sustainable living arrangements for adults with disability who are no longer able to live with their ageing carers.
  • Worked collaboratively with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and the Townsville Cultural Centre (TCC) to establish the Connecting to Culture program. The program provides young people in care in North Queensland with the opportunity to access a localised cultural awareness program that allows them to participate in a variety of workshops delivered by TCC with practitioners from both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
  • Completed construction of the Mount Isa Neighbourhood Centre in late 2014. The centre was purpose built to meet community needs and includes an outdoor ‘yarning circle’.

1.11.6 South East Region

The region covers 2830.2 square kilometres, extending from Wynnum in the north to Coolangatta in the south.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed 736.63 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014–­15 recurrent outsourced service delivery funding allocation provided to all services across the region was $241.139 million.

Achievements

  • Family and Child Connect and enhanced Intensive Family Support Services, have been implemented across the region to support vulnerable families, successfully redirect them from the statutory child protection system.
  • The Youth Aspirations strategy was developed in conjunction with the Regional Child and Family Committee to support high-risk young people, including a focus on developing a more integrated multi-agency approach, enhanced educational outcomes and the development of a single care plan.
  • Supported Indigenous clients to participate in a pilot for the Break the Cycle program. The program aims to break the generational cycles of learned behaviour in which young people re-offend and are disconnected from their cultural background.
  • Disability Services has supported 269 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their support through a host provider or move to a direct payment model under Your Life Your Choice.
  • The Safer Schoolies Initiative supported more than 26,000 young people during the 2014 schoolies holiday period. Responses were delivered in key destinations across the state including Airlie Beach, Magnetic Island, Yeppoon and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. The region also supported the delivery of 348 in-school information sessions to more than 39,000 Year 12 students as part of the statewide Be Safe and Watch Your Mates communication campaign.
  • Regional staff provided support to the Logan: City of Choice and Logan Together working groups and committees to improve outcomes for people in Logan City across a range of priority areas. 

1.11.7 South West Region

The region covers 410,242 square kilometres, extending from Beaudesert in the east to the Queensland–South Australia border in the west.

As at 30 June 2015, the region employed 944.27 full-time equivalent employees.

The total 2014–­15 recurrent outsourced service delivery funding allocation provided to all services across the region was $173.594 million.

Achievements

  • Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support services commenced in Toowoomba in January and were established in Ipswich in June.
  • The Forensic Disability Service is working to establish itself as a centre of excellence in the delivery of client therapeutic treatment programs including the Wise Choices: Problem Sexual Behaviours Treatment Program; Social Problem and Offence Related Thinking and the Arson Treatment Program.
  • Established its regional partnership forum with non-government and corporate partners who co-design a range of regional activities, including forums on community and disability services and specialist projects such as Domestic and Family Violence action planning.
  • Established the South West Cultural Capability Enablers Network. The network has developed a regional action plan and progressed a number of actions. The group meets bi-monthly and has been a valuable forum for sharing what is happening culturally within the region.
  • Regional Child and Family Committees, Toowoomba and Ipswich, comprising staff from the department, other government agencies, non-government organisations, local government and community agencies, merged in 2015. An action plan was developed to identify and respond to three priority areas: transition to independence; cultural capability; and prioritising services for high-risk adults who are parents. Working groups were established to focus on deliverables in these areas and foster a culture of collaboration across the sector to address these issues in the South West region.
  • Supported 161 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their support through a host provider or move to a direct payment model under Your Life Your Choice.

1.12 Financial summary

201415 financial summary

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ 2014–15 Statement of Assurance provided to the Director-General satisfies all requirements of section 42 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009.

It indicated no deficiencies or breakdowns in internal controls, which would impact adversely on the department’s financial governance or financial statements for the year.

Our income in 2014–15 was $2.591 billion, with the major sources of income provided by the Queensland and Australian governments for the provision of services.

During 2014­–15, we received our income from:

  • appropriation revenue: $2.488 billion
  • user charges: $23.699 million
  • grants and other contributions: $60.201 million
  • other revenue: $18.537 million.

Our department provides a wide range of services to the community, delivered by contracted non-government organisations and through direct service delivery. As a result, our two largest expense categories are supplies and services and employee expenses.

Our total operating expenses for 2014–15 were $2.562 billion, including:

  • employee expenses: $532.234 million
  • supplies and services (for example, service procurement, property maintenance, general operating expenses and accommodation lease costs): $1.822 billion
  • grants and subsidies: $173.6 million
  • depreciation and amortisation expense:
  • $28.988 million
  • other expenses (such as insurance costs; audit fees; impairment losses and losses on disposal of property, plant and equipment): $4.992 million.

Our total assets as at 30 June 2015 were $686.069 million. The primary assets held by our department were properties utilised to:

  • support people with disability, including accommodation and respite services
  • support the safety of children, including residential care facilities and therapeutic residential care facilities
  • strengthen our communities, including multi-purpose and neighbourhood community centres and safe havens.

The department’s assets also include intangible assets, primarily internally generated software and systems.

The value of our assets by category was as follows:

  • cash and cash equivalents: $124.504 million
  • loans and receivables: $200.798 million
  • property, plant and equipment: $303.996 million
  • intangible assets: $51.381 million
  • other assets: $4.874 million
  • non-current assets classified as held for sale: $0.516 million.

The department’s cash at bank balance includes a cash-fund investment established with Queensland Treasury Corporation for the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial.

The balance of cash-fund investment as at 30 June was $11.433 million.

Our total liabilities as at 30 June 2015 were $225.249 million. Our liabilities consist primarily of payables for service procurement, trade creditors and provisions for employee entitlements.

Liabilities by category were:

  • payables: $201.334 million
  • accrued employee benefits: $21.304 million
  • provisions and other liabilities: $2.611 million.

Negotiations are ongoing with the Australian Government in relation to the NDIS and cross-billing arrangements under the National Partnership Agreement on Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged Care and Disability Services. The department’s assets and liabilities include receivables from and payables to the Commonwealth pending finalisation of these arrangements.

In 2014­–15, on behalf of the Queensland Government, we administered concession payments for electricity and reticulated natural gas, rate and water subsidies, electricity life support and home energy emergency assistance, as well as community recovery assistance. Income and expenditure on these activities is accounted for separately from our operating accounts.

Variances between budget and actual results are explained in our financial statements.

We remain committed to managing financial risks and liabilities by reviewing our financial performance through our corporate governance framework. To help us manage risks, the Audit Committee oversees audit activities, audit recommendations, financial reporting and compliance and risk management practices.

We continue to operate in a tight fiscal environment, and it is imperative we make good financial decisions in resource allocation and expenditure. We will continue to review and improve our programs of service delivery to ensure they are achieving the most effective outcomes while delivering value for money.

For more information on our financial performance, please see our financial statements.

1.13 Our structure

 

Multicultural Affairs provides leadership at the whole-of-government level to improve outcomes for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and encourage a cohesive and inclusive Queensland.

Child Family and Community Services leads commissioning, service and practice improvement and reforms to support the delivery of the department’s contemporary human services.

Disability Services is responsible for the planning, purchasing and provision of disability services and the legislative and policy frameworks that support service provision.

Portfolio Renewal provides a change framework for departmental reforms to progress effectively and facilitates linkages across the department to minimise duplication.

Regions deliver disability, child safety, social inclusion and community services functions to individuals, families and communities across Queensland. 

Corporate Services provides strategic leadership and direction for the department’s corporate systems, policies and practices.

1.14 Our key governing body

The Executive Management Team (EMT) is the key strategic governing body for the department and is responsible for:

  • the overall strategic direction of the department
  • strategic management of the department’s performance
  • oversight of the department’s portfolio of programs and projects.

Further information is available on our governance structure.

Michael Hogan
Chair and Director-General
BA (Hons), LL.B

Michael was appointed as Director-General, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services in April 2014. He was successfully reappointed in June 2015 under the new Queensland Government.

Michael has held various senior executive roles in the department and its predecessors, as well as in Premiers departments in both Queensland and New South Wales.

Michael also spent 10 years in the non- government sector. He commenced his career three decades ago when working on the reform of child welfare and juvenile justice legislation in New South Wales.

Kathy Dunning
Member and Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services
B.Bus. (Accounting)

Kathy commenced the role of Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services, Department of Communities in November 2009.

Previously, Kathy was Acting Deputy Director-General of Community and Youth Justice Services from March to November 2009; and General Manager, Service Delivery, Department of Communities from March 2007 to March 2009.

Prior to this, Kathy was in senior management roles over a 12-year period in Disability Services Queensland. During this time, she held the position of Executive Director, Programs and Community Specialist Services for six years, along with various positions as a Regional Director.

Tony Hayes
Member and Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Regions
B.Bus. (Accountancy) Grad. Dip Exec. Mgmt, M. Admin CGEIT, AFCHSE, CHE, FACS, FCPA, FIIA

Tony has extensive experience across the Queensland public sector in many line departments and central agencies.

He has specialist experience and skills in strategic management and planning, organisational review and business process improvement, information and business strategy development, change management and project management.

Tony is also an Adjunct Professor and is the Chair of the Business Information Systems Advisory Council to the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Queensland. He is a current board member and past International President of ISACA, a global professional association for IT and business professionals based in Chicago, USA.

Cathy Taylor
Member and Deputy Director- General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Regions
LL.B, Grad Dip L.P., Executive Masters in Public Administration

Cathy commenced as Deputy Director-General in October 2014 and was previously the Acting Deputy Director-General, Strategic Policy and Programs from November 2013 to September 2014.

She has held senior roles in government since 2002, including General Manager, Youth Justice and Youth Development; Executive Director, Child Safety, Youth and Families Policy and Performance; and Regional Executive Director, Brisbane Region.

Prior to joining government, Cathy practised child and family law.

Michael Linnan
Member and Regional Executive Director, Far North Queensland Region
Member Australian Property Institute

Michael has more than 42 years’ experience in the public service. He started his career as a cadet valuer in the 1970s and held management and director roles in the Department of Lands; Department of Natural Resources and Mines; State Development; and Tropical North Queensland TAFE prior to joining the Department of Communities in 2006.

Sandra Moore
Member and Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region
Bachelor of Science, Post Graduate Diploma of Management

Sandra commenced as Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region in January 2015. She came to the department following her role as Chief Operating Officer for the Central and North West Queensland Medicare Local since 2011. Prior to that, Sandra was the Regional Manager for the Cancer Council Queensland from 2009.

Sandra’s earlier career was in management roles in engineering companies, including The Shell Company of Australia. Sandra is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an associate fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and is
currently finalising a Masters of Business Administration.

Michael Shearer
Member and Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland Region
BHumanMovSt

Michael has over 29 years’ experience in the human services sector having worked within several Queensland Government departments throughout the state.

He has delivered, managed and led child protection, youth justice, social housing, disability and community services throughout his career.

Michael is an ANZSOG fellow, a member of the Executive Leadership Network Central Region, participates in the Gladstone Region Community Development Committee and is Chair of the liveWELLCQ, a primary health and community services partnership.

Brent McCracken
Member and Regional Executive Director, North Coast Region
B.Soc Sc, Grad Dip in Ed, Executive Masters in Public Administration

Brent commenced as the Regional Executive Director, North Coast Region, in February 2013.

Brent has 30 years’ experience working in youth, disability and age care services in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales for both government agencies and NGOs. Over recent years, Brent has worked extensively with NGOs to build strong, collaborative service delivery partnerships.

Merrilyn Strohfeldt
Member and Regional Executive Director, Brisbane Region
Executive Masters in Public Administration; Bachelor of Speech Therapy

Merrilyn has extensive experience in the delivery of disability services, health and rehabilitation services across Australian and state government jurisdictions, the not-for-profit sector, and private industry.

After joining the department in 2008 as Executive Director, Disability Programs and Reform, Merrilyn has worked in service delivery leadership roles for the last three years.

Amanda Currie
Member and Regional Executive Director, South East Region
B.Soc Sc (Human Services)

Amanda joined the then Department of Families, Youth and Community Care in 1995 as a Family Services Officer at the Inala and Goodna Offices.

She gained a wide range of policy development and implementation experience in areas as diverse as youth justice, child protection, and violence prevention.

In 2009, she was appointed Regional Director, Child Safety, Youth and Families in the Brisbane Region, and in 2012 was appointed Regional Executive Director, South East Region.

Brooke Winters
Member and Regional Executive Director, South West Region
BA, Grad Cert Mngt, MA (Hons)

Brooke has been with the public service since 1985 in a number of senior management positions in a range of challenging and complex environments. 

She spent 19 years of those years working in a wide range of fields within Corrective Services including business management, human resources, community corrections, custodial corrections and women’s community custody. She joined the Department of Communities in 2003.

After managing the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, she became the Regional Executive Director for the former Moreton and South West regions in 2007 and continues to work in the South West. In 2012, Brooke was awarded the inaugural National Emergency Medal for support to the community during the 2010–11 floods.

1.15 Our performance overview

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services 2014–2018 Strategic Plan outlines our priorities and indicators to enable vulnerable Queenslanders to improve their lives.

The priorities focused on four perspectives: client and community; business and governance processes; people; and finances.

The table below highlights some of our key achievements for 2014–15.

Perspective and indicator — client and community

  • Outcomes for clients
  • Service use and access
  • Customers and other stakeholders are satisfied

What we achieved in 2014­–15

  • Invested $3.627 million in initiatives to support Queenslanders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to fully participate in and contribute to our economy and society.
  • Reviewed all adoption applications since the commencement of the Adoption Act 2009 with 406 adopted people receiving their putative father’s name where they previously were not entitled to that information.
  • Supported Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children subject to ongoing intervention to be connected to their culture, families and communities, with 95.9 per cent of children having a cultural support plan.
  • Reviewed current placements of children under 12 years of age residing in a residential care facility to ensure appropriate placements and identify opportunities to strengthen and explore alternative placement options.
  • Continued negotiation of the NDIS Bilateral Agreement, including work with other state and territory governments to determine how the NDIS will interact with mainstream service delivery systems.
  • Provided $75 million to non-government disability service providers to deliver respite services to over 4700 people with disability.
  • Supported over 1500 people with disability who have chosen to self-direct their supports through Your Life Your Choice.
  • Commenced the first stage of the Family and Child Connect operation in Townsville, Toowoomba, Roma, Sunshine Coast, Logan, Beenleigh/Bayside and Gold Coast. Also, funding was approved for services in Rockhampton/Emerald/Gladstone; Maryborough/Bundaberg; South Burnett; Moreton Bay; Ipswich and Browns Plains/Beaudesert.
  • Provided $1.385 million to 335 not-for-profit community organisations and volunteer groups, to support their service delivery to Queenslanders and $13.417 million in operating funds to 122 neighbourhood centres.
  • Provided funding for the continued operation of Drink Safe precincts in three designated entertainment districts as a harm minimisation response to alcohol-related violence.
  • Launched the Trust your instinct domestic and family violence prevention social marketing campaign in April 2015.
  • Provided $3.15 million to the DVConnect helpline. This includes the government announcement in May 2015 of an additional $1.5 million over two years to assist the organisation to respond to the increasing number of calls from women seeking assistance. The service offers four statewide telephone lines: Womensline, Sexual Assault Helpline, Mensline and Serviceline.
  • Provided $230.586 million to assist pensioners, seniors and veterans, including $52.015 million for the Pensioner Rate Subsidy scheme to assist approximately 274,000 households and $149.196 million for the Electricity Rebate scheme to assist more than 497,000 households.
  • Provided $6.067 million to 19 funded organisations to assist adults (predominantly women) via holistic support, including advocacy and sexual assault counselling.
  • Provided $4.268 million to 12 women’s health services to facilitate the active participation of women in the management of their own health and well-being.
  • Provided $7.439 million to 54 services to deliver seniors participation and support services throughout Queensland.
  • Commenced work to develop multicultural legislation to promote Queensland as a united, harmonious and inclusive community. The legislation will introduce a Multicultural Queensland Charter and establish a Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council.
  • Provided $7.338 million to the Department of Education and Training to address the learning needs of children and young in care, as identified in their education support plan to maximise their educational outcomes.
  • Conducted a review of Community Recovery operations to ensure the department is providing the best services and support to people during times of crisis. The review made 36 recommendations to improve community recovery outcomes for disaster-impacted people.
  • Invested approximately $1.469 billion in services delivered by more than 1190 non-government organisations.

Perspective and indicator — Business and governance processes

  • Implement investment and reform initiatives
  • Streamline processes
  • Information systems capability
  • Administration and compliance costs

What we achieved in 2014–15

  • Implemented a One Government procurement operating model and One Government contract management framework.
  • Published 50 data sets, 270 resources and 55 million unique cells of data through the Open Data project to provide the public with access to key government information.
  • Delivered a number of key ICT initiatives, including the implementation of the self-recovery mobile application; the roll-out across the state of corporate Wi-Fi; and the launch of the innovative Sortli mobile application to support young people transitioning from care.
  • Transitioned 25.4 per cent of services (375) onto a new streamlined service agreement.
  • Reduced financial reporting for 20 organisations involved in the trial of performance-based acquittal.
  • Completed further alignment of the department’s risk governance into the Institute of Internal Auditors Three Lines of Defense model.
  • Developed a departmental Risk Appetite Statement and updated the risk methodology to allow for greater articulation of opportunity risk.
  • Continued to refine the department’s target centric fraud risk analysis activities and control strategies.
  • The department acted on the recommendations from the Queensland Audit Office report on managing child safety information. All recommendations were accepted and actions commenced during 2014–15.
  • Developed a suite of risk registers and risk profiles for risks from across the department to help identify potential risks that could impact on our ability to achieve our strategic objectives.
  • Implemented NDIS readiness initiatives to assist people with disability, families, carers and the disability sector prepare for transition to the NDIS in 2016.

Perspective and Indicator — People

  • Staff engagement
  • Workforce profile

What we achieved in 2014–15

  • Developed and implemented the 2014 Employee Opinion Survey Action Plan.
  • Supported staff to attend a wide range of skills and training programs with 42,627 participations.
  • Endorsed a new Cultural Capability Action Plan to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures into every aspect of the department’s activities.
  • Continued our strong focus on client service, with 89.39 per cent of all staff employed in non-corporate positions.

Perspective and Indicator — Finance

  • Financial performance
  • Staff establishment
  • Efficiency of services
  • Service costs

What we achieved in 2014–­15

  • Managed the department’s total operating expenses of $2.562 billion and a total income of $2.591 billion.
  • Achieved an operating surplus of $28.63 million.
  • Achieved an actual employee expenses saving of $28.02 million below the Adjusted Budget as a result of ongoing productivity and efficiency improvements, as well as reprioritisation of funding to meet service delivery demand pressures.
  • Provided $1.678 billion in outsourced service delivery and $173.6 million in grants and subsidies.
  • Made total payments of $50.883 million under the National Partnership Agreement for pay equity for the social and community services sector to assist with additional wage costs arising from recent Pay Equity Orders.
  • Progressed negotiations with the Australian Government in relation to the cross-billing arrangements under the National Partnership Agreement on Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged care and Disability Services with net transactions of $45.838 million in 2014–15.
  • Reduced the complexity of the accounting and human resource systems.
  • Transitioned 6376 departmental employees to the Aurion 10 payroll system resulting in the delivery of a single departmental payroll system, simplified reporting and administration and a 16 per cent reduction in processing costs.
  • Made significant progress towards replacing the legacy Carepay system utilised to pay foster and kinship carers.
  • Implemented  reporting and process enhancements to the Business Information System which is utilised by Disability Services to support service delivery to people with disability, their families and carers resulting from legislative changes and in preparation for the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Completed enhancements to the department’s Grants Management System and reduced end of financial year preparation and funding roll-over activities from days to hours resulting in more efficient payment to NGOs.
  • Actual paid Full Time Equivalent was maintained within budgeted establishment.

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Part 2: Client and community

2.1 Child Safety Services

Child Safety Services includes child protection, adoption and family support.

We are focused on delivering the right services at the right time to support families and keep children safely at home.

2.2 Improving outcomes for children and young people

The department is committed to improving the safety and well-being of children and young people to help them overcome adversity and achieve their full potential. This is achieved through a number of specific service and practice initiatives.

2.2.1 Adoption services

Adoption Services aims for a collaborative approach with stakeholders to develop sustainable support networks for families.

Adoption Services is responsible for providing services in Queensland for:

  • parents considering adoption for their children
  • children requiring adoptive placements through local and intercountry adoption
  • people seeking to adopt children
  • people seeking information or to lodge a contact statement in relation to a past adoption
  • step-parent adoptions.

Adoption Services provides services in accordance with the requirements of the Adoption Act 2009 (PDF)and the Adoption (PDF) Regulation 2009. (PDF)

In 2014–15, 38 children were adopted in Queensland, including 19 children from overseas.

In April 2014, Adoption Services started a project to review all adoption applications received from adopted persons since the commencement of the Adoption Act 2009 to
30 June 2014 to determine whether they were able to receive the father’s name listed on their file.

As a result, 406 adopted people have now received their putative father’s name. Previously, they were not entitled to that information.

Positive feedback has been received with some people reporting that the information has completed their sense of identity.

2.2.2 Case planning

A case plan is a written document that explains why a child is considered in need of protection and provides a clear statement of the roles and responsibilities of all the people who will address the child’s care and protection needs.

As at 31 March 2015, 98.6 per cent of all children subject to ongoing intervention had a case plan.

Reasons for not having a case plan recorded could include:

  • awaiting a family group meeting to develop a case plan
  • where a child protection order must be sought prior to developing a case plan.

2.2.3 Child health passports

The child health passport aims to ensure that children in out-of-home care receive effective and coordinated health care.

The passport records a child’s or young person’s health information and provides carers with the information they need to meet the child’s day-to-day health needs.

As at 31 March 2015, 95.9 per cent of eligible children living away from home had a child health passport commenced.

2.2.4 Cultural support plans

A cultural support plan is a key part of the case planning process for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children who are subject to ongoing intervention.

It is an important tool that can help provide children with the assistance and support they need to strengthen their cultural identity and connection with what it means to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

It also assists children and young people to understand their kinship and place in family, community networks and structure, and cultural heritage.

As at 31 March 2015, 95.9 per cent of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children subject to ongoing intervention had a cultural support plan.

2.2.5 Education support plans

Education support plans are a joint initiative between our department and the Department of Education and Training. The plan records each child’s education and learning needs and details where additional supports are required to help a child in care reach their educational potential.

The plans are developed for each child and young person in out-of-home care who is on a custody or guardianship order to the Chief Executive and enrolled in Prep to Year 12 at a state, Catholic or independent school.

In 2014–15, the department provided $7.338 million to the Department of Education and Training to address children and young people’s learning needs, as identified in their individual education support plan, and maximise their educational outcomes.

2.2.6 Evolve Interagency Services

The Evolve program provides therapeutic and behaviour support services for children and young people under an interim or finalised child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the Chief Executive of the department, and those in out-of-home care who have complex and intensive support needs.

The program aims to improve children,and young people’s placement stability, and involvement in schooling and community engagement. In 2014–15, the department provided funding of $16.855 million to the Department of Health to deliver the Evolve Interagency Services program.

Queensland Health’s Evolve Therapeutic Services provides Evolve services in 14 locations across the state, while Disability Services’ Evolve Behaviour Support Services provides Evolve services in 11 locations across the state. A total of 1095 children with complex or intensive needs accessed an Evolve service between 1 July 2014 and 31 March 2015.

2.2.7 Evolve Behaviour Support Service

Evolve Behaviour Support: Early Intervention Service aims to prevent families relinquishing the care of their child with high and complex support needs, including challenging behaviours. The multidisciplinary service builds family capacity in order to assist the family to continue to care for their child.

Evolve works with the child, carers, family, school and other services to deliver family support, positive behaviour support, skill development, and education and training for parents.

In 2014–15, the Evolve Behaviour Support Service was funded for 11 full-time equivalent early intervention clinical positions across the state.

2.2.8 Transition from care

Young people transitioning from out-of-home care may experience greater disadvantage than their peers who do not have a care experience. They require targeted support and services to maximise their potential to develop a sound foundation on which they can build a successful independent future.

Next Step After Care has been designed to provide targeted post-care support, providing young Queenslanders transitioning from care with practical help and tailored support to enable them to build independent lives.

The target group for the service is young people up to age 21 years old who left care after their 15th birthday and require support. The majority of young people requiring support are likely to be aged between 18 and 21.

2.2.9 Kids in Care Christmas Appeal

Since 2009, the department has coordinated a statewide Christmas gift appeal for children and young people living away from home in Queensland.

With the support of ABC Local Radio, the appeal generated more than 21,000 gifts and donations; 12,700 more than the target amount and 3,900 more than the previous year.

2.3 Providing quality care environments for children living away from home

2.3.1 Child Safety Officers

The department is committed to reducing the case loads of Child Safety Officers to enable them to dedicate more time to the children and families they work with.

As at 31 March 2015, the average caseload for Child Safety Officers working with children subject to ongoing intervention was 19.1. This is a reduction from 31 March 2014, where the average case load was 20.2.

The department has employed an extra 77 direct service delivery staff across Queensland. These new positions are funded recurrently and are frontline to perform key roles in supporting children and families.

The department offered a Certificate IV Child, Youth and Family Intervention qualification commencing in 2014 to 27 Child Safety Support Officers, of which 19 staff successfully completed.

Frontline child safety supervisors also have access to the department’s Leadership Framework REACH program, which aims to develop a supervisor’s knowledge in delivering supervision and core leadership skills through a range of face-to-face workshops supported by the REACH online training modules.

Our Child Safety Officer training ensures Queensland has a skilled child protection workforce that meets legislative and policy requirements and provides culturally appropriate practice.

2.3.2 Supporting foster and kinship carers

Foster and kinship care are forms of family-based care for children and young people who cannot live at home.

Carers are part of a team of people who work to provide safe and supportive environments for vulnerable children and young people because their parents are unable to look after them or they may be at risk of harm.

As at 31 March 2015, there were 4982 families providing foster and kinship care. This is an increase of 223 carers from the same time in 2014. Of these, 3577 were foster carers, 1298 were kinship carers and 107 were provisionally approved carers.

The number of Indigenous carers increased by 44 in the year to 31 March 2015. This increase consisted of 32 new foster carers and 12 new kinship carers.

The department and non-government foster and kinship care services provide a range of support services for carers, including training and financial support, so they can achieve better outcomes for children and young people and are able to continue in their carers’ role for longer periods of time.

In 2014–15, the department expended $122.818 million on carer allowances, including:

  • $104.329 million for the fortnightly caring allowance
  • $8.47 million for high support needs allowance
  • $10.019 million for complex support needs allowance.

In the same period we provided $42.510 million in outsourced service delivery payments to foster and kinship care services and $38.426 million to intensive foster carer services.

2.3.3 Residential care

As at 31 March 2015 the department provided placements for 8362 children in out-of-home care. Approximately 680 (8 per cent) of these children were living in a residential care service.

Residential care is provided as part of an integrated system of placement and support for children who require out-of-home care to meet their protection and care needs. Residential care is primarily for children aged 12 to 17 years.

Residential care is provided in a residence specifically and exclusively used for the care of one or more children by direct care workers, which may include rostered youth workers or live-in house parents.

Residential care caters for children with moderate, high, complex and extreme support needs; sibling groups who cannot be accommodated in family-based care or individual care arrangements.

Placements in residential care may be for the purpose of:

  • preparing the child or young person for reunification, transition to a family-based placement or other appropriate out-of-home care placement (to meet specific identified needs), or transition to independent living and/or meeting the child or young person’s need for a medium or long-term stable placement, where a comprehensive assessment indicates the child or young person has needs that are best met by non-family-based care, and regular case reviews indicate that the placement continues to meet the child or young person’s needs.

In 2014­–15, the department:

  • commenced scoping the Placement Services Investment Review and Redesign initiative to ensure the system and our investment meets the ongoing needs of children and young people in our care
  • reviewed current placements of children under 12 years of age residing in a residential care facility to ensure appropriate placements and identify opportunities to strengthen and explore alternative placement options where relevant
  • in partnership with Mercy Community Services, explored contemporary models to improve residential services for children in our care
  • engaged PeakCare Queensland to develop a trauma informed therapeutic framework with a focus on consistent high-quality residential care to children and young people.

2.3.4 Transitional placements

Transitional placements provide time-limited placements for children or young people while preparing them for less intensive and more sustainable placements.

As at 30 June 2015, there were 248 clients in transitional placement arrangements.

2.3.5 Indigenous Recognised Entities

The C (PDF)hild Protection Act 1999 (PDF) requires that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families and communities receive services from the department that meet the cultural and identity needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and reflect the unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, stemming from their history as Indigenous Australians.

Under the Act, when making a significant decision for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, the Recognised Entity for that child must be given the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.

In 2014–15, the department provided $10.160 million to deliver Recognised Entity services throughout Queensland. This means there is a Recognised Entity service available for participation and consultation to staff at each of the department’s child safety service centres.

2.3.6 Indigenous Safe Havens

Safe Haven services are a joint state and Australian Government initiative.

The initiative aims to reduce the impact of domestic and family violence on children, young people and their families and keep them from entering or re-entering the statutory system in Cherbourg, Coen, Mornington Island and Palm Island. In 2014–15, the department:

  • finalised design work on the Mornington Island Women’s Resource Centre and supported the Department of Housing and Public Works in gaining Mornington Island Shire Council approval to progress the development
  • reviewed the design and use of the Mornington Island non-government organisation staff accommodation project
  • supported the Department of Housing and Public Works in working towards the resolution of Native Title issues
  • reviewed and progressed projects planned for the Coen community in collaboration with the Australian Government.

2.3.7 Indigenous Safe Houses

A child safety Safe House provides a dwelling for the care and support of up to six children and/or young people in statutory care (aged 0–18 years) in remote Indigenous communities. This enables the child to be placed within their community, facilitating community connection and stability, and family contact, while their child protection needs are being assessed.

Safe House services are located at Aurukun, Bamaga (also supporting the Injinoo, New Mapoon, Seisia and Umagico communities), Doomadgee, Kowanyama, Lockhart River (also supporting the Hope Vale, Laura and Wujal Wujal communities), Mornington Island, Napranum, Palm Island, Pormpuraaw and on Horn Island in the Torres Strait.

2.4 Supporting families to care for their children safely

We are committed to protecting children and young people who have been harmed or who are at risk of harm to secure their safety and well-being. To do this, we are progressing a range of initiatives to build a new child and family support system where vulnerable families and children have access to high-quality services to help maintain the family unit.

2.4.1 Family and Child Connect and Intensive Support Services

Family and Child Connect is an important component of the child protection reform program, which aims to shift the focus from placing children in care to keeping families at home together, safe and well, whenever possible.

Family and Child Connect allows professionals such as teachers, child care workers, health workers and police, as well as members of the community who have concerns about a child’s well-being, to refer the family for information, advice and referrals.

The first stage of Family and Child Connect began operation in January 2015 in Townsville, Toowoomba, Roma, Sunshine Coast, Logan, Beenleigh/Bayside and Gold Coast.

From January to June 2015, the first stage of Family and Child Connect services received 2776 enquiries and referred 1,281 families on for support.

In the same period, Intensive Family Support services had engaged with 664 families and were working to engage with a further 275 families who were referred for support.

The second stage of Family and Child Connect will provide an additional six services to cover Rockhampton/Emerald/Gladstone;  Maryborough/Bundaberg; South Burnett; Moreton Bay; Ipswich; and Browns Plains/Beaudesert.

2.4.2 Family Intervention Services

The Family Intervention Services program is Queensland’s frontline intensive family support program for children and young people who require ongoing intervention and case management.

The program is delivered by a large range of non-government organisations to assist the department in keeping families together in their home, thereby avoiding placement in out-of-home care. 

In 2014–15, the department provided funding of $22.215 million to 55 Family Intervention Services to intensively support 1565 families.

2.4.3 Fostering Families

The Fostering Families initiative provides intensive, in-home and out-of-hours family support services to vulnerable families where a notification has been made to the department, primarily because of neglect.

The initiative focuses on developing practical skills in the family home and improving parenting skills, to reduce the need for ongoing intervention from the department.

The services are fully operational across Brisbane South, Maryborough and Toowoomba.

In 2014–15, 664 families were referred to Fostering Families services. As at 30 June 2015, the services were working with 485 families.

2.4.4 Referral for Active Intervention

The Referral for Active Intervention service provides intensive early intervention support to families with medium-high complex needs in 12 locations across Queensland.

The service delivers direct support to families, as well as referring the family to targeted family support services and specialist counselling services, to prevent the family entering or re-entering the child protection system.

As at 30 June 2015, four Referral for Active Intervention services had supported 2461 families and were working to engage another 431 families in support services.

2.4.5 Kids Helpline

The department provided $113, 012 to expand the Kids Helpline 24/7 telephone support service to support vulnerable 5 to 18 year olds from remote and regional Queensland. In 2014–15, Kids Helpline recorded a total of 52,171 telephone calls originating from Queensland with callers aged 5 to 18 years old.

Where the location was known and recorded, the percentage of callers living in regional Queensland was 5.4 per cent and 0.11 per cent for those living in remote Queensland.

2.4.6 Sexual abuse counselling

Sexual abuse counselling services respond to a range of issues arising from sexual abuse.

In 2014­–15, the department invested $3.11 million towards the delivery of nine sexual abuse counselling services statewide for children aged between 5 and 18 years who are subject to child protection statutory interventions and have been sexually abused or are engaging in sexually reactive behaviours.

In addition, funding of $100,000 per annum for three years was approved for Bravehearts to support its Strathpine/Caboolture counselling service, as well as a further $265,000 in one-off funding to assist it to continue providing valuable frontline services to children who have experienced sexual abuse.

2.4.7 Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families

Delivering better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is the highest priority. The department is working to strengthen the cultural integrity of its child protection practice when working with Indigenous families to address the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system.

2.4.8 Family Support Services

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Support Services are primarily early intervention services working with families to help reduce the number of children who need to be removed from their home and families.

In 2014–15 the department completed consultation with the community, families, the community sector and leaders from government and non-government organisations, to co-design an integrated family support service model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

The service model, which will be implemented in 2015–16, will make it easier for families to seek support and receive the help they need quickly and efficiently. Implementation will involve working with the community sector to design local responses that focus on healing, restoring people’s social and emotional well-being, and offering practical solutions to build the resilience of families.

2.4.9 Reform outcomes

The reforms aim to achieve the following long-term outcomes:

  • a society where everyone is encouraged  to take responsibility for protecting children
  • and parents and families are supported to care for and protect their children
  • a service system that provides support and assistance earlier to prevent children and families entering the tertiary child protection system
  • a skilled and supported community services workforce
  • a service system that meets the requirements and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities
  • a service system that improves outcomes for children in the tertiary system and provides value for money.

2.4.10 Reform activity

During the period 2014–15, the department:

  • launched seven new Family and Child Connect (FaCC) services in key locations, including: the Gold Coast; Sunshine Coast; Toowoomba; Logan; Beenleigh; and Townsville. Referrals to the new services were received through multiple pathways including child safety, mandatory reporters, community partner agencies, community members and self-referrals (Recommendation 4.5)
  • expanded the Intensive Family Support (IFS) services available to vulnerable families by rolling out new, collaboratively case-managed services in conjunction with FaCC services (Recommendation 5.4)
  • developed and launched a new Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice, including: training for government and non-government
  • service delivery staff; development of appreciative inquiry processes; and promotion of a strengths-based culture across the sector (Recommendation 7.1)
  • finalised amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999 relating to mandatory reporting, information sharing and substantiating harm (Recommendations 4.6 and 4.8); and to ensure consistency with other related legislation (Recommendation 4.1)
  • commenced phase two of an Out-of-Home Care Audit, to review long-term guardianship orders of children and young people not reviewed during phase one of the audit (Recommendation 4.10)
  • commenced work with Queensland Health to ensure that children in Out-of-Home Care receive comprehensive health and developmental screening and assessments (Recommendation 7.7).

We also continued work to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system through:

  • appointing Indigenous Practice Leaders across the state (Recommendation 10.8)
  • developing an integrated service model (Recommendation 11.6) and ensuring multiple pathways are available for Indigenous families to access services (Recommendation 11.1)
  • providing training and resources to support kinship carers (Recommendation 8.3)
  • offering cadetships and scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and university students (Recommendation 10.5)
  • jointly launching the Next Steps After Care service with Life Without Barriers in March 2015, to provide post-care support for young people transitioning to independence (Recommendation 9.1)
  • establishing Regional Child and Family Committees across the state to oversee the implementation of the reforms at the local level (Recommendation 12.4).

2.4.11 Legislative reforms

Legislative reforms are being introduced to support and enable successful implementation of the child and family reforms. The reforms will be staged appropriately to ensure amendments are well thought out and considered. The first stage of the legislative reform was passed this financial year.

The reforms to the child protection system commenced from 1 July 2014 and included:

  • a new Office of the Public Guardian
  • a new Family and Child Commission
  • a new multidisciplinary, independent panel to assume child death review functions
  • administration of working with children checks transferred to the Public Safety Business Agency.

Changes to the Child Protection Act 1999 that have been passed and commenced on 19 January 2015 include:

  • clarification about when and how to report concerns to Child Safety
  • consolidation of mandatory reporting requirements into the Child Protection Act 1999
  • enabling prescribed entities to directly refer children and families to support services to prevent children becoming in need of protection.

2.4.12 Framework for practice

The new Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice was launched in March 2015.

This key component of the reforms is a new strengths-based, safety-oriented practice framework and practice tools. The framework and tools will fundamentally shift the way we work by focusing on the values, principles, knowledge and skills central to creating meaningful partnerships with children, parents and communities.

The increased family engagement will also help identify more kinship care options, should a child require placement outside the family home. More than 3000 people from across the non-government and government sectors have been introduced to the framework through two-day foundational elements training. 

More than 520 departmental officers have received additional skills-based training in the use of the framework tools in their supervision and leadership roles.

2.4.13 Child Safety After Hours Service Centre

The department’s statewide Child Safety After Hours Service Centre is a 24-hour service providing after hours child protection frontline service delivery and responses to clients of child safety services, the community, other government departments and community agencies.

The service provides a statutory response to critical and immediate child protection issues, with service delivery targeted at securing the child’s immediate safety and addressing critical issues.

For the year ending 31 March 2015, 10,903 intakes (9.5 per cent of the department’s intakes) were received by the Child Safety After Hours Service Centre.

2.5 Child and Family Services future directions

In 2015–­16 we will:

  • Expand the review of current placements of children under 12 years of age in residential care placements to include all departmental regions and discuss the findings with key stakeholders to identify opportunities to enhance future placements for children.
  • Review and redesign the department’s Placement Services Investment to develop a new outcomes investment framework to inform future investment options, models and service responses.
  • Commence implementation of the trauma informed therapeutic framework for all residential care services in Queensland, including training and professional development to improve the quality of residential care provided to children and young people.
  • Co-design improvements to the residential care system with key stakeholders.
  • Expand and integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family support and child protection services.
  • Co-produce a new integrated family support service for vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in partnership with the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak.
  • Work with the community to design and deliver Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family-Led Decision-Making and Shared Practice trials in four locations — Ipswich, Mount Isa, Torres Strait and Cairns.
  • Develop culturally appropriate responses through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Service Reform Project, which deliver the right services at the right time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.
  • Review the training needs of Recognised Entities and develop training to support their enhanced role and maximise opportunities for them to contribute to the provision of statutory services.
  • Simplify kinship carer assessments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to attain qualifications to become Child Safety Officers.
  • Complete the Family and Child Connect network by establishing services in: Cairns, Cape York and Torres Strait; Mount Isa and the Gulf; Brisbane North; Brisbane South; and Brisbane South West.
  • Improve court processes and outcomes for children in need of protection and their families.
  • Introduce two new offices — the Director of Child Protection Litigation, and the Office of the Child and Family Solicitor — to support improved child protection court work outcomes.
  • Finalise the second out-of-home care audit by reviewing more than 3000 cases to determine whether the needs of children subject to long-term guardianship orders continue to be best met by the order or whether their needs would be better met by varying or revoking the order.
  • Enhance permanency options and improve placement stability for children in care.
  • Introduce comprehensive health and development assessments to enable the department to better meet the health and development needs of children in out-of-home care.
  • Implement early response services across Queensland to reduce the number of children with disability being relinquished into the care of the department, through earlier and more targeted support to parents.
  • Work with the Queensland Family and Child Commission to develop a Workforce Planning and Development Strategy to support expansion of the secondary sector.
  • Embed the new framework and practice tools, including advanced training modules to further strengthen engagement with children, young people and families.
  • Review the Child Protection Act 1999 to develop a contemporary legislative framework for child protection and family support.

2.6 Community Services

Community Services leads social investment reform, including red tape reduction, as well as coordinating cross-government policy and managing program investment in services to support vulnerable individuals, families and communities.  This work supports older people, carers, volunteering, young people, women experiencing domestic and family violence and Queenslanders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds across the state.

Community Services also leads the coordination of Queensland Government cards and concessions programs to assist vulnerable Queenslanders manage cost of living pressures.

2.6.1 Create pathways to social and economic participation

2.6.2 Seniors

The department, through the Office for Seniors, Carers and Volunteering, has the lead role across government for ageing and older people’s issues. We share this responsibility with other government departments, seniors organisations, service providers and academia, to continue to develop programs that respond to the needs of seniors.

The department is committed to ensuring the needs, interests and concerns of seniors are heard and responded to, with a particular emphasis on supporting the most vulnerable older people to remain connected with their communities through the provision of information and support services.

The department also provides funding to support Seniors Week activities across Queensland and to a seniors peak organisation, Council on the Ageing Queensland, with whom we work closely to ensure the views of older people themselves are heard. The Seniors Card program allows access to concessions and discounts for older Queenslanders to assist with managing cost of living pressures.

Seniors participation and support services

The Queensland Government spent $7.439 million on seniors participation and support services in 2014–­15.

Seniors Enquiry Line

The Seniors Enquiry Line (1300 135 500) is a statewide information and referral service. For the cost of a local call, the Seniors Enquiry Line gives Queensland seniors, their family, friends, grandparents and carers access to information on concessions, social activities, independent living, health, finance, retirement and support services for seniors.

The Seniors Enquiry Line provided information to or referral for 9710 enquiries during 2014­–15. 

Seniors Legal and Support Services are staffed by solicitors and social workers who assist older people who are at risk of and/or experiencing elder abuse or financial exploitation.

In 2014­–15, five seniors legal and support services across the state were provided $2.478 million and provided advice, referral and support activities on 2527 occasions.

Elder Abuse Prevention Unit and helpline

The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit includes a free statewide telephone helpline, the Elder Abuse Helpline (1300 651 192), which assists seniors who are at risk of and/or experiencing elder abuse.

The department’s Trust your instinct domestic and family violence prevention campaign extends to promote elder abuse prevention in June to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June 2015.

The campaign focuses on encouraging friends, family, colleagues and neighbours of older people who may be experiencing elder abuse to contact the Elder Abuse Helpline for advice and support.

The unit received 2157 calls for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. Of these calls, 1282 were new notifications.

Older People's Action Program

The Older People’s Action Program assists seniors at risk of social isolation.

As part of the program, the department provides funds to 20 non-government organisations in various locations across the state to:

  • assist seniors to increase their social participation
  • reduce fear of crime and increase their sense of safety and security in their communities.

In 2014–­15, the department provided $1.438 million to fund 20 services under the program to reduce social isolation.

60 and Better Program

The 60 and Better Program supports older people to develop and manage healthy ageing programs in their own communities.

The program offers participants a mix of physical, social and intellectual activities that support people to make connections with others and their communities. Activities include exercise programs, health talks, craft activities, theatre groups, card games and opportunities to explore information technology.

In 2014­–15, the department provided $1.371 million to 23 services funded under the 60 and Better Program to promote active ageing.

Older Women's Network

The Older Women’s Network promotes access to information, discussion and action on topics such as healthy ageing, negative images of older women, housing and transport needs, companionship and dealing with loss and change.

The department provided $95,735 in 2014­–15 to support a range of services to facilitate the active participation of women in the management of their own health and well-being and to promote health equity between all women by targeting vulnerable women.

Older Men's Groups

Older Men’s Groups are delivered in Hervey Bay and Toowoomba. This service responds to the mental health needs of older men and assists with reducing social isolation.

In 2014­–15, the department provided $184,549 to provide information, support, social and personal development activities and counselling to older men.

Senior's peak

The Council on the Ageing Queensland (COTA Queensland) is funded as the senior’s peak organisation and works to improve frontline services for older Queenslanders in partnership with the government.

The department provided $129,056 in 2014–15 to COTA Queensland to disseminate information to the seniors sector, build the capacity of older people’s services, and provide input into the development and implementation of policies and programs.

Seniors Week

COTA Queensland was provided $133,012 to plan, market, run and subsidise Seniors Week events in 2014.

A further $16,000 per annum was provided to COTAQ to develop and distribute Seniors Week marketing material.

Seniors Week 2014 was held from 16-24 August 2014. 200 subsidies totalling $172,824 ($100,000 from the department and $72,824 one-off funding from COTA Queensland) were distributed to 180 organisations.

A total of 457 events across the state were registered on the COTA Queensland Seniors Week events calendar.

Time for Grandparents program

The program provides support for grandparents who are the informal primary caregivers of grandchildren through camps, counselling services and information.

In 2014­–15, the department provided $778,889 to UnitingCare Community to deliver the Time for Grandparents program.

The grandfamily camps for children and their grandparents provide:

  • safe and enjoyable recreational activities for both grandparents and grandchildren, which are run by qualified instructors
  • information sessions on parenting issues, finances and legal matters
  • a range of individual and group counselling sessions
  • information about local support systems and services available in the community.

In 2014–­15, 124 grandparents and 184 grandchildren attended the camps with 630 activities conducted for the children.

More than 2700 calls to the Grandparents Info Line for respite services and 275 calls regarding the program were also received.

Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day 2014 was held on 26 October 2014 with the theme, ‘Make Your Grandparent’s Day!’.

Grandparents Day celebrates the special contribution grandparents make to their families and communities and is an opportunity for everyone to give back to grandparents and acknowledge the enormous role they play in helping our families and communities.

The department provided a range of free resources to help with celebrations, including posters, postcards and downloadable certificates of recognition for grandparents.

Seniors Card

The Seniors Card scheme comprising the Seniors Card, Seniors Card+go and the Seniors Business Discount Card helps to reduce the cost of living expenses for eligible older Queenslanders.

The Seniors Card and Seniors Card+go are available to all Queensland seniors aged 65 years and over who are no longer working full-time, and provides access to a range of Queensland Government concessions to assist with the costs of energy and rates bills public transport, motor vehicle and boat registration.

The Seniors Business Discount Card is available to Queenslanders aged 60 years and over, and provides access to discounts on a range of goods and services including travel, accommodation, hospitality, retail, entertainment, leisure and further education.

The number of cardholders as at 30 June 2015 was:

  • 519,913 Seniors Card holders
  • 143,136 Seniors Card+go holders
  • 94,809 Seniors Business Discount Card holders.

As at 30 June 2015, 82 per cent of eligible persons (60 years of age and over) were current holders of a Seniors Card or a Seniors Business Discount Card. Seniors Cards are available to all Queenslanders aged 65 years and over.

The Seniors Card and Seniors Business Discount Card are delivered through Smart Service Queensland.

Concessions

In 2014­–15, the department provided $230.586 million to assist pensioners, seniors and veterans, including:

  • $51.570 million for the Pensioner Rate Subsidy scheme to assist approximately 274,000 households
  • $149.271 million for the Electricity Rebate scheme to assist more than 497,000 households.

These concessions are designed to help Queenslanders manage the cost of regular household bills, access essential services, and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Additional funding was provided to maintain the value of concessions after the Australian Government terminated the National Partnership Agreement on certain concessions for Pensioner Concession Card and Seniors Card Holders effective from 1 July 2014.

2.6.3 Carers

Carers make a valuable and important contribution to our community by supporting people who need assistance.

The department engages with other government departments, non-government organisations and the community to raise awareness about carers and embed the Carers Charter principles in government and community activity. It also provides secretariat support to the Queensland Carers Advisory Council.

Carers (Recognition) Act

The Carers (Recognition) Act 2008 sets out requirements for public authorities to recognise and support carers and the people they care for, and also for employees of public authorities who undertake a caring role, specifically through the:

  • Carers Charter, which contains 13 principles recognising the signficant contribution carers make to the community
  • Queensland Carers Advisory Council, which provides advice to the Minister on matters relating to carers and words to advance carers' interests.

More information on the Queensland Carers Advisory Council can be found at Appendix 2.

Carers Week

There are more than 2.7 million carers in Australia and approximately 500,000 in Queensland. Carers Week is a national celebration of those carers and the role they play in our communities.

The department provided Carers Queensland with $10,400 to support regional activities during Carers Week, which was held between 12 and 18 October 2014. The theme for the week was ‘Take a Break’.

2.6.4 Carers Card Programs

Carer Business Discount Card

The Carer Business Discount Card provides eligible carers with discounts on goods and services from participating businesses. This scheme is a partnership between the state government and businesses across Queensland.

As at 30 June 2015, there were 3817 businesses across Queensland participating in the scheme and providing discounts to over 20,293 Carer Business Discount Card holders (including foster and kinship carers).

Companion Card

People with disability and a lifelong need for attendant care support may benefit from a Companion Card, which can help with the costs of getting out and about with the support of a companion.

As at 30 June 2015, there were more than 14,121 Companion Card holders and more than 773 affiliated businesses and venues providing two tickets for the price of one to activities and entertainment.

2.6.5 Volunteering

Volunteers enrich Queensland communities and help individuals and community organisations every day. Volunteers build strong, healthy and inclusive communities, and the department delivers a number of programs to support Queensland’s volunteers.

The department, through the Office for Seniors, Carers and Volunteering, aims to:

  • increase volunteering and support the sustainability of volunteering in Queensland
  • engage the general population and specific population groups in volunteering
  • support good practice in Queensland Government volunteer programs
  • improve non-government organisations’ knowledge and skill to attract and retain volunteers
  • support effective coordination of volunteers during disasters
  • provide access to up-to-date information and resources for volunteers and community organisations.

National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week was held from 11 to 17 May 2015 with the theme of Give Happy Live Happy.

The department provided $22,500 to Volunteering Queensland to organise a range of events to celebrate the week.

Volunteering Queensland

In 2014­–15, we provided $406,321 to Volunteering Queensland to:

  • identify, promote and link volunteers with volunteering opportunities
  • build the capacity of community organisations to continue to attract and retain volunteers
  • raise awareness, provide advice and referrals to support volunteer activities across Queensland
  • register volunteers to the Emergency Volunteering Community Response to Extreme Weather service during disasters.

2.6.6 Young people

The Queensland Government values young people. The department’s main priority for Queensland’s young people is to identify opportunities to maximise their economic and social participation.

The focus has been on strengthening relationships and networks with non-government organisation in the youth sector and prioritising engaging and hearing directly from young people about what they need to reach their goals and ambitions.

The department invests in youth development and leadership programs and support services targeting Queensland’s most vulnerable young people.

Youth preventive support

The department has a range of initiatives designed to be more responsive to the needs of young people by connecting them to supports to drive positive outcomes.

Youth support

Approximately 84 existing youth services transitioned to a new model of youth support, which is more responsive to the needs of young people, 12 to ­18 years old, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Services were supported with: training workshops; a best practice guide; youth well-being assessment tool; and service planning assistance. The focus is on driving positive outcomes in four key areas:

  • connecting to positive family support
  • increasing jobs, education or training opportunities
  • leading a healthy and violence-free life
  • having safe, stable housing.

Youth Housing and Reintegration Service and After Care Service

These programs assist young people aged 12 to 21 years who are at risk of homelessness, or who are homeless, including young people who have been sleeping rough or living in unstable or temporary housing arrangements.

The aim is to assist young people to transition to greater stability and independence by providing case management support and brokerage in line with case-plan goals.

In 2014­–15, 650 young people who were homeless, or at risk of homelessness, received support.

Investment in Youth Housing and Reintegration Service and After Care Service was funded under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness 2014–15.

Youth development, leadership and engagement

We continued our initiatives and services aimed at providing young people with an opportunity to participate in their communities, and in making decisions that have a positive impact on their lives.

Indigenous Youth Leadership Program

The Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program is an exciting opportunity for young Indigenous Queenslanders aged 18­ to 25 years to develop leadership skills and learn about Queensland’s democratic processes.

In 2014­–15, in partnership with Glencore Coal Assets Australia and Queensland Parliamentary Services, we  supported 38 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to participate in the program and provided:

  • intensive leadership workshops facilitated by Indigenous community leaders
  • mentoring and networking opportunities
  • a civil leadership experience through the inaugural Eric Deeral Indigenous Youth Parliament program
  • career development days.Support for grandparents

YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament

Queensland Youth Parliament brings together a diverse group of young people to learn about parliamentary processes and to debate policy and legislation affecting young people in Queensland.

Participants represent each of the 89 state electorates in Queensland plus four Indigenous representatives.

In 2014–­15, we funded YMCA Queensland for 93 young people to learn about the parliamentary process, form working groups and committees to guide their activities through the program, and develop Bills to be debated in the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament. 

National Youth Week

National Youth Week is Australia’s largest celebration of and for young people aged between 12­ and 25 years.

In 2015, National Youth Week was held from 10 to 19 April with the theme, ‘It starts with us’. We provided $51,625 to complement Australian Government funding to support a diverse range of events across Queensland, including music festivals, dance events and art workshops.

In total, 49 events were held across the state delivered by 215 partner organisations.

Safer Schoolies Initiative

The Safer Schoolies Initiative aims to manage the influx of young people holidaying in key Queensland tourist destinations for their end-of-school holidays.

The initiative has been effective in minimising harm and reducing high-risk, antisocial behaviour through the delivery of diversionary activities, enhanced safety and support services, and increasing school-leavers’ awareness around safe and responsible behaviour.

The department provided funding for the initiative, enabling the delivery of:

  • a statewide grants program to support the delivery of Schoolies Community Safety Responses
  • the Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response
  • a statewide communication campaign, including in-school information sessions, and development of the Be Safe and Watch Your Mates — Schoolies DVD, which was distributed to schools and key Queensland Police Service contacts to support in-school information sessions.

In 2014, more than 348 in-school information sessions were presented to Queensland Year 12 students leading up to Schoolies.

2.6.7 Multicultural Affairs

Multicultural Affairs Queensland leads the Queensland Government’s multicultural policy agenda shaping a multicultural future for all, where there is a strong sense of belonging and welcome for people of all cultural backgrounds and faiths. This helps ensure programs and services work together to allow everyone to access government services and participate in and contribute to the social, economic and cultural fabric of our community.

Multicultural policy

Strong multicultural policy embedded across government provides the foundation for a united, harmonious and inclusive community, in which Queenslanders of all backgrounds are supported to participate in our economy and society.

In July 2014, a whole-of-government action plan identified a series of actions to improve community and employment participation outcomes for culturally diverse Queenslanders.

An audit showed more than 90 per cent of actions are either continuing or were completed during the first 12 months of the action plan. 

Work commenced in 2014–­15 to develop multicultural legislation and an action plan to promote Queensland as a united, harmonious and inclusive community. The legislation will introduce a Multicultural Queensland Charter and establish a Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council.

An interim Multicultural Community Reference Group met for the first time in June 2015. The Reference Group, made up of respected community leaders and experts on multiculturalism, provides advice to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs to ensure legislation and policy is reflective of contemporary community views.

With almost one in 10 Queenslanders speaking a language other than English at home, and more than 62,000 people identifying that they do not speak English, or do not speak it well, the need for language services is critical to ensure equitable access to services. To ensure the best possible arrangements are in place, an updated Queensland Language Services Policy was released in July 2014.

First introduced in 1998, the Language Services Policy aims to enhance access to interpreters and translated information to improve access to the full range of government and government-funded services for people requiring language support.

Funding for multicultural communities

Multicultural Affairs Queensland delivers grants funding for events and projects that support community celebration of Queensland’s multicultural identities and economic participation. It also funds programs that promote the benefits of diversity and community participation for migrants, humanitarian entrants and other overseas arrivals.

In 2014–15, total funding of $3.627 million was invested in our multicultural communities, including:

  • $672,000 under the Valuing Diversity Grants Program to support 101 multicultural events in 2015
  • $457,500 under the Economic Participation Grants Program to support nine projects commencing from 1 July 2015 to promote economic independence for migrants and refugees
  • $1,439,849 under the Community Action for a Multicultural Society Program to support 16 organisations to undertake community development activities across Queensland to enhance community leadership and strengthen community capacity to access services
  • $614,965 under the Local Area Multicultural Partnerships Program to foster inclusive service delivery by 13 local councils
  • $34,000 to the Water Safety program to increase awareness of water safety among people from culturally diverse backgrounds
  • $200,000 for Queensland Cultural Diversity Week (30 August to 7 September 2014)
  • $146,300 to support eight multicultural events and projects outside established grants initiatives.

Valuing Diversity Grants Program

The Valuing Diversity Grants Program provides funding to support local and signature events across Queensland, showcasing and celebrating diversity, encouraging mentoring and building the capacity of the sector.

In 2014–­15 funding was committed to support community-based organisations to deliver 101 multicultural events within the 2015 calendar year.

It is estimated that more than 1.1 million people across Queensland will attend events under this program across the year.

Local Area Multicultural Partnerships Program

Through the Local Area Multicultural Partnerships (LAMP) program, the department worked with local councils to promote cultural and social inclusion at the community level.

In 2014­–15, the department provided $614, 965 to 13 of Queenslands 77 local councils, with each council at least matching the funding provided by the Queensland Government.

Funding supported local governments to integrate the principles and practices of multiculturalism throughout their organisations and to promote positive intercultural relations in their local region.

The LAMP program concluded on 30 June 2015. A number of councils have indicated this function will be embedded in their existing business.

Community Action for a Multicultural Society

The Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program funds community-based organisations to employ workers to undertake community development and support activities that benefit people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

This financial year, the department provided $1.44 million to 16 organisations across Queensland, with most based in the regions. This includes targeted funding for statewide workers addressing the needs of refugees, Pacific Islanders and Australian South Sea Islanders.

In 2014­–15 the CAMS program:

  • developed and implemented strategies to address known barriers to participation, by working together with culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • advocated for improved access to culturally responsive services and programs
  • led cross-cultural learning and sharing activities
  • assisted culturally and linguistically diverse communities to apply for funding for events and projects.

Queensland Cultural Diversity Week

Queensland Cultural Diversity Week was celebrated from Saturday 30 August to Sunday 7 September 2014.

The week offers a statewide program of events, aimed at building community cohesion by celebrating and encouraging broader recognition of Queensland’s cultural diversity. In 2014, 86 events were held across the state involving just under 90,000 people.

The Program was managed by Kinetic Events working in partnership with the Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre (BEMAC).

Highlights included the Ethno on the Road initiative, which saw free concerts held at Longreach, Winton, Middleton, Boulia, Mount Isa, and Cairns, and the inclusion of intercultural understanding activities on the state’s education curriculum through partnership with the Department of Education and Training.

This meant that around 500,000 school students had access to information and activities to become more aware of Queensland’s multicultural identity and how to interact with people from across cultures positively.

The Queensland Cultural Diversity Awards were presented at a gala dinner to begin the week of festivities on Saturday 30 August 2014. More than 90 nominations were received across 13 categories for the highly celebrated Awards.

A survey conducted at a variety of Queensland Cultural Diversity Week events found that 94.5 per cent of participants advised their participation had enhanced their appreciation for Queensland’s cultural diversity.

2.6.8 Community and Individual Support

Caring for Our Community

The Caring for Our Community three-year small grant program started in 2012 to assist community and volunteer groups to purchase essential equipment to enhance service delivery.

In 2014–15, funds of $1.385 million was provided to 335 not-for-profit community organisations and volunteer groups, to complete the program and support their service delivery to Queenslanders.

Drought funding

The department provides a support measures package to respond to the effects of drought.

This includes $380,000 in funding provided to Uniting Care Community to provide direct telephone and face-to-face support and counselling to all community members across affected areas who seek help.

Funding has also been provided to a number of local councils and statewide support agencies to provide support and activities that contribute to community resilience.

Counselling and support services

The department funds a number of counselling and other support services to assist vulnerable individuals with a wide range of issues including family and relationship issues, coping with chronic illness, and personal crisis and trauma- related conditions.

In 2014–15, the department provided funding of $2.776 million to 25 Generalist Counselling services to provide counselling and support to assist vulnerable people at risk of, or experiencing, personal, social, financial or emotional difficulties.

Funding of $5.255 million was provided to 15 Gambling Help services to provide support for problem gamblers.

More than 3000 calls were made to the Gambling Help Line. The department administers the funds on behalf of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Emergency relief

The department provided $1.654 million to 87 services to distribute emergency relief such as cash, food vouchers, food parcels and third party payment to families and individuals in immediate financial crisis.

Funding of $826,834 was also provided to Foodbank, which provided 5,648,625 meals in 2014–15.

Neighbourhood centres and community facilities

Neighbourhood centres promote community connectedness and respond to the needs of local communities, with priority provided to vulnerable individuals and families.

In 2014–­15, the department provided $13,417 million in operating funds to 122 neighbourhood centres.

Capital projects and grants totalling $6.554 million contributed to the development of community facilities.

Drink Safe Precincts

Alcohol-related violence in and around licensed venues continues to be a concerning issue for Queenslanders.

Drink Safe Precincts have been established in three designated entertainment districts as a harm minimisation response to alcohol-related violence.

In 2014–15, a total of $13.282 million was provided to assist Indigenous people affected by alcohol by providing Assertive Outreach, Rest and Recovery, Managing Public Intoxication, Reducing Demand and Men’s Support services. 

Men’s Support services provide assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men identified as being affected by alcohol and violence, including perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

2.6.9 Women

The department aims to address the multiple layers of disadvantage still experienced by women who are more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion, by developing and informing government policies, programs and services.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, held globally on 8 March each year, celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Events across Queensland brought women together to recognise the contribution women make to our society.

The department led the government’s International Women’s Day celebrations with the theme, ‘Make it happen’, providing International Women’s Day branded resources and online opportunities such as the International Women’s Day Facebook page, and encouraging women to actively pursue their goals and aspirations.

Sexual Assault Services

Sexual Assault Services are funded to support adults who have experienced sexual assault, to rebuild their lives.

In 2014­–15, the department provided $6.067 million to 19 funded organisations to assist adults, predominantly women, through holistic support, including advocacy and sexual assault counselling.

The Sexual Assault Services contribute to Queensland’s commitments under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010–2022.

Women’s Health Services

Women’s Health Services are funded to promote the health and well-being of women.

In 2014­–15, the department provided $4.268 million to 12 women’s health services to facilitate the active participation of women in the management of their own health and well-being.

Women’s Health Services contribute to Queensland’s commitments under the National Women’s Health Policy 2010.

Women’s Infolink

Women’s Infolink provides free and confidential information and referral services about government agencies and community services supporting women. Women’s Infolink responds to women’s issues, queries and problems by providing confidential support and referral options through the free-call telephone service (1800 177 577) and our web-based services.

In 2014­–15, we received approximately 124,822 information queries through Women’s Infolink, including 120,694 website views and more than 4128 referrals provided through free-call telephone, email and web services.Direct community recovery activities to promote resilient individuals and communities

2.6.10 Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence is a serious and complex issue that affects many Queenslanders, their families and communities. Domestic and family violence is one of the most devastating issues facing Queensland and Australia.

The department funds a range of initiatives to support people affected by domestic and family violence, including court support services, specialist counselling for adults and children, perpetrator intervention programs and a statewide telephone helpline.

The department is committed to supporting our community organisations to deliver services to those experiencing domestic and family violence and to prevent this violence in Queensland.

In addition to crisis support, the department funds prevention and early intervention initiatives, programs to raise community awareness about domestic and family violence and a statewide research centre to ensure responses to this complex issue are evidence based and support front line workers with information and resources.

Not Now, Not Ever

On 28 February 2015, the Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO, chair of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence, delivered the report, ‘Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence’  to government. The report made 140 recommendations to tackle community attitudes and behaviour, integrate service responses and strengthen the justice system and responses.

The department is responsible for or contributes to many of these recommendations and undertook substantial work and effort on contributing to the government’s response to the report.

The department commenced implementation on high priority recommendations, including the establishment of two new 72 hour women’s shelters in Brisbane and Townsville, in partnership with the Department of Housing and Public Works.

In addition, the government allocated $49M over five years from 20142015 to provide new and enhanced domestic and family violence support services as part of the government investment supporting child and family reforms in communities including Townsville, Burdekin, Hinchinbrook, Charters Towers, Flinders Shire, Toowoomba, Redcliffe, Pine Rivers, Goodna/Springfield/Lockyer Valley, the Sunshine Coast and parts of Brisbane.

In May 2015, the government announced additional funding of $1.5 million over two years to DVConnect to assist the organisation to respond to the increasing number of calls from women seeking assistance.

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is held during May each year, to raise community awareness of domestic and family violence and available support services.

Trust your instinct

The Trust your instinct domestic and family violence prevention social marketing campaign was launched in April 2015.

The campaign strategy was to motivate people to intervene when they knew, or suspected, that a friend, family member or colleague was experiencing non-physical domestic violence. The call to action was for people to ‘trust their instinct’ and call the DVConnect helpline for advice about effective intervention strategies to prevent the violence escalating to physical abuse, and potentially serious assault or homicide.

During the campaign period in 2015, there was a 25 per cent increase in the total number of calls received by DVConnect, compared to the same period in 2014.

DVConnect

DVConnect provides free assistance to men, women, children and pets affected by domestic or family violence across Queensland.

DVConnect can provide crisis intervention, support, information, counselling, referrals and access to emergency refuge for women and children escaping domestic and family violence across Queensland.

In 2014–15, the department provided $3.154million to the DVConnect helpline. The service offers four statewide telephone lines:

  • Womensline: for women experiencing domestic and family violence. Pets in Crisis is a foster care program administered directly through Womensline
  • Sexual Assault Helpline: offers support to women, men and young people who have been sexually assaulted or abused
  • Mensline: for men affected by domestic violence as either victims or perpetrators
  • Serviceline: for professionals such as the police, hospital emergency departments and refuge staff to receive information and assistance in responding to domestic and family violence concerns.

In 2014–15, DVConnect received 71,255 calls for assistance:

  • 49,707 calls to Womensline
  • 3073 calls to Sexual Assault Helpline
  • 4230 calls to Mensline
  • 13,227 calls to the Serviceline

In addition to the calls received during this period, police referred 1018 individuals to DVConnect for support via SupportLink, an online e-referral tool.

National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010­–2022

The National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010­–2022 is a 12-year plan that brings together federal, state and territory governments and the broader community to make a significant and sustained reduction in violence against women and their children.

The national plan is focused on domestic and family violence and sexual assault. Over 12 years, the national plan aims to reduce violence against women and their children.

Our Watch is a key partner under the national plan and has a clear mandate and focus around the prevention of violence against women and their children. The Palaszczuk Government committed $200,000 in June 2015 to support their commitment to becoming a member of Our Watch.

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety — established as an initiative under the national plan — links researchers, policy makers and practitioners to develop evidence-based responses to reduce sexual, domestic and family violence across Australia.

The department contributes $317,951 in annual funding to Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety through the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.

2.7 Direct community recovery activities to promote resilient individuals and communities

2.7.1 Community recovery

The department is the lead agency for human and social community recovery in the event of a disaster. This includes coordinating support for the provision of emotional, social and physical well-being and developing personal hardship assistance packages for individuals, families and non-government organisations.

The packages are a cost-sharing arrangement between the states and the Australian Government under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to support communities affected by disaster events.

Community recovery review

During late 2014–15 a review of Community Recovery operations was undertaken to ensure that the department is providing the best services and support to people during times of crisis.

The review engaged with over 600 people to inform its findings and recommendations, including government agency representatives and Members of Parliament, other jurisdictions, non-government organisations, academic experts and members of the public.

Review recommendations and implementation approaches are being considered for 2015–16 and out-years.

Community recovery efforts

During 2014–­15 the department provided a range of financial assistance and personal support to people impacted by the following incidents:

  • Tropical Cyclone Marcia in February 2015, which affected people in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Biloela and surrounding areas
  • Tropical Cyclone Pam in March 2015, which impacted on people in Vanuatu
  • East Coast Low Weather system, which impacted on South-East Queensland on 1 May 2015
  • Ravenshoe cafe explosion in Far North Queensland on 9 June 2015
  • outbreak of Panama Disease affecting the Far North Queensland banana industry.

As at 30 June 2015, financial assistance provided to disaster impacted people included:

  • Immediate Hardship Grants to 29,487 people to the value of $5.221 million
  • Essential Household Contents Grants to 3610 people to the value of $1.549 million
  • Structural Assistance Grants to 317 people to the value of $601,082
  • Essential Services Safety Reconnection Scheme payments of $60,985 to 69 people
  • 40,390 food vouchers to the value of $7.848 million distributed by the Red Cross to people who struggled without electricity supply to their homes for seven days or more in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Marcia
  • $37,591 was provided to assist with funeral expenses for the three families that lost loved ones as a result of the East Coast Low Weather event
  • $130,000 provided to the Tully Support Centre to provide counselling and support services and emergency relief in relation to the outbreak of Panama Disease.

Other assistance included:

  • 33,256 telephone calls to clients
  • 4967 outreach site visits
  • 6156 referrals to non-government agencies for family or health support.

The department’s human and social recovery response involved partner agencies, including UnitingCare Community, Red Cross and other local service providers to deliver a range of personal support and psychosocial services to disaster-affected people.

2.8 Continue strong partnerships with non-government stakeholders and facilitate enterprise, innovation and workforce and industry development

2.8.1 Social investment

In 2014–15, the department contracted for services from more than 1186 government and non-government organisations with expenditure of approximately $1.469 billion to support individuals, families and communities.

The Investing in Queenslanders: Social and human services investment blueprint 2014–2019 was the impetus for the department’s social investment reform program of work.

The department began engaging with industry stakeholders to develop a Queensland Community Services Jobs, Skills and Industry Strategy. Relevant activities are continuing while the department works with industry stakeholders to develop the new jobs, skills and industry strategy.

A range of achievements in implementing the blueprint during 2014–15 included:

  • reduced red tape for funded  non-government organisations through reforms, including the introduction of streamlined funding legislation and new agreements on 1 July 2014
  • piloted a Performance Based Acquittal approach, which enabled funded organisations to spend less time preparing financial acquittals and creating greater capacity to focus on service delivery
  • laid the groundwork to transition to a single agreement from 2019. As at 9 June 2015, 375, or 26.4 per cent, of services have transitioned to new agreements
  • developed and implemented a Procurement Capability workforce strategy.  Under the strategy, 359 staff completed an induction to procurement training module. Since May 2014, Level 1 capability has increased from 23 to 135 staff and Level 2 capability has increased from 22 to 122 staff
  • worked with the Child and Family Reform ICT Project which contracted Infoxchange to deliver a new online system to integrate the common assessment tool and outcomes reporting to provide consistent and streamlined processes for service providers. The new system is called the Youth Support Client Information System (YSCIS). YSCIS will manage intake, assessments, case work and reporting. Its features have been informed by existing systems used by more than 1800 human service organisations across Australia. 

Community Services Partnership Forum

The Community Services Partnership Forum provides a platform for the department to engage and work with the non-government sector and other stakeholders to improve service delivery and outcomes for targeted client groups.

During 2014–­15, forum members provided advice on the Queensland digital economy strategy, the department’s renewal strategy, social investment reform agenda and open data strategy. Sector participants also led research and forum discussions to promote place-based service response and collective impact and build the capability of non-government organisations within capital constraints. 

2.8.2 Community Services future directions

In 2015–16, we will:

  • Implement departmental actions in the Government’s response to Not Now Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland and the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy. 
  • Provide $1.5 million over two years in additional funding to DVConnect starting in June 2015, to increase the organisation’s capacity to respond to women in crisis through the statewide helpline.
  • Allocate $49M over five years from 20142015 to provide new and enhanced domestic and family violence support services as part of the Governments investment supporting child and family reforms.
  • Develop a Violence Against Women Prevention Plan to address the causes, forms and impacts of all forms of violence against women.
  • Support a number of initiatives at a national level, including:  
    - a national Domestic Violence Order (DVO) Scheme
    - outcome standards for perpetrator interventions
    - a national approach to online safety for victims.  
  • Develop a Queensland Women’s Strategy to support and strengthen opportunities for Queensland women. The strategy aims to address gender equality and respond to issues such as the gender pay gap, violence against women, health and well-being, and the economic and social participation of women.
  • Implement the Women on Boards initiatives as part of Queensland women’s strategy. Initiatives will include: a whole-of-government survey; whole-of-government board recruitment, selection, retention and succession planning policy; online information resources; a campaign promoting board participation; and targeted promotion of Queensland Register of Nominees to Government Bodies.
  • Lead the Queensland Government’s annual International Women’s Day and Queensland Women’s Week celebration.
  • Develop more targeted responses to address the prevalence of domestic and family violence against older people.
  • Provide $1.68 million in maintenance funding to neighbourhood centres.
  • Commence compliance and upgrade work to 11 neighbourhood centres.
  • Commence the investment of $10.8 million over three years to fund expanded rest and recovery services in a total of 15 Safe Night Precincts across Queensland.
  • Consider the recommendations from the community recovery review.
  • Deliver further community planning and practical supports to enable communities and individuals to manage the short and long term effects of drought.
  • Establish a one-stop shop for seniors where older people can find information about government services to help increase the social and economic participation and connectedness of older Queenslanders.
  • Implement Tech Savvy Seniors in partnership with Telstra to increase the digital literacy of seniors and encourage older people to use online services.
  • Make online improvements to the Seniors and Carers Business Discount Scheme, including an improved search function, to make discounts and benefits easier for cardholders to find.
  • Conduct Advisory Taskforce for Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders review and make recommendations to support older Queenslanders to retain their independence into old age and allow them to maintain control over how and where they live.
  • Support older people to participate in the workforce through Skilling Queenslanders for Work and through Jobs Now, Jobs for the Future, which includes the government’s employment strategies for older people.
  • Begin the new seniors strategy, Queensland – an age friendly community, to develop a plan for the future that addresses the concerns of older Queenslanders.
  • Work with non-government organisations to develop a community sector rebuilding  strategy with agreed priorities and a clear focus on growing jobs and skills.
  • Establish the Office for Community Sector and Industry.
  • Begin to transition community services and child safety providers to Human Services Quality Framework.
  • Transition more services onto streamlined service agreements.
  • Commence statewide implementation of performance-based acquittal as current agreements are renewed.
  • Deliver the Gold Coast Schoolies Community Safety Response from Saturday 21 November to Friday 27 November 2015 to support thousands of young people through enhanced safety initiatives and a range of support services.
  • Work with a non-government organisation to develop an innovative engagement approach to consult across Queensland with young people, non-government and community service providers to inform a new Queensland Strategy for Young People.  
  • Undertake inclusive state wide consultation in 2016 to co-design a Strategy which supports young people to participate in Queensland’s social, economic and cultural life.
  • Introduce multicultural legislation which establishes a Multicultural Queensland Charter and a Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council.
  • Provide more than $1.7 million to deliver the Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program across Queensland, including contracting three new CAMS services in Rockhampton and Mount Isa and for Muslim women – statewide.
  • Invest an additional $770,000 per annum to support the implementation of multicultural legislation and support initiatives to foster a harmonious and inclusive Queensland. 

2.9 Disability Services

Disability Services invests and provides services for people with disability, their families and carers.

The services are supported by legislative, policy and program teams. Specialist disability services are delivered by our department and non-government service providers that we fund.

Throughout 2014­–15 the department has continued to provide services for people with disability, their families and carers, while driving participant, service provider, sector workforce, agency and whole-of-government NDIS readiness activities.

A primary focus for Disability Services in 2014­–15 has been on preparation for the transition to the NDIS, to commence in July 2016. The move to the NDIS represents enormous change for people with disability, their families and carers, the sector, government and the broader community. 

2.9.1 Lead and facilitate Queensland's transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The NDIS will commence rollout in Queensland in July 2016 and provide eligible Queenslanders with lifetime coverage for the costs of reasonable and necessary disability care and support.

By July 2019, when the scheme is fully implemented, an estimated 97,000 eligible Queenslanders will be accessing disability supports through the NDIS. 

Transition arrangements

The Queensland Government is engaging and supporting people with disability, their families and carers, service providers and support workers to ensure a smooth, well-managed implementation of the NDIS.

Throughout 2014­–15 the Queensland Government negotiated with the Australian Government for an NDIS bilateral agreement that is fair, effective and sustainable. In May 2015, the Queensland Government provided Queensland’s transition proposal to the Australian Government based on full and fair access to the DisabilityCare Australia Fund (Medicare levy).

The department and other relevant state government agencies continued to work with Australian Government officials to finalise as much of the bilateral agreement as possible, pending the decision on access to the DisabilityCare Australia Fund.

When agreed, the bilateral agreement for transition in Queensland will cover:

  • participant transition arrangements
  • financial contributions for transition
  • cross-billing and budget neutrality arrangements
  • continuity of support arrangements for ineligible clients
  • sector and system readiness
  • transition arrangements for quality and safeguards
  • integrated NDIS performance reporting framework
  • workforce arrangements for the interface between the NDIS and mainstream services in transition
  • further schedules can be added to the bilateral agreement during transition to the NDIS.

Policy and legislation

The Queensland Government participates in a number of national policy working groups to contribute to the NDIS policy design.

In 2014–15 key policy work included contributing to:

  • the development of the national NDIS Integrated Market, Sector and Workforce Strategy
  • the completion of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Policy Framework
  • reviewing the National Disability Advocacy Framework, including supporting nationally-led consultations
  • development of housing policy frameworks for the NDIS
  • the development of a national approach to quality and safeguards under the NDIS.

Preparation activities

In 2014­–15 the department has undertaken detailed planning and readiness activities throughout the state, including:

  • working closely with the Australian and other state and territory governments to define and develop how the NDIS will interact with mainstream service delivery systems
  • working with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the Australian Government to develop an Operational Plan, which will set out the implementation arrangements for the transition to full scheme in Queensland
  • leading and coordinating planning with Queensland Government agencies that will be impacted by the NDIS to ensure comprehensive plans have been developed to support NDIS readiness for their clients and service providers
  • working with nine organisations to deliver 322 workshops for more than 4500 attendees to help them understand the opportunities presented by the NDIS
  • engagement of National Disability Services (NDS) Queensland to provide support to service providers, including:
    - delivery of 17 workshops for service providers to ready their organisations for NDIS
    - assistance to undertake preparatory work including the refinement of an online diagnostic tool and other business development resources
    - intensive individualised support and practical assistance for service providers to address organisational issues and make improvements identified through their use of the tools.
  • engagement of consultants, The Nous Group, to develop tools and conduct workshops for up to 200 providers to help them understand their business in order to respond to consumer demand in the NDIS. The tools/resources are available on the Community Door website and the departmental website
  • development of a Queensland NDIS Workforce Strategy to meet Queensland’s needs and maximise jobs and skilling opportunities was also under development with the non-government sector and other key stakeholders
  • hosted industry forums in Rockhampton and Brisbane South with local disability, employment and training providers to talk about Queensland’s workforce needs, local solutions, and NDIS opportunities for local businesses. At its core, the workforce strategy identified that there must be local solutions to local needs
  • The Queensland NDIS Communication and Engagement Strategy was also drafted in partnership with impacted Queenslander Government agencies and the NDIA to ensure consistent messaging across government. 

Queensland Disability Plan 2014–2019

The Queensland Disability Plan 2014–19: Enabling choices and opportunities was developed to prepare Queensland for the roll-out of the NDIS and achieve more accessible and inclusive services and communities.

The plan is delivered through actions in each Queensland Government department’s Disability Services Plan.

Queensland Government departments publish yearly reports on their achievements under the plan on their websites. Whole-of-government reports will be prepared in 2016 and 2019.

The plans also contribute to Queensland’s commitments under the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020.

2.9.2 Fund and provide disability supports to Queenslanders with disability and enable greater consumer choice and control

Your Life Your Choice

The department continues to support people with disability and their families to move to Your Life Your Choice self-directed support as it prepares them for the open market environment of the NDIS.

As at 30 June 2015, 1542 people with disability had chosen to self-direct their supports through Your Life Your Choice.

Of those people, 137 had chosen to receive direct payments and 1405 people had chosen to use a host provider. 

Disability Action Week

Disability Action Week 2014 was celebrated from 14 to 20 September. Events ranged from displays to raise disability awareness through to art exhibitions, sports days and family fun days. 

In 2014–­15, we provided $149,110 to NGO’s to support a total of 43 Disability Action Week activities statewide.

The focus of these events was to promote and strengthen accessibility, inclusion and social and economic participation of people with disability in the community.

The week’s events also aligned with the NDIS objectives of social and economic participation.

Disability Advisory Councils

The Queensland Disability Advisory Council, and seven regional disability advisory councils, provide the Minister with independent advice about important disability matters that have a regional, statewide or national impact.

In particular council members focus on helping Queenslanders prepare for the NDIS and promoting a socially inclusive Queensland.

Members are representative of their communities and include people with disability, family members, carers, advocates and academics, as well as members from community organisations, businesses, local government and disability service providers.

Further information about the councils is available at Appendix 2.

Community Care services

In 2014­–15, Community Care services supported approximately 38,000 people with disability by providing low-intensity services to support them to live independently in the community.

Services are delivered in almost every Queensland community, including rural and remote centres and the Indigenous communities in the Far North and Torres Strait.

Funding of $147.049 million was provided for the delivery of Community Care services in Queensland by 309 organisations through 688 service outlets.

In 2014–­15 the department negotiated new service agreements to Community Care organisations from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2017 to assist in providing certainty and time to prepare for the NDIS.

Specialist disability services

Specialist disability services are designed to meet the needs of individuals with disability who have profound or severe core activity limitations. We provide specialist disability services across four support categories:

  • accommodation support services
  • community support services
  • community access services
  • respite services.

Accommodation support services

The department funds and directly provides a wide range of accommodation support services to people with disability according to their circumstances and the level of their assessed support need.

Services usually include assistance with personal care, household management and accessing community services, such that people with disability will attain skills to live as independently as possible in their own home or within shared housing in the community.

From February 2015, Disability Services provided $8.5 million to transition people with disability from temporary to ongoing sources of disability accommodation support funding.

Accommodation Support and Respite Services

Accommodation Support and Respite Services (AS & RS) operate across Queensland, providing direct delivery of a range of accommodation support options and center- based respite for people with a moderate to profound intellectual disability.

During 2014–15 detailed planning began to support AS & RS to transition to the NDIS. environment, including a major review of current processes and procedures to support the department to become a provider of services.

Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial

The three-year Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial supports elderly parent carers of adults with disability to secure sustainable and long-term future living arrangements for when they are no longer able to care for their family member.

A valuable outcome of the initiative will be a greater choice of housing options and living arrangements and certainty for adults with disability.

In 2014­–15, $7.731 million was approved to eight organisations providing 48 places for adults with disability.

Purpose-built accommodation

The department invests in the supply of purpose-built accommodation to provide long-term, sustainable accommodation, for people with disability who have high physical support needs, and for whom other accommodation options in social or private markets may be limited.

In 2014–15, $6.6 million was allocated over two years to provide accessible and sustainable housing for people with physical disability. 

Young adults exiting care of the state

Support is provided to assist young people with disability exiting the care of the state to purchase disability support.

This targeted assistance helps young people plan their transition and be supported to maintain suitable and stable living arrangements, develop life skills to be more independent and achieve a more inclusive life within their community.

During this financial year, we funded 552 young adults with disability who had left the care of Child Safety Services, which included 73 young people who left state care during that period.

Younger people in residential aged care

Responses are provided to younger people with disability who are in aged care as support options become available.

In 2014–­15, 150 people were supported with a $19.163 million investment in housing and support under the Younger People in Residential Aged Care initiative.

Up to 60 people still living in residential aged care in South-East Queensland were supported to access the community.

Community support services

Community support services provide a person with disability with the appropriate support mechanisms to live in the community.

This includes aids and equipment, behavioural/specialist intervention, early childhood intervention, therapy support and counselling. These services are either provided by funded non-government service providers or directly by the department.

Aids and equipment

Aids and equipment are a necessary part of the support provided to people with disability to prevent injuries and loss of function and help them to live independently in their home and remain connected to their community.

In 2014–15 the department expended $1.534 million and Queensland Health administered the expenditure of a further $8.926 million on aids and equipment through the Community Aids, Equipment and Assistive Technology Initiative and the Vehicle Options Subsidy Scheme which is now administered by Queensland Health. 

Joint Action Plan

The department is working together with the Department of Health and the Department of Housing and Public Works to support younger people with disability who are long-stay patients in public hospitals and health facilities to move to accommodation in the community, where possible. This joint action plan is across a five-year period up to 2019.

In 2014­–15, funding of $2.998 million was provided to transition 35 people from public health facilities to community living arrangements. 

Specialist disability services for children

The early years are an important time for families of children with disability to access the information and supports they need to care for their child, including necessary early intervention services.

We provide a number of initiatives to support children with disability from birth to 17 years and their families, including:

  • Autism Early Intervention Initiatives
  • Baby Bridges™
  • Early Intervention for Children with Physical Disability
  • Information for parents
  • Support for Families.

In 2014, Disability Services moved to the Clinical Governance Framework, with all clinical services delivered by collaborative practice teams, which deliver services tailored to specific individual needs.

There are two autism early intervention initiatives. The first focuses on children with autism aged up to six years in centre-based and family settings. It provides information, multidisciplinary therapy and support with key transitions to school.

The second is for children with autism aged seven to 17 years. This initiative provides a range of supports and included therapy and respite to 134 children through individual allocations of funding from a total investment of $1.612 million.

In 2014­–15, more than 2620 children aged up to 17 years with a primary diagnosis of autism received support either directly from Disability Services or through a provider funded by Disability Services. Of these, 384 children accessed specialist early intervention disability services through Autism Early Intervention birth – six initiative with a total investment of $5.37 million.

Baby Bridges™ provides new parents of children with disability, aged up to five years, with information, training and support to increase their capacity to care for their child now and in the future.

Children receive specialised play activities from qualified therapists. Baby Bridges also provides opportunities for parents to develop informal supports with other families.

In 2014–­15, Baby Bridges delivered 7549 hours of support for 263 parents/carers across 21 sites in Queensland.

Early Intervention for Children with Physical Disability provides therapy and early intervention services to families of children with physical disability.

In 2014–15, the department supported more than 600 children from birth to 17 years with physical disability across the state.

In addition, in 2014–15, the department provided 13 online information resources for Queensland families of young children aged from birth to eight years with a range of disability including: Autism Spectrum Disorder; Cerebral Palsy; Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Fragile X; hearing impairment; intellectual disability; visual impairment; and acquired brain injury. An information resource was also provided for older children aged nine to 18 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

These resources are provided for Parent Connect services to provide to families of children with a newly diagnosed disability.

Support for Families provides regular and planned respite, therapy, in-home support and community access supports that help families build resilience and continue in their caring role.

Spinal Cord Injuries Response program

The Spinal Cord Injuries Response program is a coordinated cross-government approach that provides disability in-home accommodation support, essential equipment and housing, or home modifications for people to live in the community after receiving rehabilitation for a spinal cord injury.

The benefits of this approach include:

  • reducing the time spent in hospital waiting for appropriate housing, aids and equipment and disability in-home accommodation support
  • minimising the impost of high acute care costs, including re-admittance to hospital.

In 2014­–15, a total of $20.604 million assisted 196 people with disability, including 21 clients with new individual funding. In addition, $1.472 million was provided for private home modifications.

Community access services

Community access services provide opportunities for people with disability to pursue their life goals, including learning and life skills development, recreation and holiday programs, and support to access community activities.

Local Area Coordination program

Local Area Coordinators work in local communities across Queensland to plan and link people with disability to a range of different support networks and services, depending on their individual needs and interests.

There are 55 local area coordinators and team leaders in rural and remote locations across the state.

In 2014­–15, the coordinators assisted more than 4000 people to access mainstream services and information and build supportive networks.

Post-school support

To assist transitioning from school, funding is available through two initiatives to provide supports that develop life skills and help young people with disability move from school to adult life.

One initiative is My Future: My Life which helps high school-aged students identify goals for their future, develop individual plans and take part in activities to meet these goals, such as employment, education and participation in their community.

In 2014–­15, we provided $1.472 million to Centacare to administer the strategy, with more than 650 young people with disability receiving support.

In addition, almost 400 young people with disability were provided with individual support to assist them with their transition planning and more than 180 information and awareness sessions were delivered to students, parents and educators across Queensland.

The other initiative is Support for School Leavers which helps build pathways to transition from life at school to life as an adult in the community.

In 2014–­15, we provided $7.190 million to support more than 300 school-leavers.

Respite services

Respite services provide a short-term and time-limited break for families and other care givers of people with disability.

Regular and timely breaks can replenish carers and strengthen their ability to continue in their caring role and provide a positive experience for a person with disability.

The department provides a range of respite services and supports by allocating funding to non-government providers to deliver a range of respite services and directly providing centre-based respite services across the state from service outlets for people with an intellectual disability.

In 2014–15, $75.005 million was provided to non-government disability service providers to deliver respite services to more than 4700 people with disability.

Also, through Community Care providers, the department delivered $22.664 million for centre-based day care and $20.951 million for home-based respite care.

2.9.3 Improving quality of life

Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support

The Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support leads the integration of theory and evidence-based practices in supports for people with disability who have high and complex needs, including those who engage in challenging behaviours.

The centre supports workers in a number of ways including through the design of a case review process for clients with complex needs and specialist training and support for the disability sector.

In 2014­–15, the centre delivered courses across the state that addressed eight separate issues, themed around positive behaviour support and meeting the requirements of the legislation.

The centre also held workshops that were tailored to addressing sector needs to build sector capability and delivered the Disability Support Workers Conference in partnership with Multicap and Cerebral Palsy League. More than 820 people attended these events.

In  2014­–15, the complex case management pilot, delivered by Open Minds, provided holistic case management support to 78 people with disability who have high and complex disability support needs, including 27 young adults who left the care of Child Safety Services.

Clinical Governance Framework

The Clinical Governance Framework provides high-level clinical support and advice to all services delivered to people with disability who require specialist disability services, to improve client outcomes and reduce variability in clinical services.

The framework is based on extensive research and examination of approaches adopted in other jurisdictions and countries that are seen as leaders in this field.

The Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support leads the implementation of the Clinical Governance Framework with support of the Clinical Practice Reference Group.

Additionally, there are Regional Clinical Governance Committees established in each region.

Director of Forensic Disability

The Director of Forensic Disability is a statutory role responsible for ensuring effective oversight, monitoring and compliance relating to the implementation of the Forensic Disability Act 2011. The Director also oversees the operations of the Forensic Disability Service.

In 2014­–15, the Director of Forensic Disability was elected as a party to 68 matters relating to people with an intellectual disability who appeared before the Mental Health Court and assisted the court to make appropriate determinations for these alleged offenders and implemented clinical governance and clinical assessment frameworks for the Forensic Disability Service.

Forensic Disability Service

The Forensic Disability Service is a purpose-designed facility to provide a dedicated therapeutic environment for up to a maximum of 10 people.

The service supports people in an environment to address the person’s offending behaviour and where their social, interpersonal and communication skills can be improved.

The service expanded its clinical capacity by adopting a clinical governance framework, and training all relevant staff in the delivery of sex offender treatment.

In 2014–15, the service remained at capacity with nine adults residing in the complex and one adult residing in an adjacent duplex.

In 2014–15, two rehabilitation treatment programs were delivered by the Forensic Disability Service to community clients and clients of the Forensic Disability Service.

These programs included:

  • Wise Choices (Sex Offender treatment program) – attended by three community clients and two clients from the Forensic Disability Service.
  • Social Problem Solving and Offense Related Thinking (SPORT) program – attended by four clients from the Forensic Disability Service.

Highest Funded Clients Project

The Highest Funded Clients Project aims to achieve improved quality of life outcomes for people wherever possible. The Complex Case Review process has been implemented across all regions, with over 80 complex cases reviewed during 2014–15.

The review process brings together stakeholders involved with the person with disability to provide a holistic view of each individual’s circumstances. 

Initial indications show that good outcomes are being achieved for people with disability and those in their support networks. This includes a reduction of use of restrictive practices and improved communication strategies, health and well-being participation in decision making and additional support for workers and service providers.

Support for families of children with disability who have critical need

In 2014–­15, the Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support developed and piloted screening and assessment tools for the early identification of families of children with disability who are at future risk and to provide targeted supports to help families continue to care for their children at home.

Trials of the screening and assessment tools and processes were conducted in four of the department’s regions and were found to effectively identify families at risk.

2.9.4 Disability Services future directions

In 2015–16, we will:

  • Finalise the NDIS bilateral agreement with the Australian Government and the joint Operational plan for Queensland’s implementation of the NDIS with the NDIA and Australian Government.
  • Review whole-of-government legislation for NDIS transition to ensure Queensland legislation reflects and supports Queensland’s transition to the NDIS.
  • Work closely with the Australian Government and the NDIA to develop a joint approach to the potential transfer of Queensland Government staff to the Australian Government roles.
  • Coordinate the first whole-of-government report on Disability Service Plans.
  • Continue funding organisations to deliver NDIS participant readiness activities and fund an additional organisation to provide dedicated participant readiness activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Complete assessments and approvals and provide advice to parents, carers and students so that they can identify suitable providers and service arrangements, including if they wish to do so under Your Life Your Choice.
  • Register as a provider with the NDIA.
  • Continue to prepare AS & RS staff and services to operate in an NDIS market.
  • Complete nine properties under the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation trial with 55 places expected to be tenanted by adults with disability by 30 June 2016.
  • Allocate $6 million in capital grants in early 2015–16 to create additional housing for people with high physical support needs.
  • Committ an additional $4.8 million to address the high demand for the Community Aids. Equipment and Assistance Technologies Initiative and the Vehicle Options Subsidy Scheme programs.
  • Conduct a review of the Forensic Disability Act 2011 to analyse the provision of service delivery and recommend required legislative amendments.
  • Host the Delivering Clinical Governance – Practice and Research Symposium in September 2015.
  • Develop a Graduate Certificate in Positive Behaviour Support by the Centre of Excellence – an accredited program to be delivered through the University of Queensland.
  • Review whole-of-government legislation for NDIS transition to ensure Queensland Government legislation reflects and supports Queensland’s transition to the NDIS.

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Part 3: Business and governance processes

3.1 Embrace innovation and new ways of thinking

3.1.1 Deliver government commitments

As at 30 June 2015, the department has lead responsibility for 28 government commitments: four for Child and Family Services; six for Disability Services; and 18 for Community Services.

They include:

  • supporting Queensland’s participation in COAG’s work to address violence against women
  • continuing the child safety reform agenda initiated by the Carmody Report
  • introducing a Multicultural Queensland Charter and establish a Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council
  • supporting a seamless transition to the NDIS and work with the Australian Government to implement the NDIS launch site
  • creating a one-stop shop for older Queenslanders to access information about essential services.

All commitments have been completed or are on track to be completed by their expected delivery dates.

3.1.2 Eliminate wasteful expenditure

In 2014–­15, the department reduced expenditure for consultancies by more than $90,000 and motor vehicles leases by $500,000.

We also reduced our outsourced corporate services delivery charges by more than $1.4 million.

3.2 Streamline business and governance processes

3.2.1 Governance framework

The corporate governance framework for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services is based on the principles of:

  •  shared purpose
    - a common understanding of our purpose and direction
  • alignment
    - simple management structures aligned with our goals
    - no duplication of functions
    - working effectively across organisational boundaries
  • expectations
    - clear understanding of performance and expectations in roles and responsibilities
  • accountability
    - clear and transparent accountabilities through reporting and compliance and relationship management with stakeholders
  • performance and improvement
    - outcomes are measurable and reported in an accurate, reliable and timely manner
    - we manage our risks and maximise opportunities for continuous practice improvement of service delivery and individual performance.

3.2.2 Audit Committee

The primary role of the Audit Committee is to:

  • provide independent advice and assurance to the Director-General on the department’s risk, control and compliance frameworks
  • assist in the discharge of the Director- General’s financial management responsibilities imposed under the Financial Accountability Act 2009, Financial Accountability Regulation 2009 and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014–­15, can be found at Appendix 3.

3.2.3 Executive Management Team (Portfolio Board)

The Executive Management Team (EMT) is the key strategic governing body for the department and is responsible for:

  • overall strategic direction of the department to define, guide and review corporate strategy relating to commitments
  • resource management to enable the delivery of services
  • setting and monitoring performance against the department’s objectives, fiscal strategy, service delivery priorities and risk
  • ensuring adequate processes are in place to comply with legislative and financial management requirements
  • maintaining effective relationships and partnerships with stakeholders and the fostering of a culture consistent with the Queensland public service code of conduct.

Accountability for the department’s operations under the Financial Accountability Act 2009 resides with the Director-General as the accountable officer. As the Director-General is the Chair of the EMT, all decisions are approved by the accountable officer and are binding.

The EMT is also the department’s Portfolio Board and is accountable for ensuring reform initiatives:

  • demonstrate measurable benefits
  • are being undertaken according to appropriate process and method
  • are achieving the required results.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014­–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

3.2.4 EMT sub-committees

The EMT also oversees a number of sub-committees, which provide advice or make decisions on matters within their terms of reference.

As the key governing body for the department, the EMT must be kept informed of, and is ultimately responsible for, all strategic committee decisions.

Finance and Budget Sub-Committee

The Finance and Budget Sub-Committee is responsible for overseeing budget investment decisions and allocation processes, ensuring that appropriate financial controls are in place and providing financial and budget advice to the EMT.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014­–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

Human Resources and Workforce Sub-Committee

The Human Resources and Workforce Sub-Committee provides strategic and operational direction on human resource and workforce management issues to assist in maximising the capability of the workforce and overseeing safe and supportive workplaces to achieve the goals of the department.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

Information Steering Sub-Committee

The Information Steering Sub-Committee manages all ICT-enabled business initiatives and is the primary governance body by which the department ensures it maximises the value of its business investments that have an ICT-enabled component.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

3.2.5 Reform Program Boards

The EMT as the Portfolio Board oversees three reform program boards.

The memberships of these boards include senior level executives from across all streams of the department and are chaired by a member of the EMT.

The reform program boards provide regular implementation progress reports to the EMT.

Child and Family Reform Program Board

The Child and Family Reform Program Board provides strategic oversight and leadership for the implementation of the child and family reform agenda within the department that will change the way the department works and how we support vulnerable children and families.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014­–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

Disability Services Reform Program Board

The Disability Services Reform Program Board provides strategic oversight and leadership for the preparation for transition to the NDIS, including preparing the department to be a NDIS registered provider.

The NDIS will give Australians with significant and permanent disability choice and control over the support they need and how that support is provided.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

Social Investment Reform Program Board

The Social Investment Reform Program Board oversaw the social investment reform agenda, including implementation of the Social and Human Services Blueprint 2014–19.

Social investment reform is transforming the way the department makes and manages its investment by ensuring that the best possible outcomes are achieved with the funding available.

The department is continuing to evolve its approach to reform and is working with industry to identify existing good practice to be sustained (for example, red tape reduction and service delivery outcomes) and new priorities to be tackled, including jobs and skills.

Details of this committee, including membership and achievements for 2014–15, can be found at Appendix 3.

3.2.6 Planning and performance framework

Section 9 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 requires the Director-General to develop a four year strategic plan.

Government commitments, objectives and priorities as well as external obligations resulting from national partnership agreements and other high-level frameworks guide the department’s strategic planning and risk assessment to identify the future direction for the organisation.

The strategic plan also sets the parameters for the development and delivery of operational plans.

Operational planning identifies the deliverables, programs and projects to be delivered by the divisions across the department that will support or contribute to achieving the priorities identified in the strategic plan.

At a whole-of-agency level, the department also undertakes specific-purpose planning.  Specific-purpose plans are developed to focus the department’s attention on work undertaken by the business units, which support the delivery of services. Specific- purpose plans may be developed to address identified needs such as the Fraud and Corruption Control Plan.

The Performance Management Framework describes the department’s approach to performance management, and outlines the key planning and performance management activities and how the activities link to each other.

The framework is designed to improve the collection, measurement, analysis and application of performance information.

The information informs policy development and implementation to support improved services and outcomes for clients and stakeholders and increases accountability.

3.2.7 Risk management framework

Risk is the effect of uncertainty of an organisation achieving its objectives.

The department’s risk management framework provides the foundation and organisational arrangements for managing risk within the department.

The Financial Accountability Act 2009 requires all accountable officers and statutory bodies to establish and maintain appropriate systems of internal control and risk management.

This framework aligns with the AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management — Principles and guidelines.

The framework aims to streamline and embed risk management to support the department achieving its strategic and operational objectives through:

  • proactive executive involvement
  • assessment of, and response to, risk across the whole department
  • real-time analysis of risk exposures and meaningful reporting.

During this period the department developed a risk management appetite statement to further align risk management to our strategy. An 18-month action plan was also developed to further enhance risk maturity and resilience and embed sound risk management practices into our operational activities.

3.2.8 Internal audit

Internal Audit and Compliance Services (IACS) provides independent and objective assurance and consulting services to the Director-General to help improve the operations of the department. In providing these services, IACS ensures adequate systems are in place for the efficient operation of the department’s audit function.

The Internal Audit Charter and Strategic Audit Plan 2015–18 documents the functions, reporting relationships and priorities for IACS.

These documents are consistent with relevant standards and guidelines and are endorsed by the Audit Committee. IACS has had due regard to the Queensland Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines.

The Annual Audit Plan 2014–15 was developed using a risk-based approach and endorsed by the Audit Committee and approved by the Director-General.

In 2014–15, IACS:

  • conducted a range of performance, information systems and control focused audits of departmental functions resulting in 77 recommendations with 96 per cent of these accepted for implementation
  • provided consulting and advisory services to key departmental program boards, steering committees and working groups on system and process changes, risk management and control processes
  • complied with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009.

3.2.9 External scrutiny

The Auditor-General completed an audit of Managing Child Safety Information which made a number of recommendations aimed at improving secure and timely information sharing within the whole child safety system.

The department agreed with all recommendations.

Opportunities to improve performance and implement recommendations made by the Auditor-General are addressed by the department on a continuing basis and reported regularly through the Audit Committee.

The Auditor-General also issued an unqualified report on the department’s 2014–15 General Purpose Financial Statements and assessed the controls existing over the department’s major financial systems.

The department responds to coronial recommendations and was lead agency on five coronial inquests and subsequently subject to 11 recommendations and one comment.

The recommendations and comment relate to a range of child safety, disability services and service delivery practices and were all supported.

All actions have been completed or are currently being implemented.

3.2.10 Asset management

The department manages its property asset portfolio in accordance with strategic asset management principles which guide the department’s asset planning processes.

Our property portfolio has a market value of approximately $262 million and includes 212 properties. Many properties in the department’s portfolio have more than one building or facility on the site which generally improves client service delivery and interaction. Department-owned properties include facilities for child and family services, disability services and other community services.

Capital works projects across the state include new neighbourhood and multi-tenant service centres to respond to the needs of local communities, safe houses for children who have suffered abuse or neglect, and residential accommodation to support people with disability.

In 2014–15, the department:

  • spent over $3.6 million to modify 54 existing facilities
  • acquired two properties
  • commenced construction on two facilities
  • completed the construction of three facilities
  • spent over $6 million to maintain existing facilities, including statutory inspections for fire safety compliance.

Before assets are built or purchased, the department completes detailed service models, implementation schedules and acquisition costings.

Capital assets are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they continue to meet service delivery needs.

3.2.11 Procurement planning

The focus for procurement planning for 2014–15 has been the implementation of a ‘One Government Procurement Operating Model’ to manage the procurement process and supply base more efficiently and effectively as well as identify and facilitate procurement opportunities across the agency.

Additionally, implementation of the ‘One Government Contract Management Framework’ has provided a clear and standardised approach to managing and administering contracts with social service providers and other suppliers.

The Agency Procurement Plan is produced each year to identify opportunities to optimise savings, value for money and other benefits, enhance management of the procurement function and improve procurement practices and capability.

Significant procurement plans are prepared for those purchases identified as critical and/or complex. Further, Category Planning is undertaken by key stakeholders to develop their mutual objectives and establish procurement priorities for the year ahead.

3.2.12 Cut red tape

One of the six priorities set out in the department’s Social and Human Services Investment Blueprint 2014–19 is simpler processes. Through this priority the department committed to reducing red tape and making it easier for NGO’s to do business with us so that resources can be focused on frontline service delivery.

3.2.13 Account management

The department adopted a provider account management model to ensure that large funded organisations have a clear, single contact point within the department.

Twelve of 16 identified organisations transitioned to this model, which cuts across regional and program boundaries ensuring that organisations receive clear, consistent information and advice about organisational and strategic issues.

3.2.14 Child safety care service licensing

Changes introduced to licensing arrangements for child safety care services in 2014 are reducing red tape for non-government organisations.

Organisations that may have been required to hold up to 21 regional licences are replacing them with a single, statewide organisation level licence. This is reducing the time that funded organisations spend making licence applications and preparing for assessments.

During 2014–15, 17 eligible organisations have been granted licences. Of a total of 47 organisations, 30 now hold an organisation level licence.

3.2.15 Financial reporting for funded non-government organisations

The department is phasing out the requirement for funded non-government organisations to submit a periodic financial acquittal for every service they deliver under contract with the department.

Twenty organisations trialled these new arrangements, which retain a strong focus on ensuring quality service delivery. Organisations receiving funding for five different services will, on average, experience a 40 per cent reduction in the number of reports they submit to the department.

The trial was reviewed and enhancements were made to strengthen and expand this approach statewide from 1 July 2015.

3.2.16 Human Services Quality Framework

The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) is the department’s system for assessing and promoting improvement in the quality of human services delivered with department investment.

It is the first consolidated set of standards for human services in Queensland.

This system maintains safeguards for clients while significantly reducing the time funded organisations spend on quality audit activities associated with audits. It also reduces the duplication and paperwork involved in complying with multiple sets of standards.

So far, more than 280 disability and child protection placement safety care organisations have transitioned to independent third-party audits under the HSQF (representing 100 per cent of disability services and 70 per cent of child protection placement services).

3.3 Streamline procurement and contracting processes

3.3.1 Streamlined programs

The department has standardised its program investment approach to reduce fragmentation of investment. We have adopted a new standardised and simplified performance measurement framework for community services and child safety contracts.

The department has reduced 13 funding programs and 81 initiatives in Child Safety Services and Community Services down to three funding domains with nine investment specifications.

An interim outputs and performance measures catalogue has been published that will be used in conjunction with the Investment Domains Guideline and investment specifications to inform procurement processes, populate service agreements and define reporting requirements for service providers.

3.3.2 Streamlined service agreements

On 1 July 2014 the department introduced new agreements, known as streamlined agreements, incorporating the whole-of-government terms and conditions.

In 2014–15, 25.4 per cent of services (375) transitioned to the new streamlined agreements.

Streamlining the department’s agreements means:

  • fewer agreements with the move to  organisational level agreements for community services and child safety. Over the next three years this is likely to result in a 64 per cent reduction in the number of agreements held with existing child safety and community services providers
  • shorter agreements through the use of external documents such as the investment specifications or guidelines
  • the length of an average agreement is expected to be reduced by about 70 pages
  • simpler agreements by making sure that similar or related requirements sit together
  • similar agreement formats across the department’s funding streams to better support organisations that received funding across more than one funding stream.

3.3.3 Manage service procurement and grant processes effectively

Service procurement and grant programs are developed to support the delivery of government policy and can be established under legislation, regulation or be subject to Cabinet, ministerial or other administrative direction.

In developing programs, the department has an obligation to deliver program benefits to recipients in an efficient, effective and economical manner.

In 2014–15,the department contracted for services from more than 1186 government and NGO’s with approximately expenditure of $1.469 billion to support individuals, families and communities.

3.4 Facilitate productive engagement with clients, communities and other stakeholders

3.4.1 Measure client and customer satisfaction

The department is committed to fulfilling the government’s vision of being the most responsive and respected public service in the nation and is changing the way it does business with an increased focus on putting customers first.

Each year we survey our stakeholders to measure their level of satisfaction with the services we offer and find out where we can improve.

In 2014, we received 387 responses to the survey and the overall satisfaction rate was 78 per cent. This result is consistent with human service agencies in other Australian and international jurisdictions and indicates that our stakeholders are happy with their relationship with the department and the work we do.

This feedback is useful for the development of action plans for continuous improvement and identifying areas of opportunity.

3.4.2 Contribute to cross-government social services reforms

Departmental staff worked with stakeholders in the Departments of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury, and Housing and Public Works to progress a number of social investment reforms.

Tools developed by the department such as streamlined service agreements and variation templates have been shared and modified for use by other departments. This will make it consistent and easier for contracted non-government organisations to do business across government.

3.5 Embrace new technologies to drive innovation and improvement

In 2014–15, a number of key ICT initiatives were successfully delivered, including:

  • releases to the Integrated Client Management System and Business Information System to support the delivery of essential child safety and disability services
  • launch of the Self Recovery mobile application to allow Queenslanders who have been affected by natural disaster to lodge request for immediate hardship assistance electronically
  • the roll-out across the state of corporate Wi-Fi to improve mobility for frontline staff
  • launch of the innovative Sortli mobile application to support young people transitioning from care which was a finalist in the Excellence in eGovernment category at the 2015 Australian Government ICT Awards
  • ongoing development of an ICT solution to support the Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support services, a key recommendation from the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

A review of the department’s ICT controls during 2014–15 confirmed that our project management, risk management and project checkpoints operate effectively and are well developed and mature.

3.5.1 ICT strategy and implementation plan

Implementation of the department’s ICT strategic objectives has been achieved in accordance with the Information Services Strategic Plan 2014-–18 and department’s Vision for a digitally-enabled department.

3.5.2 ICT service model

The department’s ICT service model has been reviewed and updated to ensure the effective implementation of the Queensland Government’s priorities and ICT-as-a-service principles.

Key focus areas of the service model include:

  • vendor and contract management
  • workforce management
  • business partnering and engagement
  • gating processes for the design and development of new ICT solutions.

The ICT service model will be reviewed annually to maintain its effectiveness, with updates and enhancements to be made where appropriate.

3.5.3 ICT-enabled portfolio of work

ICT-enabled programs and projects will continue to support the department’s reform agenda in improving frontline service delivery through: 

  • more efficient business processes
  • improving innovative capabilities
  • better preparedness to support Queenslanders in times of disaster
  • improved collaboration and information sharing with staff, service providers, carers and clients.

3.5.4 Information systems

The main information systems used across the department include:

  • Business Information System
  • Integrated Client Management System
  • Carepay
  • SAP Finance System
  • Aurion Human Resources System
  • Grants Management System
  • Online Acquittal Support Information System
  • Community Recovery Processing System
  • Financial Management Information System.

During 2014–15, the department, in partnership with DSITI, implemented a new human resource and payroll system – Aurion.

The department is implementing a new SAP Finance System in partnership with DSITI. Functional design was completed in 2014–15, and the system will be built and implemented in late 2015–16.

3.5.5 Business Information System

The Business Information System (BIS) is used by Disability Services to support service delivery to people with disability, their families and carers.

The outcomes and benefits for the BIS project in 2014–15 has focused on process improvement and preparation for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. These include:

  •  simplification of existing system-based business processes
  • additional reporting functionality on the use of restrictive practices to support legislative changes
  • new functionality to support supplementary funding changes brought about by federal government award amendments

There have been four releases to the BIS application during the 2014–15 period.

3.5.6 Integrated Client Management System

The Integrated Client Management System (ICMS) is a statewide web-based core information system that enables frontline staff to effectively do their job to ensure the safety and well-being of children by providing information to make well-informed decisions.

ICMS plays an important role in ensuring that the information is available in real-time and statewide. ICMS is not office or region specific and allows child safety officers from anywhere in the state to access client records and to ascertain whether a referred child or family has a child protection history.

In 2014–15, enhancements were made to ICMS to provide new functionality and system enhancements to support the department’s delivery of essential child safety services and departmental reform activities. The changes included:

  • new case note types to underpin the new Child Safety Practice Framework
  • simplifying the management of the Education Support Plan
    improving form capabilities to capture additional information at placement closure
  • adding new alert types to improve the system’s workflow automation
  • strengthening the department’s reporting capabilities by adding a number of new and enhanced reports.

Changes have also been implemented to ICMS to support the child and family reform agenda relating to community-based intake and referral and to improve the ICMS user experience for both desktop and mobile use.

3.5.7 Enhancements to other systems

In 2014–15, we:

  • Implemented the Ready Reserve Management System to support the nomination, allocation, rostering and deployment of Ready Reserves in response to Community Recovery activations.
  • Made significant progress towards replacing the legacy Carepay system used to pay foster and kinship carers.
  • Enhanced systems to collect additional information required to conduct reviews of child death and serious injury cases.
  • Enhanced and modified the Child Protection Guide to support process changes for Child and Family Reform initiatives.

In addition, multiple applications and services were implemented to improve the effectiveness of our business processes and the services that we deliver. These have ranged from collaboration tools such as video conferencing to enhancements to systems for performance-based financial acquittals.

3.5.8 ICT dashboard

The Queensland Government ICT Dashboard is a public facing website designed to make it easy for Queenslanders to see progress on all significant Queensland Government ICT projects.

The department regularly publishes the status of current projects. Updates are reviewed and approved by the Information Steering Committee prior to being published on the ICT Dashboard.

3.5.9 Mobile solutions

In response to economic demands for greater productivity and reduced operating costs, the department is enabling staff, including child safety officers that spend large amounts of time away from the office, to work more efficiently and remain connected anywhere any time through a range of mobile technology solutions.

These technologies include mobile tablet computer devices, smartphones and the state-wide roll-out of corporate Wi-Fi to enable staff the freedom to work together and collaborate with shared, real-time information regardless of their location.

3.5.10 Keeping accurate records

As a Queensland Government agency, we meet the accountability requirements of the Public Records Act  2002, as well as other whole-of-government policies and standards, including Information Standard 40: Record keeping and Information Standard 31: Retention and Disposal of Public Records.

During 2014–15, the department continued its commitment to compliant record-keeping practices by:

  • ensuring the lifecycle management of all departmental public records was undertaken in accordance with legislative requirements
  • continuing data cleansing of record-keeping systems to ensure quality and integrity of records captured
  • providing timely and effective statewide record-keeping awareness and process
  • providing training to departmental staff
  • continuing to provide ongoing recordkeeping support to departmental staff
  • commenced work on consolidating the department’s record-keeping systems in preparation for the implementation of an electronic document and records management solution.

3.6 Provide accurate and timely performance information

3.6.1 Open data

The department provides government data for open use in an easily accessible format at no cost to the public.

During 2014–15 we published 50 datasets, 270 resources and 55 million unique cells of data through the Open Data project to provide the public with access to key government information and to generate market opportunities.

The department publishes and regularly updates data on the open data website, including information on:

  • child safety and family services
  • disability and community care services
  • funding for people with disability
  • adoption services
  • non-government grants and funding
  • services for seniors, youth and women
  • homelessness
  • community recovery.

The department has an open data governance process which involves extensive risk assessment of datasets prior to publication, to ensure identifiable data is not published.

3.7 Future directions

In 2015–16, the department will continue to innovate its business processes through the use of technologies. Examples include:

  • Implement the Our Future Ways of Working blueprint to ensure staff have access to the right information and tools, at the right time and in the right place to deliver maximum value to the community.
  • Implement systems to support departmental performance and business intelligence, data management, information presentation and multi-level reporting to better manage and measure our performance.
  • Implement a cloud hosted referral, intake and case management system to support the Family and Child Connect services and Youth Support program with the Queensland Family and Child Commission and Queensland Police Service.
  • Roll out tablet devices to further increase the ability of our service delivery staff to work remotely while remaining connected to key information systems and information.
  • Investigate opportunities for implementing bring-your-own device capabilities to provide staff with choice in how they connect.
  • Introduce a community complaints management system to support the departmental complaints management framework.
  • Deliver Kicbox, a mobile application to store a young person’s digital memory of their life story to improve their transition experience while providing a safe, online space where young people in care can connect with their care team.
  • Subscribe to Care Opinion, a moderated website from an independent not-for-profit organisation, which enables a published response to stories from our customers, carers, families and other stakeholders about departmental services.
  • Investigate opportunities for using motion capture technology capabilities for virtual therapeutic assessments over video conferencing.
  • Improve the department’s information integration capability, both internally and externally to provide for information sharing between the department and service partners while ensuring secure data exchanges.
  • Consolidate into one records system and pilot an electronic documents and records management solution.
  • Commence upgrade to SAP Financial System.

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Part 4: People

4.1 Develop organisational capability and agility

4.1.1 Workforce capability strategy

The 2014–17 Workforce Capability Strategy was developed to support the delivery of transformational leadership and effective communication; clear roadmaps and milestones; and an engaged, equipped and empowered workforce.

The strategy is currently being reviewed to ensure currency, alignment and synergy with the future needs of the department and our workforce.

4.1.2 Employee relations

The department has worked with the Public Service Commission to contribute to the government’s negotiation of the proposed core State Government Departments’ Certified Agreement (EB7) and the modernisation of the Public Service Award – State 2012.

Joint consultative arrangements for the department are in place and the committees meet in central and regional locations. This allows management and union representatives to convene on a regular basis to discuss a broad range of issues relevant across the agency, which may affect employees and organisational outcomes.

4.1.3 Employee surveys

The employee opinion survey for 2014–15 was analysed and an action plan developed.

The survey showed improvements across all three workplace outcomes:

  • Agency engagement – 7 per cent
  • Job engagement and satisfaction – 3 per cent
  • Intention to stay – 2 per cent
  • Job security – 19 per cent.

Also, each year the department maps responses to the Working for Queensland – Employee Engagement Survey against the five Queensland Public Service values of Customer First; Ideas into Action; Empower People; Be Courageous and Unleash Potential.  In 2015, employee responses increased against three of the five values and were maintained against the other two.  The value of Customer First rated highest with a maintained 85 per cent positive response.

4.1.4 Learning and development

The department invests strongly in capability development for its staff to ensure that it delivers services to clients effectively. This is achieved through a mix of internally conducted learning initiatives and brokered in program delivery. Managers are encouraged to consider development opportunities for staff using all the formal and informal options available to them.

There are many other supports to learning provided by the department that link with improving staff capability such as:

  • cadetships
  • graduate development program
  • public sector training package
  • study and research assistance scheme.

Each of these is leveraged to maximise the capability development of staff.

4.1.5 Achievement and capability planning

An Achievement and Capability Plan (ACP) records the conversations between a team member and their supervisor about the requirements and expectations of a role and how the role links to the goals of the department and work unit. These conversations also consider an individual’s future career ambitions, and the opportunities for growing capabilities.

The plan records the team member’s development needs to fulfil the expectations of their current role, as well as assisting in designing their career pathway.

ACPs are required for all permanent employees and all temporary employees engaged for more than six months.

4.1.6 Induction program

The department is committed to the consistent and comprehensive induction of all new employees.

The departmental induction program is comprised of local and corporate induction processes, and provides information on:

  • the system of government
  • the department and its structure
  • terms of employment
  • job requirements.

 New staff members, and staff returning after a year or more of absence, are enrolled in the following training programs:

  • Induction and Orientation Program
  • Interactive Ochre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness
  • Ethical Decision Making and Code of Conduct
  • Introduction to Records Management
  • Information Privacy
  • Information Security Awareness.

4.1.7 Training

Staff were supported to access a wide range of skills and training programs. In 2014–15, the number of participations by topic area was:

Topic Participations
Child Safety 8690
Community recovery 867
Corporate programs 3491
Disability services 18116
Finance and strategic procurement 2666
Leadership and Management development 3887
Information and records management and privacy 3638
Regionally coordinated training 1681
Total 43036

4.1.8 Workforce diversity

The department respects and is supportive of diversity and equity in the workplace and the need to reflect the community it serves.

Managing diversity successfully means creating an environment that values and utilises the contributions of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. To do this, we strive to increase the participation of people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and women. Diversity initiatives are underpinned by a number of strategies, including the:

  • Disability Service Plan 2014–16
  • Respectfully Journey Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan
  • Strategic Workforce Plan.

In 2014–15, we continued to improve diversity by:

  • commencing new employment programs for Indigenous Scholarships and Cadetships to assist participants to become Child Safety Officers (11 scholarship holders and one cadet already commenced)
  • commencing development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy
  • reviewing a range of workforce policies to ensure appropriate reflection of workforce diversity issues.

Table 1: Percentage of staff by equal opportunity groups as at 30 June

Equal opportunity group Our department Queensland public sector average
People with disability 3.90% 3.21%
People from a non-English speaking background 10.59% 9.23%
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 3.38% 2.02%
Women 77.74% 68.74%

Raising cross-cultural awareness

The Cultural Capability Action Plan provides a strategic vision for embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures into every aspect of the department’s activities. It goes beyond a simple awareness of culture: it is part of our core business and is critical to our ongoing success.

To ensure staff interact respectfully and competently with people from all cultural backgrounds:

  • 65 staff received training in Multicultural Capability in Service Delivery
  • 109 staff undertook training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability
  • In June 2015, the department commenced a review of the cultural capability training available to staff. The outcomes of the review will inform a revision of cultural capability training to align to the intent of the Respectfully Journey Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan.

Participation of women in our workforce

As at 30 June 2015, women comprised 77.74 per cent of the total workforce in the department, which is favourable compared with the Queensland Public Service benchmark of 68.74 per cent.

4.1.9 Workplace health and safety

The department is committed to providing and maintaining a safe, healthy and supportive work environment at all times.

In 2014–15, we undertook the following activities to ensure we provided a safe workplace for our employees:

  • proactive management of workers compensation claims to promote early return to work of injured workers
  • use of the early intervention program to provide psychological support in the workplace
  • continued promotion of the importance of psychological self-care, well-being in the workplace and healthy lifestyle choices
  • review and upgrade of the duress system to ensure the personal safety of child safety officers.

In 2014–15, 282 claims for workers compensation were lodged, a decrease of 11.6 per cent from 2013–14. The cost of these claims was $1.32 million, a decrease of 25.8 per cent from 2013–14.

4.1.10 Workforce structure

In 2014–15, the department implemented an organisational realignment to strengthen its frontline service delivery and strategic capability.

4.1.11 Code of conduct and public sector ethics

The department is committed to maintaining a positive organisational culture that values and promotes ethical leadership and strong ethical decision-making.

All employees are required to observe the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct. The ethics principles and values contained in the Code of Conduct are incorporated into departmental policy, procedures and plans, which cascade down to each employee’s achievement and capability plan.

The department regularly provides ethical decision-making education and training to all employees, and ensures all new employees undertake ethics related training as part of the mandatory induction process.

During 2014–15, 1258 departmental employees completed ethical decision making training.

4.1.12 Management of suspected misconduct

By promoting and maintaining an ethical culture throughout the department, employees are aware of their obligation to report behaviour which is not consistent with the public sector values or the Code of Conduct and disclose suspected wrongdoing to a proper authority.

From 1 July 2014, the Crime and Corruption Commission transitioned to a new statutory framework.  Since then, conduct matters that do not reach the heightened threshold for corrupt conduct are managed under the Public Service Commission’s Conduct and Performance Excellence (CaPE) framework.

During 2014–15 the department managed 24 corrupt conduct matters and 103 misconduct matters under the CaPE framework.

4.2 Develop a positive and productive culture and support reform through effective leadership

The department invests in our current and future leaders through a range of leadership and professional development programs.

In 2014-15 the department launched our new Leadership Framework: REACH. This framework is founded upon five key elements of leadership competency: Relationship, Ethics, Acumen, Core Practice, and Health. Over the last 12 months, 1377 participants have attended training across the suite of REACH programs: including fundamental and advanced workshops and the self-paced on-line learning modules.  

Additionally, in 2015 the department launched a new emerging leaders program, STEPS: which aims at developing aspirant staff who indicate an interest in developing themselves into the leaders of tomorrow 51 staff have participated in this program. 2014–15 also saw the implementation of the new Mentoring Program ‘Mentor Connect’ which included 30 pairings from the senior executive service officers through to the A08 cohort. 

Senior officers also attended the Public Service Commission executive workshops that leveraged from the Australian and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZOG) offerings.

In 2014–15, 22 of the department’s senior executive undertook the Public Service Commission’s Executive Capability Assessment and Development engagement process. The process evaluates candidates’ capabilities for undertaking higher order roles. The remaining senior executive service officers will complete te program in 2015–16.

4.3 Support staff through the changing human service environment

4.3.1 Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendations

We continue to provide support in developing a capable workforce by revitalising frontline services to enable the future reform outcomes of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

4.3.2 Workforce planning

We recognise the importance of workforce planning, particularly in an environment where there is a large amount of workforce change. Planning is important to ensure that we can continue to deliver and enable delivery of high-quality services for our vulnerable clients.

In 2014–15, a new Strategic Workforce Plan 2015–19 was developed with approval to occur early in 2015–16.

The plan focuses on:

  • attraction, capability and retention to ensure excellence in service delivery
  • workforce reform activities including those related to Disability Services, Child and Family and Social Investment.

4.3.3 Workforce profile

Our 5933.67 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff are distributed across three service areas: Child Safety Services; Disability Services; and Community Services.

In 2014–15, we continued our strong focus on client service, with 89.39 per cent of all staff employed in providing direct services to the public or providing support to those who do.

Of our total staff, 4867.35 are permanent (82.03 per cent), 858.58 are temporary (14.47 per cent), 165.74 are casual (2.79 per cent) and 42 are contract staff (0.71 per cent).

4.3.4 Voluntary redundancy and voluntary medical retirement

During 2014–15, 10 employees received redundancy packages at a cost of $884,889.

Employees who did not accept an offer of a redundancy were offered case management for a set period of time, where reasonable attempts were made to find alternative employment placements.

At the conclusion of this period, and where it is deemed that continued attempts of ongoing placement were no longer appropriate, employees yet to be placed were terminated and paid a retrenchment package. During the period, one employee received a retrenchment package.

The Voluntary Medical Retirement pilot scheme is a compassionate employee initiated option for staff with significant health issues.

During 2014–15, a total of 20 voluntary medical retirements from employees in the department were approved at a total cost of $895,884.

4.3.5 Workforce attraction, recruitment and retention

In 2014–15, the department finalised the review and rationalisation of all human resources policies and practices in order to enhance support for business areas in facilitating effective service delivery.

The revised policy platform serves to align the department to broader government initiatives and provides human resource tools that support service delivery during a period of reform. The annual separation rate for 2014–15 for permanent staff was 8.75 per cent while the annual retention rate for 2014–15 was 91.82 per cent for permanent staff.

4.4 Future directions

In 2015–16, we will:

  • progress the Strategic Workforce Plan 2015–19
  • continue to prepare and support our Disability Services workforce to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • work with industry stakeholders to develop  actions to attract and retain skilled workers
  • develop a new Workforce Capability Plan 2015-19
  • expand the Staff Support Strategy with a focus on providing all staff with supportive workplaces
  • further embed the REACH supervision model across all work areas
  • implement a revised model for cultural capability training across the department
  • undertake a three-pronged strategy in relation to workplace health and safety
  • continue our participation in the Public Service Commission’s Executive Capability Assessment and Development program
  • ensure that the department’s procurement and contract management workforce is capable, supported, agile and well positioned to deliver value-for-money for stakeholders
  • progress the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2015–19
  • continue to implement the recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry by reforming departmental operations of child safety services with a focus on revitalising front line services.

Additional information

Additional information for a number of whole- of-department initiatives and measures are now reported through the Queensland Government Open Data website www.qld.gov.au/data.

Grant funding provided to organisations in 2014–15 is reported through the Queensland Government Open Data website: www.qld.gov.au/data and the Investment Portal: https://www.qld.gov.au/about/how-government-works/state-budget-economy/investment/

Additional reporting information (including consultancies, overseas travel and the Queensland Cultural Diversity Policy) for 2014–15 can also be found on our website at: www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/about-us/corporatepublications/annual-report

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Part 6: Appendices

6.1 Appendix 1

6.1.1 Our legislation

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ functions and powers are derived from administering the following Acts of Parliament, in accordance with Administrative Arrangements Order (No.1) 2015.

Our Director-General, on behalf of our Minister, is responsible for administering these Acts.

The statutory objectives for each Act are outlined below.

Act Statutory objective

Adoption Act 2009 (except to the extent administered by the Attorney-General and Minister for JActustice)

The objective of this Act is to provide for the adoption of children in Queensland and to provide access to information in a way that:

  • promotes the well-being and best interests of adopted persons throughout their lives
  • supports efficient and accountable practice in the delivery of adoption services complies with Australia’s obligations under the Hague Convention.
Carers (Recognition) Act 2008

The objectives of this Act are to:

  • recognise the valuable contribution of carers
  • recognise the benefit, including the social and economic benefit, provided by carers to the community
  • provide for the interests of carers to be considered in
  • decisions about services that impact on the role of carers
  • establish the Carers Advisory Council.

Childrens Court Act 1992 (ss. 20(1)(f), 20(2)(a)(ii))

The objective of this Act is to establish the Childrens Court of Queensland and for related purposes.

Child Protection Act 1999 (jointly administered with the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice)

The objective of this Act is to provide for the protection of children.

Child Protection (International Measures) Act 2003

The main objectives of this Act are to recognise:

  • the importance of international cooperation for the protection of children
  • the need to avoid conflict between the legal systems of different countries about the jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of measures for the protection of children
  • that a child’s best interests are a primary consideration in relation to a measure for protecting the child or a measure for protecting the child’s property.

Community Services Act 2007

The main objective of this Act is to help build sustainable communities by facilitating access by Queenslanders to community services.
Disability Services Act 2006

The objectives of this Act are to acknowledge the rights of people with disability, including promoting their inclusion in community life, and ensuring that disability services funded by the department are safe, accountable and respond to the needs of people with disability.

The Act also recognises the right of people with disability to live a life free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.

It safeguards the rights of adults with an intellectual or cognitive disability who exhibit behaviours of concern by mandating a positive behaviour support approach and regulating the use of restrictive practices by departmentally provided and funded services.

Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012

The main objectives of this Act are to:

  • maximise the safety, protection and well-being of people who fear or experience domestic violence, and to minimise disruption to their lives
  • prevent or reduce domestic violence and the exposure of children to domestic violence
  • ensure that people who commit domestic violence are held accountable for their actions.
Forensic Disability Act 2011 The Act creates the position of the Director Forensic Disability who is responsible for the proper administration of the Act.

The purpose of this Act is to provide for the involuntary detention, and the care, support and protection of forensic disability clients, while at the same time:

  • safeguarding their rights and freedoms
  • balancing their rights and freedoms with the rights and freedoms of other people
  • promoting their individual development and enhancing their opportunities for quality of life
  • maximising their opportunities for reintegration into the community.
Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 The objectives of this Act are to assist people with disability who rely on guide, hearing or assistance dogs to have independent access to the community and ensure the quality and accountability of guide, hearing and assistance dog training services.
Youth Justice Act 1992 (jointly administered with the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice  The principal objectives of this Act are to:
  • establish the basis for the administration of youth justice
  • establish a code for dealing with children who have, or are   alleged to have, committed offences
  • provide for the jurisdiction and proceedings of courts  dealing with children
  • ensure that courts that deal with children who have committed  offences deal with them according to principles established under this Act
  • recognise the importance of families of children and communities, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, in the provision of services designed to: rehabilitate children who commit offences; and reintegrate children who commit offences into the community.

Changes in law

The following changes in law have affected, or will affect, the department:

Act Change in law

Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2014

The Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2014 made a number of changes to implement key recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry. Key changes include:

  •  establishing a Child Death Review Panel under the Child Protection Act 1999 to independently oversee the streamlined processes for the review of deaths of children known to Child Safety and some serious injuries
  • clarifying when and how a report may be made to Child Safety
  • consolidating current mandatory reporting requirements into the Child Protection Act 1999 and enabling prescribed entities, not just the department, to share relevant information about children and families who require help with service providers
  • transferring administration of the working with children check (blue card scheme) to the Public Safety Business Agency under a stand-alone Act (the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000).
Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000

The Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian ceased to exist on 1 July 2014.

The Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2014, the Family and Child Commission Act 2014 and the Public Guardian Act 2014 streamline and transfer functions provided by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian to new entities.

Relevant sections of the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian Act 2000 were transferred to other oversight agencies or repealed, its title was changed to the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000, which commenced on 1 July 2014.

Youth Justice Act 1992

Legislative amendments to the Youth Justice Act 1992 were passed by Parliament on 18 March 2014 as part of the first tranche of reforms to the youth justice system and legislation, with further reforms expected in 2014 and 2015. These first amendments included:

  • opening the Childrens Court to the public
  • the ability to publish personal details of repeat offenders
  • creation of a new offence for committing another crime while already on bail
  • enabling juvenile criminal histories to be made available to courts when sentencing as adults
  • 17-year-olds automatically transferred to adult prison if they have six or more months remaining on their sentence the removal of the principle of detention as a last resort.

 All legislation is available at www.legislation.qld.gov.au 

6.2 Appendix 2

Government bodies

Child Death Case Review Panels

Role, function and responsibilities

In response to recommendations made by the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, the Child Death Case Review Panels (CDCRP) were established from 1 July 2014 with administrative support provided by the department. Twelve external members, seven departmental employees and 10 senior officers from other government departments were appointed by the former Minister until 28 July 2015 to a pool from which Panels could be comprised. All panels consisted of at least three external members, one departmental officer and one officer from another government department. At least one member on each panel is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person.

The review process for children known to the department who have died or suffered a serious physical injury now includes an internal Systems and Practice Review conducted by the department and consideration of the department’s review by an independent Child Death Case Review Panel.

The purpose of both reviews is to facilitate ongoing learning and improvement in the provision of services by the department and to promote the accountability of the department.

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15:

  • the CDCRP met nine times and completed reviews of departmental involvement with 54 children and young people who had died and one child who had suffered a serious physical injury
  • each panel was responsible for producing a report outlining the findings of their review and bought their unique perspective. Each panel made findings aimed at systemic improvement based on consideration of the cases allocated to them and findings related to individual cases.
Legislation under which the entity was established Child Protection Act 1999

Financial reporting arrangements.

Transactions of the entity are accounted for in the financial statements of the department

Number of meetings held in 2014–15

9

Total remuneration payments and on- costs

$75,576

 

 
Palm Island Community Company

Role, function and responsibilities

The company acts as a bridge between the government and non- government sectors. It supports existing non-government organisations on the island, attracts funding and expands services where there is an identified need. The directors on the board represent the three partners in the company — the Palm Island Community Company, the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and the Queensland Government.

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15 the Palm Island Community Company:

  • delivered existing human services to Palm Island, including Family Support Hub, Safe House, Diversionary Womens’ Centre, Safe Haven, Disabilities Program, Children and Family Centre, Bwgcolman School Breakfast Program and Community Op Shop
  • continued employment of Palm Island based employees
  • built partnerships with other service providers
  • improved the quality of the Palm Island community through capacity building and provision of a level of governance
  • provided a high level of experience to island issues.
Legislation under which the entity was established The Palm Island Community Company is an Australian Public Company limited by shares and operates under the Corporations Act 2001 and the Corporations Regulations.

Financial reporting arrangements.

The Palm Island Community Company prepares yearly financial statements that are independently audited.

Number of meetings held in 2014–15

11 monthly Director meetings
One annual General Meeting

Total remuneration payments and on- costs

$94,848
Queensland Carers Advisory Council
Role, function and responsibilities The purpose of the council is to provide advice to the Minister on strategies aimed at increasing recognition of carers by public authorities and advancing the interests of carers.

Achievements for 2014–15

Members of the council have provided advice to the Minister on a number of priority issues including:

  • carers and decision making
  • health and well-being of carers
  • respite for carers in the NDIS.
Legislation under which the entity was established Carers (Recognition) Act 2008

Financial reporting arrangements.

Transactions of the entity are accounted for in the financial statements of the department.

Number of meetings held in 2014–15

Two

Total remuneration payments and on- costs

$2440
Queensland Disability Advisory Council and regional disability advisory councils

Role, function and responsibilities

The Queensland Disability Advisory Council and seven regional disability advisory councils provide the Minister with independent and timely advice about important disability matters that have a regional, state-wide or national impact. In their new term since November 2014, council members have had a specific focus on helping Queenslanders prepare for the NDIS and on promoting a socially inclusive Queensland.

Members are representative of their communities and include people with disability, family members, carers, advocates and academics, as well as members from community organisations, businesses, local government and disability service providers.

The Queensland Disability Advisory Council comprises an independent chair, the chairs of the seven regional councils, and up to four additional members with specialist expertise or knowledge. Each of the regional councils has between seven and nine members.

The term of the previous disability advisory councils expired on 31 August 2014. The majority of members and 10 new members were reappointed to the councils for a further term from 10 November 2014 through to 30 June 2016.

Achievements for 2014–15

During 2014–15, the Queensland Disability Advisory Council and seven regional councils met quarterly.

Queenslanders with disability benefited from the councils’ feedback on the how we can best prepare people and communities for the NDIS, specific accessibility requirements for people using public transport, the impact of funding and availability of vocational education and training courses on people with disability to participate in training, and the importance of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Legacy Project ensuring the games venues and housing are accessible and suggestions for ways that the Gold Coast’s transport, accommodation, and public spaces and places can better meet everyone’s needs, including people with disability.

Individual members have also represented the councils in a broad range of fields, including transport, health, accessible tourism, universal design and education.

Legislation under which the entity was established

Disability Services Act 2006 (Qld), sections 222 and 223

Financial reporting arrangements.

Transactions of the entity are accounted for in the financial statements of the department.
Number of meetings held 32

Total remuneration payments and
on- costs

$119,141
Queensland National Disability Insurance Scheme Planning and Implementation Group

Role, function and responsibilities

The Queensland National Disability Insurance Scheme Planning and Implementation Group (QPAIG) was established between February 2013 and April 2015, and provided advice and input to the Queensland Government on the transition to the NDIS in Queensland. This included advising on how to prepare people with disability, families, carers, the sector and government for the scheme.

Membership included people with disability, carers and families, services providers, advocacy organisations, and peak bodies.

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15, the group provided valuable input into the development of Queensland’s National Disability Insurance Scheme Implementation Plan and Risk Management Strategy 2014–16 to ensure that Queensland is ready to transition to the scheme from 1 July 2016.
Legislation under which the entity was established N/A

Financial reporting arrangements.

Transactions of the entity are accounted for in the financial statements of the department.

Number of meetings held in 2014–15

Four

Total remuneration payments and
on- costs

$5688
Queensland National Disability Insurance Scheme Transition Advisory Group

Role, function and responsibilities

The Queensland National Disability Insurance Scheme Transition Advisory Group (QTAG) first met on 5 May 2015.

QTAG is a key source of advice, comprising representatives of the sector with a broad range of knowledge and expertise. Members will provide feedback and comment on challenges and issues encountered throughout the planning and commencement of transition to the NDIS.

Achievements for 2014–15

QTAG held their inaugural meeting on 5 May 2015.

Legislation under which the entity was established N/A

Financial reporting arrangements

Transactions of the entity are accounted for in the financial statements of the department.

Number of meetings held in 2014–15

Two
Total remuneration payments and
on-costs
$390

6.3 Appendix 3

Governance boards and committees

Audit Committee

Description

The primary role of the Audit Committee is to provide advice to the Director-General on audit-related matters, and assist in the discharge of the Director-General’s financial management responsibilities imposed under the Financial Accountability Act 2009, Financial Accountability Regulation 2009 and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009.

The audit committee has observed the terms of its charter and had due regard to Treasury’s Audit Committee Guidelines.

 

Membership

Mr Neil Jackson (retired) former Assistant Auditor-General Queensland Audit Office (Chair)

Mr Rod Wilson, General Manager, Business Services Division, Public Safety Business Agency (member)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS), (member)

Executive Director, Community Services, Strategic Policy and Programs, DCCSDS

Head of Internal Audit, Internal Audit and Compliance Services, DCCSDS, (invitee)

Chief Finance Officer, Financial Services, Corporate Services, DCCSDS, (invitee)

Director of Audit, Queensland Audit Office (invitee)

Audit Manager, Queensland Audit Office (invitee)

Director-General (special invitee)

Total remuneration payments and on-costs

In 2014–15, the external members received total remuneration of $7,572.

Meeting frequency

The Audit Committee meets quarterly, with additional meetings in July and August 2015 to steward and approve the annual financial statements.

 

Achievements

for 2014–15

In 2014–15, the committee:

  •  monitored compliance with the 2014–15 Annual Audit Plan and the implementation of recommendations arising from audit reports
  • provided guidance on and endorsed the 2015–18 Strategic Audit
  • Plan and the 2014–15 Audit Plan
  • managed the interface between the department and the Queensland Audit Office
  • reviewed and endorsed the annual financial statements.

Executive Management Team (Portfolio Board)

Description

The Executive Management Team (EMT) is the key strategic governing body for the department and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the department, strategic management of the department’s performance and oversight of the department’s portfolio of programs and projects. The EMT is also the department’s Portfolio Board and is accountable for ensuring that initiatives:

  • demonstrate measurable benefits
  • are being undertaken according to appropriate process and method
  • are achieving the required results.

Membership

Director-General (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Cluster Operations

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Cluster Operations

Regional Executive Director, Far North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, North Coast Region

Regional Executive Director, Brisbane Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Regional Executive Director, South East Region

Meeting frequency

The EMT meets weekly and monthly or as required by the Chair.

Long agenda meetings: Face-to-face meetings are held monthly.

Short agenda meetings: Video conferences are held weekly.

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15, the Executive Management Team:

  • implemented a more strategic portfolio approach to managing the department’s reform agenda and related activities, including improved line of sight to risks, issues, benefits, budget, dependencies and timeframes
  • endorsed the Portfolio Program Scope map, which outlines the scope of reform programs and place-based initiatives
  • led a strategic change framework to guide reform progress
  • strengthened coordination and collaboration across the department and with other agencies in relation to reform
  • led implementation of actions from the Employee Opinion Survey
  • monitored organisational performance against targets and milestones and the department’s fiscal strategy.

Finance and Budget Committee

Description

The Finance and Budget Committee is responsible for overseeing budget investment decisions and allocation processes, ensuring that appropriate financial controls are in place and providing financial and budget advice to the Executive Management Team.

 

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services (Chair)

Director-General

Chief Finance Officer, Financial Services, Corporate Services

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Cluster Operations

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Cluster Operations

Regional Executive Director, Far North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, North Coast Region

Regional Executive Director, Brisbane Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Regional Executive Director, South East Region

 

Meeting frequency

The committee meets monthly.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15, the committee:

  • oversaw the preparation of the department’s budget and reviewed and monitored financial performance and position against budget
  • applied the fiscal strategy and budget rules and ensured these were adopted by all organisational units to support and guide robust financial management throughout the department
  • closely monitored budget pressures and evaluated and prioritised the use of savings to address budget pressures most critical to the department’s objectives
  • identified strategies to maximise the availability of departmental funds in both the current and future years
  • provided sound leadership and direction in the financial management and performance of the department
  • monitored and reviewed financial performance in relation to capital outlays to achieve optimum outcomes
  • reviewed the overall ICT-enabled portfolio for strategic alignment, value and benefit delivery and made changes or provided direction as required on the make-up of the portfolio.

Human Resources and Workforce Committee

Description

The Human Resources and Workforce Committee is responsible for providing strategic and operational direction on human resource and

workforce management issues to assist in maximising the capability of the workforce and overseeing safe and supportive workplaces to achieve the goals of the department.

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services (Chair)

Chief Human Resources Officer, Human Resources and Ethical Standards

Executive Director Child and Family Services

Executive Director Disability Services

Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland Region (rotating basis)

Regional Executive Director, North Coast Region (rotating basis)

Regional Director Child Safety, South West Region (rotating basis)

Director, Workforce Capability, Human Resources and Ethical Standards, Corporate Services

 

Meeting frequency

The committee meets bi-monthly.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15, the committee:

  • provided leadership of the department’s strategic workforce planning agenda, ensuring alignment of workforce activities with the department’s reform agenda.
  • finalised the review and rationalisation of all human resources policies and practices in order to enhance support for business areas in facilitating effective service delivery.
  • provided direction and leadership for the department’s capability development activities, including monitoring learning and development achievements against key capability pathways
  • provided direction and leadership in the implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are embedded into every aspect of the department’s activities
  • developed departmental Well-being Action Plan to increase staff understanding of the advantages of positive well-being activities.

Information Steering Committee

Description

The Information Steering Committee is responsible for managing all ICT- enabled business initiatives and is the primary governance body by which the department ensures it maximises the value of its business investments that have an ICT-enabled component.

 

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services (Chair)

Chief Finance Officer, Financial Services, Corporate Services

Chief Information Officer, Information Services, Corporate Services

Executive Director, Disability Services

Regional Executive Director (rotating between regions on a 12 month basis)

Regional Director (rotating between regions on a 12 month basis)

Internal Audit and Compliance Services, representative

Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership representative

Whole-of-government representative.

 

Meeting frequency

The committee meets bi-monthly.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15 the committee:

  • ensured strategic alignment of the department’s ICT investment to maximise the benefits to the department
  • identified and progressed ICT savings opportunities
  • progressed and monitored ICT service delivery
  • monitored, mitigated and escalated risks as required
  • managed the security profile of ICT within the department
  • addressed and progressed Internal Audit and Queensland Audit Office audit recommendations
  • reviewed the 2014–15 ICT-Enabled Portfolio of Work initiatives to ensure investment and alignment to government and department strategic directions and provided value for money
  • reviewed, analysed and approved the 2015–16 ICT-Enabled Portfolio of Work.

Child and Family Reform Program Board

Description

The Child and Family Reform Program Board is responsible for providing governance and strategic oversight for the department’s implementation of the Queensland Government’s response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Final Report: Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection.

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Cluster Operations (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services

Executive Director, Child and Family Services

Executive Director, Child and Family Reform

Assistant Executive Director, Child and Family Program Investment

Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, South East Region

Executive Director, Community Services and Industry

Executive Director, Disability Services

Assistant Executive Director, Child and Family Practice

Assistant Executive Director, Child and Family Policy

Regional Director, Child Safety, Far North Queensland Region

Director, Child and Family Renewal

 

Meeting frequency

The board meets monthly.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15, the board:

  • continued to oversee and manage over 80 recommendations allocated to the department for implementation
  • approved the Child and Family Performance Management Framework providing a mechanism to assess performance and enable sufficient oversight and standardised reporting relating the department’s child and family services
  • commenced roll-out of the Family and Child Connect initiative in January 2015 including six services in locations across Queensland
  • commenced Next Step After Care services from March 2015 supporting young people transitioning from care up to the age of 21
  • rolled out the New Practice Framework including 3000 people completing foundation training from March to June 2015 (70% departmental staff and 30% staff from NGO and government partners).

Disability Services Reform Program Board

Description

The Disability Services Reform Program Board provides strategic oversight and leadership for the preparation for transition to the NDIS, including preparing the department to be a NDIS registered provider.

 

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Cluster Operations (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Projects and Reform

Executive Director, Disability Services

Executive Director, Whole of Government NDIS Implementation

Assistant Executive Director, Disability Programs and Investment

Chief Procurement Officer, Corporate Services

Executive Director, Planning and Performance Reporting, Corporate Services

Chief Human Resources Officer, Human Resources and Ethical Standards, Corporate Services

Regional Executive Director, Far North Queensland

Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, South West Region

Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, Central Queensland

Assistant Executive Director, Centre of Excellence for Clinical Innovation and Behaviour Support

Assistant Executive Director, Disability Services, Strategic Policy and Programs

 

Meeting frequency

The board meets monthly or as required by the Chair.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15 the board continued to oversee the department’s preparation for the transition to the NDIS, including progressing and providing ongoing direction in the following key areas:

  • oversaw progress and provided ongoing direction to the projects in the following key areas:
    • sector readiness, including provider and consumer capacity building
    • workforce readiness initiatives
    • rural and remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Capacity Building
    • monitored risks and directed work on the integration of risk management into the program management approach. 

Social Investment Reform Program Board

Description

The Social Investment Reform Program Board is responsible for leading

the transformation of the way the department makes and manages its investments by focusing on more innovative solutions; customer services and results; smarter investments; simpler processes; stronger partnerships and a dynamic workforce.

 

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Cluster (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate Services

Regional Executive Director, Brisbane Region

Assistant Executive Director, Disability Practice

Assistant Executive Director, Child, Family and Community Services

Executive Director, Community Services and Industry

Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, North Coast

Region

Chief Finance Officer, Financial Services, Corporate Services

General Counsel, Legal Services General Counsel

Director, Change and Innovation

Director, Community Sector Partnership and Reform

 

Meeting frequency

The board meets monthly.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15:

  • achieved a 21.4 per cent reduction in red tape
  • transitioned 100 per cent of Phase 1 Disability Services and 70 per cent of in-scope Child Safety care services to the new Human Services Quality Framework
  • worked with Child and Family Reform ICT Project, contracted Infoxchange to deliver a new online system that will integrate the common assessment tool and outcomes reporting to provide consistent and streamlined processes for service providers. The new system is called the Youth Support Client Information System (YSCIS). YSCIS will manage intake, assessments, case work and reporting. Its features have been informed by existing systems used by more than 1800 human service organisations across Australia
  • the department commissioned an independent analysis of capability building activities across the community services sector which was undertaken by the Nous Group. This work identified capability strengths and gaps across the sector identifying a number of priority areas for capability investment including small, rural and remote and community-controlled service providers
  • worked with the Community Services Partnership Forum to begin to co-design a jobs, skills and industry strategy.

6.3 Appendix 4

Performance statement

Following is the department’s 2014–15 corporate performance.

 Corporate performance

 Notes

2013–14 actual

2014–15 target

2014–15 actual

Percentage of internal audit recommendations accepted for implementation

 1

 98.5%

 90%

 96%

 Percentage of statutory reporting responsibilities met within agreed timeframes

 

 100%

 100%

 100%

Percentage of full-time equivalents by status (permanent)

 2

 83.19%

 77.63%

 82.03%

Percentage of full-time equivalents by status (temporary)

 2,3

 13.75%

 17.09%

 14.47%

Percentage of women employees

 2

 77.52%

 68.74%

 77.74%

Percentage of staff (people with disability)

 2

 4.44%

 3.20%

 3.90%

Percentage of staff (culturally and linguistically diverse)

 2

 9.43%

 9.23%

 10.59%

Percentage of staff (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)

 2

 2.75%

 2.02%

 3.38%

Absenteeism rate (percentage)

 2,4

 4.71%

 3.98%

 4.64%

Number of claims lodged with WorkCover

 

 319

 303

 282

Cost of WorkCover claims ($m)

 

 $1.78

 $1.69

 $1.32

  1. This measure relates to business assurance, operational and IT audits.
  2. The 2014–15 target for this measure is the Queensland Public Service actual as at 30 June 2015.
  3. Temporary staff are employed to backfill a permanent officer who: takes planned leave (annual or long service leave); takes long-term leave (maternity or long-term sick leave); temporarily relieves in a higher position or undertakes a special project.
  4. The 2014–15 target for this measure is the Queensland Public Service actual as at 31 March 2015 while the actual absenteeism rate for the department is for the March 2015 quarter as absenteeism is reported one quarter in arrears.

Following is the department’s 2014–15 service area performance.

 Performance Measure

 Notes

2014–15 Target/est.

2014-15 Est. actual

2014-15 actual

 Service Area: Child Safety Services

Rate of substantiated harm per 1,000 children (0–17 years of age)

 1,2

 6.8

 5.8

5.3

Rate of children subject to protective orders per 1,000 children(0–17 years of age): 

1,3      

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

49.0

43.2

44.6

Other children

5.6

5.3

5.2

All children

8.5

8.1

8.3

Proportion of children on a care and protection order exiting care after 12 months or more who had 1 or 2 placements

4

38%

40%

40.0%

Proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed with kin, other Indigenous carers or Indigenous residential care services

5

55%

55%

55.9%

Rate of children entering out-of- home care per 1,000 children (0-17 years of age)

1

2.1

2.0

1.9

Service Area: Community Services

Non-government organisations are satisfied with their engagement with the department

6

80% or greater

78%

82%

Percentage reduction in the regulatory burden on non-government organisations.

7

22% to 23%

22%

21.4%

Service Area: Disability Services

Number of Queenslanders with disability accessing support services.

8,9

45,000 to 47,000

45,500

45,963

Total estimated expenditure per service user receiving DCCSDS administered specialist disability services

10

$42,000 to $45,000

$43,810

Not yet available

Notes:

  1. The 2014-15 Target/es was based on the estimated resident population (ERP) tables published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from the 2006 census. Following the release of the 2011 Census information, the ABS revised the resident population estimates across Australia during the 2014-15 financial year. These changes have increased the size of both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the non-Indigenous ERP within Queensland. The new ERP have been applied to the 2014-15 Est. Actual results in the table above.
  2. The 2014-15 Target/es was based on historical data which showed an upward trend in the number of children subject to substantiation. The upward trend reversed during 2014-15 and coupled with the new estimated resident population (ERP) tables (see Note 2) resulted in a lower 2014-15 actual.
  3. The 2014-15 Target/es was based on historical data which showed an upward trend in the number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children subject to protective orders. The new ERP have been applied to the 2014-15 Est. Actual results in the table above. Applying the new ERP to the 2014-15 Target/Est. recalculates the target/estimate for Indigenous children from 49.0 to 43.2 per 1000, for non-Indigenous children from 5.6 to 5.3 per 1,000 and for all children from 8.5 to 8.1 per 1,000.
  4. The increase in the 2014–15 actual for the proportion of children experiencing only one or two placements may be partly due to children and young people staying in care for lo Over recent periods there have been more children admitted to out-of-home care than exiting care.
  5. This measure reports the placement outcomes of Indigenous children. The department seeks to maintain a high proportion of Indigenous children placed with kin, Indigenous carers or Indigenous residential care services.
  6. Non-government organisation satisfaction is used as a measure of perceived quality of service provided by the department.
  7. Assessment is undertaken by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) on behalf of the Queensland Government. The Office considers the reduction in the number of regulations imposed on non-government organisations and also a page count of legislation. The method is consistent across all Queensland Government agencies to assess regulatory simplification. All results and target/ estimates are based upon the baseline of regulatory burden established in 2013 by the OBRP and are a cumulative count from this baseline.
  8. The measure is a proxy for the department’s preparation for NDIS transition and is designed to measure the number of clients receiving disability support services (NDIS Tier 3 clients). The measure includes a count of departmental funded and delivered services for both specialist disability service clients and community care clients.
  9. Disability service users can receive multiple services. The overall cost per user, regardless of service, is a more accurate reflection of the cost required to deliver services. The measure relates to services that are delivered by the department and does not include services or expenditure delivered by other Queensland Government departments or the Australian Government. The wording and calculation method of this measure is consistent with national data reported as part of the Report on Government Services (RoGS).
  10. The 2014-15 actual will not be available until the 2017 Report on Government Services is published in January 2017.

6.4 Appendix 5

National partnership agreements and national agreements

National Disability Agreement

Additional information

In 2012 all Australian governments endorsed the revised National Disability Agreement through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The agreement reflects changed responsibilities for aged and disability care arising from the National Health Reform Agreement and COAG’s commitment to commence foundation work for a NDIS.

Objectives/targets

The agreement affirms the commitment of all governments to work in partnership with stakeholders, including people with disability, their families and carers, to improve outcomes for people with disability.

Achievements for 2014–15

Queensland continues to implement activities that contribute to the objectives of the agreement.

 

National Disability Strategy

Additional information

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 sets out the vision of an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens, and is a mechanism to give effect to principles and articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Objectives/targets

The strategy, intended to be budget neutral, is a broad whole-of- government response to advance social inclusion for people with disability in mainstream areas such as education, health, transport and housing. The strategy applies to anyone with disability and is not limited to those who may be eligible for specialist disability support services. 

Achievements for 2014–15

The Queensland Disability Plan 2014–19: Enabling choices and opportunities (released in December 2013) continues to contribute to the National Disability Strategy commitments for an inclusive and accessible community and the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

All agencies prepared Disability Services Plans as required by the Disability Services Act 2006 with the key aims of the Queensland Disability Plan adapted as the framework.

 

National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children

Additional information

In April 2009, the Council of Australian Governments endorsed the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children     2009-2020, covering six broad outcome areas. In September 2009, the Queensland Government endorsed the Queensland Position Statement on the National Framework.

Progress on implementation of the national framework is monitored through three-year action plans and annual reports to the Council of Australian Governments.

 

The Standing Council on Community and Disability Services Ministers endorsed the Second Action Plan 2012–2015 for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children on 17 August 2012.

On 13 December 2013, the Standing Council on Community and Disability Services was discontinued. On 20 March 2014, the Standing Council on Community and Disability Services Advisory Council considered new arrangements for managing the Second Action Plan and agreed to focus only on key priorities that require national collaboration. Governance is now provided by the Children and Families Secretaries Group which oversees identification of priorities that require a national approach and the National Forum for Protecting Australia’s Children which focuses on the implementation and delivery of agreed priorities to improve outcomes for children and families.

Objectives/targets

Priority areas for the Second Action Plan 2012–15 include working with children checks, professionalisation of carers, health assessments for children in out-of-home care, and implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principles.

Priorities in the Second Action Plan 2012–15 are consistent with and will support Queensland’s child and family reforms, including a focus on early intervention, child and family support and improved access to culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to divert them from child protection systems.

Achievements for 2014–15

The department implemented a number of initiatives that align with priorities for the National Framework to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people and their families. These include the establishment of Child and Family Connect and Intensive Family Support Services, red tape reduction, roll-out of Next Steps initiative to better support young people transitioning from care, and improving workforce capability through training and partnerships with the non- government sector.

 

National Partnership Agreement on Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged Care and Disability Services

 

Additional information

The agreement was set to expire on 30 June 2014, or upon completion of all requirements set out in the agreement, including the acceptance of final performance reporting and processing of final payments, whichever is the later. The implementation of the agreement will continue in 2015–16.

 

Objectives/targets

The objective of this agreement is to implement Schedule F of the National Health Reform Agreement which agreed on budget neutral funding responsibilities for a range of services for people over and under the age of 65.

 

Achievements for 2014–15

In 2014–15, we continued funding the delivery of basic Community Care support to younger people with disability and assisted funded organisations to prepare and implement the program reforms across client services and capital projects.

Negotiations with the Australian Government continue through Queensland Treasury to reach an agreement on financial arrangements on Schedule B under this National Partnership Agreement through until 20152016.

 

 

National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) 2014-15

Additional information

Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW) has lead responsibility for negotiations and implementation of the NPAH 201415. Youth Housing and Reintegration Service (YHARS) is administered by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.  DHPW receive Commonwealth NPAH funding from Queensland Treasury and then distributes to DCCSDS through an invoicing arrangement.

Objectives/targets

The NPAH supports Commonwealth and jurisdiction efforts to reduce homelessness level across Australia recognising that a reduction in homelessness requires targeting key groups: rough sleepers; people experiencing violence, especially women and children; children and young people, including those subject to or exiting care and protection; Indigenous people; and people exiting social housing and institutional care, such as health and mental health services, juvenile justice or adult prisons. 

Achievements for 2014-15

In 201415 we continued to support young people who were at risk of homelessness or homeless through the YHARS and After Care Service as per the NPAH Project PlanQueensland.

 

National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022

Objectives/targets

The plan brings together the efforts of governments across the nation to make a real and sustained reduction in the levels of violence against women. It sets out a framework for action over a 12 year period and shows Australia’s commitment to upholding the human rights of Australian women through the:

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
  • Declaration to End Violence Against Women
  • Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Achievements for 2014–15

The Queensland Government continues to contribute to the Second Action Plan 2013–16 Moving Ahead that supports the ongoing implementation of the National Plan through five national priorities:

  • driving whole-of-community action to prevent violence
  • understanding diverse experiences of violence
  • supporting innovative services and integrated systems
  • improving perpetrator interventions
  • continuing to build the evidence base.

The Queensland Government announced its intention to join the national organisation Our Watch, established under the National Plan to drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that underpin and create violence against women and children.

In addition, the Queensland Government announced a $3 million contribution to a National Campaign focused on changing violence-supporting attitudes of young people to be delivered in 2016.

The Queensland Government has contributed to the development of a set of National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions to improve the effectiveness of systems and programs that interact with men who perpetrate violence against women. The Standards will be considered for approval by the Council of Australian Governments in late 2015, for implementation by each jurisdiction in 2016.

Queensland contributes to Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) through the Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research.

National Partnership Agreement for pay equity for the social and community services sector (SACS)

Objectives/targets

This agreement was introduced in 2013 and will contribute to assisting the Social and Community services sector with additional wage costs arising from Pay Equity Orders.

 The objective and outcomes of this agreement will be achieved by providing wage supplementation to Eligible Service Providers impacted by the orders.

Achievements for 201415

In 2014-15, the department made total payments of $50.807 million consisting of monies scheduled from 201213 to 201415. 

6.5 Appendix 6

Compliance Checklist

 Summary of requirement

 Basis for requirement

Annual report page reference

Letter of compliance

A letter of compliance from the accountable officer or statutory body to the relevant Minister/s

ARRs section 8

3

Accessibility

Table of contents
Glossary

ARRs – section 10.1

4
166

Public availability

ARRs – section 10.2

2

Interpreter service statement

Queensland Government Language Services Policy
ARRs – section 10.3

2

Copyright notice

Copyright Act 1968
ARRs – section 10.4

2

Information Licensing

QGEA – Information Licensing

ARRs – section 10.5

2

General information

Introductory Information

ARRs – section 11.1

6

 

Agency role and main functions

ARRs – section 11.2

9

 

Operating environment

ARRs – section 11.3

8

 

Machinery of government changes

ARRs – section 11.4

9

 Non-financial performance

Government’s objectives for the community

ARRs – section 12.1

10

Other whole-of-government plans / specific initiatives

ARRs – section 12.2

159

Agency objectives and performance indicators

ARRs – section 12.3

156

Agency service areas and service standards

ARRs – section 12.4

157

Financial performance

Summary of financial performance

ARRs – section 13.1

17

Governance – management and structure

Organisational structure

ARRs – section 14.1

20

Executive management

ARRs – section 14.2

22

 Government bodies (statutory bodies and other entities)

ARRs – section 14.3

142

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994ARRs – section 14.4

76

 

Risk management

ARRs – section 15.1

19

 

Summary of requirement

 Basis for requirement

Annual report reference

Governance – risk management and accountability

External scrutiny

ARRs – section 15.2

66

Audit committee

ARRs – section 15.3

148

Internal audit

ARRs – section 15.4

66

Information systems and recordkeeping

ARRs – section 15.5

70

Governance – human resources

Workforce planning and performance

ARRs – section 16.1

75

 Early retirement, redundancy and retrenchment

Directive No.11/12 Early Retirement, Redundancy and Retrenchment
ARRs – section 16.2

79

Open Data

Consultancies

ARRs – section 17 ARRs – section 34.1

80

Overseas travel

ARRs – section 17 ARRs – section 34.2

80

Queensland Language Services Policy

ARRs – section 17 ARRs – section 34.3

80

Government bodies

ARRs – section 17 ARRs – section 34.4

80

Financial statements

Certification of financial statements

FAA – section 62
FPMS – sections 42, 43 and 50 ARRs – section 18.1

133

Independent Auditors Report

FAA – section 62
FPMS – section 50 ARRs – section 18.2

134

Remuneration disclosures

Financial Reporting Requirements for Queensland Government Agencies
ARRs – section 18.3

105

FAA Financial Accountability Act 2009 FPMS Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009

ARRs Annual report requirements for Queensland Government agencies

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Contact us

The department works to strengthen and protect the wellbeing of Queenslanders, particularly those who are most in need of support.

Information regarding the department’s supports and services can be accessed through:

  • our service centres
  • the 13 QGOV telephone number
  • the Queensland Government Service Centres
  • the Queensland Government website.

Service centres

We deliver services at service centres located in communities throughout Queensland. Dedicated child safety, community and disability service centres provide services from everyday support for families and individuals through to organising specialised services in emergencies.

13 QGOV

The 13 QGOV (13 7468) telephone number provides a single entry point to the Queensland Government for customers. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Queensland Government Service Centres

At a Queensland Government Service Centre you can access a range of Queensland Government services, advice and information from a single location. You can also make payments over the counter for a variety of government services, irrespective of which department owns the service.

Along with the face-to-face counter service, the Queensland Government Service Centres have self-service computer kiosks and a telephone linked to Smart Service Queensland’s Integrated Contact Centre.

The service centres are in addition to the Queensland Government Agent Program offices in regional locations across Queensland. These offices provide government information about transactional services for people in their local community.

Queensland Government website

The Queensland Government website www.qld.gov.au has been designed to present information based on relevance to customer groups so people can find information at one online location, regardless of which department is responsible for providing the service. 

Our department

Head Office
Level 13
111 George Street
Brisbane Qld 4001
Ph: 13 QGOV (13 7468) (local call cost) Email: enquiries@communities.qld.gov.au Internet: www.communities.qld.gov.au

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We provide our services through seven regions

Far North Queensland
William McCormack Place
5B Sheridan Street Cairns Qld 4870
PO Box 4626 Cairns Qld 4870
Ph: 4036 5522 Fax: 4036 5577

North Queensland
Level 8, Verde Tower
445 Flinders Street Townsville Qld 4810
PO Box 1168 Townsville Qld 4810
Ph: 4799 5533 Fax: 4799 5570

Central Queensland
Level 3, State Government Building 209 Bolsover Street
Rockhampton Qld 4700
PO Box 1503 Rockhampton Qld 4700
Ph: 4938 6996 Fax: 4938 4867

North Coast
Mike Ahern Building
12 First Avenue
Maroochydore Qld 4558
PO Box 972 Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: 5352 7385 Fax: 5352 7343

Brisbane
Ground Floor 55 Russell Street (Cnr Edmondstone Street) South Brisbane Qld 4101 PO Box 3022 BC, South Brisbane Qld 4101
Ph: 3109 7007 Fax: 3895 3250

South West
Level 2, Icon Building
117 Brisbane Street Ipswich Qld 4305
PO Box 876 Ipswich Qld 4305
Ph: 3432 7211 Fax: 3280 1935

South East
Ground Floor 100 George Street Beenleigh Qld 4207
PO Box 1170 Beenleigh Qld 4207
Ph: 3884 7400 Fax: 3884 7428

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A

Approved carer

A departmentally approved person who provides home-based care for children subject to ongoing departmental intervention.

B

Bryce Report

A special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland was chaired by the Honourable Quentin Bryce to examine Queensland’s domestic and family violence support systems and make recommendations to the Premier on how the system could be improved and future incidents of domestic violence could be prevented.

C

Carer

Someone who provides, in a non-contractual and unpaid capacity, ongoing care or assistance to another person who, because of disability, frailty, chronic illness or pain, requires assistance with everyday tasks.

Carmody Inquiry

On 1 July 2012 the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (the Commission) was established, led by the Honourable Tim Carmody QC.  The Commission was asked to review the entire Queensland child protection system and to chart a roadmap for the system for the next ten years.

Case plan

A written plan for meeting a child’s care and protection needs.

Case planning

A participative process of planning strategies to address a child’s protection and care needs and promote a child’s wellbeing.

Clinical governance

The system by which the governing body, managers, clinicians and staff share responsibility and accountability to improve and reduce the variability of client outcomes in services that have a clinical aspect to their service design.

Community Care

Queensland Community Care provides low intensity support services to people under 65 years of age who have a disability or a condition, which restricts their ability to carry out activities of daily living. Core activities of daily living are communication, self-care, and mobility. Core activity tasks include dressing, bathing or showering, preparing meals, house cleaning and maintenance and using public transport.

Community recovery

Coordination of support for the restoration of emotional, social and physical wellbeing, and for developing financial assistance packages for individuals, families and non-government organisations to help people recover from a disaster as quickly as possible.

Corporate governance

Corporate governance is the framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes within, and by which, authority is exercised and controlled within organisations. It encompasses the mechanisms by which organisations, and those in authority, are held to account.

D

Disability

A person’s condition that is attributable to an intellectual, psychiatric, cognitive, neurological, sensory or physical impairment or a combination of impairments, and results in a substantial reduction of the person’s capacity for communication, social interaction, learning, mobility or self-care or management.

Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence occurs when one person in a relationship uses violence or abuse to maintain power and control over the other person.

F

Forensic Disability Service

The Forensic Disability Service provides purpose-built accommodation for some people with an intellectual or cognitive disability who are on a forensic disability order.

Foster carer

A person or persons approved by the department to provide care in their own home for children and young people who are assessed as in need of protection or subject to an investigation and assessment. This can be for short or long periods of time.

H

Human Services Quality Framework

The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) is a system for assessing and improving the quality of human services. It applies to organisations delivering services under a service agreement with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services or other specified arrangements.

K

Kinship carer

A person or persons who are approved by the department to provide care to a specific child (or children) to whom they are related or for whom they are a person of significance. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, a kinship carer may be another Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who is a member of their community, a compatible community or from the same language group.

L

Living away from home

The provision of care outside the home to children who are in need of protection or who require a safe placement while their protection and safety needs are assessed. Figures include hospitals, Queensland youth detention centres, independent living and all other placements. Reporting this way provides a more complete picture of the number of children living away from home with whom the department has contact.

N

National Disability Insurance Agency

The National Disability Insurance Agency has been established to work with eligible people with a permanent or significant disability to:

  • discuss their individual goals and support needs
  • develop an individual plan that will help them achieve their goals
  • consider the supports needed to strengthen family and informal caring arrangements
  • connect them to mainstream services and community supports.
National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will support people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers.

National partnership agreement

National partnership agreements are agreements between the Commonwealth of Australia and the state and territory governments. The agreements contain the objectives, outcomes, outputs and performance indicators, and roles and responsibilities that will guide the delivery of services across the relevant sectors.

Non-government organisation

Community-managed not-for-profit organisations that receive government funding specifically for the purpose of providing community support services.

O

Out-of-home care

The provision of care outside the home to children who are in need of protection or who require a safe placement while their protection and safety needs are assessed. Data for out-of-home care placements refers only to children in approved foster care, approved kinship care, provisionally approved care and residential care services.

P

Policy

A general principle by which government, a company or an organisation is guided in its management.

Prevention and early intervention

Prevention and early intervention approaches are those that prevent or arrest problems at early stages in the development of problem situations. A focus on early intervention and prevention, rather than on treatment after a problem has developed, is both socially and economically more effective in the long term.

R

Recognised entity

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations or individuals connected with their communities and approved and funded by the department to provide cultural support and family advice to the department and courts in relation to child protection matters for Indigenous children and families.

Red tape

Red tape refers to excessive bureaucratic regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules considered redundant.

Reform

Reform is the transformation of government to be more efficient, achieve value for money, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for Queenslanders.

Residential care

Non-family-based accommodation and support services funded by the department to provide placement and support for children who are the subject of ongoing departmental intervention. These residential services provide daily care and support for children from a house parent or rostered residential care workers model.

Respite services

Services that provide short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home.

Restrictive practices

Restrictive practices are the following interventions: containment or seclusion; chemical restraint, mechanical restraint and physical restraint; or restricting access (e.g. to objects by locking cupboards). These practices are required for adults with intellectual or cognitive disability who exhibit behaviour that places themselves or others at risk of harm.

S

Service provider

A business or organisation that supplies expert care or specialised services rather than an actual product.

Social inclusion

Society where all people are given the opportunity to participate fully in political, cultural, civic and economic life to improve their living standards and their overall wellbeing.

It aims to remove barriers for people or for areas that experience a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime environments, bad health and family breakdown.

Social investment

Social investment is the voluntary contribution of funding, skills and resources to projects that deliver benefits to local communities and society. This includes a loan or other financial investment that aims to make a positive economic, social or environmental impact in a community.

Stakeholders

Individuals and organisations that are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of the project execution/completion.

Supported accommodation

A living environment for children or adults with disability or high-support needs. Staff assist residents with activities of daily living.

T

Therapeutic support

Therapeutic support encompasses a range of services provided to vulnerable members of the community to assist them in their daily lives. This support is provided by government and non-government health and education providers.

W

Whole-of-government

Denotes public service agencies working across portfolio boundaries to achieve a shared goal and an integrated government response to particular issues.

Y

Young people

People aged 12 to 25 years. In terms of youth justice, a young person is someone aged 10 to 16 years at the time of committing an offence.

Disclaimer: The materials presented in these PDFs are provided by the Queensland Government for information purposes only. Users should note that the electronic versions of financial statements are not recognised as the official or authorised version. The electronic versions are provided solely on the basis that users will take responsibility for verifying their accuracy, completeness and currency. Although considerable resources are used to prepare and maintain the electronic versions, the Queensland Government accepts no liability for any loss or damage that may be incurred by any person acting in reliance on the electronic versions. The official copy of the annual report, as tabled in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland, can be accessed from the Queensland Parliament's tabled papers website database: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/tabled-papers
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