Annual Report 2015-16

Preamble

Public availability of report

printable PDF version of this annual report (PDF, 3.5 MB) is available on our website.

For information on how to contact us refer to the Contact Us section of the report.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) 2201-084x

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) 2016.

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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 2015–16.

About our report

This report summarises our performance for the financial year ending 30 June 2016. This report reviews our performance against:

  • key deliverables and performance indicators aligned to our Strategy 2015-19
  • service areas and service standards in the 2015–16 Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS) Service Delivery Statements.

Snapshot of DCCSDS in 2015–16

  • 4 central office service areas
  • 7 regions
  • 55 Child Safety Service Centres
  • 16 Disability Service Centres
  • 5,977.88 FTE employees
  • $2.684 billion revenue
  • $1.763 billion invested in services delivered by the Community Services industry
  • $162.039 million in other grants and subsidies to NGO partners
  • additional $71.34 million investment in services for families and children
  • additional $4.76 million in domestic and family violence support services
  • 901 contracted service providers
  • approximately 28,500 people received a specialist disability support service and another 38,000 received community care
  • estimated 7.8 children per 1,000 in out of home care.

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Letter to the Minister

30 September 2016

The Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP
Minister for Communities, Women and Youth,
Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the
Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

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

The Honourable Grace Grace MP
Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations,
Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs

Dear Ministers

I am pleased to submit for presentation to the Parliament the Annual Report 2015–16 and financial statements for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

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, and
  • 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 5 of this annual report.

Yours sincerely

Michael Hogan
Director-General

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Director-General’s message

I am pleased to present the 2015–16 annual report for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

The past year has been another rewarding and challenging one as we maintain our focus on day–to-day service delivery and performance, while driving significant reforms in all our three service areas – child and family services, community services and disability services. Significantly, this includes the commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), as well as implementation of a suite of initiatives as part of the 10-year reforms laid out by the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, and the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Strategy.

We have a strong program to deliver the changes needed and much yet to do, but I am very pleased with the work and progress that is making a real difference to the lives of vulnerable Queenslanders.

Our achievements in 2015–16 include:

Child and family services

  • Investing an extra $71.34 million in services for families and children
  • Implementing the Supporting Families Protecting Children practice framework and engaging better with families during investigation and assessment
  • Supporting additional children coming into out-of-home care, with increased numbers placed with kin
  • Releasing the child and family reform progress report and implementation plan, Supporting Families Changing Futures: Advancing Queensland’s child protection and family support reforms
  • Co-designing the service model for the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing services
  • Continued investment in free, universal access to the Triple P — Positive Parenting Program, with almost 18,000 Queenslanders accessing the program
  • Establishing another nine Family and Child Connect services, including two services run by Indigenous organisations
  • Establishing a further 14 Intensive Family Support services

Community services

  • Supporting the Government response to the Not Now Not Ever report and implementing priority legislative, service and community engagement initiatives
  • Planning for the three domestic and family violence integrated service response trials in Logan–Beenleigh, Mount Isa and Cherbourg
  • Supporting the establishment of two new 72-hour crisis shelters in Brisbane and Townsville
  • Holding the state’s first Queensland Women’s Week
  • Releasing Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016–21, the first women’s strategy in almost 10 years
  • Releasing Queensland: an age-friendly community strategic direction statement and action plan
  • Establishing an Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders
  • Administering around $241 million to assist eligible pensioners, seniors and veterans with cost of living expenses
  • Progressing a Queensland Financial Literacy and Resilience Strategy that will include Good Money shops and additional financial resilience workers
  • Developing a new online portal to allow people to apply, be assessed and receive disaster relief payments directly to their bank accounts
  • Developing the DeployMe app for Community Recovery Ready Reservists
  • Passing of the Multicultural Recognition Act 2016 to recognise the cultural, social and economic benefits of multicultural communities
  • Establishing recurrent funding of $1 million per annum to support multicultural events and projects through the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland grants program

Disability services

  • Signing the Bilateral Agreement between the Queensland and Commonwealth governments for transition to the NDIS in Queensland
  • Leading whole-of-government planning and preparations and stakeholder engagement for implementation of the NDIS
  • Supporting the early launch of the NDIS in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island
  • Delivering 1,376 workshops for more than 17,600 attendees to assist people with a disability, their families and carers get ready for the NDIS
  • Funding specialist disability support services to 28,500 Queenslanders and basic community care support to another 38,000 people
  • Providing additional funding for aids and equipment to support people with disability.

As reform and change take place we have continued to build the knowledge and capability of our staff as well as embrace innovation to find new and better ways of doing what we do. For example, we delivered more than 150,000 hours of training to 3,750 child safety officers and non-government family support staff across the state regarding our new child safety practice framework. On the innovation front we launched our ideas generation platform, Lightbulb, which staff statewide can use to make suggestions, share ideas and be active participants in innovation processes.

We have strengthened our governance and performance management.

I am especially pleased at the engagement and strong relationships we have developed with our partners in the non-government sector and other government agencies to ensure we deliver the best possible services to our clients. Their commitment, energy and ideas will continue to be important for our future.

We look forward to continuing to work together and to support our three Ministers to implement the government’s objectives and priorities.

I would like to thank staff for their hard work and commitment as we continue to deliver services to enable Queenslanders to participate in and contribute to a fair, resilient and prosperous Queensland.

Michael Hogan
Director-General

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Part 1: Overview

Our purpose

Our purpose is to enable vulnerable Queenslanders to participate in and contribute to a fair, resilient and prosperous Queensland.

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 three Ministers:

  • Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
  • Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and
  • Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

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

Our clients

Our clients are diverse 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.

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

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

Our services

Child and family services

  • Improve outcomes for children and young people.
  • Fund provision of quality care environments for children living away from home.
  • Support families to care for their children safely.

Community services

  • Respond to the human and social needs of people who are affected by disasters in Queensland.
  • Promote resilient individuals and communities, including women, youth and seniors.
  • Partner with other organisations to improve community outcomes including for people experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Facilitate industry development.

Disability services

  • Lead and facilitate Queensland's transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Fund to enable greater consumer participation, choice and control by Queenslanders with disability.
  • Provide accommodation support and respite services to people with disability in a community setting.

Multicultural affairs

  • Fund Community Action for a Multicultural Society and Celebrating Multicultural Queensland programs to support social connectedness for Queenslanders from a culturally and linguistically diverse background (CALD).
  • Support celebration of a multicultural Queensland.

Our regions

Brisbane

  • 1,220 square kilometres, including Brisbane Local Government Area
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 1,161,763
    • 20,079 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 29,982 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 295,201 people born overseas
    • 242,427 children
    • 15,300 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 130,905 seniors
  • 7 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Mount Gravatt, Nundah and Oxley
  • 1,100.7 FTE staff
  • $379,153,940 in outsourced service delivery funding.

Central Queensland

  • 494,966 square kilometres, including Banana, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Cherbourg, Diamantina, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Livingstone, Longreach, North Burnett, Rockhampton, South Burnett, Winton, Woorabinda Local Government Areas
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 488,537
    • 27,333 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 2,463 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 50,053 people born overseas
    • 118,472 children
    • 13,300 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 79,792 seniors
  • 6 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Maryborough, Rockhampton
  • 583 FTE staff
  • $171,290,042 in outsourced service delivery funding.

Far North Queensland

  • 273,157 square kilometres, including Aurukun, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Croydon, Douglas, Etheridge, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Mareeba, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area, Pormpuraaw, Tablelands, Weipa, Wujal Wujal, Yarrabah, Torres, Torres Strait Island Local Government Areas
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 277,305
    • 48,494 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 5,283 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 43,293 people born overseas
    • 70,464 children
    • 4,700 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 34,221 seniors
  • 9 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Cairns
  • 319.48 FTE staff
  • $107,010,944 in outsourced service delivery funding.

North Coast

  • 12,036 square kilometres, including Gympie, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast Local Government Areas
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 815,145
    • 19,954 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 3,313 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 137,466 people born overseas
    • 195,345 children
    • 16,600 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 130,039 seniors
  • 6 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Caboolture, Strathpine and Maroochydore
  • 577.22 FTE staff
  • $207,470,347 in outsourced service delivery funding.

North Queensland

  • 539,581 square kilometres, including Boulia, Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Doomadgee, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, Isaac, Mackay, McKinlay, Mornington, Mount Isa, Palm Local Government Areas
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 455,537
    • 37,505 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 2,576 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 22,635 people born overseas
    • 113,053 children
    • 8,400 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 49,029 seniors
  • 11 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Mackay and Townsville
  • 485.60 FTE staff
  • $154,871,955 in outsourced service delivery funding.

South East

  • 5,213 square kilometres, including Gold Coast, Logan, Redland and part of the Scenic Rim Local Government Areas
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 1,083,874
    • 22,911 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 13,703 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 242,051 people born overseas
    • 239,529 children
    • 18,300 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 136,008 seniors
  • 9 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Beenleigh and Robina
  • 731.42 FTE staff
  • $257,507,854 in outsourced service delivery funding.

South West

  • 410,242 square kilometres, including Balonne, Bulloo, Goondiwindi, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Maranoa, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Southern Downs, Toowoomba, Western Downs Local Government Areas
  • As at 30 June 2016 estimated population of 565,965
    • 26,769 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • 4,921 speak other language and speak English not well or not at all
    • 66,846 people born overseas
    • 147,988 children
    • 14,600 estimated NDIS participants by full scheme implementation in 2019
    • 77,741 seniors
  • 7 Child Safety Service Centres
  • Disability Service Centres in Ipswich and Toowoomba
  • 955.20 FTE staff
  • $181,792,552 in outsourced service delivery funding.

Our context

The Department has a significant reform and innovation agenda which aims to reduce disadvantage and enable vulnerable Queenslanders to improve their lives. The strategic agenda of the department drives our reform focus and centres around:

  • Queensland Government objectives:
    • creating jobs and a diverse economy
    • delivering quality frontline services
    • building safe, caring and connected communities
  • child and family reforms in response to the 2013 Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry report Taking Responsibility: A roadmap for Queensland child protection, including Supporting Families, Changing Futures initiatives
  • disability services reform, particularly the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • domestic and family violence prevention reforms, in response to the report of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland — Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an end to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland
  • the social service reform program
  • corporate services reforms.

Our commitments

The department is focused on assisting in delivering the Queensland Government’s objectives for the community, especially:

  • building safe, caring and connected communities
  • delivering quality frontline services
  • creating jobs and a diverse economy.

More information about our policies, programs and services can be found in Parts 4 to 8 of this report.

Our Strategy 2015–19 expressed our commitments. These can be summarised as contributing to a Queensland where:

  • all people are safe from violence, abuse and neglect, can participate fully in our economy and society, and are connected to their communities
  • people with disability have choice, control and opportunities in their lives
  • people are resilient and recover well from disasters
  • social services are capable, diverse, sustainable and connected and contribute to our state’s equity, productivity and prosperity.

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ policies, programs and services align with the Queensland Government Interim Response to The Queensland Plan (the Interim Response). The Interim Response supports the government’s objectives for the community and identifies the priorities and key initiatives that will contribute towards implementing Queenslanders’ vision.

Our priorities

Our Strategy 2015–19 expressed a number of priorities. These can be summarised as:

  • getting Queensland ready for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and continuing delivery of quality disability services
  • transforming family and parenting supports and child protection
  • enabling children and young people to transition successfully to adult life
  • reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders in child protection
  • preventing and responding to violence against women and children
  • advancing strategies that enable social and economic opportunities for women, seniors, young people, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • building social cohesion
  • developing disaster readiness and resilience
  • growing capacity and capability in Queensland’s social services, one of our largest and fastest growing industries.

Our values

This report shows how we demonstrated the whole-of-government values in 2015–16:

  • customers first
  • ideas into action
  • unleash potential
  • be courageous
  • empower people.

Our approach

We work as one agency, part of one government, and as stewards and partners of social services. We listen to the voices of citizens/customers.

We do this through:

  • providing great citizen/customer service
  • investing, innovating and working smartly
  • engaging collaboratively and building strong partnerships
  • leading and demonstrating our values
  • learning from practice, feedback, evidence and review
  • enabling our workforce and industry.

Our performance goals

Over a five-year period we are working towards being able to account fully for the public value we create. We will progressively assess and report on:

  • client results and experience
  • the experience of stakeholders and staff
  • our credibility, capability and diversity
  • our investment return and productivity.

More information about our performance can be found in part 9 of this report.

Our strategies are being implemented to actively manage key risks related to:

  • increasing demand and expectations
  • the complexity of needs and vulnerability of clients
  • the scale and pace of changes affecting social services
  • the effects of natural disasters and other events
  • public expenditure and the accountabilities of funded agencies.

Our budget

In 2015–16, 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 budget for the department in 2015–16 was $2.684 billion.

The department also administered:

  • a published budget of $242.8 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 and settlements for racial discrimination claims
  • payments for natural disasters on behalf of the state and Australian governments of $11.123 million, 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 in the Financial statements document (PDF, 689 KB). A financial summary is also included in part 2 of this report.

Strategic highlights

  • Released Supporting Families Changing Futures: Advancing Queensland’s child protection and family support reforms
  • Released Queensland Women’s Strategy
  • Released Queensland: an age-friendly community strategic direction statement
  • Signed Queensland NDIS Bilateral Agreement
  • Early launch of NDIS in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island
  • Launched 9 Family and Child Connect services
  • Launched 14 Intensive Family Support services
  • Commenced White Ribbon accreditation process
  • Held first Queensland Women’s Week
  • Launched Forecasting the future: Community services in Queensland 2015 in partnership with the Community Services Industry Alliance and Deloitte Access Economics
  • Developed online portal for quicker, easier community recovery grant applications
  • Developed DeployMe smartphone app for Ready Reservists
  • $2.678 billion expenditure – we spent within our means
  • Invested in five new sexual assault services
  • Established two crisis shelters for women and children escaping domestic and family violence
  • Three additional Community Action for a Multicultural Society services
  • $1M in recurrent funding for grants to celebrate our diversity

Legislative hightlights

  • Supporting families and protecting children in Queensland: a new legislative framework released to support comprehensive review of the Child Protection Act 1999
  • Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2016 gave children and families a stronger voice in child protection proceedings, and established Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Another Act Amendment Act 2015 implemented priority recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report
  • Progressed comprehensive review of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012
  • Progressed review of operation of the Adoption Act 2009
  • Amendments to the Disability Services Act 2006 to facilitate commencement of NDIS in Queensland
  • Amendments to the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 to improve access and streamline services for people with disability
  • Multicultural Recognition Act 2016 passed to recognise the cultural, social and economic benefits of multicultural communities
  • More information on changes in law led by our department in 2015–16 can be found in Appendix 1 – Our legislation.

Regional highlights

Brisbane

Queensland’s first Indigenous focused Family and Child Connect (FaCC) was established, resulting in higher take-up rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in earlier intervention and support services.

A project was started to coordinate implementation of NDIS for Indigenous communities across the Brisbane Local Government Area region, in collaboration with the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

We moved 82 services to the value of $460 million to streamlined service agreements.

Brisbane was the first region to introduce billable client time reporting, with clinicians in disability services recording 66 per cent of time spent on client support activities, exceeding industry average of 65 per cent.

We liaised with MDA to develop training packages for staff in engaging with families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We began operating a new 72-hour domestic and family violence shelter called ‘Bridges’ in December 2015.  The shelter is managed by Save the Children and provides onsite, 24-hour access, intake and referral for women and children escaping domestic and family violence.

A new mobile support outreach support service called Safer Lives Mobile Support commenced in December 2015. The service is managed by Micah Projects and provides outreach support for women experiencing domestic and family violence who have been placed in motels by DV Connect. Safer Lives also provides outreach and case management support to women still living in the community, either at home or with friends and family.  

Central Queensland

The region co-hosted the Better Together Partnering for Social Impact and Innovation Conference with liveWELL CQ in December 2015 to strengthen partnering and explore what is required to support a collective impact initiative.

Culturally informed child protection practice was increased through:

  • development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community of Practice
  • establishing South Burnett Yarning Circles
  • supporting collaborative family-led decision-making
  • enhancing cultural capability within placements and
  • working in partnership with the Recognised Entity to develop a cultural endorsement process for non-Indigenous carers.

The Eureca Project strengthened and improved therapeutic and behaviour support for young people in care placed in residential settings and displaying high-risk behaviours. The nine-month project established successful partnerships with key government and non-government agencies including health and police.

Planning commenced to support Cherbourg as the discrete Indigenous community trial site for an integrated response to domestic and family violence. This trial will provide an opportunity to develop a culturally appropriate integrated response to domestic and family violence that is tailored to the needs of discrete Indigenous communities. 

Far North Queensland

The Community Healing Project responded to the tragic deaths of eight children in Manoora in December 2014. The project, delivered by Red Cross Australia and funded by the department, built on early work led by the Wuchopperen Health Service. It was expanded over time to include longer-term supports and community capacity building in Manoora and the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area. The Manoora Community Centre was re-established as a focal point for community members looking to engage with services, participate in cultural and recreational activities, share stories and skills and revitalise the centre.

Mentors in Violence Prevention is part of the Cairns Safer Streets Taskforce initiative. Participants in this leadership program have gone on to deliver Mentors in Violence Prevention awareness sessions within their own community or workplace. Sessions are focused on preventing all forms of men’s violence against women.

The response to the Ravenshoe cafe explosion in June 2015 tested the department’s human and social disaster recovery response capability. The multi-agency recovery program was showcased as ‘best practice’ at the Australian and New Zealand Disaster Management Conference in May 2016 and is a finalist in the Queensland Police Service’s Awards for Excellence. Activities included:

  • establishing a one-stop-shop to provide information
  • providing advice and referral to community members
  • instigating a psychological first aid program
  • holding community meetings and events
  • providing a communication and support link between the community and survivors hospitalised in Cairns and Brisbane
  • establishing processes to distribute donated relief funds
  • providing additional resources and capacity to the local government and the community centre to deliver longer-term individual and community support.

North Coast

The region trialled the Family Engagement Networkers (FEN) to link ‘family engagement networkers’ with families when they first come to the attention of the department. The trial assisted families to develop a support network, reduce domestic and family violence, and facilitate culturally sensitive family meetings. The trial showed that it was successful in keeping children within the family network and diverting them from entering out-of-home care.

Beyond Expectations is a program, in partnership with Integrated Family and Youth Services (IFYS), to assist young people in care to join the part-time workforce while they are at school and, ultimately, to become job ready for their future career. Since the trial commenced in October 2015, Beyond Expectations has achieved positive outcomes for a number of young people in care in the North Coast Region, including securing paid employment and traineeships.

More than 100 clinical staff from the department and funded service providers attended The Future is Now, a one-day clinical conference, which focused on technology that supports people with disability to lead increasingly independent and better quality lives.

North Queensland

As a National Disability Insurance Scheme early launch site, the region engaged with the NDIA and other Queensland Government agencies through a local transition working group to facilitate local implementation and coordinate planning and preparation activities. This was supported by an ongoing program of participant readiness activities in the early launch areas, including a specific initiative to prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The local transition working group formulated working arrangements for key operational areas that will become the foundation for statewide working arrangements in areas such as child protection. More information can be found in the early launch spotlight on page 60.

An Engaging Fathers Forum resulted in increased service capability in engaging fathers in the family support system.

The region prepared for the introduction of the regional city domestic and family violence integrated response trial in Mount Isa. A trial will deliver vital outreach activities in Mount Isa and surrounding areas, a recommendation of the Not Now, Not Ever report. Importantly, the Mount Isa trial will provide an opportunity to bring together specialist elements of a Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support and domestic and family violence services to operate as part of a suite of linked-up services.

The region also supported the establishment of a new 72-hour crisis shelter in Townsville by the end 2015, then convened a workshop in Townsville to review the service model for the new shelter to inform new service agreements for Townsville shelters to take effect in late 2016.

South East

The region permanently connected children with families through the delivery of Adoption Services for Queensland. There were 41 Adoption Orders finalised, including 23 inter-country adoptions.

The region commenced planning for a centralised investigation and assessment hub for the Gold Coast to support reforms to improve our response to child safety notifications.

We initiated the My Home program to provide a permanent home for children unable to live with their own families.

The region contributed to the design, development and implementation of place-based responses and initiatives, including the Integrated Service Response to Domestic and Family Violence in Logan and Beenleigh. The trial will enhance existing support services and be supported by a new role of Integration Manager.

In June 2016 a series of co-design workshops were held with a range of government and non-government stakeholders in Logan–Beenleigh to commence design of the local, place-based integrated response model.

We continued to deliver the Safer Schoolies initiative. This is a coordinated whole-of-government safety response and education program to keep youth safe at Schoolies and reduce the impact on local communities. In 2015 the initiative supported 21,967 school leavers on the Gold Coast.

South West

To assist the three Local Level Alliance (LLA) Groups and the Regional Child and Family Committee (RCFC); South West regional staff produced the document Linking our priorities to highlight the work being completed to support vulnerable families, improve life outcomes for children and young people in the child protection system and address the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people and domestic and family violence matters.

Support for families experiencing domestic and family violence will be improved through a new initiative where a worker from the Domestic Violence Action Centre works one day a week from Ipswich North, Ipswich South and Springfield Child Safety Service Centres to provide case consultation and early intervention services.

A more flexible use of respite care in 2015–16 has resulted in more children and young people with disability staying connected with their school, family and community. Without these flexible services, 19 families would have relinquished their children.

Our structure

The Department started operating under a new organisational structure from 1 July 2015.

Department of Communities, Child Safety and 

Disability Services structure

Our key governing body

The Portfolio Executive Board (PEB) replaced the former Executive Management Team (EMT) in September 2015 and is the key strategic governing body for the department.

The board’s key focus areas include the department’s overarching strategy and delivery interface, strategic investment and performance management and oversight of the department’s portfolio of programs and projects.

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 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 working on the reform of child welfare and juvenile justice legislation in New South Wales.

Kathy Dunning
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, and various positions as a Regional Director.

Tony Hayes
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 Chair of the Business Information Systems Advisory Council to the University of Queensland’s School of Business, Economics and Law. 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
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 and was the inaugural director of Women’s Legal Aid in Queensland.

Leigh Roach
Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation
BA (Economics), Grad Diploma Securities Institute of Australia

Leigh was appointed Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation within the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services in July 2015.

She has worked in senior positions in both Australian and state governments and developed expertise in trade, industry, innovation, employment and consumer policy and programs.

Leigh also has expertise in managing organisational change and has facilitated major change processes in service delivery activity to business and across the public sector. 

Michael Linnan
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
Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region
B.
Sc, Postgraduate Diploma of Management, Masters of Business Administration

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 and an associate fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

Michael Shearer
Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland Region
B. HumanMovSt

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

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
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 and resigned from the department in June 2016.

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. In recent years, Brent has worked extensively with NGOs to build strong, collaborative service delivery partnerships.

Merrilyn Strohfeldt
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.

She joined the department in 2008 as Executive Director, Disability Programs and Reform. For the past four years Merrilyn has worked in service delivery leadership roles.

Amanda Currie
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
Regional Executive Director, South West Region
BA, Grad Cert Mngt, MA (Hons)

Brooke joined the public service in 1985 and worked in a number of senior management positions in a range of challenging and complex environments.

She spent 19 years working in Corrective Services in fields such as 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.

Arthur O’Brien
Chief Financial Officer
FCPA FIPA, M Bus (Professional Accounting), B Bus (HRM)

Arthur was appointed as Chief Finance Officer in February 2012 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the Queensland Government, including 16 years’ experience in senior management roles. Arthur has held a variety of positions across a number of Queensland Government agencies with experience in strategic management, planning, policy, risk management, finance and business continuity, as well as leading a number of major change projects for the Queensland Government.

He provides financial, grants and procurement management expertise and a broad governance role to the department. In 2008 Arthur was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his commitment and contribution to the Queensland Ambulance Service and the Queensland community.

Neil Smith
Chief Human Resources Officer
M.
Hlth Sc. Grad Dip (OHS)

Neil first joined the former Department of Communities in 2004 and went on to hold senior officer and executive roles. He was appointed as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Human Resources and Ethical Standards, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services in August 2009.

Neil has extensive experience as a human resources professional having worked in central and line agencies in the Queensland Public Service as well as in private sector heavy engineering and construction. Neil has a passion for leading major organisational reform and change.

Darrin Bond
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
B.
SC (IT/Mathematics)

Darrin has more than 28 years’ experience working in government and executive management roles. In 1997, Darrin was appointed as Chief Information Officer, Department of Treasury.

In 2002, Darrin managed the creation of CorpTech and the associated IT frameworks for the Shared Services initiative. He led the implementation of the whole-of-government Shared Services solutions until moving to the Department of Communities in 2007 to lead the department’s ICT portfolio.

In 2012, Darrin was appointed as the department’s CIO.

Additional information and open data

Additional information for a number of departmental initiatives and measures is reported through the department’s website and the Queensland Government Open Data website.

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

During 2015–16 we published 58 datasets and 618 resources 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 about:

  • 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
  • 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.

Grant funding provided to organisations in 2015–16 is reported through the Queensland Government Open Data website and the Investment Portal.

Visit our website for additional reporting information (including consultancies, overseas travel) for 2015–16.

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Part 2: Our finances

Summary

Section 77 (2)(b) of the Financial Accountability Act 2009 requires the Chief Finance Officer of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ to provide the accountable officer with a statement as to whether the department’s financial internal controls are operating efficiently, effectively and economically.

The 2015–16 Statement of Assurance provided to the Director-General satisfies all requirements of section 42 of the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009. The statement was also provided to the department’s Audit Committee.

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.

In 2015–16 internal financial controls were further strengthened through the successful implementation of the SAP ECC5 financial system. This also provides the benefits of an improved and simplified system and reduced financial processing costs.

Our income in 2015–16 was $2.697 billion, with the major sources of income provided by the Queensland and Australian governments for the provision of services.

During 2015–16, we received our income from:

  • appropriation revenue: $2.615 billion
  • user charges: $23.263 million
  • grants and other contributions: $39.668 million
  • other revenue: $19.287 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.

In 2015-16, $1.763 billion of the supplies and services expenses were for service procurement. This included total payments of $28.445 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.

Our total operating expenses for 2015–16 were $2.678 billion, including:

  • employee expenses: $566.986 million
  • supplies and services (for example, service procurement, property maintenance, general operating expenses and accommodation lease costs): $1.915 billion
  • grants and subsidies: $162.039 million
  • depreciation and amortisation expense: $28.418 million
  • other expenses (such as insurance costs; audit fees; impairment losses and losses on disposal of property, plant and equipment): $5.923 million.In 2015–16 the department achieved an operating surplus of $19.239 million.

Our total assets as at 30 June 2016 were $511.62 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 multipurpose 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: $136.654 million
  • loans and receivables: $19.84 million
  • property, plant and equipment: $307.853 million
  • intangible assets: $40.681 million
  • other assets: $5.907 million
  • non-current assets classified as held for sale: $0.685 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 the cash-fund investment as at 30 June was $5.216 million.

Our liabilities consist primarily of payables for service procurement, trade creditors and provisions for employee entitlements.

Our total liabilities as at 30 June 2016 were $52.651 million. Liabilities by category were:

  • payables: $26.031 million
  • accrued employee benefits: $24.33 million
  • provisions and other liabilities: $2.29 million.

In 2015–16, the Bilateral Agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland for the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme was signed. The cross-billing arrangements under the National Partnership Agreement for Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged Care and Disability Services were also concluded. This resulted in the clearance of the department’s balance sheet of those receivables and payables.

In 2015–16, on behalf of the Queensland Government, we administered concession payments for:

  • electricity and reticulated natural gas
  • rate and water subsidies
  • electricity life support
  • home energy emergency assistance.

Income and expenditure on these items 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 department’s Audit Committee oversees audit activities, audit recommendations, financial reporting, internal controls and compliance.

As we transition to a National Disability Insurance Scheme it will be vital that we 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 (PDF, 689 KB).

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Part 3: Our people

Organisational capability and agility

Workforce capability and agility

The 2015-19 Workforce Capability Plan was released to ensure the department had the workforce it needed to deliver services to vulnerable Queenslanders. The plan seeks to:

  • ensure our workforce has the capabilities needed so that we can achieve our strategic directions and operating model
  • align investment in learning and development (L&D) with our business needs
  • promote organisational and individual performance excellence
  • support development of a positive and supportive workplace culture that values learning and continuous improvement
  • provide career development opportunities.

In 2015, the department issued revised guides and procedures to facilitate flexible working arrangements.

Employee relations

The department worked cooperatively with the Office of Industrial Relations in the government’s negotiations of the State Government Entities Certified Agreement 2015 which was certified on 1 June 2016.

During 2015–16, the department worked collaboratively with the Public Service Commission, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and unions on the process to modernise Queensland’s employment awards. On 1 June 2016, the following three modern awards relevant to this department came into effect:

  • Queensland Public Service Officers and Other Employees Award – State 2015
  • the Award for Operational Employees in Disability and Forensic Services – State 2016 and
  • the General Employees (Qld Government Departments) and Other Employees Award – State 2015 came into effect.

Joint consultative arrangements for the department were continued. This enabled management and union representatives to regularly meet to discuss a broad range of issues. Committees met in central, regional and local locations.

Employee surveys

The results from the 2014–15 Employee Opinion Survey were analysed both centrally and locally. Action plans were developed and promoted on the department’s intranet.

The survey results showed:

  • a significant increase in agency engagement (+7 per cent)
  • continued improvement for Learning and Development (+9 per cent)
  • Organisational Leadership improved (+4 per cent).

The survey results showed a notable increase (+5 per cent or more) across 30 of the survey questions, and indicated staff have a high level of commitment to the department’s organisational goals.

Learning and development

The department invested strongly in capability development for staff to support effective service delivery to clients. This includes both internally conducted learning initiatives and brokered in program delivery.

Managers were encouraged to consider the use of all available formal and informal development opportunities.

Other staff capability improvement options included:

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

Staff were supported to access a wide range of skills and training programs as listed below:

Total 43,944
 TopicParticipations
Child safety 13,815
Community recovery 489
Corporate programs 2,299
Disability services 14,279
Finance and strategic procurement 3,212
Leadership and management development 3,466
Information and records management and privacy 4,992
Regionally coordinated training 1,392

Achievement and capability planning

The Achievement and Capability Planning process plays a key role in identifying an individual’s development needs and goes beyond mandatory training required for some roles.

An Achievement and Capability Plan (ACP) records the conversations between an individual and their supervisor. This includes the requirements and expectations of their 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 an individual’s development so that they can fulfil the expectations of their current role, as well as assist them in designing their career pathway.

Induction program

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

The department’s induction program was made up from local and corporate induction processes, and provides information on:

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

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

  • Induction program – online
  • Starting the Journey cultural capability development program
  • Ethical decision making and code of conduct
  • Introduction to records management
  • Information privacy
  • Information security awareness
  • Recognise, Respond, Refer: Domestic violence and the workplace online learning program.

Workforce inclusion and diversity

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

The department is working towards creating an environment that values and utilises the contributions of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. This means we need 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 were 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
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2016–18
  • Strategic Workforce Plan 2015–19.

In 2015–16, we:

  • started new Child Safety employment programs for Indigenous scholarships and cadetships (11 scholarship holders and nine cadets commenced in 2015–16)
  • developed and began implementation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2016–18
  • reviewed a range of workforce policies to ensure appropriate reflection of workforce inclusion and diversity issues
  • implemented a new flexible work arrangements package and
  • set foundational and stretch diversity targets for 2022 for:
    • women in leadership (50 per cent ) (stretch target – 65 per cent)
    • people with disability (5 per cent) (stretch target – 10 per cent)
    • people from non-English speaking backgrounds (12 per cent) (stretch target – 13 per cent)
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (5 per cent) (stretch target – 7.5 per cent).

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

 Equal opportunity groupOur departmentQueensland public sector average
Peope with disability 3.80% 2.92%
People from a non-English speaking background 11.56% 9.12%
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 3.65% 1.97%
Women 77.95% 69.00%

Raising cross-cultural awareness

Our Cultural Capability Action Plan is helping us to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures into every aspect of the department’s activities. This 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:

  • 51 staff received training in Multicultural Capability in Service Delivery
  • 46 staff undertook training in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability
  • 707 staff completed the foundational Interactive Ochre Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability program
  • In June 2015, the department finalised a review report examining the cultural capability training available to staff.

Participation of women in our workforce

As at 30 June 2016, women comprised 77.95 per cent of the total workforce in the department, which is favourable compared with the Queensland Public Service benchmark of 69 per cent. Women also held 58.2 per cent of the department’s leadership positions (senior officer level and above).

Workplace health and safety

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

In 2015–16, we undertook the following activities to ensure that we provided a safe workplace for our employees:

  • targeted risk management of known workplace health and safety risks
  • active management of workers compensation claims to promote the early return to work of injured workers
  • application of contemporary staff support strategies promoting the importance of psychological self-care, wellbeing in the workplace and healthy lifestyle choices
  • explored areas such as working away from the office to minimise the risk of physical and psychological injury in particular within Child Safety work environments.

Code of conduct and public sector ethics

The department is committed to protecting vulnerable Queenslanders from corrupt conduct and misconduct. We promote a culture that reflects the department’s Integrity Framework for practice.

Departmental employees are obliged to adhere to the ethics values contained within Division 2 of the Public Service Act 2008. These are outlined in the Queensland Public Service Code of Conduct. The ethics principles and values contained in the Code of Conduct are reflected in departmental policy, procedures and plans. These also appeared in each employee’s achievement and capability plan.

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

During 2015–16, 1,388 departmental employees completed ethical decision making training.

Management of suspected corrupt conduct and misconduct

When conduct matters involving a departmental employee were reported to Ethical Standards, the matter was assessed with consideration given to the definition of corrupt conduct outlined within section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001. At the same time, the complaint was considered by Ethical Standards in line with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.  

Ethical Standards notified the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) if the matter reasonably raised a suspicion of corrupt conduct. This was consistent with the requirements of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001. The CCC also assessed issues of concern and, in some instances, referred matters back to the department for appropriate management. 

Matters that did not reach the corrupt conduct threshold were managed within the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Conduct and Performance Excellence (CaPE) framework. They were either investigated by Ethical Standards or sent to the appropriate region for management action in accordance with the department’s Integrity Framework.

During 2015–16 the department managed 68 corrupt conduct matters and 88 misconduct matters under the CaPE framework.

Culture and leadership

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

In 2015–16 the department expanded implementation of the REACH leadership framework and the related development programs that support staff to grow effective leadership skills.

The REACH framework is founded upon five key elements of leadership competency: Relationships, Ethics, Acumen, Core Practice, and Health.

Over the last 12 months, over 650 staff directly participated across the suite of REACH programs - including fundamental and advanced workshops and the self-paced online learning modules. Many more engaged with REACH processes through activities organised by local regional leadership teams.

For aspiring leaders, the department continued to deliver STEPs – Supervision for Tomorrow in every Position and Stream. This program provided foundational learning for those commencing their leadership journey. Approximately 112 staff participated in STEPs during 2015–16.

The department also continued its commitment to growing a coaching and mentoring culture, with 54 staff participating in Mentor Connect. The program which aims to build leadership capability and strengthen networks between leaders.

The department also supported 40 staff to participate in the range of leadership programs led by the Public Service Commission, including People Matters.

Support staff through change

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 people experiencing vulnerability.

In 2015–16, a new Strategic Workforce Plan 2015–19 was approved. 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.

Workforce profile

Our 5,977.88 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff were distributed across three service areas: Child and Family Services; Disability Services; and Community Services.

In 2015–16, we continued our strong focus on client service, with 89.05 per cent of all staff employed in providing direct services to the public or providing support to those who do.

Of our total staff, 4990.31 were permanent (83.48 per cent), 794.95 were temporary (13.30 per cent), 149.62 were casual (2.50 per cent) and 43 were contract staff (0.72 per cent).

Voluntary redundancy and voluntary medical retirement

During 2015–16, three employees received redundancy packages at a cost of $276,664 in severance payments.

In 2015–16, there were no employees requiring placement as a result of workplace change and no staff members were retrenched.

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

During 2015–16, a total of 27 voluntary medical retirements from employees in the department were approved at a total cost of $883,271.

Workforce attraction, recruitment and retention

The annual separation rate for 2015–16 for permanent staff was 8.38 per cent while the annual retention rate for 2015–16 was 91.91 per cent for permanent staff.

Future directions

In 2016–17, we will:

  • refresh the Strategic Workforce Plan 2015-19 and develop a Strategic Workforce Plan 2016-20
  • continue to prepare and support our Disability Services workforce to transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • continue implementation and increase uptake of flexible work arrangements
  • work towards achievement of 2022 foundation diversity targets
  • review and revise the Workforce Capability Plan 2015-19
  • further embed the REACH supervision model across all work areas
  • finalise a revised model for cultural capability training across the department
  • continue to monitor our workers’ compensation performance and promote the early return to work of injured workers
  • continue to progress the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2016–18.

How we performed during the year

The department’s strategic direction in 2015–16 was guided by our Strategy 2015–19.

The strategy is framed around five key deliverable areas, including:

  • Child and family services and reforms
  • Disability services and reforms
  • Social services and reforms
  • Community inclusion, participation and resilience strategies
  • Organisational strategies.

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Part 4: Child and family services and reforms

Our initiatives

We committed to delivering whole-of-government and agency Child and Family reforms in collaboration with other agencies.

Spotlight on Supporting Families, Changing Futures: Advancing Queensland's child protection and family support reforms

The government is continuing to invest $425 million over five years to implement the reform program, including new initiatives to make tangible and positive differences to the lives of vulnerable Queensland children, young people, families and communities.

The 10-year Supporting Families Changing Futures: Advancing Queensland’s child protection and family support reforms (Supporting Families Changing Futures) program remains on track after two years, with all but one of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry’s 121 recommendations progressing and 31 of those recommendations completed. The final recommendation — a review of the role of non-government organisations — will start in 2019.

While there is some way to go, the reforms are starting to have a positive impact.

Supporting Families Changing Futures: Advancing Queensland’s child protection and family support reforms advises on progress to date and outlines priorities for the next two years of the reform program. It includes new actions and initiatives to enhance the reform agenda.

Over the period March 2015 to March 2016:

  • intake decreased by 15.8 per cent
  • Child Concer Reports decreased by 19 per cent
  • notifications decreased by 2.4 per cent
  • substantiations decreased by 8.9 per cent
  • increase of 11.7 per cent in long-term guardianship for children providing permanent stable homes for children.

2015–16 achievements

  • Investing $6.6 million over two years for free, universal access to the Triple P — Positive Parenting Program. Almost 18,000 Queenslanders have accessed the program in 2015–16.
  • Launching nine Family and Child Connect and 14 Intensive Family Support services in catchments across the state. These services have helped almost 10,000 families connect to the services they need, when they need them.
  • Establishing new Intensive Family Support services within Family and Child Connect services, helping more than 1,200 families.
  • Creating 230 new positions in non-government organisations, supporting families and children.
  • Training more than 3,750 government and non-government staff across the state in a new strengths-based framework for practice.
  • Co-funding, with the Department of Education and Training (DET), eight dedicated, specialist student protection principal advisors in DET regional offices to better support schools and school communities in child protection matters.
  • Having the non-government sector support almost 80 per cent of carers.
  • Engaging approximately 500 young Queenslanders with Next Step After Care Services, which supports young people up to 21 years of age who are transitioning from care to independence.
  • Investing significant funds to respond to child sexual abuse with $3.22 million dedicated to sexual abuse counselling services across Queensland to respond to issues arising from sexual abuse.
  • Providing additional training for foster and kinship care services to respond more effectively to children and young people who have experienced sexual abuse.
  • Providing input to the 3rd Action Plan under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–20.
  • Commencing a comprehensive review of the Child Protection Act 1999 and the Adoption Act 2009.
  • Establishing the position of Official Solicitor within the department.
  • Implemented actions following recommendations in the Remembering Tiahleigh: A report into Queensland’s children missing from out-of-home care from the Queensland Family and Child Commission.
  • Increased the engagement of families through intake, investigation and assessment.
  • Implemented actions following panel findings of the external and independent Child Death Case Review Panels.
  • Implemented actions to address performance issues in child safety services.

In 2016–17 we will:

  • achieve statewide coverage of Family and Child Connect services and additional Intensive Family Support services
  • continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, peak bodies, Elders and other Queensland Government and non-government agencies to develop and implement an action plan to improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families and eliminate the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care
  • redesign the tertiary child protection system to improve intake, investigation and assessment services for children and families
  • invest $150 million (over five years) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing services
  • implement a therapeutic residential care framework, in collaboration with the non-government sector, to better support and provide specialist services for children and young people in care who have high or complex needs
  • build on work to provide young people leaving care with priority access to government services
  • continue our review of the Child Protection Act 1999 to ensure the support system for families is underpinned by a strong and contemporary legislative framework
  • commence rollout of $60 million over four years of a hands-on , intensive family support package in high-needs locations across Queensland
  • provide more than $4.25 million over two years to fast-track the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendation to transfer carers  to non-government organisations
  • join forces with the University of Melbourne and invest $1.5 million over three years to introduce the first 1000 Days  initiative to Queensland
  • integrate and leverage off the domestic and family violence reforms, including investing more than $17 million over five years for integrated services that will include new Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support, and specialist domestic and family violence services in north-west Queensland
  • partner with The Smith Family to deliver Care2Achieve scholarships for young women leaving care from January 2017
  • finalise review of the Adoption Act 2009
  • work closely with the Department of Education and Training to ensure early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals are provided with the necessary information, training and support in relation to amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999 to extend mandatory reporting obligations to include ECEC professionals, which will take effect from 1 July 2017.

We committed to commissioning additional secondary child and family, parenting, and domestic and family violence services and to link to universal services.

We undertook extensive consultation to develop a service model for the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing locations. The procurement process is underway and 20 services to improve the social, emotional and physical wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families will start in 2016–17.

Nine new Family and Child Connect services and 14 new Intensive Family Support services were established in 11 catchments across Queensland to provide information, advice, referral for support and intensive intervention for vulnerable families. These services include specialist domestic and family violence workers given the high number of families seeking family support that have also experienced domestic and family violence.

We established five new sexual assault services in high-need locations. We provided additional funding to DV Connect and 13 domestic and family violence services across the state to respond to increased demand. We provided additional funding to 11 services to provide safety upgrades to support victims to remain in their homes.

We committed to supporting the development and implementation of a Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy and Violence Against Women Prevention Plan, and implementing the government response to the Not Now, Not Ever report.

Spotlight on Not Now, Not Ever—Domestic and family violence reform

In 2015–16 we shaped and led implementation of key elements of the Queensland Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy. Of the 30 recommendations led by the department, six were completed, 21 commenced and the remaining three recommendations will commence in 2016–17. Achievements include:

  • initiating three domestic and family violence integrated response trials in Logan—Beenleigh, Mount Isa and Cherbourg
  • establishing two 72-hour specialist homelessness services in Brisbane and Townsville in collaboration with Department of Housing and Public Works. These services provided temporary supported accommodation and mobile support to approximately 1,900 women and children escaping domestic and family violence from December 2015 to June 2016
  • providing additional funding for court support and perpetrator intervention services to support the trial of the specialist and domestic and family violence court at Southport
  • reviewing and amending legislation to strengthen the justice response for victims and hold perpetrators to account (in partnership with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and other agencies)
  • commissioning a review to address the impact of domestic and family violence on people with disability
  • collaborating with Australia’s CEO Challenge to develop an online training program Recognise, Respond, Refer: Domestic Violence and the Workplace for employers and businesses to identify, respond and support staff who are experiencing domestic and family violence
  • reviewing the Queensland Language Services Guidelines to improve communication between interpreters and people who are unable to speak English and are experiencing domestic and family violence so they can better access support
  • developing principles for a long-term whole-of-government investment plan
  • monitoring implementation as  an ex officio member of the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council.

We also developed and implemented the Integrated Justice Information Strategy in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Corrective Services to enable information sharing across Queensland criminal and civil jurisdictions for domestic violence matters involving children up to 18 years of age.

We led the department’s and cross-agency input into Commonwealth and national initiatives, including:

  • the 3rd Action Plan under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010–20
  • the National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions.

We also:

  • became a member of Our Watch, a national foundation to drive change in the culture, behaviours and attitudes that lead to violence against women and their children
  • continued our membership of ANROWS (Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety)
  • commenced working towards White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation to demonstrate our commitment to preventing domestic and family violence and drive a culture of equity and respect within our organisation.

We led the development of workplace policies and systems, in collaboration with the Public Service Commission, to:

  • promote safe, respectful working environments
  • provide specialist employee assistance and support services.

During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in 2016, 57 community groups shared in $153,000 to run community awareness events across Queensland. This was an almost 40 per cent increase in funding from 2015, delivering on a Not Now, Not Ever recommendation to expand the grants program.

The department’s awareness-raising campaign used the theme ‘Not Now, Not Ever—in our schools, change rooms, workplaces, neighbourhoods and communities’. Queensland schools, workplaces, sporting clubs and communities uploaded their own videos and photos to the campaign website to showcase how they were taking up the Not Now, Not Ever challenge.


We committed to

responding to relevant matters and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

We participated in discussions at public hearings and round tables and contributed to the Queensland Government’s response to publications and requests for information from the Royal Commission.

The department will continue these actions in 2016–17. The department will also review policy issues arising from the Royal Commission’s work and the implications of any relevant recommendations.

We committed to implementing a new strengths-based, safety-oriented Child Protection Practice Framework.

Spotlight on Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice

One of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry’s key recommendations was to introduce a new practice framework.  

The Commission said that the aims of the framework should be to:

  • bring an appreciative inquiry  approach to the department’s work
  • highlight the importance of holistic and collaborative assessment
  • ensure the use of individual and family knowledge and wisdom
  • fully involve all stakeholders
  • simplify language to ensure avoidance of jargon, judgment-loaded and global statements
  • help workers to be specific about harm and danger to children
  • facilitate skilful use of authority  and, in doing so, increase worker skills and satisfaction.

The department engaged the US-based Children’s Research Centre to develop a framework. This resulted in the launch of the Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice in March 2015.

In 2015–16 more than 150,000 hours of training in the foundations of the new framework for practice were provided to 3,750 child safety officers and non-government family support staff across the state.

Ongoing leadership training and coaching, family decision making and practice-related training have also been provided to departmental and recognised entity staff to strengthen their engagement, collaborative assessment and planning skills.

Frontline child safety staff have reported that the framework for practice tools have significantly improved how they engage with children, families and their support networks. These tools include the:

  • collaborative assessment and planning framework
  • three houses tool
  • family road map.

We committed to delivering high-quality statutory child protection services and funding and supporting out-of-home care and transition services delivered by carers and non-government organisations.

We released the Hope and Healing Framework so residential services can develop and adopt a trauma therapeutic framework . This will be implemented in 2016–17.

We recognised the need to redesign how we use placement services so children in out-of-home care have better life outcomes. This will be a key project for the department in 2016–17.

Spotlight on Strengthening the cultural capability of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

Kummara Association, an Indigenous community organisation based in Brisbane and Ipswich, was the first Indigenous community organisation to successfully tender for a Family and Child Connect (FaCC) service.

In stage three of the FaCC rollout, two Indigenous community organisations, Kurbingui and Indigenous Family and Child Support Services (IFACCS), successfully partnered with Mercy  to deliver a FaCC service across three Brisbane catchments.

Having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander non-government organisations partnering with other organisations and delivering FaCC themselves, strengthens the cultural capability of both the FaCC and Intensive Family Support (IFS) programs overall and the responsiveness of services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

All generic FaCC and IFS services are recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to:

  • provide culturally appropriate advice to other workers about engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  • directly engage with families
  • build strong partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services.

We need to do more to overcome the broader issues of social and economic disadvantage and the specific circumstances in families that drive the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the statutory child protection system.

This is why an action plan is being developed through a collaborative approach involving Elders, relevant government agencies and community leaders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and peak bodies. The action plan will be considered by the Queensland Government before the end of 2016.

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Part 5: Disability services and reforms

Our initiatives

We committed to leading and facilitating whole-of-government and agency National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) transition planning, delivering the agency’s Disability Services reform and readiness initiatives and co-delivering a Queensland NDIS launch.

On 16 March 2016, the Queensland and Commonwealth governments agreed to the Bilateral Agreement  for the transition to the NDIS in Queensland.

The Bilateral Agreement and associated schedules detail the roles and responsibilities for the Queensland and Commonwealth governments during the transition to the NDIS in Queensland over a three-year period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019. The schedules cover implementation matters including (but not limited to) funding, phasing and support arrangements, quality and safeguarding arrangements, and how the NDIS will interface with mainstream services.

Spotlight on Getting ready for the full scheme rollout of National Disability Insurance Scheme in Queensland

The NDIS is the most important social policy measure in Australia since Medicare and will transform the way Queenslanders with a disability are supported and the way disability services are funded. The NDIS will change the way many Queensland Government employees will work, depending on their roles and the types of supports and services NDIS participants seek. It will result in significant changes for the department, including how it supports disability services clients and its staffing profile, budget and structure.

The NDIS will be the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers. The NDIS will provide about 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 with a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to live an ordinary life.

About 15,000 Queenslanders with disability will enter the scheme in the first year; more than 16,000 will join in the second year; and more than 60,000 will enter in the third year.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) estimates that, by 30 June 2019, the NDIS will also support demand for 15,900 to 19,400 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the state’s disability sector, supporting a total workforce of 29,450 to 35,950 FTE jobs by 2019.

The NDIA will recruit approximately 340 permanent positions across Queensland during the transition.

In 2015–16 the focus has been on:

  • planning and implementation of an early launch of the NDIS in North Queensland
  • participant readiness activities including workshops, resources and information for people with a disability and their families to understand the changes and opportunities offered by the NDIS
  • provider readiness support to assist service providers to plan and develop the capabilities to transition to a consumer-driven and competitive environment, and prepare for transition from existing contracted funding arrangements
  • providing staff with the information they need to make informed decisions about their future
  • working with Accommodation Support and Respite Services’ clients and their families to help them understand what the NDIS transition will involve 
  • working with the Queensland non-government sector to implement the Queensland NGO Sector NDIS Workforce Strategy to help the sector meet future workforce demands
  • supporting staff to continue their valuable work with clients and ensuring they are able to inform clients about the NDIS and support their smooth transition to the NDIS.

We developed and implemented a communication and engagement plan, supported by tools such as posters, fact sheets, videos and a website, to make general information and advice available to people with disability, their families, service providers, communities and industry to support a successful transition to the NDIS.

The Nous Group was funded to consult with providers to update the building provider capacity tools and train Disability Services staff to deliver workshops for providers throughout Queensland. (The tools assist providers to respond to NDIS consumer demands and are available on the department’s website .)

National Disability Services Queensland was provided with non-recurrent funding of $283,379 to assist small-to-medium service providers to ready their businesses for the NDIS. This was in addition to the recurrent funding of $451,878 (ex GST) to build organisations’ capacity to respond to reforms, including the NDIS.

As at 30 June 2016, National Disability Services Queensland had delivered 116 workshops and events across all regions with 591 organisations participating, and provided one-on-one consultancy support to 64 small-to-medium service providers.

The department provided $3.94 million to 10 participant readiness initiative  providers who delivered 1,376 workshops for more than 17,600 attendees. Activities included participant workshops, information sessions delivered at other forums, home visits, face-to-face meetings, online training, mentoring and coaching, and phone support.

The department provided more than 72 information sessions about the rollout of the NDIS in Queensland and the steps involved in implementing the departmental workforce strategy at a statewide and local level. Almost 1900 staff members have attended at least one of these information sessions.

More than 1,050 staff also attended 26 Strategic Workforce Workshops held across Queensland.

We have made changes to the Disability Services Act 2006 so it supports the NDIS introduction.

We have also worked closely with the Commonwealth Government on the review of the interface principles for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and other parties, including principles relating to forensic disability  clients.

We have worked closely with the Commonwealth Government on the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework.

In 2016–17:

  • we will review the Forensic Disability Act 2011
  • we will work on reaching agreement on the National Disability Strategy 2nd Implementation Plan.

Also, in 2016–17, the NDIS will roll out in the following areas:

  • Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Burdekin, west to Mount Isa and up to the Gulf
  • Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays
  • Toowoomba and west to the borders.

We committed to continue to deliver, through transition, high-quality service access, and clinical, forensic, and accommodation support and respite services and to reducing and eliminating the use of restrictive practices through statewide implementation of positive behaviour supports.

We registered our Accommodation Support and Respite Service as a service provider with the National Disability Insurance Agency, effective from 29 April 2016.

We continued to meet the treatment needs of Forensic Disability Service and community-based clients.

We also:

  • supported the maintenance of family and community links by enabling clients to visit their community of origin
  • engaged clients in community-based sporting programs and vocational opportunities
  • exhibited clients’ Indigenous art works in a community innovation hub.

We committed to funding and supporting disability and community care services delivered by non-government organisations.

Funding provided in 2015–16 included:

  • $5.5 million to provide disability support to more than 300 school-leavers
  • $12.6 million to support 86 young people with disability who left state care
  • $4.014 million to assist 31 people with a newly acquired spinal injury to return home from the Princess Alexandra Hospital Spinal Injuries Unit
  • $2.2 million for 30 people with disability to move from public health facilities to more appropriate accommodation
  • $6.97 million in milestone payments under the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Initiative to projects in various stages of construction. This initiative is progressing well with nine completed projects creating up to 58 housing places
  • $12.2 million for aids and equipment and vehicle modifications.We spent $147.8 million on providing basic community care support to about 38,000 Queenslanders. We promoted the use of smart assistive technology to support people with disability to access new technologies and increase their independence. We invested $138,000 to establish the Community Care Smart Assistive Technology Collaborative  in September 2015 and delivered smart assistive technology workshops for approximately 500 consumers and carers across the state.

Spotlight on Early launch of National Disability Insurance Scheme in Townsville, Charters Towers and Palm Island

The Queensland and Commonwealth governments agreed on an early launch for Queensland from January 2016 that involved:

  • children and young people under 18 years from Townsville and Charters Towers
  • all eligible people from Palm Island.

We helped clients and families to prepare for the early launch and provided a specific initiative to prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for the NDIS.

In April 2016, the first family in Queensland received NDIS funding for disability supports through an approved individual plan.

As at 30 June 2016, 537 participants were eligible for the NDIS and, of those, approximately 400 participants received their support packages with the National Disability Insurance Agency.

In addition, families with young children with disability were assessed through the NDIS Early Childhood Gateway operated in North Queensland by Uniting Community Care.

Participating in the early launch allowed us to:

  • test rollout processes
  • understand the scheme’s operation in Queensland
  • inform a smooth NDIS transition across Queensland.

A number of local area coordinators engaged by the NDIA for the early launch came from regional areas of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

This means when the phasing begins in these locations we will already have some experience and knowledge of managing the transition to the NDIS.


We committed to leading and facilitating the National Disability Strategy in Queensland.

The National Disability Strategy 2010–20 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 deliver on the principles and articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In 2015–16 we facilitated a process to ensure all Queensland Government agencies prepared Disability Services Plans as required by the Disability Services Act 2006. Work also commenced on the development of a new state disability plan for the period 2017–20.

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Part 6: Social services and reforms

We committed to developing a community services jobs, skills and industry strategy with the community services industry.

We established an Office for Community Sector and Industry from 1 July 2015 that worked closely with the Community Services Partnership Forum to develop a Jobs, Skills and Industry Strategy. This included co-hosting the Community Services 2025: Charting our Path to the Future Forum  in September 2015.

The forum was followed by regional and targeted workshops delivered in partnership with the Community Services Partnership Forum. An online polling process was used to engage more than 500 stakeholders in the strategy development process.

Spotlight on Forecasting the Future: Community Services industry in Queensland 2025

The department partnered with the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA) to commission Deloitte Access Economics to analyse social and economic data to inform a future state forecasting report of Queensland’s community services industry.

The report predicts 3.8 per cent annual employment growth in the Queensland community services industry and the creation of more than 20,000 new jobs over 10 years. It  also identifies success imperatives for the industry over the next 10 years.

The report says the community services industry needs to:

  • attract and retain a skilled workforce to meet service demand
  • diversify revenue sources
  • provide services as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • demonstrate improved client outcomes
  • demonstrate value for money.

The report considers policy implications and seven key success imperatives to ensure industry is able to meet clients’ future needs.

The key success imperatives include:

  • an outcomes focus
  • research and innovation
  • digital disruption
  • funding and financing
  • productivity
  • collaboration and cooperation
  • policy and regulation.

The report’s findings have guided and will continue to inform a broad range of industry strategy development work across the department.


We committed to co-developing capacity-building strategies with community-controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.

The department reviewed capacity-building activities occurring across government and supported the work being undertaken by the Queensland Families and Children’s Commission.

The department has increased funding for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and worked closely and collaboratively with QATSICPP, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), and the Healing Foundation. We also engaged Price Waterhouse Coopers Indigenous Consulting to facilitate community engagement for the Service Reform Project with discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We committed to partnering  in the Logan Together project and supporting other place-based initiatives.

We worked closely with Logan Together, Logan City Council and a broad range of government and community stakeholders as part of our contribution to Logan Together, which aims to improve life outcomes for children aged 0–8 years. This included providing more than $250,000 to support the work of Logan Together and allocating a further $100,000 over two years to July 2017 to build the capacity of community organisations in Logan.

The Logan Inter-Departmental Committee (IDC) was established to oversee development of solutions to enable place-based approaches. The IDC also ensures Queensland Government agency contributions are well coordinated.

We committed to co-developing and implementing outcomes frameworks and innovative investment initiatives. 

We developed and started using an Investing for Outcomes Framework (IFOF) to ensure departmental funds are allocated in a planned, strategic way.

We engaged with other state government departments and the community services sector to develop a 10-year Strategic Investment Direction and Action Plan.

We started working with our partners  on an Out-of-Home Care Outcomes Framework to be released before the end of 2016.

We also contributed to the Queensland Government Social Benefit Bond Pilot Program, primarily by providing data, advice, guidance and support.

We committed to contributing to cross-agency social services reforms.

We established a Social Services Performance and Reform Committee to drive cross-department social service  reforms relating to investment and outcomes, jobs, and industry, community and place- related issues.

We developed a social services reform program to ensure departmental investment makes the most of future opportunities and addresses challenging social issues.

We also led or contributed to cross-agency social service reforms relating to: age-friendly communities; multicultural inclusion; domestic and family violence; youth; community-controlled organisations; women; and child and family wellbeing.

We committed to supporting community services delivered by non-government organisations to improve the lives of Queenslanders experiencing vulnerability.

We invested more than $1.5 billion through  service agreements with organisations and individuals to provide disability, child and family, and community services. These services were delivered by more than 970 community organisations and local, state and federal government agencies across the state.

We ceased requiring NGO providers to refrain from making comment on funding and legislative matters under their contractual arrangements.

We also invested $6.5 million in peak services to build sector capability, support research and deliver vital support to non-government organisations.

As well as providing financial support, the department convened a range of partnership forums, advisory committees and working groups to ensure that non-government organisations were able to provide advice to the department on key issues affecting service delivery.

We committed to implementing further red-tape reduction and service improvement initiatives with non-government organisations.

We built clear outcome measures  into service agreements, including those for domestic and family violence prevention, supporting young people and families at risk.

We transitioned more than 31 non-government organisations to five-year service agreements. So far, approximately one-sixth of contracts have been considered for transition after assessing each contract’s actual performance on a value-for-money and risk basis. (Assessment occurs when a contract expires so it will take three years to fully transition to the new model.)

The quality of non-government services was monitored via output-based reporting, Human Services Quality Framework audits and child safety licensing.

We committed to facilitating service integration initiatives for the most vulnerable clients.

We supported 26 different place-based initiatives across the department to improve outcomes for people experiencing vulnerability.

Spotlight on Supporting collective-impact and place-based initiatives

Place-based responses are a long-recognised way of organising effort and ensuring resources are allocated to where they are most needed. They are generally part of a broader response where all levels of government work together to review investment and ensure outcomes are community driven.

In 2015–16, the department played a key role in a number of place-based initiatives, including :

  • Logan Together is a collective-impact  model to improve the wellbeing of children in Logan aged 0–8 years. Logan Together has already developed some key characteristics of a collective-impact model, including establishment of a backbone organisation and governance structure, the development of a common agenda and data collection as evidence to measure future outcomes.
  • Central Queensland’s Every C hild, also a collective-impact approach, is a whole-of-community approach to improve outcomes for kids. It incorporates adaptive leadership  and community development principles and is underpinned by a common agenda, shared measurement, mutual reinforcers, continuous communication and a backbone organisation.

This collective-impact model is in its early stages and during 2015–16 the focus has been on the key place-based elements of engagement, profiling, validation, issue analysis, and planning.

  • Mount Isa is driving local responses to social issues relating to crime, family violence, antisocial activities and school non-attendance. The aim is stronger integration of service delivery across the government and community sectors to help families.

During 2015–16 the Family Integrated Case Management (ICM) model was established to identify vulnerable families, young people and adults who would benefit from a multi-agency intervention and timely and coordinated services.

  • The Short Street Hub trial also commenced in mid 2016 to provide more integrated access for residents in the suburb of Pioneer . The trial is focusing on improving service integration involving the police service, Centrelink, legal services, housing, youth services, child safety, domestic violence service, family support, health (including wound management), the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs service (ATODS) and kindergarten/school enrolments.
  • The department continues to contribute to the Cairns Safer Streets Taskforce, established in July 2013, to collaboratively develop innovative projects to address juvenile offending behaviours and community safety concerns in the West Cairns area. Co-located Queensland Government officers from seven government agencies have delivered initiatives that contribute to addressing domestic and family violence, community development needs, support two community centres, promote personal and household safety and family wellbeing, reduce juvenile crime, and link community members with the right support services.

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Part 7: Community inclusion, participation and resilience

Our initiatives

We committed to co-developing contemporary strategies for women, seniors, young people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

We engaged a broad range of stakeholders in the development of:

  • Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016–21
  • Queensland: an age-friendly community strategic direction statement and action plan
  • Queensland Multicultural Recognition Bill 2016
  • a Queensland Youth Strategy to be released in 2016-17. 

We also established an Interim Multicultural Community Reference Group while we recruited members to the Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council.

Spotlight on Queensland Women's Strategy and Queensland Women's Week

The Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016–21 was the first Queensland women’s strategy in almost 10 years and provides a framework for government, the private sector and the wider community to act on gender equality.

The strategy focuses on action in four key areas: participation and leadership; economic security; safety; and health and wellbeing. These issues are crucial to progressing the fight for gender equality in Queensland.

A Queensland Women’s Strategy Community Implementation Plan  will include details on what government agencies and various non-government, private sector and industry organisations are doing to deliver on the vision and goals of the strategy.

In 2016, International Women’s Day was expanded into a week-long event —Queensland Women’s Week from 7–13 March.

The document Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016–21 was released on 9 March 2016 as part of Queensland Women’s Week.

The theme for 2016 was ‘Good for her. Great for us. When women achieve, Queensland succeeds’.

The department allocated $150,000 for a subsidy grants program to fund 44 community groups to host events around the state.


Spotlight on Valuing multiculturalism

There were 123 nominations received for the 2015 Queensland Multicultural Awards, the highest number of nominations received in the previous five years. In June 2015, 23 finalists from across the state were selected by an independent judging panel and winners were announced at the Awards Gala Dinner in August 2015.

The Community Action for a Multicultural Society (CAMS) program centres on social connectedness outcomes  for culturally and linguistically diverse individuals and community groups. In 2015–16, $1.7 million was provided to 19 community-based organisations across Queensland, including new services in Rockhampton and Mount Isa, and a new statewide service supporting Muslim women.

For the first time, the government established recurrent annual funding of $1 million to support multicultural events and projects through the Celebrating Multicultural Queensland grants program. In 2015–16 funding was committed to support 121 organisations across Queensland to deliver 128 diverse cultural celebrations, events and multicultural projects.

The Queensland Multicultural Recognition Act 2016 (PDF) was passed on 16 February 2016 and commenced on 1 July 2016. The Act:

  • promotes Queensland as a united, harmonious and inclusive community and will foster opportunities for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to participate in all aspects of life in our prosperous state
  • acknowledges that a diverse, dynamic and cohesive society will deliver important benefits for all Queenslanders, including the community, government and business sectors
  • recognises our diverse cultural heritage and aims to ensure that government services are responsive to the needs of our multicultural communities.

The Act:

The Act complements existing government legislation such as the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (PDF)and the Queensland Government’s Language Services Policy.


We committed to establishing an Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders.

We supported the government-appointed independent taskforce to develop a framework on transition to address key issues affecting seniors. The taskforce’s report will be considered later in 2016.

We committed to co-developing a Financial Resilience and Inclusion Strategy, administering concessions and commissioning new financial resilience services.

We administered an estimated $241 million to assist eligible pensioners, seniors and veterans with cost-of-living expenses.

On 28 April 2016, a service was trialled to make it easier for seniors to sign up for money-saving concessions . The online service  allowed people registering and applying for their Queensland Seniors Card to also sign up to save money on their car registration at the same time.

Spotlight on Providing people experiencing financial vulnerability with an alternative to pay day lenders

A Financial Literacy and Resilience Strategy was announced in the 2015–16 State Budget.

The strategy’s approach was developed through consultation with stakeholders involved in the provision of financial and material assistance, financial counselling, microfinance and financial literacy skills development, as well as the broader non-government sector. 

Under the strategy, Good Money shops operated by Good Shepherd Microfinance, Australia’s largest microfinance organisation, will be located in Cairns and on the Gold Coast. These shops will be the first of their kind in Queensland. They will offer people on low incomes an alternative to pay day lenders. Customers will be supported to make responsible and sustainable financial decisions which lead to long-term self-management. It is expected these shops will be operational by early 2017.

The department will fund financial resilience workers and/or counsellors in high-priority locations across the state. These workers will be able to assist people to enhance their financial resilience and address current financial difficulties. Financial resilience workers/counsellors will provide financial literacy education, case management and links to a wide range of supports such as providers of no-interest loans, utility subsidies, emergency relief and referral to specialist service providers such as Gambling Help services. 

It is intended that the procurement process  will be completed by the end of 2016 to allow for services to commence in early 2017.


We committed to support community hub initiatives.

In 2015–16 we invested $14.08 million in 121 neighbourhood centres in rural, remote and urban communities across Queensland. These centres play important roles in their local communities, providing access to child, family and community services.

A maintenance and upgrade program for multipurpose and neighbourhood centres was implemented.

The department also participated in the Department of State Development’s Community Hubs and Partnerships Program in 2015–16.

Spotlight on Queensland: an age-friendly community

The development of Queensland: an age-friendly community — action plan  was informed by more than 9,000 responses to an online survey in January 2016. The action plan outlines the Queensland Government’s priorities, initiatives and services that contribute to building age-friendly communities and supporting the strategic direction statement, Queensland: an age-friendly community . The direction statement was launched on 20 April 2016 and provides an age-friendly vision for the whole community to work towards.

We hosted Professor Alexandre Kalache, an international expert on age-friendly cities, in  March 2016. He explained how the age-friendly approach is recognised globally as a useful and effective way to improve the lives of older people as well as people of all ages.

An age-friendly community ensures people are free from age-related barriers that prevent their participation and inclusion. Older people are most likely to experience these types of barriers so would benefit most from an age-friendly approach.

The direction statement will influence the design of policies, services and structures to support and enable older people to live in safety, enjoy good health, and continue to participate fully in society, accessing services as needed.

An action plan that outlines the priorities, initiatives and services that contribute to building age-friendly communities was launched on 22 June 2016.

It contains 79 actions to be delivered across a range of state government agencies to support seniors in Queensland. Progress will be monitored and reported through an annual progress report card to be published online in 2017. A new Advancing Queensland: an age-friendly community grants program of $1 million per annum for three years will be launched in July 2017.

In 2015–16 we also:

  • led development of the government response to recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the adequacy of financial protections for Queensland seniors and commenced implementation activities
  • delivered a range of improvements to the Seniors and Carers Business Discount Scheme that make it easier for seniors to access information about services and offers relevant to them
  • selected a service provider to pilot the Casserole Club in Townsville. The club is a volunteering program that connects people who are willing to cook an extra portion of their meal to share with an older person living locally who cannot cook for themselves
  • commissioned Curtin University to undertake a study into the characteristics and prevalence of elder abuse in Queensland
  • launched the Tech Savvy Seniors program in partnership with Telstra and the State Library of Queensland to increase digital literacy by providing free digital training to seniors
  • celebrated Seniors Week in August 2015 with 737 registered events held across Queensland
  • celebrated Grandparents Day on 25 October 2015 which encourages children and families to acknowledge the love and support provided by grandparents
  • raised awareness of elder abuse through the ‘There’s no excuse for abuse’ marketing  campaign launched on 25 May 2016
  • recognised World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June 2016.

We committed to funding and supporting social and human recovery in disaster-affected communities and improving community recovery operations.

We undertook a comprehensive review of community recovery operations to improve outcomes in Queensland during 2015–17. Implementation of all review recommendations planned for 2015–16 was completed by 30 June 2016 within existing budget allocations.

We committed to funding drought assistance to affected communities.

We allocated $4 million in 2015–16 to administer community support packages up to 31 December 2016. A range of organisations benefited from this funding, including 28 local councils, 17 community and neighbourhood centres, the Queensland Country Women’s Association, and Agforce.

This year a flexible financial hardship component was included in the funding, giving organisations the ability to assist those in the greatest need. Vouchers for local business were also distributed to those who are eligible to assist with  the purchase of food, fuel or essentials such as medical bills and schooling essentials.

Spotlight on Improving our response in disaster-affected communities and community recovery operations

A new online portal has been developed to allow people to apply, be assessed and receive payment  directly to their bank accounts. This means they will be able to access support without having to leave their homes and avoid a queue at a recovery centre.

This new system will ensure much faster processing and greater access to information about local support services so community organisations can help people in more direct ways.

The online portal is a first for any jurisdiction in Australia and is at the forefront of disaster relief administration worldwide.  

The DeployMe application for Ready Reservists was completed in February 2016. This new app provides electronic, read-only access to information about disaster events, applicable contacts and appropriate social feeds during disaster event deployment.

A further $2 million has been allocated in 2016–17 to design and implement further improvements, including:

  • an inaugural Queensland community recovery forum to engage the business community in how they can play a role to improve resilience and recovery outcomes
  • initiatives to help address the social, physical and mental health effects of disasters on individuals, families and the community by improving awareness, preparedness and resilience
  • translating important information (for example, factsheets and signage) into the 10 most common non-English languages spoken in Queensland
  • improving data and analytical capabilities
  • a new workforce training framework for the Queensland Government Ready Reserve.

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Part 8: Organisational improvements

We committed to valuing staff and enabling them to fully engage in our reforms, innovations and improvement initiatives.

We committed to implementing the Simpler, Smarter, Better internal red-tape reduction initiatives.

Spotlight on Staff involvement in driving departmental innovation

Simpler, Smarter, Better 2015–16 success stories included:

  • linking transition -to-independence plans to case plans in ICMS , the child safety case management system
  • lowered delegations for approval of child-related costs
  • phased out fax-based workflows at Child Safety After Hours
  • changed human resources policy to reflect the fact that Administrative Officers Level 8 are not expected to complete timesheets
  • improved the approval process for young adults exiting the care of the state.

The department also introduced a dedicated innovation and ideas generation platform called Lightbulb. Staff from across the state can use Lightbulb to suggest ideas, vote for ideas, contribute to problem solving and be an active participant in innovation processes. As at 30 June 2016, Lightbulb had 1,088 members, 44 ideas had been suggested, 616 votes were received and 211 comments made.

The department hosted two senior leaders forums to develop the capability of the department’s leaders and support them in driving the department’s reform and innovation change agenda.

Swap meets were held at the end of 2015 to help embed the department’s 1 July 2015 realignment and promote working together in new ways across teams and across the state.

The swap meets saw regional and centrally based staff exchange ideas, workshop new ways to work together, and better understand links across the department using an action-learning approach.


We committed to addressing the results of the 2015 Employee Opinion Survey and the 2015 stakeholder survey.

See employee surveys under part 3 and part 9 of this report.

We committed to implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan.

Spotlight on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Action Plan

The department’s Cultural Capability Action Plan, Respectfully Journey Together, sets out the department’s approach and commitment to growing our cultural capability.

It also defines how we will build our capacity to:

  • better support vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • partner more inclusively with key organisations and
  • engage genuinely with communities.

Implementation commenced on 1 July 2015, and major achievements during 2015–16 included:

  • Launching the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Respectful Language Guide.
  • Developing the Valuing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ knowledge ‘lens’ and user guide. The lens facilitates and creates accountability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples having  meaningful influence in all policies, programs, projects, procurement and practice.
  • Designing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2015–19 (PDF) to attract, retain and develop current and future staff.
  • Creating a new special leave guide to promote better support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff to attend cultural and community events.
  • Ensuring the Employee Assistance Service maintains a strong  presence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellors and a high level of cultural capability. A proactive/early intervention approach is being trialled in Mount Isa where a counsellor spends two days each month across departmental workplaces.
  • Designing and recruiting for an Indigenous mentoring program. The Yarn and Grow mentoring program has 16 mentors and mentorees with the first session to occur in September 2016.
  • Developing Starting the Journey, the department’s foundational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability training program.

We committed to build capability in key practice areas and in customer service, community and customer engagement, co-design and innovation, performance, commissioning, procurement, leadership, cultural capability and community recovery.

Many examples of how we have achieved this are detailed throughout this report.

We also partnered with QUT to use its new consultation tool, InstaBooth—an interactive information-sharing booth—at Brisbane’s Central Station to support the development of the Queensland Women’s Strategy. Using the InstaBooth gave 500 people from across south-east Queensland the opportunity to contribute to the strategy.

Each year we survey our stakeholders to measure their level of satisfaction with the services we offer and find out where we can improve. A summary of the stakeholder satisfaction survey results is available on the department’s website. Our non-government organisation survey results can be found in part 9 of this report.

We committed to progressing our Digital Vision and Action Plan.

We progressed the Our Future Ways of Working Blueprint including the rollout of more than 1,000 mobile tablet devices to enable frontline staff to work more efficiently and remain connected anywhere, anytime.

We developed enterprise integration and external identity management capabilities  which, coupled with information exchange agreements, will provide the capability to share information between the department and service partners.

We partnered with industry across a number of new ‘as a service’  initiatives including print and imaging and data storage to ensure we are gaining the best-possible value from our ICT investments. The department’s ‘storage-as-a-service’ solution provides the department with the ability to rapidly scale ICT storage in response to changing demands. Transitioning to a managed print service will deliver more cost-effective and efficient print, scan, copy and fax services. It will involve installing new, state-of-the art, multifunction print devices (MFDs) in all departmental sites. It will also include ‘follow you’ printing, allowing a print job to be collected on demand when the user who printed the job releases it with a swipe card.

We also significantly progressed the rollout of the Windows 10 operating system to enhance end-user device functionality for corporate and regional staff. This new operating system includes direct access functionality to enable corporate devices to use a wider range of wireless networks and improve accessibility for staff using mobile tablet devices.

Spotlight on kicbox

In 2015–16 young people  helped us design and set out requirements for a new mobile and web application called kicbox.  

The app provides a contemporary channel to improve wellbeing for young people in out-of-home care. It also enables them to access information to support their transition to independence.

Stage one of the kicbox project is complete . Stage two of the project in 2016–17 will involve a statewide rollout and include additional capabilities such as integrating information from the case management system and developing a carer portal for people caring for young people to interact with kicbox.

Stage one feedback from case workers and young people in care provides some insight into kicbox’s main storyline, messaging, document retention and transition planning features.

Young people in out-of-home care told us:

I was travelling interstate for a sport competition where I was representing Queensland. I was at the airport and realised I had forgotten my identification. I remembered that my birth certificate was on kicbox. I loaded kicbox and showed them my birth certificate on my phone and was then able to fly and go to my competition.”

“I didn’t feel confident asking my CSO  directly about seeing my family interstate but I felt I could message my CSO and ask. I was able to visit my extended family interstate whom I hadn’t seen in years.”

Case workers  told us:

I attended a birthday party for a young person and afterwards I was able to upload photos to her storyline in about 10 minutes.”

“The young person and I were able to talk directly about things she needed for university. I think the direct contact reduced her anxiety. We were able to plan together and stay on track.”

“A high-risk teenager sent me a message saying something had happened at her placement and she had taken off. I was able to stay in contact with her through messaging on kicbox.”


We committed to implementing organisational realignment.

On 1 July 2015 we implemented a new organisational structure to support us to deliver our reform agenda, incorporate machinery-of-government changes, and carry out our business into the future.

The changes also enabled us to have a sharper focus on emerging areas of reform, including domestic and family violence and legislative reforms.

The coming three years will see more changes to our organisation as we transition to the NDIS, further progress our reform agenda and deal with increasing demand for services.

We committed to streamlining information-sharing between agencies and partner organisations to deliver better client outcomes.

We partnered with the Queensland Family and Child Commission to deliver Oneplace, an online community services directory of more than 46,000 community services to help Queensland families to access the right service at the right time.

We provided a new integrated referral, intake and case management system for all Family and Child Connect and Intensive Family Support services. As at 30 June 2016, ARC  was being used by more than 750 human service professionals across 15 non-government organisations. There have been more than 7,000 referrals since January 2015.

We delivered a data-sharing platform to support the creation of the Office of the Director of Child Protection Litigation. This platform allows the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services to securely share court materials.

We engaged specialist consultants to complete analysis and identify improved practice and system processes to support data exchange with the Department of Education and Training and Queensland Health.

Other achievements

We refreshed our Performance Management Framework and developed a new performance architecture to provide a clear overview of all strategic objectives, business as usual performance, risks, opportunities and accountabilities.

We developed the infrastructure to support the performance architecture and to increase availability of fit-for-purpose business intelligence tools from 2016–17 onwards.

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Part 9: Performance scorecard

Service delivery statement measures

The following scorecard summarises our quantifiable measures and qualitative achievements against our service delivery statement performance indicators.

Child protection

Rate of children entering out-of-home care per 1,000 children (0-17 years of age)

Quantitative results

Table showing rate of children entering out of home care per 1000 children (0-17 years of age)

Summary

Following several years of reductions, this figure has increasd from 1.9 per 1000 children in 2014-15 to 2.2 per 1000 children in 2015-16.

Analysis

Child and Family reforms, together with increasing capacity of Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support and Family Wellbeing and other services over coming years, are expected to result in the longer-term in a decrease in the number of children entering out-of-home care.

Data

 2011-12 actual2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 acutal2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
2.5 2.3 2.0 1.9 1.8 2.2

(Note: Not a SDS measures prior to 2014-15)

Rate of children subject to substantiated harm per 1,000 children (0-17 years of age)

Quantitative results

Table showing the rate of children subject to substantiated harm per 1000 children (0-17 years)

Summary

The rate of children subject to substantiated harm has improved over recent years.

Analysis

Continuing improvement in the rate of children subject to substantiated harm is expected over the coming years with the implementation of child and family reforms, particularly through extra investment in prevention and early intervention services.

Data

2011-12 actual 2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
6.5 6.6 6.0 5.3 5.6 5.0

 

Rate of children subject to protective orders per 1,000 children (0-17 years of age)

Quantitative results

Table showing rate of children subject to protective orders per 1000 children (0-17 years)

Summary

The rate of children subject to protective orders increased over the last several years.

Analysis

The child and family reforms are expected to result in a reduction in the number of children subject to protective orders. This is anticipated to occur gradually due to the complexity of issues families face, and the staged implementation of reforms.

Initiatives to address over-representation are expected to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children subject to protective orders over time.

Data

Demographic2011-12 actual 2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 40.4 41.9 42.7 44.6 43.0 45.4
Other children 5.6 5.6 5.4 5.2 5.3 5.4
All children 8.3 8.4 8.2 8.3 8.1 8.5

 

Proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed with kin, other Indigenous carers or Indigenous residential care services

Quantitative results

Table showing proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed with kin, other Indigenous carers or Indigenous residential care services

Summary

The result is higher than the previous year, with 56.5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed with kin, other Indigenous carers or Indigenous residential care services.

Analysis

The proportion of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children in out‑of‑home care placed with kin, other Indigenous carers or Indigenous residential care services has improved over recent years in spite of the continuing growth in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care.

Data

2011-12 actual 2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-2015 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
53.7% 55.5% 55.1% 55.9% 55.0% 56.5%

 

Proportion of children on a care and protection order exiting care after 12 months or more who had one or two placements

Quantitative results

Table showing proportion of children on a care and protection order exiting care after 12 months or more who had one or two placements

Analysis

While it is generally preferred children experience as few placements as possible, this needs to be balanced against other placement quality indicators such as placements in compliance with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, local placements, and placements with siblings.

Multiple placements may also occur for other positive reasons, such as an initial emergency placement being followed by a longer-term placement or a child transitioning to placement with kin.

Summary

The proportion of children with minimal number of placement changes was 37.2% of children who exited out-of-home care in the financial year ending 30 June 2016.

Data

2011-12 actual2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
38.2% 37.7% 43.5% 40.0% 40.0% 37.2%

 

Disability services

Number of Queenslanders with disability accessing support services

Quantitative results

Table showing number of Queenslanders with disability accessing support services

Summary

The result is higher than previous years with 47,784 people receiving services. The result includes all Queenslanders with disability who received a service in 2015–16, including those who transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) during the year.

Analysis

Services have responded to demand for support by more people across the state, ahead of a phased transition to the NDIS. However, it is anticipated that, as more Queenslanders with disability transition to the NDIS, the number of people receiving services will decline.

Data

2011-12 actual2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
44,855 46,067 45,547 45,963 46,000 to 47,000 47,784

(Note: Not a SDS measures prior to 2014-15)

Total estimated expenditure per service user receiving Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services-administered specialist disability services

Quantitative results

 Table showing total estimated expenditure per service user receiving DCCSDS administered specialist disability services

Summary

A slightly higher cost to deliver services in 2015–16 compared to previous years is expected.

Analysis

The 2015–16 final result will not be available until January 2018, as part of the national release of the Report of Government Services. Based on inflationary costs to deliver services, it is estimated the result will be higher than in 2014–15.

Data

2011 - 12 actual2012- 13 actual2013- 14 actual2014 - 15 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
$38,991 $40,461 $42,394 $44,259 $44,000 to $45,500 Not yet available

(Note: Not a SDS measure prior to 2014-15)

Community services

Non-government organisations are satisfied with their engagement with the department

Quantitative results

Table showing non-government organisations are satisfied with their engagement with DCCSDS

Summary

Non-government organisations rated their satisfaction with their engagement with DCCSDS higher compared to 2014–15.

Analysis

DCCSDS engages with non-government organisations through contract management, advisory mechanisms, as well as targeted engagement including active involvement in the development of DCCSDS policies, programs and legislation.

Data

2011-12 actual2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 actual2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
Not measured Not measured 78% 82% 85% 93%

Percentage reduction in the regulatory burden on non-government organisations

Quantitative results

Following a whole of government review, the method used to calculate the reduction in regulatory burden was seen to not be an accurate measure of efficiency and effectiveness. As such no result is available for 2015–16.

The measure has been discontinued.

Data

2011-12 actual2012-13 actual2013-14 actual2014-15 actual 2015-16 target/est.2015-16 actual
No data No data No data 21.4%   23% Measurement was not counted as discontinued

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Part 10: Risk management and accountability

Risk management

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 department
  • real-time analysis of risk exposures and meaningful reporting.

The department has a quarterly risk certification process as an assurance activity that ensures all strategic risks are reviewed and updated throughout the year.

Internal audit

The department has an internal audit function which is independent of management and authorised auditors. The audit function is undertaken in accordance with a strategic and an annual plan approved by the Director-General. The Audit Committee Charter is consistent with relevant audit and ethical standards.

Further information about the Audit Committee can be found at appendix 3—governance boards and committees.

External scrutiny

In 2014, the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) undertook an audit to assess whether child safety information is secure yet available to authorised personnel who provide child safety services. The entities subject to the audit were:

  • the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
  • three NGOs.

The audit’s focus was on information management for child safety services provided during the ongoing intervention phase. It did not include information provided to and from foster and kinship carers.

A full copy of the report and recommendations can be found at the Queensland Audit Office's website.

Actions taken in response to each recommendation as at 30 June 2016 are as follows:

Recommendation 1 — Mechanisms are now in place to monitor ongoing information sharing between the Department of Education and Training and the agency. This recommendation has been complete.

Recommendation 2 — This recommendation cannot be fully addressed without substantial changes to the current Integrated Client Management System (ICMS). This system is being considered for replacement. However, the department has implemented the Advice, Referrals and Case management (ARC) system for use by the sector to enhance the sharing of information as part of community-based intake and referral  reforms. Further progress will be reviewed in December 2016.

Recommendation 3 — Mechanisms are now in place to monitor ongoing information sharing so we can verify whether children not recorded as attending schools are really not attending schools.

We’ve implemented measures to evaluate the ongoing success of our partnership with the Department of Education and Training to address school attendance, suspension, exclusions, absences and abscondments.

We are currently executing a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Education to implement procedures to ensure effective monitoring of all relevant aspects of child safety services. It is expected this will be finalised in September 2016.

Other parts of this recommendation are being progressed and will be reviewed in September and December 2016.

Recommendation 4 — An information management model has been developed for child and family reforms. Further progress, including a replacement for the ICMS system, will be reviewed in December 2016.

Recommendation 5 — All measures have been actioned except the roll out of an electronic document records management system. This was piloted in March 2016 and progress will be reviewed in December 2016.

Recommendation 6 — A revised Non -Government Service Provider Basic Recordkeeping Guide will be incorporated as a contractual obligation into the investment specifications used by funded non-government agencies. Further work is required to monitor compliance and the financial impact on NGOs. Progress will be reviewed in January 2017.

Coroner

The Coroner made three recommendations to the department on 9 October 2015 regarding the death of a 13-year-old girl who stole a non-government organisation car and died in a car accident shortly after. The department agreed or agreed in part to the recommendations, all three of which remain in progress as at 30 June 2016.

Child Death Reviews

Internal

Queensland has a two-tiered review system for reviewing involvement with children and young people known to the department who have died, in accordance with legislative reforms introduced in July 2014. The department undertakes systems and practice reviews of its involvement following the serious physical injury or death of a child who is known to the department in the year prior to their injury or death or at the request of the Minister. Systems and practice reviews are conducted in accordance with Chapter 7A of the Child Protection Act 1999 and focus on facilitating ongoing learning and improvement in the provision of services by the department and promoting the accountability of the department.

External

Independent and external Child Death Case Review Panels then review the department’s reviews as the second tier of the review system. Findings from Child Death Case Review Panels are used by the department to inform improvements to practice and the implementation of the reform program.

Complaints management

Our framework for managing complaints

The department provides a complaints management system, as per s.219A of the Public Service Act 2008. This system provides the department’s clients and the general public with an opportunity to voice their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our services.

The Complaints Management system is oversighted by the Queensland Ombudsman as per the Ombudsman Act 2001, and is aligned with the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 10002:2014 — Guidelines for complaints management in organisations.

The department’s complaints management model is a three stage process and includes the option of an external review:

Stage 1 Complaints management

  • Frontline staff are empowered with clear delegations to resolve less serious complaints (low complex complaints) wherever possible at first contact.
  • Serious complaints (medium and high complexity complaints) are referred to either a Regional Office or Complaints Unit.
  • All complaints must be entered into the department's electronic complaints management tool.

Stage 2 Internal review

  • If a complainant is dissatisfied with the 'complaint management process' undertaken to manage a complaint, an internal review can be requested within 12 months of the outcome being provided to the complainant.

Stage 3 External review

  • If a complainant is dissatisfied after progressing through stages 1 and 2, they can pursue external options—e.g. alternative dispute resolution; complaints agency such as the Queensland Ombudsman or other avenues of appeal or review.

Complaints are assessed in accordance with the requirements of various legislation, policy and procedures.

Complaints are managed within service centres, regional offices or by the central complaints unit depending upon their complexity.

Key activities in 2015–16 included:

  • developing a complaints management framework
  • making system improvements in target areas recommended by the 2013 Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, the Queensland Ombudsman and the department’s internal auditor
  • revising the department’s complaints management policy and procedure
  • developing guidelines to assist in the delivery of a number of new functions for staff managing complaints
  • realigning complaints management support for regions
  • recommencing the annual complainant satisfaction survey to identify further areas for improvement, and enable client satisfaction benchmarking
  • improving access to assist children and young people make complaints via message to media, web chat and links within kicbox
  • updating information on internal and external websites, including revising the complaints management brochure and adding a child-friendly complaints brochure.

A number of initiatives will be implemented from July 2016 including:

  • implementing the revised complaints management policy, procedure and guidelines, including refresher training in the use of the department’s complaint management system RESOLVE
  • providing complaints management reporting to all regions and the department’s Service Delivery Leadership Forum to keep internal stakeholders informed of our performance
  • undertaking a major review of the complaints management system RESOLVE to consolidate the various databases into one system
  • introducing a self-auditing of complaints management across the department
  • implementing communication and engagement strategies to ensure clients and stakeholders are informed of updates and changes.

Our reporting obligations

In accordance with Section 219A of the Public Service Act 2008 the department is required to publish the following information on the department’s website:

  • the number of customer complaints received by the department in the year
  • the number of those complaints resulting in further action
  • the number of those complaints resulting in no further action.

2016 complainant survey results

Market and Communications Research (MCR) conducted a survey of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services complainants in early 2016 with a view to understanding overall client satisfaction with the complaint process.

The sample size consisted of 200 complaint management cases closed between January to December 2015. The following table shows the number of respondents across the department’s regions.

CBDBrisbaneSouth WestSouth EastNorth CoastCentralNorth QueenslandFar North QueenslandTotal
76 24 20 22 31 11 14 2 200

Given the small response rate across the regions, MCR advised that only North Coast and CBD results could be relied upon for accurate representation.

The final survey results for 2015–16 were as follows:

Graph detailing results from satisfaction survey

Recordkeeping

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 2015–16, 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 processes
  • providing training to departmental staff
  • continuing to provide ongoing record keeping support to departmental staff
  • consolidating the department’s record-keeping systems in preparation for the implementation of an electronic document and records management solution.
The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ functions and powers are derived from administering the following Acts of Parliament, in accordance with the relevant Administrative Arrangements Orders.
 
Our Director-General, on behalf of our Ministers, is responsible for administering these Acts.

The statutory objectives for each Act are outlined below.

ActStatutory objective

Adoption Act 2009
(except to the extent administered by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice)

The objective of this Act is to provide for the adoption of children in Queensland and provide access to information in a way that:

  • promotes the wellbeing and best interests of adopted persons throughout their lives
  • supports efficient and accountable practices 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 the provision of services that affect the role of carers
  • establish the Carers Advisory Council.

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.

The main principle for administering the Act is that the safety, wellbeing and best interests of a child are paramount.

The Act recognises a number of important principles, including:

  • a child has a right to be protected from harm or risk of harm
  • a child’s family has the primary responsibility for the child’s upbringing, protection and development and the preferred way of ensuring a child’s safety and wellbeing is through supporting the child’s family
  • if a child does not have a parent who is able and willing to protect the child, the State is responsible for protecting the child
  • if a child is removed from the child’s family, support should be given to the child and the child’s family for the purpose of allowing the child to return to the child’s family if the return is in the child’s best interests.

Child Protection (International Measures) Act 2003

The Act’s main objectives are to recognise:

  • the importance of international cooperation  for the protection of children
  • the need to avoid conflict between different countries’ legal systems 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 child’s property.

Community Services Act 2007

The Act’s main objective is to safeguard funding for the delivery of products or services to the community that contribute to Queensland’s economic, social and environmental wellbeing and enhance the quality of life of individuals, groups and communities.

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 wellbeing 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 provides 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 certified 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.

Multicultural Recognition Act 2016

The purposes of this Act are to:

  • recognise the valuable contribution of diverse groups of people to the Queensland community
  • promote Queensland as a unified, harmonious and inclusive community by establishing the Multicultural Charter
  • ensure services provided by government entities are responsive to the diversity of the people of Queensland by:
    • establishing the Multicultural Council
    • providing for the multicultural policy and multicultural action plan  
    • requiring that employees of government entities be made aware of the Multicultural Charter, multicultural policy and multicultural action plan
    • establishing reporting obligations for particular government entities.

Youth Justice Act 1992
(jointly administered with the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice)

The Act’s principal objectives 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:

ActChange in law

Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2016

The Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2016 made amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999 and was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 11 May 2016.

The Act implemented 10 specific court-related recommendations of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry to:

  • clarify the role of the various entities that may be involved in applying for orders under the Child Protection Act 1999, including the newly established Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor
  • allow a parent to request the department  to review a long-term guardianship case plan in certain circumstances
  • clarify that a parent’s attendance at a family group meeting or agreement to a case plan cannot be used against them in court proceedings
  • ensure the court is satisfied that living and contact arrangements have been included in a child’s case plan prior to making a long-term guardianship order
  • allow the court to dispense with the requirement to hold a court-ordered conference in exceptional circumstances
  • require the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to suspend applications for the review of contact arrangements and notify the Childrens Court and all parties, where a child protection proceeding is also on foot in the Childrens Court
  • clarify the role of separate representatives
  • give the court discretion to allow significant people in a child’s life to participate in proceedings
  • allow the court to join and hear two or more child protection proceedings if it is in the best interests of justice to do so
  • introduce a general duty of disclosure on the Director of Child Protection Litigation in child protection proceedings.

The Act also implemented a recommendation made by the Court Case Management Committee to require the Director of Child Protection Litigation to seek leave of the court to withdraw an application for a child protection order.

Coroners (Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board) Amendment Act 2015

The Coroners (Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board) Amendment Act 2015 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 15 October 2015.

In line with Recommendation 8 of the Taskforce Report, the Coroners (Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board) Amendment Act 2015 established the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board and a legislative framework to ensure the Board can effectively perform its functions.

Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Act 2015

The Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Act 2015 was passed by the Queensland Parliament by the Queensland Parliament on 15 October 2015.

The Act implemented priority legislative amendments arising from recommendations made by the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland in Not Now, Not Ever report.

The Act amended:

  • the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to increase maximum penalties for breaches of domestic violence orders to three years (or 120 penalty units) for a first offence and five years (or 240 penalty units) for a subsequent offence within five years (Recommendation 121)
  • the Evidence Act 1977 to ensure the availability of protections for special witnesses apply to all victims of domestic violence (Recommendation 133)
  • the Criminal Code 1989 and the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 to enable notations to be made on criminal charges and on a person’s criminal history upon conviction, to indicate the offences occurred in a domestic violence context (Recommendation 119).
Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Act 2016

The Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Act 2016 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 19 April 2016.

The Act implemented the final suite of priority legislative reforms in response to the Taskforce Report by:

  • creating a specific offence of strangulation in a domestic setting in the Criminal Code 1899 (Recommendation 120)
  • amending the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 to provide for domestic and family violence to be an aggravating factor on sentence for domestic violence offences (Recommendation 118).
Director of Child Protection Litigation Act 2016

The Director of Child Protection Litigation Act 2016 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 11 May 2016.

The Act established the Director of Child Protection Litigation, implementing recommendation 13.17 of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

The Director of Child Protection Litigation is an independent statutory officer, reporting to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. The Director must decide whether child protection order applications received from DCCSDS should be made and the type of order that should be sought. If an application for a child protection order is made, the Director will be responsible for conducting the proceedings in the Children’s Court.

The Director of Child Protection Litigation is required by the Act to work collaboratively with the chief executive of DCCSDS in relation to child protection order applications.

Disability Services and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016

The Disability Services and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 15 March 2016.

The Act provided for an interim arrangement until a national quality and safeguards framework is operationalised by the Australian Government.

The amendments:

  • addressed gaps to safeguard provisions left by a change to the way specialist disability services are to be funded as Queensland transitions to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • extended the application of benchmark safeguards to non-government providers not funded by the department but who receive funding through a NDIS participant’s approved plan on a fee-for-service basis.

A number of other benchmark safeguards were also captured, including:

  • extending the department’s complaints management system about the delivery of disability services to include a NDIS non-government disability service provider
  • enabling the chief executive to obtain the criminal history and related information about persons engaged, or to be engaged, at a service outlet of a NDIS non-government disability service provider
  • extending the application of the restrictive practices framework to include an NDIS non-government disability service provider who provide services to an adult with intellectual or cognitive disability
  • replicating monitoring and investigations provisions (similar to those in Part 4 of the Community Service Act 2007) so that they apply to NDIS non-government disability service providers.

There were also amendments to allow information sharing for the purposes of Queensland’s financial reconciliation of invoices and contributions to the NDIS.

Amendments were also made to other legislation, including:

  • the Public Guardian Act 2014 to extend the definition of a visitable site to include a place funded by the NDIS through a participant’s plan.
  • the Coroners Act 2003 in relation to death in care to include the death of a person who was residing in accommodation that was funded through their NDIS participant’s plan
  • the Guardian Administration Act 2000 in relation to the regulation of the use of restrictive practices
  • the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 to provide that a prescribed person may disclose information or give access to a document containing information about substitute decision makers for NDIS participants or prospective NDIA participants.

Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Another Act  Amendment Act 2015

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Another Act Amendment Act 2015 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 3 December 2015.

The Act implemented further priority amendments in response to the Not Now, Not Ever report by amending the Police Power and Responsibilities Act 2000 and the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.

The Act made amendments that:

  • clarify the use of body-worn cameras by police officers acting in the performance of their duties is lawful
  • introduce a principle that, to the extent it is appropriate and practicable, the views and wishes of people who fear or experience domestic violence should be sought before a decision affecting them is made under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012
  • require a court, if it is aware of cross applications, to hear them together and determine the person most in need of protection, unless it is necessary to deal with the applications separately, in the interests of the safety, protection or wellbeing of an aggrieved person
  • require a court to consider the imposition of an ouster condition to remove a perpetrator from the family home when making a domestic violence order, taking into account the wishes of the aggrieved person.

Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Amendment Act 2015

The Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Amendment Act 2015 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 17 October 2015.

The Act provided amendments to:

  • remove duplication in the issuing of handler identity cards by authorising approved trainers and training institutions to issue these cards
  • recognise alternative handlers to enable more people with a disability the opportunity to apply for a handler’s identity card
  • relax the requirements for proof of disability when a handler renews their card
  • provide more flexibility to the chief executive  to call upon the advice of experts in the approval and standard setting process
  • allow an approved training institution to certify a guide, hearing or assistance dog of an employee trainer, director or shareholder of that institution
  • improve the Act’s investigative and enforcement capability so complaints can be effectively handled.
Multicultural Recognition Act 2016

The Act was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 16 February 2016 and came into effect on 1 July 2016.

The Act introduced a new legislative framework to:

  • establish a Multicultural Queensland Charter that articulates principles promoting harmony and inclusion
  • establish a Multicultural Queensland Advisory Council to provide advice on the issues and barriers facing Queenslanders from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and how these can be addressed, and to assist in ensuring that Queensland Government policies, programs and services are responsive, equitable and inclusive for all Queenslanders
  • introduce a requirement for the Queensland Government to have a multicultural policy and action plan, to embed the principles of the Charter in the work of government, set outcomes for government action, and provide a coordinated whole-of government approach to developing policies and providing services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • strengthen government reporting requirements to include reporting on policy outcomes as well as action plan implementation.

 All legislation is available at the Queensland Government legislation website.

Appendix 2: Government bodies

Disclosure requirements for government bodies have been revised for 2015-16. Details of board remuneration can be found on the Queensland Government open data website.

Child Death Case Review Panels

Role, function and responsibilities

In response to Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry recommendations, 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 department’s service provision and to promote the department’s accountability.

Achievements for 2015-16

In 2015–16:

  • the CDCRP met 13 times and completed reviews of departmental involvement with 59 children and young people who had died and seven children who had suffered a serious physical injury
  • each of the 13 panels was responsible for producing a report outlining the findings of their review. Each panel made findings aimed at systemic improvement based on consideration of the cases allocated to them and findings related to individual cases
  • the department provided detailed responses to each of the panel findings
  • an external review was conducted of the review systems by Quality Innovation Performance Consulting Ltd. The review considered the first 12 months of the operation of the revised system and found significant areas of strength in the review process. The review highlighted some opportunities for continuous improvement. A comprehensive action plan has been developed in response to the challenges identified in consultation with internal and external stakeholders
  • the inaugural CDCRP annual report for 2014–15 was made publicly available on the department’s website.

Legislation under which the entity was established

Child Protection Act 1999

Financial reporting arrangements

Transactions of the entity are accounted for in the department’s financial statements.

Number of meetings held in 2015–16

13 panels held.
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 board’s directors represent the three partners in the company: the Palm Island Community Company, the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and the Queensland Government.

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16 the Palm Island Community Company:

  • delivered existing human services to Palm Island, including Family Support Hub, Safe House, Diversionary Women’s 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 2015–16

  • One monthly director meeting held between July 1 and August 11 2015 (when the department was responsible for the Shareholding Agreement)
  • One annual general meeting
Queensland Carers Advisory Council

Role, function and responsibilities

The council’s purpose is to provide advice to the Minister about strategies aimed at increasing public authorities’ recognition of carers and advancing carers’ interests.

Achievements for 2015–16

Council members have provided advice to the Minister about a number of priority issues, including:

  • carers and decision making
  • carers’ health and wellbeing
  • respite for carers in the NDIS.

Legislation under which the entity was established

Carers (Recognition) Act 2008

Financial reporting arrangements

The entity’s transactions are accounted for in the department’s financial statements.

Number of meetings held in 2015–16

Three
Queensland National Disability Insurance Scheme Transition Advisory Group

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 Transition Advisory Group (QTAG) first met on 5 May 2015.

QTAG, a key advisor to the Minister for Disability Services, is comprised of sector representatives with a broad range of knowledge and expertise. Members provide feedback and comment on challenges and issues encountered throughout the planning and commencement of transition to the NDIS.

Achievements for 2015–16

Five meetings took place in 2015–16, with members providing valuable advice on issues such as workforce, local area coordinator training, participant and provider readiness, ongoing provision of mainstream government services, rural and remote and Indigenous strategies, and mental health under the NDIS.
Legislation under which the entity was established N/A

Financial reporting arrangements

The entity’s transactions are accounted for in the department’s financial statements.

Number of meetings held in 2015–16

Five
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, statewide or national impact. In 2015–16 council members have had a specific focus on helping Queenslanders prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and on promoting a socially inclusive Queensland.

All council 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 regional council has between seven and nine members. In 2015–16 the councils operated with 59 members.

Members’ term of appointment ceased on 30 June 2016.

Achievements for 2015–16

During 2015–16, the Queensland Disability Advisory Council and seven regional councils met quarterly.

Queenslanders with disability benefited from the councils’ feedback on how the state can best prepare people and communities for the NDIS, specific accessibility requirements for people using public transport, the effect of costs 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 (sections 222 and 223).

Financial reporting arrangements

The entity’s transactions of the entity are accounted for in the department’s financial statements.

Number of meetings held

32

Appendix 3: Governance boards and committees

Audit Committee
Description

The Audit Committee’s primary role is to advise the Director-General on audit-related matters, and assist in the discharge of the Director-General’s financial management responsibilities 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, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Public Safety Business Agency (member)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS) (member)

Senior Executive Director, Policy and Legislation, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation, DCCSDS (member)

Head of Internal Audit, Internal Audit and Compliance Services, DCCSDS (invitee)

Chief Finance Officer, Financial Services, Corporate and Executive 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 2015–16, the external members received total remuneration of $12,612.49.

Meeting frequency

The Audit Committee met five times, with an additional meeting in August to steward and approve the annual financial statements.

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16, the committee:

  • monitored compliance with the 2015–16 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 2015–16 Audit Plan
  • managed the interface between the department and the Queensland Audit Office
  • reviewed and endorsed the annual financial statements
  • reviewed and endorsed the Chief Finance Officer Assurance Report.
Porfolio Executive Board
Description

The Portfolio Executive Board (PEB) is the department’s key strategic governing body. PEB meets monthly to consider the department’s overarching strategy and delivery interface, investment management and performance.

To maintain oversight of the portfolio of programs and projects, PEB also fulfils a key strategic leadership role as the Reform Portfolio Board.

PEB topics typically include escalated issues and reporting from other governance committees, portfolio performance dashboards, sessions to explore issues in depth, and high-level strategic financial issues.

Membership

Director-General (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Regions

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Regions

Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

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 East Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Chief Information Officer

Chief Finance Officer

Chief Human Resources Officer

Meeting frequency

Monthly

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16, the Portfolio Executive Board:

  • revised the department’s governance arrangements to reinforce a strategic and portfolio approach at the board level (including renaming the Executive Management Team as the Portfolio Executive Board, which convened its first meeting in September 2015) and strengthening the focus on performance for all subcommittees
  • monitored, critiqued and responded to the department’s strategic and portfolio performance, including through intense ‘deep dive’ sessions on specific topics. Topics included: National Disability Insurance Scheme  implementation; cultural capability; domestic and family violence reform; disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; community recovery inclusion and resilience; place-based initiatives; child and family reform; and commissioning and procurement.
Executive Leadership Committee
Description

The Executive Leadership Committee (ELC) was established in September 2015 as part of new departmental governance arrangements. ELC focuses on the department’s strategic activities, performance and partnerships, and responding quickly and agilely to emerging strategic issues.

ELC concentrates on:

  • the department’s overall alignment to strategy
  • building and maintaining strategic partnerships
  • the department’s strategic performance (financial and non-financial)
  • emerging issues.
Membership

Director-General (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Regions

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Regions

Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

Guests as invited

Meeting frequency

The ELC meets weekly or as required by the Chair and considers verbal briefings and information papers on topics nominated by the Director-General or Deputy Directors-General focusing on high-level strategic activities and issues.

Service Delivery Leadership Forum
Description

The Service Delivery Leadership Forum (SDLF) focuses on service delivery issues, service integration, reform implementation effects, and comparative regional performance, and works through the effects of delivering reforms within and across regions, in the context of continuing our commitment to excellent customer service.

SDLF oversees two service delivery forums: the Child and Family Regional Directors Forum, and the Disability Services and Community Services Regional Directors Forum.

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern regions

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Regions

(Co-chaired)

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 East Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services (standing guest)

Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation (standing guest).

Meeting frequency

Monthly

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16 the committee:

  • (established in September 2015)  endorsed terms of reference and established effective governance and meeting arrangements
  • strengthened coordination and collaboration between regions and with central office on policy, programs and initiatives
  • enhanced information sharing among regions on matters of mutual interest or concern
  • monitored organisational performance against targets and milestones and the department’s fiscal strategy
  • provided structured opportunities for central office policy and program staff to outline projects, to provide updates on achievements, and to seek feedback and input.
Social Services Performance and Reform Committee
Description

The Social Services Performance and Reform Committee (SSPaRC) is a decision-making committee that fulfils a dual role as part of the department’s overall governance arrangements:

  • as a Reform Program Board to oversight reforms set out in the department’s strategic plan relating to social services and community inclusion, participation and resilience
  • as a mechanism to consider performance and ‘business as usual’ matters relating to social services, community inclusion, participation and resilience aligned to service delivery and policy.

The Social Service Performance and Reform Committee and its subcommittees also contribute to whole-of-government, industry-led and place-level reforms.

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services

Chief Information Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Senior Executive Director, Policy and Legislation

Executive Director, Disability Services Commissioning

Executive Director, Child, Family and Community Services Commissioning

Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

Executive Director, Investment, Performance and Innovation

Director, Office for Community Sector and Industry

Director, Strategic Investment and Quality

Director, Office for Youth and Office for Seniors, Carers and Volunteering

Regional Executive Director, Brisbane Region

Regional Director, North Coast Region

Head of Internal Audit and Compliance Investigation Services (standing guest).

Meeting frequency

Monthly

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16, the committee:

  • widely consulted on the 10-year Strategic Investment Direction and Plan, and adopted the Investment Management Standard to ensure the department’s investments are allocated in a more strategic, planned manner
  • transitioned all child and family support services and community services organisations to service agreements making them subject to the requirements of the Human Services Quality Framework
  • contributed to the Queensland Treasury Social Benefit Bond Pilot Program
  • in partnership with the Community Services Industry Alliance (CSIA), jointly commissioned Forecasting the Future: Community services in Queensland 2025. Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the report provides a shared evidence base on the current and future profile of the community services industry along with key success imperatives. The report is informing development of a 10-year industry strategy
  • progressed initiatives to support more effective place-based responses through development of a shared definition of place and a suite of scenarios of place working well. Also convened five whole-of-government Logan Inter-departmental Committee meetings , three workshops to progress the Queensland Government contribution to Logan Together and support for Minister Fentiman as the Queensland Government representative on the monthly Logan: City of Choice Leadership Team
  • developed and released the Queensland: an age-friendly community strategic direction statement (March 2016) and action plan (April 2016); and established the Advisory Taskforce on Residential Transition for Ageing Queenslanders which will  deliver its final report and recommendations to government by August 2016.
Child, Family and Community Services Performance and Reform Committee
Description

The Child, Family and Community Services Performance and Reform Committee is a decision-making committee that fulfils a dual role as a performance committee and reform program board as part of the department’s overall governance arrangements. The committee is responsible for providing governance and strategic oversight of reforms in Child Protection and domestic violence as the Reform Program Board.

It also considers the performance and effectiveness matters of Child, Family and Community Services (CFCS) commissioned services.

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Regions (Chair)

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services

Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

Chief Information Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Senior Executive Director, Policy and Legislation, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

Executive Director, Investment, Performance and Innovation, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

Executive Director, Child, Family and Community Services Commissioning

Executive Director, Child and Family Practice and Service Improvement

Executive Director, Child and Family Reform Oversight

Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families

Executive Director, Office for Women and Domestic Violence Reform

Regional Executive Director, Central Queensland Region

Regional Director, Child Safety, South East Region

Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, Brisbane Region

Director, Change and Innovation (standing guest).

Audit Manager, Queensland Audit Office (standing guest).

Meeting frequency

Monthly

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16, the committee:

  • delivered whole-of-government and agency Child and Family reforms in collaboration with other agencies
  • commissioned additional secondary child and family, parenting and domestic and family violence services and linked to universal services
  • supported the development and implementation of a Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy, supported the development of the Violence Against Women Prevention Plan, and commenced implementation of the department’s response to the Not Now, Not Ever report
  • responded to the relevant matters and recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
  • implemented the new strengths-based, safety-oriented Child Protection Practice Framework     
  • delivered high-quality statutory child protection services and funded and supported out-of-home care and transition services delivered by carers and non-government organisations.
Disability Services Performance and Reform Committee
Description

The Disability Services Performance and Reform Committee replaced the Disability Services Reform Program Board in September 2015 and fulfils a dual role as part of the department’s overall governance arrangements. This is as a:

  • Reform Program Board and
  • mechanism to consider performance and business-as-usual matters.

The committee provides the program level overarching framework for disability services and community care reforms to be implemented both to:

  • prepare for and transition to the NDIS environment (via the DCCSDS NDIS Transition Project)
  • ensure high-quality service delivery throughout the period of preparation for, and then transition to, the NDIS.

The committee has oversight of the performance of Disability Services Commissioning, Disability Practice and Service Improvement, and DCCSDS Regions (disability services and community care).

Membership

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Regions (Chair)

Executive Director, Disability Services Commissioning

Executive Director, Whole-of-Government NDIS Implementation

Executive Director, Disability Practice and Service Improvement

Chief Finance Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Chief Human Resource Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Senior Executive Director, Policy and Legislation, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

Executive Director, Investment, Performance and Innovation

Regional Executive Director, North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, Far North Queensland Region

Regional Director, Disability and Community Services, South East Region

Head of Internal Audit and Compliance Services (standing guest)

Director, Change and Innovation (standing guest)

Meeting frequency

Monthly or as required by the Chair.

Achievements for 2015-16

In 2015–16 the committee oversaw the department’s preparation for the phased implementation of the NDIS in Queensland commencing 1 July 2016. This included providing direction to and coordination of the following key areas:

  • sector readiness, including provider and participant capacity building
  • DCCSDS  and sector workforce readiness initiatives
  • building the capacity of rural and remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to participate in the NDIS
  • quality and safeguards framework for participants during transition
  • continuity of support arrangements for existing Disability Services clients who may be ineligible for the NDIS
  • DCCSDS  funding reconciliation and transfer process
  • monitoring risks and directing work on the integration of risk management into the program management approach.
Finance and Budget Committee
Description

The Finance and Budget Committee monitors our financial strategy and performance. It is a decision-making committee and its primary role is to:

  • provide approval of budget strategies and responsibilities, including all major budget milestones during the financial year
  • oversee the preparation of the department's budget submissions
  • monitor and endorse adjustments to the department's budget
  • review whole-of-department financial performance, including monitoring of actual financial performance and position against budgets and overseeing the development of strategies in response to emerging issues
  • review and monitor the financial performance in relation to the department's capital outlays
  • provide direction and endorsement of budget pressures requiring funding and allocation of savings.
Membership

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services (Chair)

Chief Finance Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Deputy Director-General, Child, Family and Community Services and Southern Regions

Deputy Director-General, Disability Services and Seniors and Northern Regions

Deputy Director-General, Strategy, Engagement and Innovation

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

Director-General (standing guest)

Meeting frequency

Monthly

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16, 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 the 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.
Information Steering Committee
Description

The Information Steering Committee ensures strategic alignment of the department’s ICT investment. It is a decision-making committee and its role is to:

  • maximise the value derived from the ICT portfolio to the department
  • approve and release funds to programs on the strength of the business case relative to other investment opportunities
  • ensure strategic alignment of the department's ICT investment.
Membership

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services (Chair)

Chief Finance Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Chief Information Officer, Corporate and Executive Services

Executive Director, Child and Family Reform

Executive Director, Disability Services Commissioning

Executive Director, Investment, Performance and Innovation

Regional Executive Director, Far North Queensland Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Regional Director Child Safety, North Coast Region

Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships representative

Other attendees:

Whole-of-government representative

Head of Internal Audit and Compliance Investigation Services

Meeting frequency

Bi-monthly

Achievements for 2015–16

In 2015–16, 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 2015–16 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 2016–17 ICT-Enabled Portfolio of Work.
Workforce and Capability Steering Committee
Description

This committee provides strategic and operational direction on human resource and workforce management issues. It is a decision-making committee and its primary role is to:

  • provide strategic direction and oversee the implementation of departmental human resource and workforce management strategies, policies and procedures
  • provide direction and develop strategies to support the achievement of departmental goals in areas such as workforce diversity, capability development, performance planning, career development, succession planning, equal employment opportunity/anti-discrimination and workplace health and safety
  • guide the department’s workforce planning
  • oversee and monitor the implementation of the human resource management agenda and achievements
  • lead the implementation of the learning and development framework and priorities
  • provide direction to the development of the department’s culture
  • increase strategic focus of workforce effects arising across reforms and enable a cohesive approach to our shifting workforce.
Membership

Deputy Director-General, Corporate and Executive Services (Chair)

Chief Human Resources Officer, Human Resources and Ethical Standards

Executive Director, Child and Family Practice and Service Improvement

Executive Director, whole-of-government  NDIS Implementation

Executive Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

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 East Region

Regional Executive Director, South West Region

Director, Workforce Capability, Human Resources and Ethical Standards.

Meeting frequency Bi- monthly
Achievements for 2015-16

In 2015–16, the committee:

  • continued to provide leadership of the department’s strategic workforce planning agendas and its capability development
  • approved the Child and Family Operational Workforce Plan 2016–19
  • provided direction in the creation of local and regional cultural capability training content
  • provided input and guidance into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Strategy 2015–19
  • approved the department’s ‘Yarn and Grow’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mentoring Program Guidelines
  • provided guidance and approved the Workforce Capability Plan 2015–19.

Appendix 4: 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 2015-16

Priority areas under the National Disability Agreement include providing greater opportunities for choice and control, enhancing family and carer capacity, and maintaining flexible support models for people with complex needs. Queensland invested in a wide range of disability services to enable people with disability to live as independently as possible and participate in the community. These services included accommodation support, community participation and life skills development, and early intervention to give children with a disability the best start in life.

More than 2,000 people took up opportunities for greater choice and control by self-directing their support through the Your Life, Your Choice initiative.

Queensland continued to respond to carers’ needs by investing in respite services and funding carer support organisations, and stimulating the development of innovative options so that elderly parent carers can secure accommodation for their adult children with a disability.

Bilateral Agreement between the Queensland and Commonwealth governments for transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Queensland

On 16 March 2016, the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments agreed to the Bilateral Agreement for the transition to the NDIS in Queensland.

The Bilateral Agreement and associated schedules detail the roles and responsibilities for the Queensland and Commonwealth governments during the transition to the NDIS in Queensland over a three-year period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2019. The schedules cover implementation matters including (but not limited to) funding, phasing and support arrangements, quality and safeguarding arrangements, and how the NDIS will interface with mainstream services.

National Disability Strategy

Additional information

The National Disability Strategy 2010–20 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 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 2015-16

All agencies prepared disability services plans as required by the Disability Services Act 2006.

Work commenced on the development of a new state disability plan for the period 2017–20.

National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children

Additional information

The National  Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020 (National Framework) was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in April 2009. Progress to implement the National Framework is monitored through a series of three-year action plans, annual reports and reporting on the indicators of change. The First Action Plan (2009–12) and Second Action Plan (2012–15) have been completed.

The Third Action Plan 2015–18 was endorsed by Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers in 2015 and was launched by the Honourable Christian Porter MP, Commonwealth Minister for Social Services in December 2015.

Objectives/targets

The primary focus of the Third Action Plan 2015–18 is to substantially reduce the number of children and young people experiencing abuse and neglect; improve the lifetime wellbeing of children through a strong focus on prevention and early intervention; and strengthen families’ capacity to care for their children.

Over the three-year period of the plan, activities will focus on three strategies:

  • early intervention with a focus on the early years, particularly in the first 1,000 days for a child
  • helping young people in out-of-home care to thrive in adulthood
  • organisations responding better to children and young people to keep them safe.

Overarching across all aspects of the Third Action Plan is a strong commitment to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, and a focus on research and reporting.

Achievements for 2015-16

The department implemented a number of initiatives that align with priorities for the Third Action Plan such as:

  • implementing the new Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice
  • rolling out Family and Child Connect Services and Intensive Family Support Services to support families at risk of entering or re-entering the child protection system
  • trialling the Triple P Parenting Program
  • offering the Next Steps After Care Service and other initiatives to support young people transitioning from care to independence
  • signing an interstate child protection protocol to provide a framework within which signatory states and territories and New Zealand will work together to promote the best interests and wellbeing of children subject to child protection intervention
  • services and support to help reduce the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system.

National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) 2014-15

Additional information

The Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW) has lead responsibility for negotiations and implementation of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness 2014–15 (NPAH). The Youth Housing and Reintegration Service (YHARS) and the Transition and Post-Care Support initiative and Young Adults exiting Care of the State (YACS) initiative, which are part of the NPAH, are administered by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Objectives/targets

The NPAH supports Commonwealth and jurisdiction efforts to reduce homelessness 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 2015-16

In 2015–16 the department continued to support young people at risk of homelessness or homeless through the YHARS and After Care Service as per the NPAH Project Plan—Queensland. In addition, the department supported the Transition and Post-Care Support initiative and Young Adults exiting Care of the State (YACS).

National Partnership Agreement on Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged Care and Disability Services

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 continued in 2015–16.

Objectives/targets

The agreement’s objective was 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 2015-16

In 2015–16, 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.

Negotiations continued with the Australian  government incorporating the previous Schedule F financial arrangements into the broader funding agreements within the NDIS Bilateral Agreement.

National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-22

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 2015-16

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.

Highlights include

  • Becoming a member of Our Watch, the national organisation 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.
  • Contributing $3 million to the Stop it at the Start national campaign launched on 20 April 2016.  The campaign focuses on how people and communities can positively influence the attitudes and behaviours of young people, aged 10 to 17, towards violence and gender inequality.
  • Participating in the first national round table on violence against culturally and linguistically diverse women and their children held on 7 August 2015. More than 80 participants attended, as well as representatives from the Australian Government, all state and territory Ministers responsible for reducing violence against women and their children, and senior officials from each jurisdiction.
  • Contributing to the development of National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions. On 11 December 2016 COAG agreed to the Headline Standards  and a supporting framework, with implementation materials including indicators and a reporting framework to be agreed in 2016.
  • Participating in technology trials under the Women’s Safety Package to trial the use of innovative technologies with the potential to keep women and their children safe, improve frontline services, and hold perpetrators to account.
  • Confirming commitment to Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) with funding to 30 June 2020, and consideration of a further two-year extension to align with the life of the national plan.

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.

Achievements for 2015-16

In 2015–16, the department made payments of $28.445 million to approximately 290 organisations delivering specialist disability services.

Appendix 5: 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

188

 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

10
Operating environment

 

ARRs—section 11.3

10-24
Non-financial performance Government's objectives for the community ARRs—section 12.1

16

Other whole-of-government plans/specific initiatives

ARRs—section 12.2 179

Agency objectives and performance indicators

ARRs—section 12.3 81

Agency service areas and service standards

ARRs—section 12.4 81
Financial performance

Summary of financial performance

ARRs—section 13.1 31
Governance—management and structure

Organisational structure

ARRs—section 14.1 25

Executive management

ARRs—section 14.2 26

Government bodies (statutory bodies and other entities)

ARRs—section 14.3 30

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

ARRs—section 14.4

40
Governance—risk management and accountability

Risk management

ARRs—section 15.1 92

Audit committee

ARRs—section 15.3 161

Internal audit

ARRs—section 15.4 92

External scrutiny

ARRs—section 15.2 92

Information systems and recordkeeping

ARRs—section 15.5 97
Governance—human resources

Workforce planning and performance

ARRs—section 16.1 36

Early retirement, redundancy and retrenchment

Directive No. 11/12 Early Retirement, Redundancy and Retrenchment

ARRs—section 16.2

42
Open data

Consultancies

ARRs—section 17

ARRs—section 34.1

30

Overseas travel

ARRs—section 17

ARRs—section 34.2

30
Queensland Language Services Policy

ARRs—section 17

ARRs—section 34.3

30
Financial statements Certification of financial statements

FAA—section 62

FPMS—section 42, 43 and 50

ARRs—section 18.1

140
Independent Auditor's Report

FAA—section 62

FPMS—section 50

ARRs—section 18.2

141

The department works to strengthen and protect the wellbeing of Queenslanders, particularly those most in need of support.

Information about 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 74 68) 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 offers 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 is 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.

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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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