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Thank you for your interest. This activity has closed. Learn what we heard from you in our listening report or read about our broader Next Steps work.

Focus groups: Share your ideas - now completed

The Community Services Directorate is progressing its next round of sourcing and procurement for child protection, out of home care and support services planned to begin in June 2023.

To support this, a series of 8 focus groups were held over 3 days during April and May 2023. Over 120 people attended, and provided their views about the new service delivery framework and associated operating arrangements.

In addition to the focus groups, submissions were invited in response to a discussion paper.

A Listening Report summarising the feedback shared at the focus groups and through the submissions is available from the document library.

More about this opportunity

Child protection, out of home care and support services form part of a new, draft integrated service system that underpins the implementation of Next Steps for Our Kids 2022-2030, the ACT's strategy to strengthen families and keep children and young people safe.

The draft service system which is included in the information pack available in the document library, has been designed in response to feedback from people with lived experience plus reviews of the ACT’s out of home care system over the past 6 years. The feedback and reviews highlighted the need for more integrated service delivery and increased competition, contestability and user choice for earlier support and statutory care services. Stakeholders said the interoperability of the system is critical for future success.

The new, draft system provides a seamless and continuous service system extending beyond the statutory child protection and out of home care system. This broader more connected system is a key lever to shift the existing system from child protection to family support and allow for flexible options to meet the individual needs of children, young people and families. The draft system is made up of placement packages, support packages and standalone services.

The service packages discussed at the focus groups for the upcoming procurement opportunity were:

  • Sustaining Families (Intensive Family Support, Preservation and Restoration).
  • Relative/Kinship Care, Foster Care, elements associated with Adoptions and Enduring Parental Responsibility.
  • Family Reconnect and Aftercare.

Service providers who were unable to attend a focus group but are interested in contributing their views and ideas are able to upload a submission. Submissions close 19 May 2023.

You can read about the consultative work that has already happened as part of Next Steps at Next Steps for Our Kids 2022-2030.

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as traditional custodians of the ACT and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.