Nucleus has been retained by a number of government and non-government organisations across a range of service types to develop comprehensive policy and procedures manuals. Scope generally includes service delivery, administration, governance and finance, and the provision of training to staff and management to introduce and implement any new arrangements. Tasks undertaken by the consultant have included developing a clear understanding of service models employed, identification of gaps in existing frameworks and ‘better practice’, and consultation with key stakeholders to inform the development of service processes.
Licensing Standards for Children’s Services
The NSW Government administers and monitors the licensing of services for children under school age in NSW. Relevant regulations at the time this project was undertaken provided a range of requirements to be met by licensed child care services, many based on standards that in the main were developed outside Australia. To coincide with a new Act, this project reviewed similar services in other Australian jurisdictions, sought input from local NSW providers, peak bodies and service users, and developed preferred practice benchmarks in key areas including the health, safety, care and education of young children (as covered by the NSW Act).
Service Reviews – various Government Departments
Funding bodies from time to time have cause to conduct reviews of funded providers, often where there has been a history of complaints or breaches of service delivery standards. Nucleus has undertaken a wide range of such reviews, with primary focus on protecting and ensuring client outcomes through enhanced practice and management effectiveness. Within reviews, particular emphasis is given to identifying organisational practices and structures which will optimise client outcomes within existing funding, and to evaluating staffing and administrative arrangements to determine adequacy and appropriateness.
Service Standards Compliance
Nucleus has been engaged by the Victorian Government to undertake a number of independent reviews of aspects of the operation and management of non-government organisations funded under the Home and Community Care Program for conformance with relevant codes and Standards. To expedite reviews, Nucleus developed a standardized data collection process to facilitate easier and more consistent reporting of service performance as well as the identification, confirmation and reporting of issues. Recommendations consistent with government policy and priorities are provided at the conclusion of reviews, designed to draw on the strengths of the agency to address any deficiencies in service provision, governance or management that may have been found. Reports also routinely include detailed action plans to implement recommendations and provide an ongoing monitoring framework.
Program to Safeguard the Rights and Well-being of People with Disability
This project involved development of a resource kit for preventing, identifying and responding to abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of people with disability. The resource kit provides specialist disability services and other stakeholders with a range of practical tools that may be used to assist to achieve this goal and increase rights protection and well-being. In developing the tools, safeguarding systems in other jurisdictions and service sectors were evaluated and an extensive literature review conducted.
Nucleus was commissioned to create Standards in Action, a manual that clearly set out practice requirements as a benchmark for performance in implementation of NSW Disability Services Standards. Of particular importance in encouraging continuous improvement, the manual also provided examples of poor, good and better practice in service delivery to illustrate how providers could continuously improve service offerings
Quality Assurance Program - Western Metropolitan Region, Victoria
Sponsored by local management, mental health services across a region grouped together to develop and implement a Quality Assurance Program including identifying and implementing appropriate quality assurance measures and raising staff awareness and understanding of quality assurance processes. The consultancy included a literature review, interviews with key stakeholders and production of a discussion paper used as the basis for workshops with staff, clients and families to discuss issues and possible approaches to be used in the QA program.
Quality of Life
As consortium leader and in partnership with a major University, this project identified specific applications for the measurement of the quality of life of people with disability in Victoria. It also researched and described appropriate assessment methodologies and provided an estimate of the resource implications of alternative approaches, effectively providing a cost-benefit analysis of quality of life assessment to inform departmental considerations in incorporating quality of life into planning, policy setting and service development.
Development of a Resource Booklet for In-home Care Providers
This assignment documented the provision of in-home care by three pilot projects auspiced by family day care services and funded by the Australian Government, as an initiative to further expand the provision of flexible childcare. Good practice in the design, provision and monitoring of service delivery was identified, and a booklet produced as a resource for other providers considering extension of service into this area.
Quality of Support Reviews, Victorian Department of Human Services
A Quality of Support Review is one mechanism within the Victorian Government’s continuous quality improvement framework to ensure serious incidents involving allegations of staff assaults of disability services clients and unexplained injuries are effectively reviewed. Nucleus reviewed the process and documented practice instructions to provide guidance to workers reviewing allegations of staff to client assaults.
NSW Government Client Services Charter and Guidelines
Nucleus revised the NSW Government’s Client Services Charter and developed Guidelines for staff on how to build effective communication with clients of NSW Government provided services. The Client Charter outlines key information about service delivery approaches and the relationship that Government seeks to have with community clients and third parties (which includes client families, guardians, and advocates). The Guidelines instruct staff on how to execute and comply with the Charter in their dealings with community clients and third parties, and also explains the roles and responsibilities of various staff groups.
The Bouverie Centre operates under the auspice of Latrobe University and provides a range of family therapy services. Nucleus was retained by Bouverie to document service policies and procedures in preparation for third party audit, including establishment of a quality management system and the provision of staff training in responsibilities under the new system.