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  • Collaborative Practice

    Framework Working collaboratively with children,

    young people and families

    Prepared for the City of Port Phillip Family, Youth and Children Department

    by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

    March 2016

  • 1 Collaborative Practice Framework City of Port Phillip 2016

    Collaborative Practice Framework

    Table of Contents

    About this Framework ......................................................................................................................... 2

    Overview ............................................................................................................................................ 4

    Key elements of collaborative practice ................................................................................................. 6

    What does effective collaboration involve? ...................................................................................... 6

    Building and supporting collaborative practice ............................................................................... 11

    Identifying need and purpose................................................................................................................ 11

    Planning for collaboration ..................................................................................................................... 12

    Establishing relationships and commitment to the partnership ........................................................... 13

    Strengthening collaborative practice ............................................................................................. 14

    Building an organisational culture supportive of collaboration ............................................................ 14

    Strengthening cultural awareness and knowledge ............................................................................... 15

    Adapting the partnership/collaboration as circumstances change ....................................................... 15

    Reviewing collaborative practice ................................................................................................... 16

    Reviewing need and commitment ......................................................................................................... 16

    A commitment to continuous improvement ......................................................................................... 17

    Regular monitoring ................................................................................................................................ 17

    Evaluation .............................................................................................................................................. 18

    Collaborative Practice Framework Toolkit .......................................................................................... 20

    Practice Tool 1: Mapping child, youth and family services in the City of Port Phillip ......................... 21

    Practice Tool 2: Assessing the nature of existing partnerships ......................................................... 22

    Practice Tool 3: Determining roles and responsibilities ................................................................... 23

    Practice Tool 4: Terms of Reference Guide ..................................................................................... 24

    Practice Tool 5: Measuring outcomes ............................................................................................. 25

    Practice Tool 6: Reflective practice ................................................................................................ 28

    Practice Tool 7: Further resources .................................................................................................. 30

  • 2 Collaborative Practice Framework City of Port Phillip 2016

    About this Framework

    A shared approach to improving outcomes for children, youth and families

    The purpose of the Collaborative Practice Framework (the Framework) is to support the City of Port Phillip

    (the Council) to improve outcomes for children, youth and families through more collaborative ways of

    working. This document provides a conceptual framework and practical guidance to improve collaborative

    practice. It should be read in conjunction with the Council’s Collaborative Practice Policy.

    The Framework is based on a review of the literature and input from internal and external stakeholders. It

    was developed after the Council identified opportunities to improve service provision for children, youth

    and families.

    The Framework intends to guide Council management and staff in their interactions with partner service

    providers. Although it has been developed for the Family Youth and Children Department in the Council,

    the Framework has broader application and relevance across all Council Departments. It is also relevant to

    external stakeholders delivering child, youth and family services who can benefit from increased

    opportunities to interact collaboratively with each other and with Council to provide streamlined,

    accessible, targeted and well-resourced services.

    Figure 1 shows the cyclical nature of collaborative practice in child, youth and family services. The cycle

    involves identification of client needs and the most appropriate way of responding to these needs. In

    some cases the response will involve the Council or organisations working autonomously. A more

    integrated approach is required for clients with multiple and complex needs. For service delivery to be

    effective the needs of clients, objectives, outcomes and partnerships need to be continually assessed and

    refined.

    Figure 1: A cycle of continuous improvement in collaborative practice

    Identify the needs of the child, young person or family

    Identify how best to meet these needs - working alone or

    together

    If working together, decide the most

    appropriate type of collaboration and how it

    will work in practice

    Once established, continually monitor

    and evaluate whether objectives

    are being met

    Implement changes to improve

    collaboration and service outcomes

  • 3 Collaborative Practice Framework City of Port Phillip 2016

    Figure 2 provides the structure for the collaborative model. It is adapted from A Toolkit for Working with

    Families1 to reflect an approach suitable for the City of Port Phillip.

    The Framework includes the components depicted below. The Implementation component is contained in

    a separate but related document.

    Figure 2: Conceptual representation of the Collaborative Practice Framework

    1 A Toolkit for Working with Families was developed as part of the Engaging Families in the Early Childhood Development

    Story, which is a Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood Development project. The project supports the reform priority under the National Early Childhood Development Strategy, Investing in the Early Years, to assist parents and the community in understanding the importance of early childhood.

    Enablers

    Overview:

    Meaning, types, rationale, benefits and challenges of collaborative practice

    Strong leadership

    Shared purpose &

    goals

    Clear communica

    tion

    Agreed processes & systems

    Staff capability

    Evidence base

    Implementation

    Planning, executing, monitoring

    Tools and Resources

    Checklists, reflective questions and templates

    Reviewing collaborative practice

    - Reviewing need and commitment

    - Commitment to continual improvement and regular monitoring

    - Evaluation

    Building and supporting collaborative practice

    - Identifying need and purpose

    - Planning for collaboration

    - Establishing relationships and commitment

    Strengthening collaborative practice

    - Building a supportive organisational culture

    - Strengthening cultural awareness and knowledge

    - Adapting the partnership/ collaboration

  • 4 Collaborative Practice Framework City of Port Phillip 2016

    Overview

    Meaning of collaborative practice

    Collaborative practice involves individuals and organisations working together to address problems and

    deliver outcomes that are not easily achieved by working alone. It can take different forms, ranging from

    loose, informal connections through to fully integrated services. The nature of the collaboration will

    depend on the issue or gap it is intended to address.

    Common terms used to describe collaboration include partnerships, ‘joined-up’ services, multi-disciplinary

    centres, inter-agency working and inter-professional working.

    Working collaboratively can be challenging and requires effort. Relationships are built on trust and this

    takes time to develop. The Framework is intended to assist the Council and its various partners in the

    practice of working collaboratively.

    Types of collaboration

    Not all interactions will require formal and regular contact, and full integration is not r

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