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Working for a better future and outcomes for our children

News

Your organisation holds existing accreditation for other industry standards and/or quality systems - what does this mean for your HSQF and is there any options for streamlining?

We hope you enjoyed the three previous articles in the Human Services Quality Framework series:

In this article, we will discuss what options may be available if your organisation is already certified under another industry standards and/or quality systems.

The development of the HSQF took into consideration the possibility that organisations may already have accreditation for other industry standards / quality standards and that this could provide opportunities to reduce duplication. Where your organisation's existing accreditation aligns well with the Human Services Quality Standards and is appropriate for the types of services funded, your organisation may be able to request recognition of that existing accreditation to demonstrate compliance with the HSQF.

For example, ISO 9001 has been recognised as meeting the requirements of the Human Services Quality Standards for organisations providing peak body services.

Does my organisation’s existing accreditation align well with the Human Services Quality Standards?

You can obtain information about the extent to which the following standards align with the Human Services Quality Standards from the HSQF website at www.communities.qld.gov.au/industry-partners/funding-grants/human-services-quality-framework/other-accreditation-process-resources:

  • National Standards for Disability Services
  • RACGP Standards for General Practice
  • National Regulatory Code for Community Housing
  • Residential Aged Care Quality Standards
  • Home Care Standards (Australian Government)
  • Standard on Culturally Secure Practice (Alcohol and other Drug Sector)
  • Attendant Care Industry Standards
  • QIC Health and Community Service Standards

How can my organisation apply for recognition of our existing accreditation?

Applications for recognition of alternative accreditation are considered on a case by case basis.

An organisation that wishes to demonstrate its compliance with HSQF through recognition of an alternative form of accreditation should apply by:

Step 1    
Completing an application form which can be found at www.communities.qld.gov.au/industry-partners/funding-grants/human-services-quality-framework/other-accreditation-process-resources

Step 2    
Collating evidence of all relevant accreditation documents for example copies of current certificates, audit reports, corrective actions plans.

Step 3    
Submitting the completed application form and the evidence to support that application to hsqf@communities.qld.gov.au

What factors will be considered when assessing an organisation’s application for recognition of alternative accreditation?

The following factors will be taken into consideration when assessing an application for recognition of alternative accreditation:

  • degree of alignment between the alternative standards/accreditation with the Human Services Quality Standards
  • relevance of the accreditation to the type of services the organisation is funded to provide
  • the type and complexity of the services provided
  • vulnerability of people using services
  • level of funding investment
  • any service specific mandatory evidence requirements that may apply to the services provided under the HSQF.

As a general rule, an alternative accreditation will not be recognised where it has been assessed as having limited alignment with the HSQF (less than a 60% match), and/or has no direct application to services in Queensland of a similar type and/or where mandatory service specific requirements apply under the HSQF.

For example, alternative accreditation will not be accepted where an organisation is funded to provide child protection placement services in-scope of licensing.

Please note also that services types funded by Queensland Health will not generally be included in a decision to recognise alternative accreditation as meeting the requirements of the HSQF.

What are the possible outcomes if we apply for our existing accreditation to be recognised as meeting our requirements under the HSQF?

Your organisation will receive written advice of the outcome of the assessment. There are 3 possible outcomes:

Outcome What does this mean for my organisation?
Accepted

Your organisation will need to maintain the alternative accreditation for the term of any service agreement with a Queensland Government department requiring compliance with the HSQF. When the alternative accreditation expires, your organisation will need to provide a copy of the new accreditation and related audit/review report to the relevant departmental contract officer

Note: Where an organisation receives new funding for service types different to those currently provided, a reassessment of the approved alternative accreditation will be required.

Partial acceptance Your organisation will need to undertake and submit a 'gap' self-assessment and related continuous improvement plan against specified key requirements within a specified timeframe.
Not accepted Your organisation will need to comply with a prescribed demonstration method under HSQF (either self-assessment or certification) and will be advised a timeframe to meet those requirements

If your organisation is not accepted for alternative accreditation, you may find you can align HSQF audit activities with other audit/review activities. For example, the HSQF JAS-ANZ auditing scheme makes it simpler for organisations to undergo concurrent audits, which allows relevant evidence to be considered once rather than on two separate occasions.

Further information about streamlining audits can be found in the HSQF Scheme Rules available on the JAS-ANZ website.

Over the summer of 2018/2019 we had the first cohort of students from community controlled organisations enrol into a brand new course developed from a QATSICPP initiative and formalised via Griffith University. This course focussed on an in depth look at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Practice Standards developed by QATSICPP along with supportive and complimentary content around such things as the history of child protection, the child protection placement principle, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander family and child rearing practices, trauma informed practice and self care.

This course was developed with the strong support of the First Peoples Health Unit at Griffith University and run through the School of Social Work and Human Services at Griffith University. This was a pilot course, to see how the process of collaboration and partnership would work out between QATSICPP and a major Australian university and to see what the student experience would be like. Being a first time project it is not always easy to know how things will work out and how the course will be received.

The great news is, after all was said and done, the course was a great success for all concerned. We had 17 peoples start the course and 15 people complete it successfully. This was an amazing result given the range of challenges that had to be met. For some students this was their first university level course. Given that it is a post graduate level course that is certainly a challenge and it was fantastic to see students gain in confidence and success as they progressed through the study trimester. Aside from personal challenges there was a major natural disaster event in the form of cyclone Alma and major flooding throughout northern Queensland where a majority of students were located. Nevertheless everyone managed to get it on with it and get it done.

A highlight of the course was the week-long residential held at South Bank in Brisbane. This was an opportunity for students to get together from across the state, to study together, to share their experience and knowledge and to complete group assessment work. The week was a great success and a huge thanks must be extended to Professor Roianne West and her dedicated team from the Griffith First Peoples Health Unit. Without the support of the First Peoples Health Unit the residential could not have happened. We are already thinking about how deadly we can make the next one! Here’s some comments from students about their experience:

“I liked the uniqueness of the course and how the course content was tailored to my current work. I am particularly happy that there is provision for my continued learning with the other courses in Human Services as I wouldn't have done uni studies if I didn't do the first course and to get formal qualifications has been a long time dream for me.”

“I welcome the opportunity, I value the incredible support from the First Peoples Health Group, the lecturers and staff. The course was subject specific which is applicable in my line of work; it is clear and manageable throughout its duration. The mixed learning feedback both online and on campus was timely and beneficial and I would strongly encouraged others to enrol in this course.”

“The course was designed to provide flexibility in learning. The Trauma Informed Practice and Self Care components of the course were of particular interest to me as I believe that most of the clients we deal with are experiencing intergenerational conflicts due to historical removal of children.”

Based on the success of the pilot, the course will run again in Trimester 3 at Griffith University. Whilst this course can be taken as a stand-alone, single course option it is strongly recommended that people enrol into the Post Graduate Certificate in Human Services which has a total of four courses. It can all be completed via online study and as a part time of full time option. To find out more about this course and the Graduate Certificate in Human Services you can get in touch via email with Naomi Gill at the School of Social Work and Human Services: n.gill@griffith.edu.au or contact staff at QATSICPP.

Article provided by Glenn Woods, Lecturer, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University.

QATSICPP Youth Council
L-R: Lane Brookes, Taz Clay, Leeonee Thompson, Raja Clay and Euan Currie-Kennedy,

It’s extremely honouring to have been appointed to the QATSICPP Board as an Independent Director, it is even more humbling that I have the pleasure to be the Chairperson of the QATSICPP Youth Council. I’m looking forward to the role and helping to build up the Youth Council’s capacity over this year and into the future.

On the 27th of April 2019, the Youth Council officially met and established the groundwork and priorities to get the council off the ground. Throughout the day it was decided upon expectations, priorities which included council expansion, presentations and events, as well as deciding the leadership group. Still in its infancy and the finer details are to be cemented in over the next upcoming meetings which is why the council will meet on a monthly basis, council membership is a two-year term and members will report to the QATSICPP Board with strategic priorities.

The Leadership group is as follows:

  • Lane Brookes – Chairperson
  • Leeonee Thompson – Deputy Chairperson
  • Raja Clay – Secretary
  • Taz Clay - Treasurer

I’m very optimistic that the council can expand to cater representation from across the state as well as have a diverse and collective mix of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander youth ranging in all ages of the youth spectrum. Our key focus for the future is to develop strategies and frameworks for working with youth in all communities while representing and providing a voice to all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander youth within Queensland.

I look forward to sharing our progress and journey with our members and stakeholders and strive to improve the aspirations and lives of all Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Youth within the state.

Lane Brookes Chair YC

QATSICPP Youth Council Chairperson Lane Brookes

 

Wuchopperen Health Service Limited (Wuchopperen) have established a new team to deliver the Family Participation Program in partnership with Gungarde Community Centre Cooktown and Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care following an initiative from the Department of Child Safety, Women and Children. As a collective, the team will deliver the program in both Cairns and the Cape York region.
In the Cairns region, the team of eight will work with our families to support them every step of the way when dealing with complex issues involving Child Safety. The team guides families through the decision-making process and ensures they have the knowledge to empower themselves to make the right choice for parents, children and other caregivers on their healing journey.
Manager of Child Wellbeing Programs, Anthony Satrick says the program gives families the tools to make decisions for themselves in a culturally appropriate setting.
“Self-determination is an integral aspect of the Family Participation Program. When families are involved with Child Safety concerns, everyone involved wants the best outcome for the child, what better way to find that outcome than empowering the family. Our role isn’t to make decisions or work on behalf of The Department, but to help families find their voice.
The Family Participation Program also recognises the importance of having peer-to-peer support throughout their involvement with Child Safety. Having a team of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in positions to guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the process is what the community control model of healthcare, and social and emotional wellbeing, has been advocating for decades,” says Anthony.
The Family Participation Program also works holistically with other teams at Wuchopperen to ensure families are getting the best wrap around supports we can offer including parenting programs, playgroups and mental health support.

Read more on the First meeting of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap here.

The QATSICPP Board is proud to announce the appointment of Lane Brookes as our first Independent Director of QATSICPP. We look forward to ensuring that the voices and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are front and centre in the work of our organisation. 

 

Lane is a 23-year-old Mandandanji man hailing from the South West QLD town of Roma, he is a born and bred local and passionate about bringing change to his community, state and country. Since completion of his schooling in 2012, he has had a variety of roles within the community. His first being actively involved in youth and community programs where he worked at the local state school as an Indigenous Teacher Aide for 2 years after leaving school, during that time he successfully completed his Diploma in Education through the Rural Area Teaching Education Program which is for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people in QLD. There he acquired more roles to benefit his community while learning how to teach primary school children in Far North QLD, Cape York Peninsula and the South West Region. In his spare time of the role he would mentor students with the homework, sport and extra curricular activities as well as introducing and maintaining cultural elements in their lives.

Also around this time Lane’s love for Rugby League took a different approach to the usual weekend games where at age 17 he introduced a concept to the Roma and District Rugby League calendar, it’s first ‘Charity All Stars’ based concept where players of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander players were selected for the Indigenous Team and vice versa for the Non-Indigenous Team. He coordinated the main game while also overseeing the entire structure and organising of the whole event with his team of volunteers, where a local person or family were selected as the recipient of the event. There he would approach local business, donate his own time and money towards the event and charity to ensure that the event was a success while also captaining the Maranoa Murris Team (Indigenous Team). During it’s entirety from 2013 – 2017 it has raised upwards of $50,000 for locals doing it tough in the Roma & District Community, those include a local father with Motor Neurone Disease needing house refurbishment and quality of life with his wife and children. A young child from Roma with Vocal Cord Paralysis, Cerebral Palsy and Microcephaly, a baby from Surat with a rare disease needing specialist treatment in Melbourne, a 50 year old Aboriginal man from Mitchell who suffered a neck injury at the age of 18 and became a Quadriplegic and then lastly a 25 year old Roma man suffering from Cerebral Palsy (Leigh’s Disease) and a main component of that being that one of the main carers of that recipient was that his father had passed away before Christmas and this game assisted the family and caring team. From this work Lane was rewarded in 2013 with the Roma NAIDOC Ethel Munn Services to the Community award, the following year 2014 being the first Aboriginal and Youngest Person to win Roma’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year which then followed on through to Roma NAIDOC where he collected another community service award and Person of the Year at the inaugural Roma NAIDOC Ball.

After finishing employment at the local state school, Lane decided to take up Business in 2015 and as a first time small business owner he turned to his love of his culture where he owned and managed his own business called ‘Deadly Way’ where he would sell his own art as well as buying and selling the youth’s artwork, running art workshops, traditional dance performances, traditional dance workshops, cultural tours, school visits and keynote speaking. There he would learn the business world and travel all through the South West and Darling Downs while networking all through the state in Tourism sector. Doing this fulltime from 2015 and into late 2016, in that timeframe he was rewarded again in 2015 as South West QLD’s Rising Star where he featured on the front cover of the phone book with two of his mentees, and then in 2016 he travelled with Deputy Mayor of Maranoa Council to Perth for the Australian Tidy Towns Awards where he won Australian Young Legend because of his business and Indigenous Tourism in the region.

There he would be accepted into the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program in Brisbane and join the Eric Deeral Indigenous Youth Parliament where he was elected as Indigenous Youth Premier and leading his party throughout the program. This sparked his interest in Politics and decision making and he decided that he would like to pursue a career in that field, soaking up as much information as he could, and he was then appointed to the Primary Health Network Consumer Council to represent the South West as representative for Youth and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health.

This then followed onto his future employment and further development of his political learning, in late 2016 commencing into a role with QLD Health and then locked down the position of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officer at Roma Hospital with his brother. He would then go on to be accepted into the National Indigenous Youth Parliament program of 2017, he was one of the six QLD representatives and was elected as Indigenous Youth Opposition Leader. Which then earnt him the opportunity of becoming a Democracy Champion at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra where he joins Indigenous Leaders like two other fellow Indigenous Youth Parliamentarians, Current House of Representative’s Member Linda Burney, Warren Mundine and Dr Chris Sarra. He followed on by being the Lead Mentor of the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program. Later in the year he would increase his personal development in the Health sector by being trained in the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health program ‘Deadly Thinking’ where he has delivered and trained community members in the whole of the South West district, Lockhart River, Dubbo and Western NSW, Geraldton and mid WA areas and in the North West Kimberly region. In 2018 he would take a step up in roles from the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program and receive the opportunity of being the Co-Facilitator of the Program while also assisting in the program content to deliver to the 2018 cohort.

So now Lane currently juggles many jobs and community responsibilities and has recently commenced a Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis at Griffith University as well as being appointed to the Queensland Youth Engagement Panel by Di Farmer (Miniser for Child Safety, Youth & Woman and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence) where he’ll sit for a two year term alongside ten other Youth members from across Queensland. He plans on building his profile and being involved in the government and political sector can help when he runs for the Senate, where his dreams of becoming an Honourable Member of Parliament in the Federal and State Houses while also becoming the first Aboriginal Mayor of Maranoa Council in his home of Roma in the future sometime. He takes every opportunity and wants to make sure that the next generation can achieve their dreams and that all Australians can close the gap in all targets to ensure a better future for Australia.

Achievements & Awards

  • 2013 – 2017 Raised over $50,000 for Local families in the Roma and District Community
  • 2007, 2013 Roma NAIDOC Ethel Munn Services to the Community
  • 2014 Australia Day Roma Citizen of the Year
  • 2014 Roma NAIDOC Person of the Year
  • 2015 South West QLD’s Rising Star
  • 2016 Australia Tidy Towns Australian Young Legend
  • 2016 Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program – Indigenous Youth Premier
  • 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament – Indigenous Opposition Leader
  • 2017 Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program – Lead Mentor
  • 2017 Democracy Champion for Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD)
  • 2018 Baton Bearer for Roma in Queens Baton Relay – Commonwealth Games
  • 2018 Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program – Co Facilitator
  • 2019 Queensland Youth Engagement Panel – Appointed Member

Your HSQF demonstration method based on your funding and service type is ‘self-assessable’:

what does this mean and what are you required to do?

We hope you enjoyed the two previous articles ‘Introduction to the HSQF’ in the August 2018 edition of the QATSICPP newsletter, and ‘You are required to be certified under the Human Services Quality Framework – what happens now?’ published in November 2018.

In this next part of the series, we will be providing information specifically for those organisations that have a demonstration method of ‘Self-Assessable’, what you are required to do, and some tips to help you navigate the process.

Just a reminder that your regional contract management teams, the HSQF team as well as the team at the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) are available to help answer any HSQF specific questions you may have along the way, so make sure you reach out if you would like further support.

What is the self-assessment process

Depending on the amount of funding you receive from the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and/or the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (the departments) and the types of services you deliver, you may be required to demonstrate your compliance with the Human Services Quality Framework through a self-assessment process.

This process requires your organisation to complete a Self-Assessment Workbook based on the evidence available against the requirements in the workbook. Your organisation will go through the requirements against the six Human Services Quality Standards, and determine whether each requirement is currently ‘Met’, ‘Partially Met’ or ‘Not Met.’

Timeframes and overview of the self-assessment process

Your organisation will generally have 18 months from when you first receive funding from the department/s to submit your completed self-assessment. You will then be required to provide an update on progress in 12 month’s time, and submit your next self-assessment 18 months later.

Your regional contract officer will be a key contact throughout this process and will help you find information about what the requirements are, to plan timeframes and to review the self-assessment that you submit to them.  QCOSS is also able to provide supports during the process, including policy and procedure templates for your organisation to use, as well as opportunities for face-to-face support.

Completing your self-assessment

When you first commence your self-assessment process, we strongly recommend reading through the two guiding documents on our website:

  • the Human Services Quality Framework User Guide – Self-Assessable Organisations – this guide explains each standard in detail and outlines evidence requirements for different services; and
  • the Guide to Self-Assessment and Continuous Improvement - Self-Assessable Organisations – this document provides information to assist self-assessable only organisations undertake a self-assessment.

These two documents will help guide you through what the requirements are and how you complete your self-assessment workbook.

What happens if you don’t yet fully meet the requirements of the self-assessment

Whilst the self-assessment process helps you review what you have in place to meet the requirements, it is also intended to show you the areas where you have processes that need further development or improvement. Therefore alongside the self-assessment workbook, the other important part of the process is the Continuous Improvement Plan. This plan provides your organisation a structured process for noting which areas need further development, time to implement, the timeframes to achieve this and who will be responsible.

It is important to note that any areas listed as ‘critical safeguards’ within the self-assessment workbook have a shorter timeframe to address any outstanding issues. This is because it is critical for the safety of your clients, your staff, as well as your organisation to make sure those processes are in place and working as soon as possible.

Submitting your self-assessment

You are required to submit your self-assessment workbook and continuous improvement plan to your regional contract officer by the due dates advised to you.

Once it has been received, the regional contract officer will check it for completeness against the requirements using a Self-Assessment Review Tool. This tool has been developed directly in line with the self-assessment workbook your organisation completes, and helps the regional contract officer determine against each requirement whether your organisation has provided sufficient information to show the requirement has been addressed within your organisation. They will also check your continuous improvement plan to confirm the planned actions for any areas not yet fully met are reasonable and meet timeframes.

Please note: the self-assessment process does not require you to send in any policies and procedures, but rather, explain through your write-up in the workbook what is in place to meet the requirements. If you are not sure you have all your policies and procedures that you need, QCOSS may be able to provide some assistance.

The regional review of your self-assessment is a collaborative process and in instances where the regional contract officer feels further information is required to support that the requirement is addressed, they will have a conversation with you to go over their findings and to make a plan moving forward.

 

Tips for completing your self-assessment process

Whilst there are a range of supports available, your organisation is ultimately responsible for driving the self-assessment process and making sure timeframes are adhered to. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • There are two different options for completing your self-assessment workbook. You can complete it in Microsoft Word and complete the separate continuous improvement plan, or you can complete it in Microsoft Excel, which has some automation and has a built-in continuous improvement plan.
  • Ensure your organisation completes and signs the Declaration of Accountable/Authorised Officer page at the front of the workbook before being submitted, as it cannot be reviewed without this being completed.
  • Make sure you have the initial discussion with your regional contract officer to check the due date for submitting your self-assessment, preferably as part of your initial contracting discussions.
  • As is the biggest tip noted in the previous articles, we strongly suggest getting started early! This will not only give you time to understand what is required of you, but also to develop any policies and procedures, provide training and record evidence of service delivery to be able to then answer the questions asked through the self-assessment process.
  • Keep revisiting your continuous improvement plan and updating it with the actions you are taking against areas not yet fully met. Progress on your plan will need to be submitted to your regional contract officer one year after your self-assessment workbook due date. You may be asked to provide advice earlier around any critical safeguard actions.

Next article – you have existing accreditation under other industry standards or quality systems – can this be recognised as ‘Other Accreditation’ and do you need to do anything else?

  • Child Protection Environment

    53.7%

    of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were placed with a kinship or Indigenous carer.
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak

    69,200

    There are 69,200 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children / young people in Queensland.