CREATE Project Bulletin – September 30, 2018

September 30, 2018

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING

From the Director’s Desk – Professor Ross Homel (Co-Director): This month I would like to present a brief overview of the community child risk and protective factor methodology that we have developed as a central component of the Deciding Together stage of the CREATE Project (this overview will replace the Project Feature for this month). This methodology is quite original for the 5-12 year-old age group, having never been applied before in Australia or (to our knowledge) anywhere else in the world. We do however freely acknowledge our intellectual debt to the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington who developed Communities That Care a quarter of a century ago. Our methodology broadly parallels the risk and protective factor framework central to CTC, which was developed for young adolescents and uses a high school-based questionnaire as its key data collection instrument.

One thing that makes the CREATE Project methodology different from the ‘State of the Child’ data reports that have been developed for many communities around Australia (including Communities for Children communities) is its reliance on the longitudinal research literature to identify 23 risk and protective factors for child wellbeing. In other words, risk and protective factors do not emerge from community data but from the large number of long-term rigorous studies that have been carried out in fields such as developmental psychology, health, criminology, education and substance abuse.

However, to compute scores for the 23 risk and protective factors, high quality community data on child wellbeing are of course essential. The CREATE methodology draws on three data sources:

  1. Rumble’s Quest item scores (57 in all)
  2. Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) item scores (we selected 118 out of the full set)
  3. Government and Australian Bureau of Statistics indicators (14 of these, such as rates of domestic violence)

Because CfC regions are often very large, nearly all consisting of two or more suburbs or towns, we are computing factor scores at the Statistical Area 2 (SA2) level. There are 149 SA2s across the 22 CfC regions in NSW and Queensland.

The methodology is summarised in the diagram. This diagram includes a map of Logan as a multi-suburb CfC region, but a map of any other CfC region could equally have been used (Logan is in fact about the largest CfC community in Australia).

During Term 4, approximately 350 public/state schools in 22 Communities for Children NSW and Queensland will have the opportunity to implement Rumble’s Quest. This will be the culmination of a monumental series of negotiations and problem-solving strategies that the research team commenced with the two departments of education early in Phase 2 of the Project, two years ago. In the past year or so, as I commented in last month’s CREATE RoundUP, Griffith University has also required us to subject the child data storage system for Rumble’s Quest to rigorous ‘penetration testing’ to guarantee the extremely high level of data security that we can now warrant.

Accessing the AEDC item scores at the SA2 level has also turned into something of a marathon series of exchanges with the Social Research Centre at the ANU, which administers the AEDC on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training. However, we are pleased to report that we have just been granted ‘in principle’ access to these data.

In the background we have been working away to access the much smaller set of government data that comprises the third data source. This process is almost complete, except that we have so far been unable to obtain community-level child maltreatment data for either NSW or Queensland. This is because these data are extremely sensitive. We are nevertheless continuing with our negotiations – watch this space.

 

Prize for the first Blog: At the end of this newsletter is information about how you can provide questions to the project using the Blog feature in the Project Management Portal (this information was previously at the beginning of the newsletter). Thus far no-one has provided a question via the Blog on the Project Management Portal. Ross Homel is offering a prize of a bottle of wine to the first person who proposes a question via the blog. Just go to the blog and submit your question (or ask someone who has access to the blog to submit it on your behalf).

Plenary and CREATE Executive Committee Update: The CEC will meet on the 2nd of October. As the positions of the Chair and Deputy-Chair are currently vacant, Ross Homel will temporarily chair the CEC meeting until the Chair and Deputy-Chair positions have been confirmed. Other items on the agenda for the CEC will include: Review membership of the CEC; Review and finalise the Terms of Reference for the CEC; Review and finalise governance structure; Review and finalise Plenary Document; Review feedback in relation to the Communications Plan and finalise; Review feedback and develop a plan for completion of the Program Management Plan; and Review and prioritize the list of actions arising from the plenary meeting and NGO’s concerns. It will be a busy meeting.

Department of Education, QLD, Mental Health Coach Meeting – 6th September, 2018: On Thursday the 6th of September members of the project team, Queensland CIFs and Departmental staff including Mental Health Coaches met to outline the roll out of Rumble’s Quest in Queensland. Mental Health Coaches coordinate the development of local communication networks that support the dissemination of relevant materials and resources and the provision of professional development for teachers, school leaders, guidance officers and other staff in relation to mental health. Their role will be to support and guide schools as they review their Rumble’s Quest data and consider actions in response.

The project team plans to have a similar meeting with NSW Departmental staff and CIFs as soon as possible.

CIF Gathering – September 27th, 2018: Following on from our gathering on the 18th of June, the CIFs, NGO Facilitating Partner representatives, Ross Homel and I met at the Benevolent Society’s National Office in Glebe. We would like to thank the Benevolent Society for hosting and making us all feel so welcome.
Contributions Welcome – Contributions from project partners to the RoundUP are welcome. If you have an idea for a feature, event or just something that made you smile please contact Sara Branch (s.branch@griffith.edu.au) for inclusion in future RoundUPs.

This day was designed and planned by a three CIFs, Clare Barclay, Valancy Hicking, and Kylie Levings. The general consensus was that it was a very insightful day that allowed the CIFs and others to share and discuss what they have been doing and learning about being a CIF. Challenges experienced were explored and a case study presented. The research team would like to thank Clare, Valancy and Kylie for putting together such a fantastic day.

The CIFs and others plan to meet again just before Christmas, possibly mid-December.

 

FEATURE – PARTNER ORGANISATION

THE BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

PAUL HARKIN – Director Community Development, The Benevolent Society.

Paul has a Masters in Community Development, 20 years experience working in the community sector in Ireland, the UK and Australia, and is a current MBA candidate at the University of Sydney. His present role with the Benevolent Society has a number of elements to it, including supporting our community-focused services, so that each understands and is connected to the individual communities in which they are based; and creating partnerships with others that improve outcomes for clients and communities.

Paul’s career has given him the privilege of engaging with strong, resilient communities, in urban and rural settings; communities that work with their strengths to address their challenges. He has engaged with communities to design new solutions to the issues they face. Some of these have included the establishment of a Credit Union and other social enterprise responses; multi-agency partnerships to tackle significant community disadvantage; community consultation and planning; service design and procurement; social action networks seeking to change views and systems; and innovative solutions to address access issues.

Paul is very excited for The Benevolent Society to be part of a project that is seeking to better understand the conditions for good collaboration and its impact on outcomes for children and families.

 

THINGS THAT MADE US SMILE THIS MONTH

This is where we share great things to read, listen to, attend and more! Let us know if you discover anything you would like us to share in our next newsletter.

Hancock Lecture: This month Ross Homel gave his second Lecture as part of the 2018 Keith Hancock Lectures at the University of Melbourne on the 13th of September. The Hancock Lecture Series, hosted by the Academy of Social Sciences, aims to communicate cutting edge social science research to the general community. This lecture was well attended and can be viewed on the following link: https://youtu.be/pnmUz8E2y8Y

Partnership Broker Association training: Sara was lucky enough this month to attend the Advanced Skills in Partnership Brokering training with the Partnership Broker Association. The training was not just a lot of fun, during the 5 days attendees were given the opportunity to explore, practice and develop partnering skills. For more information about the Partnership Broker Association go to the following link: http://partnershipbrokers.org/

 

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

CREATE Q&A Teleconference: Members of the project team are available at a Q&A teleconference for anyone interested in continuing the conversation. Each month we will be discussing a specific topic. This time we will be discussing the Risk and Protective Factor Methodology behind the Deciding Together stage of the CREATE Change Cycle summarised by Ross Homel earlier in the newsletter.

This month’s Q&A details are:

2pm Tuesday October 23rd
Call: 1 800 896 323 and enter Participant Code: 96583305#

 

November 19-23, Logan: ChangeFest

“If you’re involved in improving the lives of people and places and you recognise that more can be achieved together, than alone, then you need to be in Logan, Queensland between 19-23 November 2018” to attend the ‘Changefest’. Keynotes already announced include: Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink, and Liz Weaver, Co-CEO of the Tamarack Institute.

More information about this exciting program can be found at the following site: http://www.changefest.com.au/

 

WHAT’S NEW IN THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PORTAL

(Items added in September)

Project Summaries

  • Collective Impact Facilitator – Summary – posted September 2018

Project Governance – CEC

  • 2018 OCTOBER 2 – CEC Agenda and Attachments – posted 20-9-18

CIF Role – Updates to CIFs

  • Update to CIFs – Weeks from 27-8-18 to the 7-9-18 – posted 9-9-18
  • Update to CIFs – Weeks from 10-9-18 to the 21-9-18 – posted 24-9-18

Project Updates – CIF Reports

  • 2018 August CIF REFLECTION REPORT – posted 3-9-18

Items of Interest

  • Community Child Risk and Protective Factor Structure – to be confirmed by analysis – posted 26-9-18

Communications

  • CREATE Project Bulletin – August 31, 2018 – posted 31-8-18

Please go to the Project Management Portal to view these and other project documents. All project partner representatives and CIFs have access to view these documents. To access the portal: http://www.creatingpathways.org.au/project-management/project-management-portal

 

What do I do if I have a question?

BLOG – Each month’s RoundUP will be posted as a blog on the Project Management Portal. Please log into your secure account to view and provide a comment or question within the blog (for those who do not have access to the Project Management Portal please contact your organisation’s representative to the Project or your local Collective Impact Facilitator as they have access to the portal): http://www.creatingpathways.org.au/project-management/project-management-portal.
Comments and questions will be discussed at the Q&A teleconference (see Upcoming Meetings and Events section of the newsletter).
Please feel free to distribute this RoundUP to individuals within your organisation who are interested in the project, and invite them to contribute to the Blog or call in for the Q&A on the 23rd of October.

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