The FACT project – process and methods
Local Services Mapping
The Family Agencies Coming Together Project is part of the Local Services Mapping (LSM) process being facilitated nationwide by the Ministry of Social Development’s Family and Community Services. It is a cross-sectoral approach that aims to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery to families.
It is intended the following benefits will arise from this more collaborative approach:
improved service planning co-ordination between government and non-government agencies
a greater capacity to respond to local needs
more efficient use of resources.
LSM has three phases:
The first phase focuses on undertaking local research to develop a Community Report to inform government, non-government providers and funders, and other community services about gaps and overlaps in services. The Community Report will identify local needs and opportunities, and highlight priority issues to be addressed in that community.
In the second “action planning” phase, LSM aims to help provider and funder organisations to improve (both separately and collectively with other partners) the quality and effectiveness of their services for families. The action planning that takes place will build on the issues and areas of focus that emerge from the Community Report.
The third phase will ensure the actions identified in the community action plans are implemented according to an agreed timeline and lead to the desired outcomes.
The LSM process in Tauranga
In Tauranga, the local service mapping process has been substantially guided by feedback from the agencies, both government and non-government, who make up the Strengthening Families Community Provider Network.
The first task in the LSM process was to work with providers to identify and scope the priority areas. Providers were asked to indicate what they thought worked well in Tauranga, and what they believed could be gained by this sort of project. The feedback received from workshops and a scoping questionnaire was analysed by Family and Community Services staff and a LSM steering group. From this exercise, the priority areas were confirmed.
A variety of methods were used – interviews, workshops, questionnaires, and data scanning – to drill down into each of the priority areas. This revealed what was happening in Tauranga, who was providing services of what kinds, and what issues providers felt affected the delivery of services to families.
As the work progressed, regular updates were given at the quarterly Strengthening Families community provider hui. At one hui, a competition was held to find a name for the project, and from then on it was known as FACT: Family Agencies Coming Together. These hui gave voice to the wisdom and experience of the people who work at the frontline with families in Tauranga, and gave the FACT team a strong mandate to complete the task.
Family and Community Services provided a statistician who, with the help of Statistics New Zealand and the head offices of a number of government departments, compiled a community profile describing the demographic issues impacting on Tauranga. The Tauranga City Council and the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, both key players in planning in the district, were also generous in supplying