PracticeWorks case study: Barnardos Australia
Updated August 2023
Our PracticeWorks methodology continues to provide Barnardos Australia direction in developing actionable and measurable practice guidance across their organisation.
The partnership began with developing a framework to provide a common approach to Barnardos’ wide umbrella of services and programs for children and families. This was followed by further work that guided the implementation of the actionable and measurable practice principles in line with the completed practice framework.
Barnardos’ Practice Quality Team and Barnardos’ Executive Leadership are now focusing on bringing their leaders together to ensure everyone is on the same page, using a shared language and a common approach to supporting the framework’s implementation.
About the framework
In 2019, Barnardos approached us to collaboratively develop an Overarching Practice Framework. Together, we identified the core practice principles that sat across the organisation when working with children, young people and families. We expanded concepts such as ‘child-focused’ and ‘family-centred practice’ to more granular, actionable and measurable descriptions that could be used to inform behaviour across the organisation.
Penny Hood, Barnardos Australia Executive Leader, Children and Families in 2019, said they wanted their team to feel part of a bigger whole.
“It was important to develop a common language that could inform practice across a practitioner cohort that was very diverse in terms of the type of experience and capability they brought to their roles,” she said.
“We have staff across NSW and the ACT, which is why we felt it was really important to involve staff at different levels and from different jurisdictions in the design process.”
Elizabeth Cox, Barnardos Australia Executive Leader, Practice Quality said the framework helped to lay the groundwork for taking Barnardos’ program fidelity to the next level and to see positive change for the children and families they work with.
About the implementation phase
Matt Hooey, Head of Continuous Practice Improvement at Barnardos, is leading the implementation of the framework along with Barnardos’ Practice Quality Team.
The practice principles outlined in the framework now inform how Barnardos promotes the way they work with families, young people and children, which Matt reports is helping to motivate and inspire staff.
In addition to rolling out the principles and ongoing training and coaching of staff, Barnardos has transformed its staff selection and interview processes to align with the framework. For example, they have updated their position descriptions and interview questions so that they are recruiting people who have the mindset and skills aligned with the framework.
“We have also put metrics in place to monitor how staff are feeling about the implementation of the framework,” Matt said.
“Our recent staff survey shows, 95% of staff are satisfied with our approach to implementation.”
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About Barnardos Australia
Barnardos Australia is a social services organisation that works with children, young people and families to break the cycle of disadvantage and create safe and stable homes. Find out more here: https://www.barnardos.org.au