This paper provides an overview of how the innovative use of technology can add value to service delivery in organisations working with families, children and young people.
- Most Australians have access to the Internet and use mobile devices to connect from anywhere, at any time. Research suggests that even isolated and marginalised groups are using technology in their everyday lives.
- For some groups (e.g., young people), technology may be their preferred method of communication.
- There appears to be a difference between how people are using the Internet (regularly, from anywhere, connecting with social networks, investigating services) and how some organisations are engaging with it (infrequently, in one direction).
- Technology works best when used to augment or improve existing services for clients, or to offer innovative approaches to existing services.
- Technology can be used in diverse ways for organisational improvement (e.g., remote access, staff training, professional development) or client services (e.g., online counselling, SMS appointment reminders, access to resources).
- Using technology does not necessarily involve large monetary investments or reinventing the wheel in terms of policy and procedures. Often it is a matter of adapting and refining existing services and policies to better suit the online world.
- Incorporating technology into services takes time, and will need continued assessment and refinement to be successful.