In 2010, the then Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now the Department of Social Services) funded the Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) to develop and deliver Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity Building Bridges (BCBB) over three years as an integral initiative supporting the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020: Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business. The Framework espouses a public health approach which seeks greater involvement of a range of professionals and others to enhance the variety of systems that are available to protect children (COAG, 2009).
BCBB was tasked with transforming the goals of the National Framework into action that made an impact within communities, including recognition that beyond mandatory reporting protecting children is the collective responsibility of all of our sectors and community members.
In particular, BCBB had two main foci: the first being to enhance the knowledge and skills of practitioners in child and family focused and adult focused services to support parents to meet the needs of children in their care (building capacity). The second was to strengthen collaboration between adult focused and child and family focused services to improve the way that families with multiple needs experience the service system (building bridges).
This report outlines the formative evaluation of BCBB and the learnings from this innovative initiative. The ongoing evaluation of BCBB was a key part of quality improvement, organisational learning and program development, conducted throughout the life of the project. The report draws upon information from program documentation, and surveys and interviews held throughout the course of the initiative.