Social Sector Trials
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What are the Social Sector Trials?
The Social Sector Trials involve the Ministries of Education, Health, Justice and Social Development, and the New Zealand Police working together to change the way that social services are delivered.
The Trials test what happens when a local organisation or individual co-ordinates cross-agency resources, local organisations and government agencies to deliver collaborative social services.
What is the model?
At the core is:
- either a contracted Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) or an employed individual in place in these communities to lead a programme of work using cross agency resources
- NGOs and individuals planning social service delivery for young people, managing relevant contracts and funding that are within the scope of the programme, overseeing resources-in-kind, developing networks, engaging with the community and influencing social services outside of their direct control (like statutory services)
- the establishment of Social Sector Trial local advisory groups in each location – representatives include iwi, Council, government agencies, community representatives and social service providers, that oversee the direction and priority setting, engage community ownership and involvement
- the development and implementation of a Social Sector Trials Plan (or Action Plan) for each location.
Governance and management
- The Chair of the Cabinet Social Policy Committee, Hon Tony Ryall, has ultimate responsibility for the Social Sector Trials.
- A Ministerial sub-committee provides oversight and decision-making for the Social Sector Trials. The Ministerial sub-committee is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, Chair of the Cabinet Social Policy Committee (and Minister of Health), Minister of Education, Minister for Social Development, Minister of Police, and Minister of Youth Affairs.
- A Joint Venture Board acts as a governance group for the Social Sector Trials. The Joint Venture Board is currently the Chief Executives of Social Development, Health, Education, Justice and the New Zealand Police. The Chair of the Joint Venture Board is the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development.
- A Director: Social Sector Trials is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Social Sector Trials including managing contracts with NGOs and employing committed individuals. This position is located within the Ministry of Social Development.
National (overseeing all sixteen locations)
Location (responsive to local conditions)
When and where?
The Social Sector Trials started on 1 March 2011 in six Trials. These six locations are due to finish on 30 June 2014: Taumarunui, Waitomo District, South Waikato District, Kawerau District, Horowhenua District and Gore District.
Trials in ten new locations began on 1 July 2013: Kaikohe, Rānui (West Auckland), Waikato District, Rotorua District, Whakatane Township, Gisborne City, South Taranaki District, Wairarapa (Masterton District, South Wairarapa District, Carterton District), Porirua City, and South Dunedin. Trials in these ten locations are due to finish on 30 June 2015.
Why are the Social Sector Trials in place?
Government wanted to affect outcomes by testing a new model.
By giving an individual or an NGO mandate to coordinate local programmes and services, the model aims to support decision making at the local level, build on existing networks and strengthen coordination at every level of government and within the community.
The following table sets out the locations, outcomes and target groups for each Trial location:
|Trial location||Outcomes||Target Group|
|Kaikohe||Youth-focused outcomes (reduced offending; reduced truancy; reduced levels of alcohol and drug use; increased numbers participating in education, training and employment)||12–18 years old|
|Rānui (West Auckland)||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Waikato District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Taumarunui||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Waitomo District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|South Waikato District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Rotorua District||Education-focused outcomes (increased participation in quality ECE; increased literacy and numeracy achievement; increased success at NCEA level 2 [or equivalent]; reduced risky behaviour [including alcohol and drug use, sexual behaviour and offending]; successful transitions into further education, training and employment)||0–18 years old|
|Whakatane Township||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Kawerau District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Gisborne City||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|South Taranaki District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Horowhenua District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Wairarapa (Masterton, South Wairarapa, Carterton District Authorities)||Youth-focused outcomes Additional youth focused outcome of reduced risky sexual behaviour||12–18 years old|
|Porirua City||Health-focused outcomes (reduced avoidable presentations to the Wellington Hospital’s Emergency Department, and avoidable admissions to the Wellington Hospital through a cross-agency response)||0–74 years old|
|South Dunedin||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
|Gore District||Youth-focused outcomes||12–18 years old|
The Social Sector Trials are also practically testing:
- the effects of transferring the control of resources, decision-making authority and accountability for results from government agencies to an employed individual or NGO based at the local level
- the barriers that exist to cross-agency service delivery at the local level and ways to overcome these barriers within current system parameters
- a Joint Venture Board as an innovative model of cross-agency governance for collaborative initiatives with shared outcomes.
Social Sector Trials: Action Plans
These are the plans each regional location has created to implement their trial.
What is happening in Trial locations?
Since 1 March 2011:
- local advisory groups have been put in place in each of the six original locations – to ensure collaboration at the grass-roots level.
- Social Sector Trial Plans have been written and launched in the six original locations. Each plan has an agreed approach and community specific actions to achieve within the timeframe. Links to these plans are in the right hand side column.
- initiatives, focused on addressing the Social Sector Trial outcomes, have been delivered. Examples include:
- employment of a full time truancy officer in Kawerau
- creation of a youth wellness centre at Tarawera College – with all resources provided by the Kawerau Community
- actively using community service to enable young people to work off Police and Justice system fines in Te Kuiti
- development of a parent portal at Te Kuiti High School to enable caregivers to monitor young people’s attendance and achievement
- creation of nine Youth Coordinator roles (to provide a wrap-around support service for young people) in Levin
- homework clubs in Levin
- the launch of a school attendance competition in Taumarunui
- creation of breakfast clubs in Taumarunui – sponsored by Fonterra and Sanitarium
- the creation of a youth music and media hub in Tokoroa
- the promotion of cultural identity programme in Tokoroa
- implementation of the ‘rock on’ programme in Gore to case manage and support young people who have a history of truancy
- development of a “Youth Specialist” role in Gore – to provide support to at-risk young people.
Each Trial location has an Action Plan setting out how the community in their Trial location will work together to achieve their outcomes. To view the action plans for the first six Trial locations, click here. Action plans for the ten new Trials are currently being developed and will be available on this site in November 2013.
Momentum around the Social Sector Trials in the six original locations is strong. Anecdotal evidence suggests increased levels of cooperation, collaboration, transparency and accountability around programmes and services as well as progress towards impacts on outcomes.
Outcomes reported at the local level include:
- truancy levels trending downwards
- disengaged young people being identified and supported into engagement in education, training and employment (through new local programmes, advocacy, and exposure to opportunities)
- young people who would not normally access services being able to in their own environment (nurses, doctors, youth workers, and social workers being available in schools)
- individual plans being put in place for young people with high and complex needs
- young people having access to positive opportunities such as holiday programmes, youth hubs, intensive mentoring and community events
- more young people accessing help for drug and alcohol problems
- young people being supported to pay off justice sector fines and be supported through activities such as drivers licensing to reduce the possibility of fines occurring
- young people knowing how/where to access programmes and services.
A cross-agency evaluation of the Social Sector Trials has been carried out. It considered:
- the contribution that Trials made to achieving the Trial outcomes
- opportunities found when implementing the programme
- whether the Trials had led to a better system of service delivery
- the similarities and differences between the two Trial lead approaches (NGO and individual)
- the barriers to implementation.
The findings of the evaluation can be found here:
Further information and contacts
|Location||Trial lead approach||Project lead||Contact|
|Kaikohe||NGO: Te Pae Aronga Taitamariki (joint venture)||Wendy Ferguson Wright||021 068 3198|
|Rānui||NGO: Police Bluelight Ventures||Mark Veale||021 258 0580|
|Waikato District||Committed Individual||Kodi Hapi||07 957 6880 or 029 278 8046|
|Taumarunui||Committed Individual||Allison Annand||07 904 5251 or 029 650 0568|
|Waitomo District||Committed Individual||Hilary Karaitiana||07 904 9299 or 029 650 0098|
|South Waikato District||NGO: Raukawa Charitable Trust||Jade Hohaia||07 885 0260 or 027 577 7706|
|Rotorua District||NGO: Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue iho Ake||Roana Bennett||07 346 0095 or 027 353 5360|
|Whakatane||NGO: WERA Consultants Ltd||Cindy Lee||07 307 9316 or 021 058 0565|
|Kawerau District||Committed Individual||Kevan McConnell||07 922 6090 or 029 650 1632|
|Gisborne||Committed Individual||Leslynne Jackson||06 986 8603 or 029 278 8406|
|South Taranaki District||NGO: Tui Ora Ltd||Melanie Loft||06 759 4064 or 027 839 8676|
|Horowhenua District||NGO: Life to the Max||Sue Hori Te Pa||06 368 8002 or 027 446 6513|
|Wairarapa||NGO: Southern Wairarapa Safer Community Council||Dorreen Mackenzie||06 379 5407 or 021 509 446|
|Porirua City||NGO: Compass Health||Ranei Wineera||04 239 6004 or 027 436 1108|
|South Dunedin||Committed Individual||Mary-Ann McKibben||03 955 6617 or 029 650 0346|
|Gore District||NGO: Community Networking Trust||Lisa McKenzie||03 208 8480 or 027 204 2003|