2010/11 Annual Report Element 3— National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development (NPA IECD)

This 2010/11 Annual Report (the Report) describes progress on achievements against outputs for Element Three—New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services (NDMB) program of the National Partnership between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011.

Page last updated: 07 October 2014

2010/11 Annual Report Element 3 National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development (PDF 549 KB)
Attachment A—Services approved for funding under New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services (online)


The National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development was signed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in October 2008 as a first step to close the gap for Indigenous children. Under the National Partnership, clause 49 requires that the Commonwealth will provide an annual report to Parties for the preceding financial year by 31 August of each year, with regard to annual expenditure under Element 3.

Element One of the National Partnership commenced in January 2009 and Elements Two and Three of the National Partnership commenced in July 2009.

This 2010/11 Annual Report (the Report) describes progress on achievements against outputs for Element Three of the National Partnership between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2011. The Report should be considered in conjunction with the ministerially agreed Implementation Plan and includes reporting against the milestones, financials and timelines detailed in the Implementation Plans.

Achievements against Outputs

Element 3

  • Increase provision of maternal and child health services for Indigenous children and their mothers.

Background

New Directions: An equal start to life for Indigenous children is a 2007/08 election commitment and is a comprehensive strategy to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the early years consisting of three components:

  • Child and Maternal Health Services;
  • Early Development and Parenting Support; and
  • Literacy and Numeracy in the Early Years.

The Child and Maternal Health Services component includes $112 million for the following initiatives:Top of page

  • $90.3 million for comprehensive mothers and babies services (New Directions Mothers and Babies Services);
  • $11.2 million for a Rheumatic Fever Strategy; and
  • $10 million for an Indigenous Mothers Accommodation Fund (managed by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs).

From 1 July 2009 New Directions Mothers and Babies Services represents the Commonwealth’s Own Purpose Expenditure contribution to Element 3 of the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement (IECD NP).

New Directions Mothers and Babies Services (New Directions) is managed by the Department of Health and Ageing through the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH). The program provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their mothers with increased access to:

  • antenatal and postnatal care;
  • standard information about baby care;
  • practical advice and assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting;
  • monitoring of developmental milestones, immunisation status and infections; and
  • health checks and referrals to treatment for Indigenous children before starting school.

The Department of Health and Ageing undertakes a merit based selection process to select and fund primary health care organisations to deliver services that meet the aims of the program. Each state or territory office considers Indigenous demographics, levels of funding in the regions and health care provision in the regions, with particular emphasis on the 29 priority communities identified in COAG’s National Partnership Agreement on Remote Service Delivery (RSD NP). Consultations are held with Aboriginal Health Forums (or their equivalent) to assist in the identification of priority locations which will target areas in high need of child and maternal health services. Organisations, both large and small, within the identified priority regions are invited to apply for New Directions Mothers and Babies Services funding. Applications are assessed by a panel against agreed assessment criteria and recommendations for funding are made.

The service delivery model is determined by the primary health care organisations to ensure that services are being provided in the most appropriate way for their clients and communities.

$90.3 million has been committed to New Directions Mothers and Babies Services, this allocation includes both Administrative and Departmental funds for the New Directions Mothers and Babies Services program as well as funding for the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarships Scheme.Top of page

Implementation Plan

The Commonwealth’s Implementation Plan is published on the Federal Financial Relations website (www.federalfinancialrelations.gov.au).

The strategies and measures detailed in the Implementation Plan to meet the aim of increasing access to child and maternal health services in priority regions across Australia through the New Directions Mothers and Babies Services program have been successfully achieved.

Progress against benchmarks and deliverables

Activities undertaken, services developed and/or Implemented in the reporting period to achieve the objectives under Element 3

Establish Wave 3 sites and manage funding agreements for Waves 1-3 sites

  • Ongoing management of Waves 1, 2 and 3 organisations continued. Funding Agreements continued to be managed by the Department of Health and Ageing.
  • Organisations undertake activities in a variety of service delivery models including home-visiting; outreach such as mobile clinics; clinic-based activities such as provision of antenatal classes and group gatherings; cooking classes to teach nutrition; education about babies’ development; and child hearing checks.
  • All Waves 1 and 2 sites are operational.
  • Thirteen of the fourteen Wave 3 services are operational. Due to difficulty in recruiting key personnel to administer the program the New Directions service at Western Arrernte Health Aboriginal Centre, Hermannsburg, Northern Territory is yet to be established.

Measures:

  1. Suitable Wave 3 proposals are received from eligible primary health care providers - Achieved
  2. New services are funded in priority regions – Achieved
  3. 13 Wave 3 sites are operational - Achieved
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Select and fund Wave 4 sites.

  • The Department of Health and Ageing State and Territory Offices, undertook a merit based selection process to fund appropriate Wave 4 organisations. The process included:
    • Identification of priority regions in ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, Tas and WA in consultation with the Aboriginal Health Partnership Forums, or equivalent, and consideration of need including demographics, population, existing funding, capacity of organisations;
    • Noting of priority regions by Minister Snowdon, the Minister for Indigenous Health;
    • Identification of appropriate primary health care organisations, within priority regions, invited to apply for funding;
    • Assessment of funding applications against selection criteria and the making of recommendations for funding;
    • Approval of funding and finalisation of Funding Agreements with primary health care organisations or organisations which deliver primary health care within priority regions.
  • 20 primary health care organisations were funded in 2010/11 bringing the total number to 76. A list of organisations funded in 2010/11 is at Attachment A.
  • $25.8 million was allocated in 2010/11 for New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services, including $0.5 million for Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme. $25.0 million was expended. $0.8 million was not spent in 2010/11 because come of the newly funded organisations were unable to enter into funding agreements prior to 30 June 2011.
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Measures:

  1. Suitable Wave 4 proposals are received from eligible primary health care providers - Achieved
  2. New services are funded in priority regions – Achieved

Plan and scope Departmental program review.

  • A program review will be achieved via the broader IECD NP evaluation. A procurement process is underway to engage a consultant to conduct the evaluation. Measure: Program review planned and scoped – To be Achieved via IECD NP Evaluation

Consult with stakeholders to review Waves 1-4 investment and identify priority regions for Wave 5.

  • Consultation with stakeholders occurred through the Aboriginal Health Forums (or equivalent). Planning was undertaken to ensure that services and investment were rolled out in a coordinated and complementary way, taking into account existing services delivered by state/territory governments and the community controlled sector.
  • Participation in the Aboriginal Health Forums varies across jurisdictions but generally consists of representatives from State/Territory Governments; the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) or affiliates in the relevant jurisdiction; and Commonwealth Officers. In some jurisdictions membership includes the Divisions of General Practice, through their State-based peak bodies.
  • An altered approach for Wave 5 funding was approved by Minister Snowdon on 23 December 2010. In consultation with key stakeholders, organisations in communities of high need will be identified and invited to apply for New Directions Mothers and Babies Services funding in 2011-12.

Measures:

  1. Outcomes of consultations with key stakeholders are recorded – Achieved
  2. Minister approves approach for Wave 5 – Achieved

Provide funding for additional Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarships.

The Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme commenced in 2002, additional funding was committed under New Directions Mothers and Babies Services in 2008/09. In 2010/11 a funding contribution of $526,000 from the New Directions Mothers and Babies Services program was provided to fund additional Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarships. This contribution, combined with $3,545,300 from the Department of Health and Ageing, funded 332.5 (full-time equivalent) Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarships in the 2010 academic year. The Scheme aims to help address the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health professions and assist in increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with professional health qualifications. The scholarship provides financial assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are undertaking study in a health related discipline at an undergraduate or TAFE (Certificate IV and above) level in the areas of:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker
  • Alcohol and other drugs workers
  • Allied health (excluding pharmacy)
  • Dentistry/oral health
  • Health service management
  • Health promotion
  • Medicine
  • Mental health
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing
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Measure: Full time and part time scholarships awarded to eligible applicants - Achieved

Linkages and coordination with other services provided and community Involvement

  • Links with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), and State and Territory Governments were maintained and information shared on Element 3 of the IECD NP through formal and informal communication channels such as officer level discussions and information exchange.
  • A New Directions Mothers and Babies Services e-newsletter was published September 2010. The e-newsletter has the theme ‘Your Service, Your Story’ with the aim of providing a forum for New Directions services to share their story and successes with other New Directions services.

Key issues and constraints in implementing proposed activities and services

  • All activities and milestones outlined in the Implementation Plan have been achieved.
  • There continue to be some key constraints for some funded organisations for services to be established and commence delivery within a reasonable timeframe. These are:
    1. Difficulty or delay in sourcing appropriate resources and finalising minor capital works within a reasonable timeframe due to unforeseen circumstances.
    2. Difficulty in recruiting and retaining a sufficient workforce with appropriate skills to deliver the intended child and maternal health services.

Service Location: Urban; Regional; or Remote

  • 13 organisations funded are in urban locations;
  • 34 organisations funded are in regional locations; and
  • 29 organisations funded are in remote locations.
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