Evaluation of the Bringing them home and Indigenous mental health programs
7.2.2 Governance and overall management
Overall most of the auspice organisations for the Link-Up and BTH services and SEWB RCs appear to have managed their programs well or reasonably well.
Nonetheless, as with other Aboriginal community organisations generally, some of the ACCHSs running BTH services have experienced governance problems. In some instances these problems have hampered the services’ capacity to implement the program effectively, resulting in resources being used for purposes outside the ambit of funding guidelines, and/or generated discontent among local community members. In some locations, for example, managers were said to be unwilling to extend the services of their organisation to clientele who would be clearly eligible to receive them (for instance due to favouritism). In other cases, as discussed in Chapter 6, there continues to be debate between management and local Stolen Generations groups about the most appropriate clients for BTH services This impacts on the capacity of Stolen Generations members (particularly first generation) to access those services.
However, only a small minority of the auspice organisations for these programs have experienced major governance problems (and OATSIH has been monitoring and working with these). In one case these governance problems were so significant that OATSIH terminated the contract with the service and asked another agency to take on this role.
The main limitations in terms of program management by the BTH service providers have been the variable and incomplete understanding of the roles and responsibilities of BTH Counsellors between different ACCHSs (discussed earlier in this chapter) and the lack of clarity between the role of BTH Counsellors and Link-Up workers.