Evaluation of the NT MOS projects
In the time that the MOS Projects have been operating, all communities in the NT have been visited at least once (see Figure 1). It is noted that the Borroloola Area is included as part of Katherine Region as it is serviced by the Katherine/Top End MOS Plus Team.
It is also worth noting that there are three town camps; Jabiru, Adelaide River, and Borroloola that are included in the MOD Schedule but not visited by MOS teams due to their small size and proximity to other centres. These town camps are not identified separately in terms of visits, and consideration needs to be given to their continued separate identification in the MOD database.
Concerns were consistently raised by those interviewed in relation to the feasibility and capacity of the service to visit all remote communities. As the data shows, this service reach was achievable, and the service is gaining more traction as time progresses. The focus is now more on the capacity to offer a regular and consistent service for the service to be known, understood and supported in the community.
The data presented in this Report indicates that the majority of MOS Projects' activity has taken place in the Top End, including casework and non-casework related services, while the least amount of activity has occurred in Barkly. One factor which may be contributing to this is the fact that Top End accounts for the greatest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the NT (49.4%), while Barkly accounts for the smallest (8.6%).
The following outlines the geographic spread of remote communities across the NT, and of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population by Region.
Figure 2 provides an approximate breakdown of the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the four Regions of the Northern Territory, excluding the urban centres of Darwin and Alice Springs.
It is important to note that, while the Central Australia, Katherine and Barkly regions referred to in this report are discrete statistical Regions for the purposes of Australian Bureau of Statistics data collection, the data for Top End has been compiled by combining the statistical subdivisions of Lower Top End, Palmerston-East Arnhem, Daly, Alligator, Bathurst-Melville, Finiss, and Litchfield.
The population distribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the Regions is likely to be a more significant factor in the distribution of MOS Projects' activities than the number of communities in each Region, which does not vary significantly between Top End (29 communities), Central Australia (27 communities) and Katherine (27 communities).
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In terms of casework services such as assessments and counselling, new cases have also increased over the period of the evaluation.
Figure 3 shows the breakdown of community visits across the four Regions. Of the 632 community visits undertaken by MOS Projects, the greatest proportion has been in Top End (41%), followed by Central Australia (27.2%), Katherine (19.5%), and Barkly (12.3%).
The proportion of community visits per Region broadly corresponds to the Aboriginal population in each Region.
Figure 4 shows how the number of communities with casework services in each Region has varied over the course of the evaluation period. The number of communities with cases tends to peak in the 2nd Quarter of each year before decreasing over the 3rd and 4th Quarters. This pattern is, in part, consistent with the timing of the wet season in the Northern Territory (which runs from November to April (between the 2nd and 3rd Quarters).
While the number of communities with casework services has varied on a quarterly basis, each year of the service has seen a net increase in the number of communities visited overall, and in each Region (see Figure 5).
With the exception of Barkly, the number of new cases in each Region has increased over the period of the evaluation.
The number of new cases increased significantly in Central Australia and Katherine over the 1st and 2nd Quarters of 2010 - 2011. In Top End, the number of new cases each quarter tended to vary significantly, with no clear pattern evident, perhaps relating in part to changes and/or periods of vacancies in outreach staff positions.
Top End has accounted for half of all new casework cases over the evaluation period (50.9%)(see Figure 6). Katherine (24.1%) and Central Australia (20.9%) each accounted for approximately one-fifth of new casework cases, while Barkly accounted for 4.1%.
Figure 1: Proportion of communities visited per Region as a per cent of total communities
Text version of Figure 1Proportion of communities visted as a percent of total communities:
- Central Australia (N = 27) - 100%
- Barkly (N = 7) - 100%
- Overall (N = 87) - 100%
- Katherine (N = 26) - 100%
- Top End (N = 27) - 100%
Figure 2: Aboriginal population10 distribution by Region
Text version of Figure 2Aboriginal population distribution:
- Top End, 29 communities, 21,360 persons - 49.4%
- Central Australia, 27 communities, 9,911 persons - 22.9%
- Katherine, 27 communities, 8,270 persons - 19.1%
- Barkly, 7 communities, 3,731 persons - 8.6%
Figure 3: Proportion of community visits by Region, as a proportion of total community visits
Text version of Figure 3Proportion of community visits by Region, as a proportion of total community visits:
- Top End (N = 259) - 41.0%
- Central Australia (N = 172) - 27.2%
- Katherine (N = 123) - 19.5%
- Barkly (N = 78) - 12.3%
Figure 4: Change in number of communities with casework cases over time
Text version of Figure 4Figure 4 shows how the number of communities with casework services in each region has varied each quarter during the evaluation period from 1 July 2008 to 31 March 2011.
The number of communities with cases in each region varies between the first quarter and the last quarter of the evaluation period, from 2 to 3 in Barkly, from 3 to 19 in Katherine, from 3 to 23 in the Top End and from zero to 19 in Central Australia.
The number of communities with cases tends to peak in the second quarter of each year before decreasing over the third and fourth quarters. Overall the trend is clearly upward.
In the evaluation period, 26 communities in Barkly, 121 in Central Australia, 103 in Katherine region and 133 in the Top End region had MOS Plus casework cases.Top of page
Figure 5: Change in number of new casework cases over time
Text version of Figure 5Figure 5 shows how the number of new casework cases in each region has varied each quarter during the evaluation period from 1 July 2008 to 31 March 2011. No clear trends are evident in the data until 2010-11 when the trend is clearly upward for all regions except Barkly, which remains stable at between zero and one new case in each quarter.
The number of new casework cases in each region varies between the first quarter and the last quarter of the evaluation period, from 5 to zero in Barkly, from 4 to 9 in Katherine, from 7 to 15 in the Top End and from zero to 5 in Central Australia.
The number of new casework cases in each region has increased over the period of the evaluation. The number of new casework cases peaked for Top End in the second quarter of 2009-10 when it reached 16, and again in the period from the fourth quarter of 2009-10 and the two subsequent quarters – the first and second quarters of 2010-11 – when it peaked at 19.
Overall, in the period from 1 July 2008 to 31 March 2011 there were 9 new casework cases in the Barkly region, 46 in Central Australia, 53 in Katherine region and 112 in the Top End region.Top of page
Figure 6: Proportion of new casework cases by region
Text version of Figure 6Proportion of new casework cases:
- Top End (N = 112) - 50.9%
- Katherine (N = 53) - 24.1%
- Central (N = 46) - 20.9%
- Barkly (N = 9) - 4.1%
Number of clients receiving serviceThe number of clients in each Region receiving service by the MOS Projects increased between 2008 - 09 and 2010 -11, with the exception of Barkly, where the overall number has remained relatively stable. The N value is the total number of clients from each Region seen by MOS Projects over the evaluation period.
In Top End the number of clients receiving service has tended to increase with each quarter, while in Central Australia and Katherine the number remained stable for much of the evaluation period. However, Katherine has seen an increase in clients receiving service beginning in the 1st Quarter of 2010 - 11, while Central Australia saw an increase in the 2nd Quarter of that year.
Figure 7: Change in number of clients serviced by Region over timeTop of page
Text version of Figure 7Figure 7 shows the quarterly change in the number of clients in each region receiving MOS Plus services between 1 July 2008 and 31 March 2011.
The change in the number of clients serviced in each region varies between the first quarter and the final quarter of the evaluation period, decreasing from 5 to 2 in Barkly, increasing from 5 to 23 in Katherine, increasing from 13 to 62 in the Top End and increasing from zero to 19 in Central Australia.
With the exception of Barkly, all regions show a noticeable increase in the number of clients from the first quarter of 2010-11. In the evaluation period, there was a total of 220 clients: 9 clients in the Barkly region, 46 in Central Australia, 53 in Katherine region and 112 in the Top End region.
- All remote communities in the NT have been visited at least once over the period of the evaluation.
- The service is beginning to gain traction in community, with services and new cases increasing over the period of the evaluation.