Join the conversation – Implementing programs and practices in child and family services: The ‘why’ and ‘how’ of good implementation practice

Join the conversation – Implementing programs and practices in child and family services: The ‘why’ and ‘how’ of good implementation practice

26 June 2019
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This webinar outlined key concepts and practical steps for implementing evidence-informed programs and practices in child and family services.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, is now available.

The full recording of the webinar is also available on our YouTube Channel.

Closing the gap between what we know works and what is being done in routine practice requires a focus on implementation. Implementation is the active process of adopting and embedding evidence-informed programs and practices in real-world settings. 

This webinar:

  • showed why a focus on implementation is important
  • outlined some key concepts in implementation science
  • described a framework that provides a map for how to plan for and use good implementation practices
  • provided practical examples of these practices. 

This webinar is of interest to practitioners, leaders and policy makers, particularly those who are involved in planning, designing and implementing services, policies and programs. 

Related resources 

This webinar is co-produced by CFCA and the Families and Children Expert Panel Project, AIFS.


Broad question I know, but any ideas for repositories for school-based programs? Just clarifying, I'm thinking of socioemotional programs in schools
I have a couple of suggestions that I am aware of. The Department of Education and Training has a repository of evidence-informed school readiness programs and you could also try the Early Intervention Foundation guidebook which allows you to filter by 'enhancing school achievement' as a program outcome
Jessica Hateley...
How is change management done?
Lots has been written on change management, which has some overlap with implementation leadership. This is a good website that explains some of the key principles and activities of implementation leadership and creating organisational change:
Jessica Hateley...
I work in early childhood disability. A lot of the children have non-specific diagnoses or the complexity of their condition makes it difficult to find suitable evidence based practices. I believe their are approaches such a single case design that can be helpful (David Trembath did some work on this but I never heard the results). The NDIS has severely limited our time for case discussion, training and supervision as the budget requires us to have a high client load. How do we sustain quality practice?
This question reflects some common implementation challenges across the human service system, though I can see the disability sector within the context of the NDIS has particular barriers to overcome. Exploring the use of 'common elements' in practice may be a potential solution. Common elements are discrete techniques or strategies that are evidence-informed that can be incorporated into all kids of practice, including brief interactions. The Victorian Government is currently running a trial of implementing the common elements approach in five human service sites (however no disability service site is included in the trial).
Jessica Hateley...
Could you talk a little about the difference between implementation science and implementation research
Implementation science refers to the discipline, whereas implementation research is the activity you would undertake to monitor the quality of implementation, or to find out more about what makes for good implementation - which then is knowledge that contributes to the field of implementation science broadly
Jessica Hateley...
In social work we find some 'techniques' working such as EFT, DBT, ACT etc... but not sure if these are evidence-based but known to benefit at the 'how to" 'client level'. Is evidence-based seem to be a better 'fit' for science than for psychosocial matters? Love to hear your comments on this. Thank God we can ask them.
We tend to use the term evidence-informed rather than evidence-based. Evidence-based, as you rightly suggest, can inadvertently imply that we respond to the evidence "robotically" without bringing in any other considerations. Evidence-informed practice is the integration of the best available evidence, with client values and preferences, and practitioner expertise. So certainly this can apply well to psychosocial issues and practices.
Jessica Hateley...
Good implementation takes time. But in some situation, some good practice has to scale up quite rapidly when something still not that ready in full. Any tips/ suggestion for that so that the potential good practice will not be in failure.
It's often true that, in pressurised funding environments, the process needs to go faster or needs to skip some steps - neither of which is optiomal. Throughout the implementation guide there are tips for how to undetake some of the activities in a more 'light touch' way, or guiding principles for determining whether you need to do an activity at all.
Jessica Hateley...
Hi I had a question related to external training. So the team I work with provides training - so the content related to practice but we are keen to incorporate implementation strategies at this stage of the presentation with the organisations we work with. Can you comment on how the information you have provided could be implemented - so how could we structure the training to support the organisation to implement the strategies rather than our team just running a training and then going!
Great idea! I'll make two suggestions. One is to dedicate some time at the end of the training encouraging people to start making an implementation plan (see the implementation guide for a template and instructions for how to do this) - and then tasking trainees with the responsibility of going back to their organisation and completing the plan in collaboration with key decision-makers and influencers. The other suggestion, which I imagine is less easy for you to implement, is to consider extending your offering to a training+coaching model, whereby trainees receive some follow-on technical support for how to put the new learnings into practice over the months that follow the training. This could be in the form of several 1-hour coaching cals, for example. See the implementation guide for more detail about what coaching should cover.
Jessica Hateley...
Are you able to share the statistics around the evidence and practice gap that Robyn mentioned - it painted a really good picture of the issue, but I didn't get the exact figures?
See this paper:
Jessica Hateley...
You can also find the transcript of the webinar which will have the stat at -

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