Evaluation of the Children’s Contact Service Activity

About the evaluation

The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department has commissioned AIFS to undertake an evaluation of the Children’s Contact Services Activity provided by not-for-profit providers funded by the Family Relationships Services Program.

The objective of this project is an evaluation which considers the history of CCSs and the current context in which government funded CCSs are operating, and determines:

  • the extent to which this program is operating in accordance with, and achieving the objectives of, the relevant guiding documents (including the Grant Opportunity Guidelines and the Guiding Principles Framework for Good Practice)
  • the extent to which, and how effectively the program is culturally appropriate for:
    • culturally and linguistically diverse communities
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • the extent to which the program is supporting families experiencing family and domestic violence
  • the extent to which the current number and locational positioning of CCSs meet existing demand for the service.

Phases

AIFS will conduct this mixed-method evaluation over two phases.

Phase One will involve:

  • consultations with key stakeholders, including relevant departmental personnel, key family law system stakeholders, auspice agencies and service providers, together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisors
  • initial consultations will seek to refine the evaluation framework and project plan and to examine the scope of available data
  • a review of materials relevant to the introduction and operation of Children’s Contact Services CCSs in Australia to support the refinement of the evaluation project plan, and inform the analysis of data to address the proposed research questions in Phase Two of the evaluation, in regard to the history and current context in which the funded services operate.

Phase Two will involve:

  • implementation of four further core elements of the evaluation based on the collection and analysis of quantitative, qualitative, administrative and observational data, triangulated to address the evaluation research questions. The AIFS research team will liaise with key stakeholders at each stage of this phase.

Activities in Phase One and Phase Two will be conducted to ensure that careful consideration is given to the extent to which data can be provided to the Department subsequent to the evaluation, with the data collection protocols and instruments developed for this evaluation designed to facilitate workable arrangements for the provision of data going forward.

For more information please contact the research team.

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