Text description: AIFS Corporate Plan 2021

AIFS' values & behaviours

Champions of our work and of each other
We want everyone's boat to rise: we take collective pride in each other's work and success

Excellent for impact
We are committed to producing excellent work that makes a difference for families

Fearless and curious explorers
We value experimentation, creativity and ongoing learning

Honest and respectful conversations
We are authentic and have honest conversations, including the tough ones

Seeing the lighter side
We value collegiality, humour and fun


<< Return to AIFS' values & behaviours

Figure 1: AIFS' relationships

Infographic showing AIFS' stakeholders:

  • Minister for Social Services
  • Department of Social Services
  • Australian, State and Local Governments
  • Policy makers
  • Researchers and Academics
  • Research Advisory Groups
  • Risk Assessment and Audit Committee
  • Ethics Committee
  • Service Providers
  • Practitioners
  • Families

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Pathway to Impact Vision

  • The vision is better understanding of what works for all kinds of families to thrive.
  • The outcome is more effective legislation, programs and practices.
  • The impact is better outcomes for Australian families.

<< Return to Pathway to Impact vision

Figure 2: Structure of AIFS strategy

  • Strategic direction
    • Outcome statement
      As described in our portfolio Budget Statements. The outcome statement describes the intended results, impacts or consequences of actions by AIFS on the Australian community.
    • Vision statement
      Long-term, fundamental reason for AIFS' existence
    • Organisational purpose
      The change we want to see in the world because of our work
    • Values
      Guide how we interact and behave, and underpin our decision making
    • 5 year strategic statement
      Anchoring statement of what we want to achieve in the strategy and the key mechanisms by which we'll do this
    • Goals
      Whole-of-organisation strategic priorities that if achieved will help us to realise our strategic statement.
    • Goal success measures
      Key indicator of progress and/or success against the goal.
  • Strategic action
    • Strategic initiatives
      How we will translate strategic goal into coordinated action. Significant, multi-year, transformative, cross-functional programs of work
    • Enabling initiatives and activities
      Significant change and/or capability-building activities critical to the achievement of the initiatives
    • Annual action plan
      Translates initiatives into specific time-limited activities
    • Organisational enablers/enabling initiatives
      The pre-conditions required to implement the initiatives and deliver on the strategy

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Figure 3: AIFS Strategy 2021-26 on a page

OUTCOME STATEMENT

The creation and communication of knowledge for policy makers, service providers and the broader community to improve the wellbeing of children, families and communities

VISION STATEMENT

Discovering what works for every kind of family to thrive

ORGANISATIONAL PURPOSE

To create and communicate knowledge to accelerate positive outcomes for children, families and their communities

VALUES

  • Champions of our work and each other
  • Excellence for impact
  • Fearless and curious explorers
  • Honest and respectful conversations
  • Seeing the lighter side

5 YEAR STRATEGIC STATEMENT

We will tell the stories of families and put this knowledge in the hands of those who make decisions that improve the lives of families; we do this by actively partnering with families in the creation, translation and communication of our research.

GOALS

1. An AIFS’ initiated research program that expands understanding of the most important questions to families’ lives

Goal 1 success means:

  • A significant own-initiated program that explores the under-researched and as yet unasked questions

2. Amplify the voices of families through our research

Goal 2 success means:

  • Principles and practices that enable families of all kinds (including children and young people) to contribute to AIFS’ research
  • Improved understanding of the diversity of families

3. Tell the stories of what matters to families through excellence in research communication and knowledge translation

Goal 3 success means:

  • Products and resources reflect the diversity of family life in engaging, accessible ways, and with impact
  • Families see themselves in our research, products and communications

Goal 4 success means:

  • Initiate collaborations and are invited to create and share knowledge to inform policy and practice responses that support family wellbeing

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

1.1 Develop an AIFS research model that strengthens capabilities to deliver high-quality research.

1.2 Identify strategic research priorities, questions and opportunities.

1.3 Develop and fund an AIFS initiated research program.

2.1 Strengthen our foundational expertise and theories on families in the broader Australian context.

2.2 Codesign how we work with families and develop a collaboration framework to include them in research projects.

2.3 Develop research methodologies for better capturing the diversity of families.

3.1 Build capabilities across AIFS to translate knowledge and communicate with impact.

3.2 Tell the stories about what matters to families through our communications, publications and events.

4.1 Position AIFS as an elective contributor within government.

4.2 Build strong, coordinated stakeholder engagement, collaborations and partnerships that strengthen AIFS’ ecosystem

ANNUAL ACTION PLAN

Agreed program of work the organisation will focus on each financial year

ORGANISATIONAL ENABLERS/ENABLING INITIATIVES

  • People and organisational culture
  • Financial sustainability and capability
  • Systems, processes and tools
  • Value to customers and stakeholders

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Table 1: Goals, initiatives and priority actions, 2021/22

Priority action table
Goals Initiatives 2021/22 priority actions
Develop a research agenda, including an AIFS-initiated program, to better understand the most important questions to families. Initiative 1.1: Develop an AIFS research model that strengthens capabilities to deliver high-quality research. Develop an AIFS Research Impact Framework including metrics of impact.
1.2: Identify strategic research priorities, questions and opportunities. Develop a Research Agenda in line with the strategy statement and our purpose.
Amplify the voices of families through our research. 2.1 Co-design how we work with families and develop a collaboration framework to include them in research projects. Explore models of co-design and frameworks, including examples of processes with families and other groups such as parents and children.
2.2 Develop research methodologies for better capturing the diversity of families. Good practice review of research methods and approaches for diverse communities.
Tell the stories of what matters to families through excellence in research communication and knowledge translation. 3.1 Build capabilities across AIFS to translate knowledge and communicate with impact. Deliver Knowledge Translation and Impact Capability Framework that embeds knowledge, skills and practices to ensure AIFS research is relevant and actionable.
3.2: Tell the stories about what matters to families through our publications communications, and events [to inform decision-making. Develop and implement communications strategy to support AIFS' Strategy and research agenda. Deliver AIFS Conference 2022 in line with our strategic goals.
Build collaborations that bring new insights to complex policy and practical responses in the area of family wellbeing. 4.1: Position AIFS as an effective contributor within government. Develop and implement a government relations strategy in line with AIFS' Strategy.

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Table 3: What success looks like

AIFS' strategic goals

  • 1. Implement an AIFS' initiated research program that expands understanding of the most important questions to families' lives.
    • Goal 1 success means: AIFS has a significant, own-initiated research program that explores the under-researched and as-yet unasked questions.
  • 2. Amplify the voices of families through our research.
    • Goal 2 success means: We have principles and practices that enable families of all kinds - including children and young people - to contribute to AIFS' research. Improved understanding of the diversity of families.
  • 3. Tell the stories of what matters to families through excellence in research communication and knowledge translation.
    • Goal 3 success means: Our research products and resources reflect the diversity of family life in engaging, accessible ways, and with impact.
  • 4. Build collaborations that bring new insights to complex policy and practical responses in the area of family wellbeing.
    • Goal 4 success means: We initiate collaborations and are invited to create and share knowledge to inform policy and practice responses that support family wellbeing.

<< Return to Table 3

Figure 4: Performance measures: Outputs, outcomes and impacts, 2021-25

AIFS' outcome statement:

The creation and communication of knowledge for policy makers, service providers and the boarder community to improve outcomes for children and families.

Impact pathway

  • Right people, skills, processes and systems
  • High quality research and advice; timely relevant resources and tools
  • Research leadership; leading source of information influencing conversations
  • AIFS' research used to design effective policies, services and programs
  • Laws, policies, systems, services support child and family wellbeing.

Understand families, amplify their voices, tell their stories, build collaborations

Inputs

  • Staff
    • number, disciplines, qualifications
    • Research/Support staff
  • Operating revenue
    • Commissioned
    • Appropriations
    • Other
  • Capital and technical assets

What we do (activities)

  • Undertake research and evaluation to:
    • understand challenges facing families
    • inform the work of policy and service
  • Create resources and information for policy, practice, research and the public
  • Disseminate research and resources
  • Provide expertise and advice to policy and practice sectors
  • Build relationships and collaborations
  • Facilitate discussion across policy, service and research sectors
  • Build capacity of policy and practice to access and use research evidence
  • Strategic planning, implementation and monitoring
  • Organisational culture development
  • Business improvement
  • Workforce development
  • Financial monitoring and forecasting
  • Risk management

What we produce (outputs)

  • Robust, credible research on issues facing Australian families
    • Projects (total and commissioned)
    • Commissioning bodies
  • Access to high quality research and information
    • Publications and products released
    • External presentations
    • Webinars
  • Platforms and opportunities for cross-sector dialogue and collaboration
    • AIFS events
    • Event attendees
    • Partnerships
    • Advisory groups
  • Practices, processes and culture that ensure sustainability
    • Learning and development programs
    • Wellbeing sessions
    • APS new starter induction training

Outcomes

  • End users seek out AIFS’ research, resources and expertise
    • AIFS e-News subscribers
    • Webpage views
    • Webinar attendees
    • Media citations
    • Media comments sought
    • Stakeholder survey – frequency of engagement
  • End users and stakeholders find AIFS’ research and resources relevant to their work
    • Stakeholder survey
    • Case studies
  • Organisational capability enables AIFS to achieve impact
    • Employee Census scores
    • Case studies

impacts for beneficiaries

  • Better understanding among stakeholders about issues facing Australian families
    • Stakeholder survey
    • Case studies
  • Improved capacity of stakeholders to use research to inform policy and service design
    • Stakeholder survey
    • Case studies
  • Deeper insight into outcomes and impacts of policy and service design on children and families
    • Stakeholder survey
    • Case studies

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Families Framework

What do FAMILIES do?

  • FAMILIES care for and support each other
  • FAMILIES are part of communities and the economy
  • FAMILIES raise children

Life stages and transitions

  • Childhood
  • Adolescence & early adulthood
  • Family formation
  • Ageing
  • Life events
  • Disability

Family relationships

  • Parents & children
  • Couples
  • Step families
  • Indigenous families
  • Culturally diverse families
  • Same–sex parented families

Social & economic participation

  • Finances & poverty
  • Income support
  • Housing & location
  • Education
  • Paid & unpaid work
  • Child care & preschool
  • Services for families

Challenges for families

  • Violence
  • Child abuse & neglect
  • Mental ill–health
  • Gambling
  • Drugs & alcohol
  • Care for family members
  • Conflict & relationship breakdown

External trends

  • Social, Cultural
  • Technological
  • Economic
  • Environmental

<< Return to Families Framework

Families Framework Tree

A Families Framework tree diagram.

What do families do?

  • Raise children
  • Care for and support each other
  • Are part of communities and the economy

What helps or hinders families do it better?

  • Legislation
  • Service systems
  • Policies
  • Relationships & community

<< Return to Families Framework Tree

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