Diversity Matters Cultural Diversity Framework

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1 Diversity Matters Cultural Diversity Framework December 2010 October 2012

2 Message from the Secretary Our commitment to people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities At Family and Community Services (FACS) we have a shared vision to break disadvantage. NSW is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse states in Australia. Our diversity is drawn from the people and communities we serve and is reflected in our workforce. We will need to build stronger, more sustainable and inclusive communities to ensure all people, regardless of who they are or where they are from, are empowered to live fulfilling lives and achieve their full potential. We embrace cultural diversity as a positive platform for reform. We are working within a climate of significant reforms. It s imperative that these reforms are well understood and benefit all members of the community with whom we work. This message may not always reach individuals and families from culturally and linguistically diverse communities for a range of reasons. We recognise that people can experience difficulties in accessing services that are timely and effective in providing them with support. This can be particularly challenging for people who do not speak English and may not have a strong background or understanding of the broader Australian environment. To better serve individuals and families from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, we need to embody a way of working that is built on the following principles: Person-centred putting the person at the centre of service design and delivery. Responsibility cultural diversity is core business to everyone in FACS and the responsibility of the entire service system including our funded partners. Strengths-based building on what currently works well, including the strengths and the resourcefulness of culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Partnerships using our relationships to influence and achieve a more inclusive change environment and better outcomes for people, families and communities. Respect mutual learning, celebration and valuing individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Adaptability responding to the diverse needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities while allowing for local solutions to local needs. 2 Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

3 all individuals should have the greatest possible opportunity to make use of and participate in relevant activities and programmes provided or administered by the Government of New South Wales Community Relations Commission and Principles of Multiculturalism Act 2000 I know that we are starting from good foundations, by building on our strengths and learnings to date. It s vital that as one organisation working for the people of NSW, we continue this momentum and success. Diversity Matters: Cultural Diversity Framework sets the key priority areas and strategies that we will implement as one organisation. Diversity Matters focuses on outcomes and aims to be flexible and responsive to individual and family stories that are different, that may challenge our values and work practices, recognising that diversity is a strength and provides an opportunity that we can leverage as a department to create more inclusive and adaptive supports for the people we serve. If we get this right over the next five years, I am confident that services which are delivered or funded by FACS will have a workforce that is better able to respond to the diverse needs of the individuals and families we are here to serve. Our business will be one that reflects the community profile of NSW which in turn means that as an organisation we are innovative, creative and ready to support people towards achieving their goals and aspirations. Michael Coutts-Trotter Secretary Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

4 Diversity matters to Family and Community Services Diversity Matters is FACS collective commitment to pave the way for how we best respond to the interests and needs of people in the community from a wide range of cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds. It s an overarching policy framework that articulates key strategies for moving forward. This framework complements the FACS Aboriginal Strategy, Better Outcomes for Aboriginal People and Communities and is aligned with, and reflects the intent of, the Community Relations Commission and Principles of Multiculturalism Act Embedding cultural diversity is about reflective and client responsive practice. It s also about person centredness, strengths based, client driven, family centred and context based practice and supporting the development of strong and resilient communities. Diversity Matters builds upon the collective learnings, experiences and expertise across FACS in the area of cultural diversity governance, policy, planning and service delivery. The framework is designed so that it can be flexible and innovatively applied to deliver more effective person and community centred services in a range of contexts. The common set of priorities and key strategies provide opportunities to leverage existing effort, establish the platform from which to improve practice and increase service responsiveness, and enhance place based planning. Every person, family and carer has a unique experience that influences their aspirations, resilience, their needs and what supports they most want or require. Those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds bring that additional dimension to their life situation. Given the diversity in NSW there is a need for service providers to listen differently to how individuals tell their story and express their support requirements. 4 Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

5 Integrating cultural diversity considerations is everybody s business from corporate leaders, those setting budgets, planning ahead and developing policy, to the caseworker and the support worker on the frontline. With this intent in mind, the framework focuses on how FACS can work at both the local district and statewide levels and with non-government organisations (NGOs) to further strengthen communities and achieve positive results for people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

6 Approximately 200 languages other than English are spoken in NSW. 18.6% of the population is born from a non-main English speaking country. 22.5% of NSW people speak a language other than English at home. approximately 45% are either born overseas or have at least one or both parents born overseas. 17% of people who speak languages other than English do not speak English at all or not well. Meeting the diverse needs of NSW s population does not only make good business sense but is an imperative. We embrace cultural diversity as a positive platform for reform. The aim of Diversity Matters is to: establish strong diversity leadership and respond to differing needs of our community to ensure the best outcomes for our diverse client base and access to funded programs and services develop a learning organisation with a readiness to respond to changing circumstances of our diverse client base and embrace organisational reforms achieve policy outcomes supported by a developing evidence base that has clear governance structures to drive the agenda both centrally and locally build a diverse, confident, productive and culturally competent workforce that can facilitate high levels of individual and family satisfaction in our community build individual and community capacity to ensure people get the supports they need through greater levels of client, community and sector engagement ensure mechanisms are in place for evaluation and to enumerate and understand the achievements and impacts FACS has made as part of an ongoing improvement process. Diversity Matters is developmental and will foster continuous improvement across the four priority areas. It will focus on sustainable change for FACS into the future, embedding good practice for working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities across NSW. 6 Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

7 Sometimes treating people the same is not treating people fairly. Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

8 Our priorities 1. Integration of cultural and linguistic diversity into planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation Responsive commissioning of services. Service design and an end-to-end commissioning process builds in diversity requirements to ensure alignment of funded services with the profile and needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Enhanced collection and analysis of cultural diversity client data. Improving data consistency, integrity and utilisation. Integration of cultural diversity requirements into FACS, district and business stream planning. Leadership and clear accountability for driving the cultural diversity agenda. Evaluation of clear cultural diversity outcomes, research and sharing evidencebased good practice. Governance and advisory structures for cultural diversity. Engagement of communities in integrated service planning, reporting and evaluation. 8 Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

9 2. Building organisational capabilities to work with a culturally and linguistically diverse community (internal and external to FACS) Leadership and accountability for building culturally competent organisations. Leading by example in undertaking and promoting action and accountability for achieving the outcomes of the cultural diversity framework. Embed cultural competence in all policies, program strategies and reform frameworks. Up-front, proactive responses to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities in policy, strategy, practice and reform development, implementation and review. Embed cultural diversity into FACS workforce planning and development. An integrated workforce development approach based on good practice and innovation and which builds accountability, cultural diversity skills and capabilities across FACS and funded services. Working more effectively with NGOs that support culturally and linguistically diverse communities. 3. Providing culturally and linguistically responsive services and programs Flexible, responsive service delivery and service design. Ensuring that all FACS programs and services are responsive to the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities and flexible to the circumstances of individuals and families. Access to language services and models of delivery is integrated into FACS service response. Culturally appropriate communication, education and information. Ensuring printed and electronic information about FACS services is disseminated in accessible, relevant and appropriate formats for culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Promote advocacy of cultural diversity issues. Working with peak bodies and culturally and linguistically diverse community groups to improve the effectiveness of advocacy for cultural diversity. Building service capacity through partnerships to respond to changes in line with resources. Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

10 4. Building capacity of individuals, families and community to improve outcomes for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds Build on existing community partnerships and infrastructures and work with community change-agents and leaders. Engaging with and supporting key stakeholder groups and individuals in culturally and linguistically diverse communities to promote better outcomes and facilitate informed and meaningful community engagement. Support capacity building within culturally and linguistically diverse communities to transition to new service and support systems so that they are better able to identify, support and advocate for themselves, individuals and families at risk of falling through cracks in the service system. Build on existing community local partnerships and infrastructures. 10 Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

11 Signposts of success and good outcomes Diversity Matters cannot stand alone and ensure good outcomes and success in integrating and developing the capacity of FACS to cater for individuals and families from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Good measurements of success will be developed and embedded within the organisation at all levels to ensure we are capturing our achievements, reporting on our success, and measuring outcomes of effort. What gets measured gets done To accompany Diversity Matters, FACS is developing a comprehensive implementation plan. It will be developed in strong collaboration with Districts and Central business streams and will focus on enacting the headline strategies. The implementation plan will be an evolving plan, capturing innovation and creativity in how, as an organisation, FACS can respond to and adapt effort for individuals and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Measuring success for Diversity Matters will be based on embedding reporting and evaluative practice within FACS core business and governance. The FACS Executive Board will have oversight of the implementation of Diversity Matters, with the support of a cross-functional Steering Committee focused on cultural and linguistically diverse communities and external advice and support for implementation. The success of Diversity Matters will not just be improving services provided by FACS. In line with reform directions, it must also foster social capital and develop inclusive and resilient communities. FACS will use Diversity Matters to understand the impact of its work for people, families and the community in partnership with non-government organisations and community partners. Family and Community Services Cultural Diversity Framework

12 FACS

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