The "Wide Lens" project was a joint project between Youth Action and the NSW Department of Community Services: Family and Community Services. Its aim was to look at placing the client's needs at the centre of Youth Work in the Metro Central Region of Sydney.
The project was broken into two parts:
- A report into the current state of 'client-centredness' across the region; and,
- A training package/resource to assist workers to work holistically with clients.
"Wide Lens" Report
The Wide Lens report analyses holistic, client-centred practice in the Region. It begins with a vision for contemporary youth services - outcomes-driven, preventative, connected/client-centred, well-informed, coordinated, professional and evidence-based. It then uses data from focus groups, interviews and literature to examine the current state of client-centredness, and make both short and long-term recommendations to support a culture change to client-centredness. Some of these recommendations include:
- Increasing the “connectors” between sectors to encourage seamlessness and communication, such as a pilot of Student Support Officers in schools;
- Forming regional and state-wide “guiding teams” of cross-sector leaders to drive client-focused change across all levels;
- Investing in, and enabling, effective organisational leadership to improve client outcomes;
- Developing agreement of shared outcomes and frameworks to align services to both holistic (i.e. assessing and acting on the whole needs of the client) and “lifespan” perspectives for the benefit of clients;
- Focusing on information systems that can improve efficiency and effectiveness of information sharing;
- Developing comprehensive information-gathering and information-sharing systems to track the effectiveness of local and regional interventions;
- Increasing flexibility of funding and models of service delivery to better address client needs.