The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) would like to thank all applicants for being part of the selection process for the delivery of the Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) Round 3 sites.
FaHCSIA had a strong response to its call for applications, and applications were received in all of the advertised 79 sites nominated by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) State and Territory Mental Health Groups.
This debrief summary is to provide general feedback to applicants regarding the characteristics of strong and weak applications.
The application period was from 14 June 2008 to 25 July 2008. The assessment process included five stages:
- Stage 1 - Eligibility and Compliance checks. All applications were screened for eligibility of applicants and compliance with the mandatory compliance requirements as outlined in section 3 of the Application Guidelines;
- Stage 2 - Assessment of applications against selection criteria 1-5. Applications that rated highly were short listed and proceeded to Stage 3. This stage incorporated thorough quality assurance processes.
- Stage 3 - Quality Assurance of short listed applications. Applications that proceeded to Stage 3 underwent a second assessment by Departmental staff and specialists and were rated against a scale of meets most, meets all or exceeds based on the following key features:
- diversity in service - complementarity and diversity across sites;
- geographic spread - balance between achieving maximum geographical coverage and quality of the service delivery across the site; and
- best value for funds.
- Stage 4 - Financial Viability assessments were conducted by an independent auditor;
- Stage 5 - Selection of preferred applicants. Applicants were ranked in each site on the basis of the combined score they received following Stage 2, Quality Assurance, the Stage 3 short listing assessment process and financial viability assessments.
The assessment process was conducted in line with the Application Guidelines and overseen by an independent probity adviser.
A total of 775 applications were received for the 79 COAG nominated sites. Many organisations submitted applications for more than one site. Ten applications were duplicates and were withdrawn.
Nine applications were marked non-compliant and did not proceed in the assessment process. All remaining 756 applications were deemed eligible and were assessed against the selection criteria identified in Section 3.4 of the Application Guidelines.
Structure of this debrief summary
Feedback in this debrief summary is structured around the PHaMs selection criteria and selection process set out in Section 3 of the Application Guidelines. It includes two parts:
- Part 1: Addressing selection criteria 1-5 (3.4 of the Application Guidelines); and
- Part 2: Stage 3 set out in 3.5 of the Application Guidelines.
This debrief summary is provided as generalised feedback against the selection criteria and is not a definitive statement about individual applications or the whole assessment process.
Applications were of a high standard and were received from both current PHaMs providers and from the broader community sector. The majority of applications received ranged from satisfactory to very good.
The applications that rated very well were those that supported their claims with strong evidence and detail that demonstrated the capacity of the organisation to deliver PHaMs. These organisations demonstrated existing service delivery skills in a variety of areas and demonstrated a strengths-based, recovery approach to supporting people aged 16 and over who have a severe functional limitation resulting from a severe mental illness. These organisations also demonstrated the capacity to deliver PHaMs efficiently and effectively with minimal risk.
Part 1 - Addressing selection criteria 1 - 5
1. Describe how your experience in delivering programs and services to people with mental illness will support the delivery of Personal Helpers and Mentors.
Please provide examples of your experience that reflects your capacity to deliver the service in line with the PHaMs service delivery approach that includes:
- the principles of the PHaMs;
- strengths-based and recovery focussed approach; and
- outreach and community based service delivery.
Top rating applications demonstrated the applicant could deliver PHaMs to a high standard and included:
- information detailing how their experience in delivering programs and services and/or delivering programs and services to people with a mental illness would assist in the delivery of PHaMs;
- examples of experience that reflected capacity to deliver in line with PHaMs service delivery approach; and
- information that described outcomes the applicant's programs and services have achieved or would achieve for people with mental illness.
Lower rating applications provided limited information on their experience in delivering programs and services to people with mental illness and did not substantiate their claims by providing relevant examples that were in line with the PHaMs delivery approach.
2. Demonstrate your organisation's ability to manage the Personal Helpers and Mentors.
Please include details about your organisation's internal infrastructure supports, including policies and procedures that will support the delivery of Personal Helpers and Mentors.
Top rating applications demonstrated their ability to manage PHaMs to an exemplary standard and included:
- detailed information on the organisation's internal infrastructure supports that would support the delivery of PHaMs, including organisational policies and procedures;
- information demonstrating appropriate governance arrangements are in place to support the delivery of PHaMs; and
- information recognising the relationship between appropriate internal processes and supports and achieving outcomes for participants.
Lower rating applications either provided very limited information on organisational supports, or the information included in the application suggested that the organisational supports would not support PHaMs.
Applications could have been enhanced by providing information and/or examples linking the delivery of PHaMs with evidence of an integrated approach to service delivery which recognises the relationship between appropriate internal processes and supports in their organisation, and achieving outcomes for PHaMs participants.
Service Delivery Model
3. Describe how you plan to deliver Personal Helpers and Mentors to the site. If you already deliver similar services in the site or, in particular, Personal Helpers and Mentors in another site, you may like to use this experience to describe how you will deliver PHaMs in this site.
Please include details about:
- team structure and any organisational changes required to deliver PHaMs;
- the model you propose to implement including how you will deliver it,
- specific target group(s) where applicable;
- geographic coverage and the issues this may present for service delivery;
- managing caseloads and ongoing demands for service;
- attracting referrals;
- involving participants, families, carers and friends in the design and delivery of PHaMS; and
- working with individuals in the broader social context.
Top rating applications demonstrated they could deliver PHaMs within the nominated site to an exemplary standard and included:
- detailed information describing how they would deliver PHaMs to the nominated site;
- information on current experience in the site or relative experience in another site and making strong links between their current experience and the proposed delivery of PHaMs; and
- information demonstrating an understanding of PHaMs principles and ability to achieve outcomes for participants.
Lower rating applications provided limited information describing how they would deliver PHaMs and/or were unable to demonstrate how their current experience would support their delivery of PHaMs.
Applications could have been enhanced with more specific detail about their experience and outcomes achieved in the site or another site and how these outcomes would support the delivery of PHaMs.
Local Knowledge and Linkages
4. Provide evidence of your knowledge of, and familiarity with the nominated site and how the proposed service will be tailored to the site.
Please include details about:
- local issues and need in the nominated site and their impact on service delivery;
- demographics of the site, including the mental health population;
- complementary services, including both clinical and non-clinical community services, available in the site; and
- how you will work with local networks and other services to deliver outcomes for PHaMs participants. Include examples or evidence of your organisation's experience in this area.
Top rating applications demonstrated they had a strong knowledge of the site and strategies to tailor services to the site and included:
- detailed information demonstrating knowledge of, and familiarity of the nominated site including local issues; site demographics, and complementary services within the site;
- information on strategies to address local issues;
- examples of how the applicant has established or would establish collaborative working relationships throughout the site; and
- information demonstrating how their tailored service delivery approach reflects PHaMs principles and outcomes.
Lower rating applications provided limited information demonstrating their knowledge of the site and/or strategies to tailor services to the site.
Applications could have been enhanced with the proposal of a service delivery approach for PHaMs that fully reflects and supports local community needs.
Working with Special Needs Participants
5. Describe how you will tailor the services of Personal Helpers and Mentors for participants from special needs groups in the site, for example, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) and Indigenous Australians. Please include evidence of your current experience in delivering services to special needs groups.
Top rating applications demonstrated the applicant would tailor the delivery of PHaMs to support any special needs groups to an exemplary standard and included:
- detailed information on special needs groups with a mental illness in the site and strategies to tailor services;
- information demonstrating experience in service delivery to special needs groups with mental illness and relative experience to PHaMs;
- information on outcomes achieved for special needs groups with a mental illness; and
- information on the availability of complementary services within the site to support participants from special needs groups.
Lower rating applications provided limited information on special needs groups in the site and/or strategies to tailor services to support these groups.
Applications could have been enhanced with details of outcomes achieved for special needs groups with mental illness, as well as information on the availability of complementary services within the site to support special needs groups.
Part 2 - Stage 3 (3.5 of the Application Guidelines)
Top rating applications which proceeded to Stage 3 of the selection process underwent a second assessment by Departmental staff and specialists and were rated against a scale of meets most, meets all or exceeds based on the following key features:
- diversity in service - complementarity and diversity across sites;
- geographic spread - balance between achieving maximum geographical coverage and quality of the service delivery across the site;
- best value for funds.
Applications short listed at Stage 3 clearly exceeded other top rated applications by demonstrating their capacity to delivery PHaMs in the site.
These organisations demonstrated diversity in service delivery and maximum geographical coverage while achieving quality of service delivery. These organisations represented best value for funds by demonstrating initiative with regard to tailoring the service delivery model to meet the specific needs of a site.