Social sector reforms at all levels of government, combined with growing complexity of social needs are driving new service designs across sectors (Bovaird, 2007; Osborne & Strokosch, 2013). As both not for profit and private for profit organisations look for new ways to meet the needs of their clients, some are looking to each other for synergies that realise the potential of ‘collaborative advantage’ (Huxham, 1996). Hybrid service offerings arising from such partnerships can be complex to manage and require new ways of working from the staff who deliver them. In this session, Jo Barraket and Stella Avramopoulos will reflect on a project that is both a research collaboration and a study of collaboration between Kildonan UnitingCare and private for profit firms. The initiative studied was designed to provide holistic levels of care for people experiencing financial hardship and improve the referral pathways and information flow between participating organisations so that, once a client enters one program or service, they can be referred to other programs and organisations with greater ease than previously possible. The first phase of the study utilised social network analysis (SNA) and qualitative methods to examine the early stages of development of the partnership and the implications for staff.
In this presentation, Stella and Jo will present the early research findings and reflect on the practical implications of the initiative for Kildonan as an enterprising not for profit organisation, the value of the research for service improvements and the wider implications for cross-sector collaboration.
Professor Jo Barraket is Director of the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Jo's long term research interests include social enterprise and relationships between sectors in contemporary public governance.
Jo is principal author of the forthcoming book, Social Procurement and New Public Governance (Routledge) and co-editor of the forthcoming book, 'Creating and Implementing Public Policy' (Routledge).
Stella Avramopoulos is the Chief Executive Officer of Kildonan UnitingCare, an innovative and trusted organisation within one of Australia’s largest welfare networks, UnitingCare Australia. Kildonan delivers financial counselling, energy advice, settlement services and family support services to more than 20,000 Victorians each year across metropolitan Melbourne through to Northern Regional Victoria. It also has a corporate arm which consults nationally to the utility, telecommunications, banking and government sectors on issues affecting vulnerable consumers.
Stella has worked across the welfare, community services and government sectors for almost 20 years and has a reputation for inspiring teams to design and deliver holistic and innovative approaches that engender systemic change.
Stella is on the Board of the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) and sits on National Customer Councils for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Origin Energy National Customer Consultative Council, the Australian Bankers’ Association Industry Strategy Working Group, Uniting Church Social Policy Network.
Previous appointments: Office of Living Victoria’s Environment and Community Taskforce, the Ministerial Advisory Group Addressing Violence Against Women and Children, and the Victorian Government’s Community Sector Reform Council.