Financial Counselling Program: Update 4 - September 2015

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1.1 Recording family violence in the FCP Dataset

Family violence is against the law and the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) is committed to addressing family violence in Victoria. Under the Financial Counselling Program (FCP) agencies have the option of selecting 'family violence' as a reason for a client’s vulnerability. Consumer Affairs Victoria would encourage agencies to use this option if family violence is demonstrated. CAV acknowledges that if a client is not ‘financially disadvantaged’ family violence issues may not be recorded.

You can also use the Narrative Report to identify and expand on family violence issues. CAV may use this data and information to report on family violence issues across our funded programs.

1.2 Payment Process reminder 2015-16

Payment under the FCP service model 2014-17 is dependent upon service delivery and an assessment of YTD performance.

All agencies are expected to reach 100% of the annual target performance hours in 2015-16 and 2016-17. CAV recognises that this performance may vary across the year due to factors eg: seasonal demand and staffing.

Agencies should notify Funded Services immediately if they have any issues such as lack of demand, staffing issues or recruitment difficulties that may impact on service delivery.

Funded Services will monitor agency performance across the year and contact an agency who is underperforming. An assessment of quarter 3 data (due 30 April) will be made before issuing the quarter 4 (final) payment for each financial year. If underperformance is an issue this payment may be withheld until performance can be demonstrated at the end of Q4.

If there is no improvement in performance at Q4, the payment may be forfeited and there will be no further opportunity to reclaim it.

If underperformance is a persistent issue across financial years Funded Services will consider the circumstances faced by an agency and work with them to agree a way forward.

1.3 How to record receipt of MoneyHelp referrals in IRIS

CAV is collecting information on the number of MoneyHelp referrals received by agencies. Previously in IRIS there was no option to select MoneyHelp in the Referral Source field, this has now been updated. The Referral Source field is a mandatory field and is used to record where a referral has come from. MoneyHelp should be selected in the Referral Source field when you receive a referral from MoneyHelp.

IRIS financial counselling screen with 'Moneyhelp' entered into Referral Source field and highlighted.

Some agencies have used the Interagency Referral field as a substitute for the Referral Source Field. This field should not be used for this purpose. The Interagency Referral field, a non-mandatory field, should be used to record who you are making a referral to, not where it has come from.

1.4 Documenting call-backs without contact

Several agencies have raised the recording of the time taken to call-back callers and asked how this can be counted under the service hours.

The majority of agencies use a call-back rule where there are three attempts to contact a caller. On average three call-backs take 15 minutes.

If the caller is not reached there is no case opened and no service hours can be recorded. If contact is made with the caller within 3 attempts, a case can be opened and the time taken for the call back (maximum 15 minutes) can be recorded.

If your agency believes non-contact of clients through call-backs is a significant issue please record the number of non-contacts and the time taken and feed this back to us through your narrative report.

1.4.1 Use of 'Other' as a data option

Several of the mandatory data field have ‘Other’ as an option. We would ask financial counsellors no to use ‘Other’ if at all possible as ‘Other’ skews the data and does not enable analysis of trends. Instead CAV encourage financial counsellors to choose one of the field values provided to generate as much quantifiable data as possible to work with.

An example of this would be for ‘Primary reason for financial difficulty’ the field ‘Family/personal problems’ includes, health issues (accident or illness), mental illness and family breakdown. If you choose ‘Other’ for a workplace injury instead of ‘Family/personal problems’ we don’t know what the ‘Other’ is indicating.

You can find the definitions for all vield values at the FCP Data Reporting Guide website (udated 05/02/2015).

If there is a genuine reason for using ‘Other’ please make a note of it and feed it back through the narrative report so it can be considered for any future database amendments.