Coordination and collaboration survey, January 2018

16 January 2018


In June 2017, nearly 400 government and non-government workers, carers and other stakeholders responded to a survey on how well coordination and collaboration were being managed between the various agencies of the child protection system.

In July we published the survey data and a deeper analysis of how people saw DCP and DECD working together.

During January, we will repeat the survey of people from all aspects of the child protection system about their perceptions and analyse the responses for the current state of cooperation and trends.

If you have knowledge and an interest in child protection, and you are able to dedicate five minutes to taking this confidential survey, please click the link below.

And please consider passing it on to colleagues and friends who may also have knowledge and information.

Yes, please take me to the survey.

Coordination and collaboration survey June 2017 – results

4 July 2017

Our thanks to the 384 people from all corners of the child protection system who responded to the Coordination and Collaboration Survey June 2017.

Respondents were asked to record their perceptions of a range of important relationships as they experienced them in June 2017 and the extent of change they had noticed since December 2016.  Nearly 150 respondents also left comments.

The unfiltered results can be downloaded from the link at the foot of this page.

We look here at six of the main areas identified by the Nyland Report in which close and frequent coordination and collaboration should be engaged in frequently or always. Results are in percentages of those who felt able to comment.

Respondents reported that coordination and collaboration occurred…

1. Between heads of relevant government departments

nevernot normalsometimesfrequentlyalwaysn

2. In information sharing on child protection matters

nevernot normalsometimesfrequentlyalwaysn

3. Between government, NGOs and training organisations on workforce planning

nevernot normalsometimesfrequentlyalwaysn

4. Between organisations supporting children after sexual abuse

nevernot normalsometimesfrequentlyalwaysn

5. Between DCP management and field staff

nevernot normalsometimesfrequentlyalwaysn

6. Between foster carers and DCP workers

nevernot normalsometimesfrequentlyalwaysn

Filtering the results by respondent produces additional insight into the way different parties have experienced the frequency of coordination and collaboration as in the relationship between foster carers and DCP workers .

More analysis

As indicated in the example above, there is more insight into the relationships we surveyed waiting to be revealed by filtering the responses by by respondent.  Watch out over the next few weeks as we progressively do that and start analysing the content of the 147 comments, many of them quite detailed.

Download the Coordination and Collaboration Survey June 2017 – unfiltered results

1 The survey was open from 13 June to 27 June, 2017 and received 384 responses and 147 comments. It is part of an ongoing series in which the Guardian’s Office observes and comments on progress in areas identified in Commissioner Nyland’s report.  It should be borne in mind that the survey sample was relatively small and respondents self-selected. The results are broadly indicative and should not be relied on for more fine-grained analysis.


Coordination and collaboration survey, 2017

13 June 2017


Very many organisations have a hand in the well-being of children in the child protection system. Commissioner Nyland in her report on SA’s child protection system, The Life They Deserve, implored those organisations to coordinate and collaborate strongly to achieve the very best outcomes for children.

So, how well is that going?

Over the next two weeks we will survey people from all aspects of the child protection system about their perceptions and publish the results.  If that includes you and you are able to dedicate five minutes to taking this confidential survey, please click the link below – and consider passing it on to relevant colleagues and friends.

Yes, please take me to the survey.

Season’s Greetings!



19 December, 2016


Whenever I am confronted with another of the disasters that flood our screens, I am reminded of what a friend told me, ‘watch the helpers’. Take note of those who run towards the chaos, drag people from beneath the rubble, rush them to hospital, tend to their wounds, lift children and wrap them in blankets.

Seeing that reinforces for me the goodness of people, instinctively drawn to run towards the chaos and to lend a hand in whatever way they can.  It also reminds me that we are, as people, at our best when we are working together.

It has been a difficult year for many of the children who find themselves in care of the state.  It has also been a difficult year for the many adults – carers, relatives, social workers, teachers and others –  who struggle to make things better for them in the midst of our faltering child protection system.

A sincere thank you from me and my team for all of your work and dedication in 2016.

We look forward to re-joining you in 2017 when my hope is that we will continue to reinvigorate the essential goodness in our colleagues, the buoyant energy of the children and young people we serve and a greater realisation that the only way we can make change, lasting change, is by finding new and better ways of working together.

A happy and relaxing holiday season to you and your loved ones.

The Guardian’s Office will be closed and the telephones unattended from 5pm Friday December 23, 2016 to 9am Tuesday January 3, 2017.

Getting together to do the best for children

Amanda - May 2014

Senior Advocate Amanda Shaw

Our child protection system is set up to protect children from harm or further harm. We may have different views about what the further harm is and how to protect them but I’m okay with that. I truly believe that we all benefit from seeking, sharing and listening to different perspectives and that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The best decisions are made from the inclusion of different perspectives.

But there are many challenges.

It is a challenge when two or more children have competing or opposing wishes and interests. Each child’s circumstances must be considered. But that doesn’t mean we ignore the collective needs of a group of children, like a biological or foster sibling group. One of the key messages from our 2010-2011 inquiry into sibling contact was that children can develop meaningful and satisfying sibling relationships with non-biological family members. The inquiry highlighted the importance of seeking the child or young person’s views, wherever possible, about who their family is and how they would like to maintain relationships with family members. We need to take the child’s views into account when making the best decisions.

It is a challenge when children are very young or don’t have the developmental capacity to contribute their views. I have seen, first-hand children who are younger than five years make active contributions but that’s not always possible or thought of or facilitated. Their ‘voice’ often has to be sought by other means; from those who know the child and from assessments that have been conducted by independent professionals.

Of course, those who know the child will have their own views and interests. There is nothing wrong with the adults in a child’s life presenting their views and interests, but at times it may be difficult to differentiate between what is the child’s voice and what is filtered through the adult’s interests.

What we ask on behalf of the child is that adults who have different opinions about what decisions should be made or what actions should be taken, acknowledge their different views and agree to work collaboratively and cooperatively to achieve the positive outcomes that the child deserves. It is not easy to leave self-interest, fixed positions, personal rivalries and ambition at the door but that, and a good dose of bravery, is what is needed.

It is a challenge when there are blocks to collaborative and cooperative work and some blocks are entrenched and need significant work to remove. Although change can take time, I have the good fortune to see first-hand great work to heal children and rebuild their lives and to improve the child protection system.

We need to be consistent, persistent and cooperative, and keep the children’s needs – and their views – central to our thinking and actions.

 link to GCYP twitter