Central Coast Multi-Agency Response Centre

  • 2016

  • Social Impact

Designed In:


FACS commissioned 2R to radically improve outcomes for children at risk of serious harm. The multi-stakeholder team co-designed the state’s first Multi-Agency Response Centre, where multiple agencies are co-located, enabling integrated service delivery and triaging of cases to ensure children get the services they need faster and more effectively.

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  • • Janet Vickers, FACS District Director, Central Coast said, “I genuinely believe it was the co-design process that allowed our vision to move forward.” A co-design approach enabled all stakeholders to hold each other accountable to the vision they had collectively created. • Leaders cohered around deep insights direct from children and families in the care system, caseworkers, service providers, and agencies. • The team took a child-centred approach which unified perspectives and created high-levels of trust between agencies. Everyone wanted to see more children supported. • Co-design put new focus on the design of experiences for children and families at each stage of their journey.

  • • In just over a year, CCMARC was conceptualised, designed, prototyped and built. Implementing new systems for multi-agency services generally takes years. • Children and parents from families at risk can now go to one place for face-to-face support, instead of 'service hopping' from agency to agency. • Detailed design and prototyping of CCMARC ensured that information exchange is extremely fast and relevant to the task at hand - a marked difference to the deluge of paralysing information of the past. • Janet Vickers notably stated that during the implementation stage, the co-design process enabled her to hold people accountable to the original vision which they helped co-create.

  • • CCMARC has reduced cost of information transfer for FACS, plus reduced costs associated with the duplication of tasks. • Trend for the total number of non-ROSH matters reported to FACS decreased. Community members and others are engaging more proactively with CCMARC to support children and families at risk, reducing time and cost associated with triaging cases that do not require a statutory response. • CCMARC enabled NGOs to make use of under-utilised resources. Thanks to an enhanced atmosphere of trust and more effective triaging, more cases are being referred to NGOs, properly matching the right service to the child. • CCMARC is a model that is likely to be rolled out across all 15 districts in NSW.

  • • CCMARC has been heralded by Simone Walker, Executive Director of Innovation at FACS, as “the way of the future”, characteristic of a rigorous, decentralised, multi-agency approach to child protection. • Other approaches to child protection are being developed as a result of the co-design engagement including pooled funding, strategic commissioning, and genuinely joined-up approaches. • Second Road's co-design approach has enabled the development of a new culture and way of working that can be characterised as proactive, focused, and unquestioningly centred around the needs of the child. • CCMARC has been hailed as an exemplar of innovation by the Minister for Families and Community Services, Brad Hazzard.

    • Twice as many children are receiving a face-to-face assessment than prior to the opening of CCMARC, indicating the new system is filtering the right cases, enabling more children at risk of serious harm to get the support that they need. • A new culture of multi-agency collaboration and problem solving has emerged with organisations working together for the good of children on the Central Coast. • CCMARC represents a sustainable alternative to the long-term effects of exposure to abuse and neglect that comes from having a child continue to stay in an unsafe environment. • The community location of CCMARC gives greater opportunity for focused community support by being closer to the users of the system.