The Stronger Families and Communities Strategy (SFCS) 2000-2004 was designed to help build family and community capacity to deal with challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA) - formerly the Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS)
The SFCS had a special focus on those at-risk of social, economic and geographic isolation. It consisted of seven community-based linked initiatives that provided funding and support for projects in the community and six broader initiatives. The community-based linked initiatives, which were the focus of the evaluation, provided nearly $80 million in direct funding to 635 projects, ranging from under $1,000 to over $1,000,000, together with support from the Department to assist organisations to develop proposals and implement projects. Projects focusing on Indigenous families and communities received 26% of the funding allocated through these initiatives.
In 2007 the evaluation was awarded the Best Evaluation Study Award of the Australasian Evaluation Society.
The evaluation produced an overall final report, issues papers addressing key principles, case study reports of particular projects, funding initiatives or targeted regions, and newsletters. These documents can be downloaded from the links below.
- Networks and partnerships (PDF 222 KB)
- Community capacity building (PDF 507 KB)
- Early intervention particularly in early childhood (PDF 195 KB)
- Sustainability and legacy (PDF 160 KB)
- Service integration and coordination (PDF 411 KB)
- Economic and social participation (PDF 410 KB)
- Evidence-based policy and practice (PDF 233 KB)
- Gilles Plains Community Garden (PDF 2.24 MB)
- Mandurah Targeted Region (PDF 1.08 MB)
- Hervey Bay Indigenous Community Leadership Project (PDF 308 KB)
- Early Intervention and Early Childhood Initiatives (PDF 1.41 MB)
- Stronger Families Fund initiative (PDF 819 KB)
- Sustainability and legacy of projects (PDF 411 KB)
- Lessons Learnt about Strengthening Indigenous Families and Communities: What’s working and what’s not? (released as a FaHCSIA Occasional Paper) (PDF 716 KB)
- Potential Leaders in Local Communities initiative (PDF 386 KB)
- Qualitative cost-benefit analysis (PDF 773 KB)
- Evaluation newsletter Number 1 (PDF 185 KB)
- Evaluation newsletter Number 2 (PDF 828 KB) & Supplement (PDF 551 KB)
- Evaluation newsletter Number 3 (PDF 776 KB)
The evaluation addressed the following questions:
- How did the Strategy contribute to family and community strength in the short-term, medium-term, and longer-term?
- What unintended outcomes (positive and negative) did the Strategy produce?
- What were the particular features of the Strategy that made a difference? How did the principles underpinning the Strategy make a difference?
- What helped or hindered the initiatives to achieve their objectives? What explains why some initiatives worked? In particular, did the interaction between different initiatives contribute to achieving better outcomes?
- How did the Strategy work in conjunction with other initiatives, programs or services to achieve outcomes?
- What else helped or hindered the Strategy to achieve its objectives and outcomes? What works best for whom, why and when?
- In broad qualitative terms, what were the costs and benefits of the Strategy relative to similar national and international interventions?
- What were the lessons learned?
RMIT researchers: Patricia Rogers