Advocacy & research


It’s been an absolute nightmare – family violence in kinship care (2017)

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Affordable Housing – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Assisted Dying – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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First Australians – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Culturally and linguistically diverse society – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Disability – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Freedom of Religion – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Family Violence and Carer Abuse – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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LGBTIQ – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Supporting Mental Health – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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People Seeking Asylum – Social Policy Paper (2017)

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Gateway Tas Report TN

Baptcare Gateway Evaluation (2016)

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Our research and policy priorities for 2016-2017.

Baptcare responds to community need through advocacy on behalf of those who have a limited voice in Australian society. We recognise that it matters how governments, the community sector, churches and local communities understand poverty, disadvantage and adversity, as this impacts how we determine solutions.  We engage in policy and advocacy issues crucial to the needs of people with whom we work – drawing on evidence from research we conduct with the services we run, the people that use those services and other external resources. Where possible, we join with other organisations within the community services, aged care and allied sectors. This gives us the opportunity to speak on issues of concern.  We also make submissions and presentations to Government Inquiries, conferences and forums on issues where we have relevant experience and expertise.

Baptcare’s Research and Policy Unit’s aim is to conduct original research and support researchers internally and externally that benefit the people Baptcare works with and the community.

We conduct research and policy projects to increase understanding of the issues that affect children, families, disability, aged care and asylum seekers. We aim to improve practice delivery, inform debate and work in partnership with others at influencing social and economic policy in Victoria, Tasmania and across Australia.

Our goal is to deliver evidence-based advice and contribute to the development of state and national social policy on children, families, disability, aged care and asylum seekers.

Our research and policy priorities for 2015-2016:

  • social impact measurement
  • case management
  • local area coordination
  • out of home care
  • dementia care

For all research and policy enquiries please contact: Rachel Breman, Baptcare Head of Research, Policy and Advocacy.

More about our research and social policy papers

Affordable Housing – Social Policy Paper (2017)

Baptcare believes that safe, secure, appropriate and affordable housing is a basic human right for Australians of all ages and is foundational to the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.

Baptcare is committed to improving access to affordable housing for aged and disadvantaged people in Victoria and Tasmania. Baptcare delivers services to the most vulnerable in the community including seniors, people with a disability, people with mental health issues, families and children affected by family violence and people experiencing financial difficulties. It is these groups who face the greatest difficulty in accessing affordable housing.

Assisted Dying – Social Policy Paper (2017)

The Victorian Parliamentary Committee conducting the ‘Inquiry into End of Life Choices’ recommended a voluntary assisted dying framework for terminally ill people in Victoria. As a community, we need to consider if this will result in a model with the necessary safeguards to protect every Victorian, while also providing the genuine choice sought by a small number of people at the end of their lives.

As a major provider of aged care, disability, children, youth and family support services across Victoria and Tasmania, Baptcare witnesses and actively responds to the struggles and sufferings of people who are experiencing intolerable physical and/or existential pain near the end of life due to serious or incurable conditions. Baptcare’s response to end of life choices is informed by our commitment to protecting the dignity of people of all ages and delivering appropriate, compassionate, and timely care.

First Australians – Social Policy Paper (2017)

The legacy of the past has left many Indigenous Australians, families and communities experiencing deep social exclusion and disadvantage. Despite political commitments and reconciliation efforts by many people and organisations across the country, the reality remains that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders continue to experience discrimination and barriers to accessing community services.

Baptcare is committed to building links with Traditional Owners in the areas in which we work and particularly where we undertake new developments. Vulnerable aboriginal children as a group have poorer health, education and other life outcomes than the average Australian. As part of Baptcare’s role in supporting vulnerable Aboriginal children, Baptcare is committed to working with the Aboriginal community sector to support children’s connection to their culture. Additionally, Baptcare is committed to supporting indigenous individuals and families in their caring roles through our community aged care services and kinship care within the out of home care system.

Culturally and linguistically diverse society – SocialPolicy Paper (2017)

The needs and issues faced by Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are complex. CALD communities continue to experience a range of barriers in aged care services, disability, workforce participation, health, family, youth and children’s services. Providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services is critical, if organisations wish to engage and adequately service the needs of people from CALD.

As a provider of aged care and family and community services across Victoria and Tasmania, Baptcare’s approach to diversity is influenced by our commitment to equity and social inclusion, and by our roots in the Christian tradition which from its origin has been one of the world’s great forces for cultural and linguistically diversity and inclusion.

Disability – Social Policy Paper (2017)

Baptcare has worked closely with people with disabilities for many years in Victoria and Tasmania and this has enabled us to gain an understanding of the barriers in place. These include: unequal access to everyday services; lack of suitable employment; practical and cultural barriers such as accessibility to venues, suitable transport, communication and community attitudes; a general lack of awareness of the needs of people with disabilities; a continued perception of disability as a problem and barriers to social inclusion.

Baptcare has consistently worked with people with disabilities, their families and carers to build their capacity, and empower them to live a ‘good satisfying life’, integrated into their community within which they live. Baptcare has advocated for and continues to strongly support the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, both in terms of the opportunity to support people with a disability but also the wider contribution towards social inclusion.

Freedom of Religion – Social Policy Paper (2017)

Freedom of religion is a basic human right recognised in the Australian Constitution. As a secular, multicultural, and pluralist society, Australia is home to people of many religious faiths, beliefs, and practices, as well as those who profess no faith or religion.

Baptcare proactively serves people of all ages, cultures, beliefs, and circumstances across its programs and services. Client rights to freedom of religion are actively supported by the Pastoral Care Team who seek to connect clients and residents with other people and faith communities. Baptcare also works at the margins with people who often fall outside of the dominant cultural profile and require a broader approach to spiritual care.

Family Violence and Carer Abuse – Social Policy Paper (2017)

As provider of family and community services and aged care across Victoria and Tasmania, Baptcare is concerned about the level of abuse suffered by women and their children from their immediate family members. Baptcare is also concerned about the less publicised incidence of elder abuse committed on vulnerable seniors by adult children, spouses, and carers. Of equal concern are persons with a disability or those experiencing mental health issues. These people are also vulnerable to violence and abuse from those who provide care for them.

Baptcare believes long-term investment in building individual, family and community resilience and zero tolerance against violence and abuse will promote improved health, wellbeing and family preservation, and that the high personal family, social and community cost of abuse and violence in Australia makes it an important national issue.

LGBTIQ – Social Policy Paper (2017)

Baptcare recognises that there are a wide range of challenges facing members of the community who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (LGBTIQ) and / or identify as a gender which does not match their sex assigned at birth.

Baptcare, the community sector and government have become increasingly aware that persons who identify as LGBTIQ face barriers to accessing relevant services. Baptcare recognises that extra efforts are needed to deliver LGBTIQ-inclusive care to this group of people. As a provider of aged care, and family and children’s services in Victoria and Tasmania, we are committed to a process of listening and dialogue, and embedding LGBTIQ-inclusive practices to ensure people of all ages in this group of Australians have access to welcoming, safe and quality care across the life spectrum.

Supporting Mental Health – Social Policy Paper (2017)

Mental health and wellbeing is recognised as being fundamental to our general health and essential for the optimal functioning of individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. As people go through life, they all face challenges to their resilience, mental health and wellbeing.

Baptcare believes long-term investment in building individual, family and community resilience will promote improved mental health, and that the high personal, family and community cost of mental illness in Australia makes it an important national issue. Baptcare is also committed to early intervention programs that provide support for individuals and families impacted by mental illness.

People Seeking Asylum – Social Policy Paper (2017)

People seeking asylum are those who flee from their own country because they have genuine fear of being persecuted on their basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular group. They apply for protection as a refugee in Australia.

As a mission driven organisation committed to human rights, Baptcare supports the vision of Australia being a safe haven for refugees, their families and children who are unable to return to their country of origin due to genuine fear of being persecuted. Baptcare provides housing (“Sanctuary”) that offers safe, affordable transitional housing to those people seeking asylum most in need, whilst establishing a model of sustainable community-based support. Baptcare believes in a welcoming, socially inclusive society and encourages our community to provide people seeking asylum with the means of basic livelihood and participation in all aspects of society so that they have the best possible chance of starting a new life in Australia.

Baptcare Gateway Evaluation (2016)

The Gateway service has been in operation for 7 years, commencing in 2009 following reforms of the Child Protection system. This report provides an evaluation of the Gateway service delivered by Baptcare in the North and South West regions of Tasmania.  Gateway provides referral, advice, information and access to family support to families with children under the age of 18 in order to build capacity to parent, strengthen families and promote wellbeing whilst reducing the risk of statutory intervention. The Gateway also acts as a community based intake service for mandatory reports.

Data presented in this report has been collected from various sources including internal data collection and reporting systems, client files and client satisfaction surveys. Demographic and statistical data provides evidence of specific population groups who have accessed the Gateway through Baptcare and demonstrates inward and outgoing referral information with CPS being the highest referrer into the Gateway service. Baptcare data demonstrates a variety of presenting and complex issues for families, the scope of brief intervention practices applied by Gateway workers and impact and outcomes for families. Client satisfaction results demonstrate an overall positive client experience of the Gateway service.

BANC PASS Cross Sector Partnership: A successful collaboration and a pathway tobetter outcomes for people with Younger Onset Dementia (2016)

The BANC PASS paper presents a brief framework for understanding cross-sector collaboration based on the available literature, but more importantly it identifies those elements of a successful collaboration that improve outcomes for people with Younger Onset Dementia. The initiative and experiences of key BANC PASS staff that formed the collaboration add critical knowledge that enhances the framework for understanding successful cross-sector collaboration within a Victorian context and how that framework could help improve outcomes for people with Younger Onset Dementia.

Baptcare Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) Evaluation (2016)

The Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) has been in operation for 7 years, commencing in 2009 following reforms of the Child Protection system. This report provides an evaluation of the IFSS service delivered by Baptcare in the North and South West regions of Tasmania. IFSS provides case management support to families with children under the age of 18 in order to build capacity to parent, strengthen families and promote wellbeing whilst reducing the risk of statutory intervention.

Data presented in this report has been collected from various sources including internal data collection and reporting systems, client files and client satisfaction surveys. Demographic and statistical data provides evidence of specific population groups who have accessed IFSS through Baptcare and alliance agencies and demonstrates inward and outgoing referral information with CPS being the highest referrer into the IFSS service. Baptcare data demonstrates a variety of presenting and complex issues for families, the scope of case management and case support practices applied by IFSS workers and when mapped back to the Baptcare Outcomes Framework, positive outcomes for families across all key domains. Client satisfaction results demonstrate an overall positive client experience of the IFSS service.

 Peeling Back the Layers – Kinship Care in Victoria ‘Complexity in Kinship Care – Research Report (2014)

Baptcare’s research report, in partnership with OzChild and Anchor, explores the range and impact of the complexity surrounding statutory kinship care placements. One hundred and thirty children and carers in statutory kinship care in Victoria were randomly selected to participate in the study. The research involved secondary analysis of pre-existing service data, with practitioners extracting de-identified data taken from case notes and included range of demographic, placement, child and carer variables. The research revealed substantial breadth and intensity of complexity among kinship care arrangements. The evidence indicates that the needs of the children and carers are more complex than has been previously recognised in the current kinship service model.

Baptcare Targeted Youth Support Service Report (2010-15)

The Targeted Youth Support Service (TYSS) as delivered by Baptcare in the South West region of Tasmania commenced in October 2010 and has recently achieved five5 years of service delivery to youth at risk in the Glenorchy, Hobart, Kingborough and Huon Valley areas. TYSS utilises a trauma informed therapeutic and complex case management approach to working with highly disengaged young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who are experiencing multiple and complex issues which without intervention place them on a trajectory to entering the statutory services of Child Protection and Youth Justice. TYSS utilises a key worker model and client centred approach to addressing complex issues which impact on the young person’s functioning, identity and role in the community. A multimodal therapeutic approach combined with practical support provides clients with a unique medium to long term support program with the aim of improving long term outcomes for clients who have experienced significant trauma and are at risk of future disadvantage. Data collected since the commencement of the program demonstrates substantially improved outcomes for young people who engage with the program, leading to reduction in future risk and cost to the community as a whole. The data illustrates trends of particular risk issues for these young people and demonstrates gaps in service availability which could inform the allocation of resources for services to young people. The program also demonstrates possibility for improvement in how service delivery to young people could be included in future youth at risk strategies.

 Disability Gateway Services Client Satisfaction Report (2012)

Baptcare’s latest research report evaluates Client Satisfaction levels of Baptcare’s Gateway Disability Services model, currently run in Tasmania.

The study used a multi-stage approach.  The first stage of the research involved focus group discussions held in Hobart and Launceston. The second stage of the research consisted of 250 telephone interviews, covering: awareness and usage of disability services, intake experience, assessment processes, referral processes, local area coordination and current engagement and perceptions of Disability Gateway services.

The report indicates a high satisfaction rate from clients across the areas of intake, assessment, referral and Local Area Coordination (case management) of the model.

Research outcomes will be used as to assess the programs strengths and applied to ensure continuous improvement strategies are put in place to maximise future benefits for clients and professionals accessing the service. The current findings have also provided a strong case for the federal government to benchmark our service as a basis for the recommended National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) model.

 Submissions to Government Inquiries re Vulnerable Children (2011 & 2010)

Victoria: Baptcare provides Integrated Family Services in Victoria, with a range of family preservation programs as well as statutory programs for vulnerable children. Based on this experience, we submitted a Baptcare Response to the Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry 2011.

Tasmania: Baptcare plays a pivotal role as a lead agency in the Intergrated Family Support Services Alliance and the Gateway program which is responsible for delivering a major part of a large reform agenda in family services in Tasmania. In the 2010 Tasmanian parliamentary process, we provided a Baptcare Submission to the Select Committee on Child Protection.