Social Sector Trial Project - CNT

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Social Sector Trial Project



The Social Sector Trial (SST/Trials) are a social change model focused on improving outcomes by testing an alternative approach to social service delivery in communities. The approach is centred around a community member or non-governmental organisation, who shapes cross-agency resources with local organisations and government agencies to deliver more collaborative, directed and effective social services. In Gore the Community Networking Trust is the non-governmental organisation chosen to lead this initiative. Sixteen trials are currently in place, six of which have been operating since March 2011, and ten that began 1 July 2013. All 16 have been extended for a further 12 months from 1 July 2015.

***Update: Nationwide the Social Sector Trials have concluded***

Where successful, the SST will transition from a community-influenced model to a community-led model, with a less narrow focus for the delivery of services.

The vast majority of initiatives coordinated under the SST umbrella are new to communities as a result of the trial model (leadership, needs identification, funding, coordination, mandate etc.) and next steps for these programme and services will ensure a smooth transition.

The transition process is expected to include:

  • A six month transition phase in sites identified for transition. A Trial Lead will be retained to facilitate a process with their advisory group to determine what a long term model would look like, or integration, or exit. A line by line review of current SST elements, both coordination and programmes/services, will be undertaken locally to support the process. Some current programmes and services would be continued while this process is going on, and small level of contract funding is provided to support this.

  • Trials to be transitioned to locally-led leadership

    • Where they are performing well, the trials are now sufficiently embedded in the communities to be managed locally - going from a community-influenced model to a community-led model.
    • This will further enable these locations to move beyond being a trial, to adapt and customise programmes and services to meet their local community's needs.
    • Ongoing government agency support, (including a key agency support person regionally), will be in place for six months to assist the SST to make a successful transition.
    • This support will enable communities to review programmes and services and the structures that these sites have in place to establish how they might continue in future.
    • The details of the transition will be different for each community. We expect that it will involve discussions with Councils, NGOs and government agencies.
    • The ten sites being supported to transition to a locally-led model by 31 December 2016 are:
      • South Waikato, Gisborne, Kaikohe, Waitomo, Taumarunui, Kawerau, Horowhenua, Porirua, South Dunedin, and Gore.
    • The strengths of these trials include:
      • Long standing provider sector (broad spectrum) support
      • A large and varied work programme, in many cases resulting in a better mix of programmes and services.
      • Highly visible through hubs, staff, programmes and services a distinct community presence.
      • A positive impact on the community, and has been effective in implementing a coordinated approach to social services across issues including offending, school attendance, education/employment and training.
      • The coordination and working relationships have been developed are embedded and there is considerable local commitment to continuing to work in this way.
    • For further information please follow this link to the Ministry of Social Development website:

The Trials involve the Ministries of Social Development,Justice, Health, Education and the New Zealand Police with the Chief Executives of the Ministries forming a Joint Venture Board. A Director managed the Trials on the behalf of the five agencies, reporting to the Joint Venture Board. The Joint Venture Board reports to the Sub Group of Cabinet Ministers responsible for decision making and oversight of the Trials. The Minister of Social Development is the lead Minister for the Trials. Funding from across the Ministries has been pooled with the new appropriations within Vote Social Development created to manage funding for the Trials.

The ministries and the New Zealand Police are working together to trial a change the way social services are delivered. By working together, the Trials focus on improving outcomes through a model of collective impact. The Trial in Gore seeks to achieve the following outcomes:

Reduce offending by young people

Reduce truancy

Reduce levels of alcohol and other drug abuse by young people

Increase numbers of young people in education, training or employment. 

Social Sector Trials (Short version) from Joseph O'Sullivan on Vimeo.

Social Sector Trials (Short version) from Joseph O'Sullivan on Vimeo

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