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Service Transformation

SAMS is committed to working with services and organisations to bring about positive change - Click here to download and read SAMS Transformation Resource - Creating a new way:  working together for change

"We have been working through this document which is just excellent.   With regards to the article, I was particularly inspired by the story of Leon which demonstrates a wonderful use of both a client centred and systems approach to helping someone find employment"

Sharon Johnston, WORKSTAR

Between 2009 - 2011, SAMS trialled a new approach to service transformation that combines Developmental Evaluation, customised training and coaching.

The diagram below is based on written comment received from eighteen groups that engaged with this process through funding from the Ministry of Social Development.

Service graph

Over many years, SAMS has explored different approaches to service transformation. It is apparent that combining Developmental Evaluation, customised training and practical “coaching” (i.e. the practical demonstration of specific skills in partnership with hands-on staff) may be the most effective and efficient approach to service transformation.

The SAMS approach to service transformation is:

  • based on over thirty years working with services in New Zealand and internationally,
  • values and principles based,
  • has an outcomes focus i.e. SAMS judges success by the degree to which disabled persons and families report they experience an increased quality of life
  • tailored to respond to the preferences, strengths and aspirations of the individuals and families using the service
  • negotiated with service providers

The Key Elements of a SAMS service transformation approach are:

  1. Evaluation. The primary approach used by SAMS is Developmental Evaluation (DE). Components of other approaches are used when relevant - this includes Outcome Mapping (OM) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI). In this context, the purpose of an evaluation is for all participants to contribute to a shared frame of reference, awareness raising, detail current strengths, preferences and aspirations and identify specific areas requiring development.
  2. Customised Staff Education. Courses are tailored to respond to the unique characteristics of each group/service. Sessions focus on creating innovative strategies and supporting participants to gain/refine a range of practical ‘tools’
  3. Coaching/mentoring. In the change process, SAMS seeks to support staff so they experience success with new approaches. SAMS coaches demonstrate ‘how it can be done’ and facilitate ‘Plan-Act-Evaluate-Innovate’ processes
  4. Measuring Change. SAMS will work with organisations to develop or adapt processes that recognise achievement, monitoring change and identify areas that require adaptation.

SAMS has discovered that Service transformation does not need to be complex or costly if there is :

  1. a willingness to make change
  2. co-ordinated input from skilled educators
  3. a strengths based approach to service transformation
  4. practical skill sharing
  5. an emphasis on ‘customising’ approaches and supports while using natural supports and existing community resources

A SAMS service transformation process often follows the following steps:

Step 1.

  • Establish a clear vision, principles and intent
  • Connect with stakeholders to develop partnerships – ensure inclusive and equitable representation
  • Establish leadership – demonstrate collaborative processes
  • Initial skill development
  • Ensure clear and direct communication processes

Step 2.

  • Develop new systems
  • Ensure support systems for all stakeholders
  • Evaluation and adaptation i.e. Plan-Act-Evaluate-Innovate
  • Detailed training and mentoring
  • Outcome focus with scenarios

Step 3.

  • Reinforce new concepts, language and practices
  • Gather examples of success
  • Share learning with other organisations
  • Monitor and refine
  • Ensure “model coherency”

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