Purpose of the Menu

Driving evidence-informed service delivery to improve outcomes

In a context of increasing demand and complexity, it is critical that the children and families service sector and department consider, develop and invest in interventions that improve outcomes.

The Menu supports evidence-informed decision-making and practice by providing access to evidence on effective and emerging programs and practices, along with other sources of information including practitioner expertise, client needs and preferences and Aboriginal ways of knowing and doing.

Assessing evidence of effectiveness

Evidence on effectiveness – what works, for whom and under what circumstances, is important information for decision-makers.

The Menu uses a systematic approach to identify, assess and synthesise the best available evidence of effectiveness. This includes the strength of evidence, the specific outcomes it has shown to improve, how the program is delivered, its cost and to whom it may be effective for, including Aboriginal children and families.

Experimental and quasi experimental research methods are rigorous ways to determine the effectiveness of practices and programs. The Menu consider both of these methods equally relevant in assessing evidence of effectiveness.

The assessment and review process of the Menu is described on the Building the Menu page.

Local and emerging practice

Capturing effective locally delivered practices and programs is critical. The Menu includes evidence ratings for ‘logic-informed’ and ‘emerging’ to capture sector-led evaluations and contribute to a local evidence base.

The department will consult with the sector on how to use and implement these ratings and what supports are required.

Recognising Aboriginal knowledge and self-determination on the Menu

Underpinned by the principle of self-determination, the department is committed to ongoing consultation to ensure that Aboriginal knowledge is recognised on the Menu.

Currently, each included program has information on whether it has been delivered and evaluated with Aboriginal children and families in Victoria or Australia.