INTRODUCTION - Frequently asked questions

What is the Framework?

A web-based tool for mental health services in the public, private and community sectors, to assist organisations to improve service delivery for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) consumers and carers, and to ensure equitable access, quality of treatment, and care and health outcomes. It consists of an organisational self assessment and rating scale, an implementation guide and supporting tools and resources.

Who is the Framework for?

This Framework is applicable to small and large services and covers all aspects of service delivery, including planning, management, outcomes monitoring and evaluation. The Framework is primarily for managers and workers/clinicians who are seeking to improve the cultural responsiveness of their service delivery. It provides guidance to anyone interested in improving culturally responsive care including policy makers, consumers and carers, and health and social researchers. While the strategies outlined in this Framework specifically address the needs and issues of people from CALD backgrounds, they are strongly aligned with recovery-oriented practice and will improve mental health care for all Australians.

Why do we need the Framework?

The Framework is designed to turn principles into actions. All key mental health policies and plans contain principles in relation to culturally responsive addiction and mental health care and the need for culturally inclusive practice. What they don't provide, however, is detailed strategies and indicators to assess whether this has been achieved. The Framework aims to address this gap. Its straightforward approach enables each organisation to work at its own pace, making measurable improvements over time that can be translated into a clear action plan.

How does it work?

The Framework's specific and achievable strategies are provided in a user-friendly format and are aimed at strengthening all areas within an organisation. It also contains tools, supporting documents and resources, including an Organisational Cultural Responsiveness Assessment Scale (OCRAS), key concepts, a glossary, a knowledge exchange, and links to relevant legislation, policies, plans and accreditation standards. The Framework will assist organisations to operate more effectively and efficiently by systematically building their cultural responsiveness strategies.

How does this Framework relate to other frameworks and standards in mental health?

The Framework is mapped against the National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010; the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2012) and EQuIPNational (2012) to ensure congruency. The implementation of this Framework will assist services and organisations to fulfil current accreditation requirements.

How were the four key outcome areas determined?

The Framework is mapped against current Commonwealth, state and territory legislation, policies, plans and frameworks in mental health, suicide prevention and multicultural affairs. Common areas of action across various existing policies, plans and frameworks have been identified to ensure alignment and congruence with local priorities and policies.

How long does it take to implement?

The Framework has been developed to support local safety and quality management processes and practices. Quality management is about continuously improving and making services and organisations more culturally responsive to the changing population demographics in their local catchment areas. It is not a one-off or stand-alone process. Rather it is a steady and continuous approach to implementing quality and safety that will bring meaningful change. The Framework has been developed to support core business processes, rather than as a source of additional work. Improving the cultural responsiveness of mental health services will not only result in safer and better quality services, it will also achieve greater efficiency and savings.



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