Children’s Ground

Children’s Ground

Children’s Ground is a ground-breaking response to addressing entrenched poverty. Focusing on the ability and strength of the community, Children’s Ground is an intergenerational approach to creating sustainable change over and for the long term. The approach brings together pivotal evidence based principles to shape an integrated way of working with each child, in every family, across a defined geographic area, from pre-birth to adulthood over a 25-year period. It replaces a history of isolated, crisis-driven programs, with an approach resourced to demand and deliver excellence.

The Children’s Ground approach is supported by a strong rationale and program logic, as well as by a powerful confluence of various streams of evidence.  For the most disadvantaged communities in our society, it represents the best chance of achieving a better future”…“What the Social Innovation unit did looks like an example of co-production: they didn’t decide beforehand what it should look like, and were working with the community and services providers to determine what it should look like”;   Review of the evidence base in relation to early childhood approaches to support children in highly disadvantaged communities for the Children’s Ground Project”, 2011

Rosemary Addis led the incubation of the Children’s Ground within the Department of Education Employment & Workplace Relations, working closely with the now CEO Jane Vadiveloo and providing the strategic frame and policy to shape and guide the work.  Since Children’s Ground was spun out into an independent organisation, Rosemary has served as a Director and Strategic Adviser to the Board.

The transformational approach critical to developing a powerful model positioned for success was coined ‘Networked Incubation’ by former McKinsey partner Liana Downey who worked with Rosemary and the team on shaping strategy and then wrote up a case study of the incubation process.  The term describes the process of drawing strength from a wide network of organisations and individuals to incubate–or grow and nurture–a vision or strategy into reality, including a mix of rigorous questions.

“The incubation of Children’s Ground by the Social Innovation team has been a first in my 20 years of experience in policy and program design and delivery. Led by a remarkable social innovation strategist, Rosemary Addis, the past three years has been a challenging and exciting journey that has allowed the space for what is too often a rare opportunity for those of us in the social services sector, to bring time, expertise, and strategic rigour to stress test, develop and grow ambitious change agendas.
Children’s Ground has a vision to redress the most entrenched and devastating social inequity facing Australia.  This case study documents a process that has taken a revolutionary approach and incubated it in a network of organisations and individuals who have interrogated the design, the evidence and the integrity of its systemic change agenda.  Through this process we have refined, developed, strengthened and created a strategic foundation that is now well placed to withstand the risks that undermine long-term sustainable change, while at the same time equipping us with the strategic platform necessary for success.”

Jane Vadiveloo, CEO, Children’s Ground

“The Children’s Ground approach is supported by a strong rationale and program logic, as well as by a powerful confluence of various streams of evidence. For the most disadvantaged communities in our society, it represents the best chance of achieving a better future. What the Social Innovation unit did looks like an example of co-production: they didn’t decide beforehand what it should look like, and were working with the community and services providers to determine what it should look like.”

Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Collaboration with the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute