Case Study: Family by Family

Opportunity

In 2010 the South Australian Government asked the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) to design a program that would reduce the number of families needing crisis services, and keep more kids out of the child protection system. Many families were moving through the state care systems at an alarming rate and ultimately, too few families were thriving.

In 2016, social enterprise TACSI engaged TDi to collaborate on the project, and ultimately to turn a truly great pilot program into a sustainable and scalable social enterprise.

 

The ‘Nitty Gritty’

The TDi team worked side-by-side with TACSI to design a six-month process to identify, test and validate how to scale Family by Family.

Together, we identified 20 government stakeholders to interview across Australia and internationally to understand what their priorities were within child protection and the early intervention space. We also interviewed 15 not-for-profits (NFPs) using the same approach. We wanted to understand if they would be interested in becoming certified providers of Family by Family. What were their priorities for families? What did families need? Where were the gaps?

Following all of our analysis, we designed a certification and capability building service offer, which would provide NFPs the support and mentoring to deliver Family by Family enabling the program to scale and spread across different contexts, and ultimately allow more families to thrive.

Working with TACSI, we tested this with the same NFP audience and returned a second time to test price and begin negotiations. Capitalising on the momentum of these conversations was key.

After the interviews, TACSI and TDi workshopped the model over several sessions. We spent a lot of time deliberating on price and value to find the right balance, as well as understanding the cost model, and the scale that would deliver market-rate returns.

 

“It was an absolute privilege to work with TACSI because as an organisation, they think so deeply about how to create change in the world. There was a wonderful synergy between their design expertise and TDi’s ability to explore growth, scale and sustainability for the business”.- Anna Moegerlein, Senior Consultant

Outcomes

TACSI is now in the first stages of incubating the social enterprise and rolling out the certification and capability building model in partnership with the South Australian Government and South Australian NFP Uniting Communities.  At scale, it will provide Australian and international NFPs with the opportunity to build capabilities to deliver the program, become certified providers of the Family by Family program and address child protection issues in a fundamentally different way. The model is set to deliver financial returns to TACSI and its partners to reinvest in community services and social innovations, and to support thousands of families in Australia and around the world to thrive, not just survive.

Flexible and responsive coaching is key to sustaining women’s economic empowerment during a crisis

While each business owner faces their own set of challenges in response to the uncertainty and upheaval of COVID-19, we are observing a series of consistent coaching requirements emerge.

When life gives you lemons… pivot your business model

Nemika Brunton is based in Alotau, Papua New Guinea.  We met her during the YuMi Tourism Partners Pilot program.  The program addressed starting small, testing and learning, and how to adapt and respond to market needs.  These lessons have certainly helped Nemika shift her business focus in response to COVID-19. Tourism is a key industry for the town and many of the local businesses were tourism based.  So, the impact of COVID-19 hit the town hard.  Many locals – including Nemika – have adapted quickly to totally new businesses and customers.

Supporting Social Enterprise during COVID-19

Following a tumultuous year of bushfires, COVID-19 and recent floods in Southern NSW, lots of small businesses and the families and communities they serve, are doing it tough.  One way we’ve seen people showing their support for these local businesses is through the #shoplocal #shopvictoria and #buyfromthebush movements.  We’ve been inspired by this and wanted to share a #shopsocialenterprise guide based on some of the businesses we’ve been working with over the last 18 months.

Resilience, at what cost?

Over the past six months we as a team have navigated our own business and helped hundreds of others to do the same. We went from having a clear business model and ready to write our best year ever to having nothing as certain and many parts of our own business model under threat.

Finding motivation to continue business during COVID-19

As the current economic climate evolves with COVID-19, we have been sharing some perspective from both our own work and the continual conversations and support we’re offering others. Initially, we shared a metaphor about what this first felt like – like our house was...

Pivoting during COVID: responses from Fiji

Recently, we caught up with Deb Sadranu at Essence of Fiji to see how things are going for her, her business, and Fiji in the face of COVID-19.  Tourism is a key industry for Fiji, and Essence of Fiji usually serves the tourists. As a result of COVID-19, Deb’s whole business model has pivoted from predominantly local, in-store sales, to predominantly international, online sales.

A letter to my daughter about Black Lives Matter and racial inequality

Dear Willow,  I’m writing to you because I want to share some rumblings in my gut that have troubled me.  You are at an age now, where it is time for you to step into a conversation that for us as Australians is long overdue. I have tried to teach you about love,...

Why mindset matters to women’s entrepreneurship and why we should invest in it, especially now

At The Difference Incubator (TDi) we’ve been supporting social entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses for over a decade. In 2019 we partnered with PNG Women’s Business Resource Centre and Kate Wilson from Kamaji Tree Consulting and Coaching, with the support...

Customer Empathy Interviewing

When was the last time you asked your customers what they thought? We use Customer Empathy Interviews to help businesses deeply understand their customers and design competitive products and services. It’s also been one of our top coaching tips for business owners...

Pivoting your business model during a crisis

A conversation with Geert from FarmWallGeert Hendrix founded FarmWall in 2016. Farmwall is an agrifood-tech startup that designs urban farming technology and experiences to enhance fresh produce accessibility in the city. In our constantly developing world, the need...