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Practice:Lebenshilfe Ennstal

From CAF Network

DescriptionDescription of practice

Based on ever faster changing conditions (laws, regulations, customer needs) and decreasing governmental financial support for the social sector three and now four organisations working in the handicapped aid decided to work in close cooperation. Within the cooperation they followed mainly two goals:

1) raising the quality of all three/four organisations and

2) managing the changing frame conditions in the social sector (regulation-changes, financial cuts, …) in the best way.

For this way of improvement the handicapped aid organisations situated in Styria (Lebenshilfen Bruck-Kapfenberg, Ennstal, Leoben, Lebenshilfe Mürztal is following) decided to implement the CAF-System together. Therefore they chose following process:

(1) Adaption of the CAF-questionnaire: The whole CAF-questionnaire was adapted in depth and detail to the needs of handicapped aid organisations. The result is a new CAF-questionnaire which is ready to be used in all handicapped aid organisations.

(2) Setting minimum standards: The three/four handicapped aid organisations agreed on minimum quality-standards out of the CAF-questionnaire.

(3) Training of the CAF-Teams: The CAF-Teams of all three organisations were trained together. So they had the possibility to get to know each other which was the basic for further cooperation.

(4) The CAF- self-assessment: In each organisation the CAF-assessment (firstly the individual assessment via online-tool and secondly the self-assessment workshop) took place separately. But the result (the improvement-actions) had been matched to recognise the cooperation-potential of the three and at last four organisations.

(5) Improvement plan-workshop: The implementation started with a joint improvement plan-workshop of the organisations. An improvement plan for each organisation and a cooperation-agreement had been developed. Within the CAF-Implementation the handicapped aid organisations could increase their level of maturity in a significant way. Many of the CAF-actions were implemented already – for example:

   A mission statement has been developed within a multilevel approach. Within a broad participation of management, leadership, line managers, employees a common sense and vision has been developed and summarized into the missions statement of the LH 4 Styria (Bruck-Kapfenberg, Ennstal, Mürztal, Leoben)
   The management on the client-services was focused (e.g. customer need survey, customer care contracts, integration of customers) involving disabled people from the beginning
   The process-management was improved (e.g. new IT-system, documentation standards, clear responsibilities)
   Benchlearning and Benchmarking activities have been implemented
   Staff-instruments were installed or professionalized (e.g. appraisal interview, enrolment of new employees, internal trainings)
   Strategic Instruments were set up or actualised (mission, vision, strategic plan, quality handbook)

Within these measures continuous performance improvements could be generated. The results and impacts are measured on a multidimensional basis by conducting employee surveys, customer surveys, generating key-performance indicators on the ground of cost accounting and performance data. Moreover one result of CAF was that the organisations came to an understanding to centralise following responsibilities:

   Controlling & Accounting
   Human Resource Management
   Facility Management
   Concepts and common standards in pedagogical and educational work
   Implementing a common IT-system for all four organisations
   Implementation of an internal control system (commercial)
   Reorganization of existing operations: division into management, core and support processes
   Introduce risk management and internal and cross-agency control with regular CEO and leader meetings
   vulnerability analysis

Before starting with the CAF-process all the affected organisations decided to cooperate and work together in the future. CAF has been implemented as an instrument to realize quality-improvements as well as to harmonize standards and performance results. CAF has been a fruitful basis for further development for social organisations by implementing core quality-standards into the questionnaire.

Before the introduction of the common assessment framework each organization has designed its own company to meet the requirements of the province of Styria (laws, regulations, customer needs,…). Thus each supporting organization itself had to spend a great deal of time and personnel resources on implementation. Vice versa the state of Styria makes checks on various systems and qualities in the country (around 100 different social service providers). This also means the use of increased time and personnel resources.

Results and outcomesResults and outcomes of the CAF implementation

Within this approach CAF triggered fundamental changes in the organisations and raised awareness among key stakeholder such as:

1. Common Assessment Framework could be positioned as a new central control model in Styrian Life Support organizations: In the first step 3 organisations (Bruck-Kapfenberg, Ennstal and Leoben: short „LH 3“) concentrated, optimized effects from 2015 in coordination with the styrian govermental department office of Counciler Siegfried Schrittwieser and current with the office of Councilor Mag. Doris Kampus

2. Standardized, coordinated organizational competence, strategy, economic and pedagogical performance competence: Quality-oriented planning coordination with the province of Styria, Department of Social Affairs and Department 11, social welfare associations, municipalities and other authorities.

3. Network development as visionary and innovative service providers.

4. Transferability of the developed social CAF system to other organizations in Styria by good practice: From „LH 3 to LH 4“ (Lebenshilfe Mürztal).

5. Synergetic CAF model: Increasing efficiency and effectiveness such as realizing / further realizable cost optimization.

6. Standardization and planning security: Key figures and benchlearning, comparability and transparency.

7. Discussing further opportunities: Transferability of the LH 4 CAF model to social carrier organizations in Styria and Austria.

The factors of success in this joint CAF-Implementation in the handicapped aid are:

  • The recognition of ever faster changing external and internal conditions (new laws and regulations, changed needs of customers, decreasing budgets).
  • The involvement of the responsible social department of the province of Styria under councillor Mag. Doris Kampus.
  • In addition, the competent CAF department of the province of Styria was also involved with the head of the CAF project, Ing. Helfried Ogrisek. The good results and experiences from the roll out of the CAF Program 2014/2015 of the province of Styria were helpful trailblazers.
  • The support of the Centre of Public Administration Research (KDZ) in the implementation
  • To analyse the company and above all openly to face its weaknesses (SWOT-analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
  • The willingness of the three/four managing directors for improvement as well as for cooperation and exchange.
  • The involvement of the employees combined with an optimized internal communication.
  • The CAF-questionnaire adapted to the needs of handicapped aid organisations involving disabled persons from the beginning facilitated the self-assessment strongly.
  • The joint workshops supported the cooperation and exchange process.
Lebenshilfe Ennstal PageIDUnique ID of the page: 638

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YearYear 2018
CountryCountry of the practice Austria
CityCity, town or village Stainach
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Association for Life Aid Ennstal
Type of organisationType of organisation Agency
Function of organisationFunction of organisation Social Protection
Size of organisationSize of organisation 10-50
Level of governmentLevel of government Local Government, Regional Government
Effective CAF user dateDate since effective CAF user December 2016
OrganisationName of Organisation Association for Life Aid Ennstal
DepartmentDepartment of the organisation
AddressAddress of the organisation Salzburger Straße 41847° 31' 57.15" N, 14° 6' 27.97" E
ZIPZIP code (postal code) 8950
CityCity, town or village Stainach
WebsiteLink to the Website of the Organisation
EmailEmail of Organisation
PersonName of contact person
Job titleJob title of the contact person