Patchwork pilot to help vulnerable families in Victoria


After three months of planning, Patchwork has been launched across five councils in Victoria.

The Municipal Association of Victoria said Patchwork was a web application designed to transform the way governments interacted with vulnerable families in maternal health, child health and youth services.

The MAV said the idea behind Patchwork was that professionals were better able to provide services to a client when they understood and communicated with the whole team around the client. This provided added value because each person working with a client could then be on the look-out on behalf of other agencies and could communicate with them in a quick and simple way.

The first round of invites for practitioners into the system happened during July and focused on those working with the five pilot councils in Melbourne: Kingston, Yarra, Brimbank, Wyndham and Melbourne.

Approximately 30 practitioners from a range of disciplines are involved, including maternal child health nurses, youth workers and family support workers.

The MAV said with about 140 clients in the system and the five pilot councils able to add their own clients, Patchwork was expected to grow as more organisations signed up.

Bill McArthur, President of the MAV, said Patchwork was a simple social technology solution to connect staff from different agencies working with clients in common.

“There is lots of work still to do to communicate and engage with these organisations and the pilot councils will work with the MAV to develop an approach to this and keep the momentum going.”

The MAV said the participating councils had identified another 40 organisations they would like to see using Patchwork. These included hospitals; community health services (alcohol, drugs, gambling); medical centres; schools; women’s refuges; child care facilities; youth and family support services; and mental health services.