Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if non-profits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact. It doesn’t happen often, not because it is impossible, but because it is so rarely attempted…
‘Collective Impact’ – Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2011
The South West Metropolitan Partnership Forum (SWMPF), now known as Imagined Futures, responds to the growing body of evidence in Australia and overseas that joined-up services and placed-based approaches, in which all stakeholders are engaged, produce more effective, sustainable outcomes.
Covering the local government areas of Cockburn, Fremantle, and Melville, it was WA’s first home-grown collective impact model for the delivery of human services (defined as services aimed at enabling individuals and families to participate effectively in all areas of life and living).
St Patrick’s Community Support Centre chairs the Steering Committee which was responsible for the establishment and implementation of the South West Metropolitan Partnership Forum. The City of Cockburn and the Department of Communities – Child Protection and Family Support co-chair the Steering Committee.
The SWMPF’s Foundation membership met for the first time in September 2013. It was responsible for laying the groundwork for involving all stakeholders in the development and implementation of four collaborative, place-based projects. The Foundation membership was wound up after the launch of the SWMPF (26 March 2014) and is now replaced by an expanded Leadership Group.
The SWMPF held a Planning Day on 1 April 2014 at Melville Bowling Club. All stakeholders living or working in the Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville region were invited. The Planning Day generated hundreds of ideas for initiatives the SWMPF could undertake under its different projects. These ideas formed the basis of the actions plans to be implemented by the four permanent SWMPF working groups: a common social issue in the region (commencing with Vulnerable and At Risk Young People); a collaborative approach to addressing a ‘hotspot’ community area that has urgent and complex human service issues (commencing with Davis Park, Beaconsfield); coordinated wrap-around services for individuals with multiple needs; and the development of improved tools for social planning. All the projects include the identification of shared outcomes, indicators and measures.
In addition, the Planning Day endorsed the SWMPF working structure (see above) and principles of client and community engagement.
The SWMPF project was initially supported by the WA State Government, through a three-year Social Innovation Grant. Further funding was received by the State Government until 2019.
In November 2017, new branding was approved and the Forum became known as Imagined Futures. This provided an opportunity to focus on aspiring to positive changes in our communities.
At the same time, 2 of the initial projects outlined above had concluded their mandate, and the members agreed to focus its future work on the Imagined Futures Youth Initiative, and on supporting residents in Davis Park as they traversed a new era of redevelopment of the heart of Beaconsfield.
Imagined Futures provides new models and lessons on innovative, localised and client-led service delivery that can be translated elsewhere in Australia and beyond.