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Specialist Service Review

31 May 2018 9:39 AM
Specialist Service Review - Lillian Martin

the following is the report from the Specialist Service Review conducted on 4th - 6th April 2018:

Specialist Service Standards Review McKenzie Centre
Final Report
4th – 6th April 2018

The McKenzie Centre is an Early Intervention Provider in Hamilton.
Children funded to receive a high needs Early Intervention Service: 37
Specialists Employed Directly
Speech Language Therapists 2.0 FTE
Early Intervention Teachers 3.9 FTE
Specialists Employed on Contract
Speech Language Therapist 4 hours per week
Psychologist (partly funded by this
contract)
6 hours per week.
In addition McKenzie Centre provides Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Worker and
Assistive Technology Specialist/Teacher through other sources of funding.
The reviewers were Mary Smith, Glenis Allen and Barry Newcombe.

CONTEXT
The Specialist Service Standards were developed to ensure the provision of quality specialist
services for all children and young people with special education needs. All Providers are required to meet these Standards when delivering specialist services.
The Standards have always included the expectation that there will be both internal and external monitoring and review systems.
The revised review process for Cycle 3 builds on this expectation and will support providers to:
 demonstrate beneficial effects that specialist services have on education outcomes for children
and young people
 use internal monitoring and review processes to identify ways in which services and outcomes
can continually be improved

SCOPE
This review evaluated specialist services provided to the children funded to receive a high needs
early intervention service. The review focused on the McKenzie Centre’s knowledge of the quality
and effectiveness of their specialist services in promoting and supporting positive outcomes for children.

Page 2 of 4
Pre review information
The provider’s annual assurance statement and discussion with management at the pre-review
meeting provided initial information for this review.

Review Information
The reviewers met with management and specialist team leaders to discuss:
 their ongoing monitoring and review processes including an inquiry being undertaken into the
effectiveness of their specialist service provision
 selected Management and Organisational Standards important for supporting specialist practice.
The reviewers also met with:
 three specialists to discuss services delivered to three selected children for the Implementation Step of the Service Pathway
 three parents of the children to talk about the specialist services their children receive
 three teachers from local ECE centres to talk about the specialist services the children receive
 seven specialists who wished to contribute to the review in an open forum.

FINDINGS
Provider internal monitoring and review of specialist services
The McKenzie Centre has effective processes for the monitoring and review of their specialist
service provision.
Management and specialists are developing very sound processes to comprehensively evaluate
the quality of their services and how well these help families support their children to progress.
These processes occur at a number of levels and include:
 regular gathering of assessment information
 case conferences
 individual planning and review meetings
 internal reviews where gaps in service are identified. For example, a carefully planned and
thorough inquiry was implemented when it was recognised there was a need to improve
specialists’ knowledge to better support families with children with eating difficulties.
A comprehensive inquiry in relation to McKenzie Centre’s family centred model of service delivery
is being undertaken. This inquiry involves looking at relevant research, gaining information on
overseas practices and trialling programmes to evaluate their usefulness in developing the service and building family capacity. Well targeted monitoring and evaluation questions have been identified. When answered these will help to determine the value of the Family Centred Practice in achieving the Centre’s strategic goal to produce quality measurable outcomes for children,
families, and stakeholders.
This major inquiry helped management and specialists to identify a number of aspects of service they will further review, develop and evaluate to continue improving outcomes for families and children.

Page 3 of 4
Provider Assurance on Specialist Service Standards
The Director and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of McKenzie Centre attested that they
have:
 written procedures related to all of the Management and Organisational Standards
 processes for monitoring and reviewing the quality and effectiveness of their specialist services.
Probes on Management and Organisational Standards
During the review the review team carried out probes on selected Management and Organisational
Standards considered to have particular importance for supporting specialist practice including:
Informed consent
Specialists request and record ongoing informed consent in the children's files for changes in
programmes and specialists. The McKenzie Centre written informed consent guidelines give a
small range of examples regarding the recording of ongoing informed consent.
Next Step: Management extend the guidelines to make it clear that parent informed consent is
requested for any programme adaptations and this is recorded in their child’s file notes.
Culturally appropriate engagement
McKenzie Centre specialists have taken some useful, practical steps to build their capacity to
respond to children’s identity, language and culture. The use of Te Reo at mat times and aspects
of the environment reflect the Centre’s bi-cultural commitment.
Specialist Induction
Strong stability in specialist staffing at McKenzie Centre has meant the current induction process has not been reviewed for some years. The existing document setting out steps in the induction
process will be carefully updated when it is necessary to make new staff appointments.
Specialist Performance Management
Professional development that links to improving specialists’ practice is identified during
performance appraisals and team meetings. There is an expectation that the new learning is shared with the wider team.
Transition
A highly comprehensive transition to school procedure details the steps to be taken from the time
children reach four years of age. This process is periodically evaluated through analysis of survey information from schools and families on what has worked well and what could be have been done better.
Feedback informing future practice
Parents provide feedback on the quality of the specialists’ services through an annual written
survey. Responses are summarised, themes identified and inform the future practice of the specialists.
Next Step: Extend surveys to teachers in the local early childhood centres the children attend, so they can provide feedback on the quality and effectiveness of the specialist services the children and families receive.

Page 4 of 4
CYCLE 3 AREA OF FOCUS: The Implementation Step of the Service Pathway
Service Expectation - all children and young people have regularly monitored individual
programmes that are implemented in the context of daily activities, are age appropriate, motivating and meaningful.
The McKenzie Centre management and specialists are effective in most aspects of the
Implementation step of the Service Pathway. For example:
 There is strong collaboration between specialist and parents when working at the Centre.
Parents are empowered to take the lead in the development and implementation of their
children’s programmes.
 Intervention strategies are flexibly adapted to children’s strengths and interests to ensure their programmes remain motivating and meaningful.
 Stability in specialist staffing contributes to strong, professional relationships and allows for open communication to enhance programme effectiveness.
Local ECE centre teachers reported variable levels of specialist support to assist them to successfully implement and monitor the children’s programmes in their centres.

Next Step: Management and specialists review the frequency of specialist support in the local ECE centres to assist teachers with programme implementation and monitoring.
COMMITMENT TO ONGOING IMPROVEMENT
The McKenzie Centre is very well placed to continue to improve the quality of their specialist
services and outcomes for children and their families.
Specialists and management are highly reflective with regard to their own practice and the service
as a whole. They have a strong commitment to thorough, ongoing internal evaluation and the
continuing improvement of service effectiveness.

FUTURE ACTIONS
This report has identified three next steps for McKenzie Centre to take in order to continue to
develop the quality and effectiveness of their specialist services. Progress on each of these steps should be reported in the next Provider Annual Assurance Statement.

The next review of McKenzie Centre specialist service provision will be in approximately three years as part of the Cycle 4 review process.

Carolyn Grace
Manager Assurance and Eligibility
Date: 30 May 2018