Only 10 per cent of people with gambling problems seek formal help.
When they do come into contact with services, it is often for other issues such as health, relationship breakdown or drug and alcohol issues which can result in problem gambling being unrecognised and untreated.
The inter-related nature of the issues surrounding problem gambling, and those affected by it, requires an integrated and collaborative response from the service system.
Cross-sector collaboration is about health and welfare services working together with Gambler's Help to provide coordinated, quality services for people with gambling problems, particularly for clients with complex needs.
By working across sectors, Gambler's Help services can contribute to a growing pool of knowledge, expertise, funding, shared referrals and other valuable resources which can improve outcomes for clients.
To assist agencies in working together the Bouverie Centre and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation have partnered to develop a set of resources and tools for cross-sector collaboration.
Benefits of cross-sector collaboration
- a more responsive service that has the capacity to address a range of inter-related issues
- increased accessibility to services
- decrease in service overlap and the need for clients to repeat information
- an easier and more efficient pathway through services
- improved accountability; more efficient distribution of resources
- more efficient cross-sector communication pathways
- achieving continuity of care
- ensuring responsibility and accountability
- co-ordinating the planning and delivery of resources for the benefit of service users
- pool of knowledge and expertise enabling creative problem-solving
- an increase in staff morale resulting from a decrease in isolation
- a sense of common purpose
- improved cross-sector communication
The benefits of cross-sector collaboration are explored in more detail in the Cross-sector collaboration: Implications for Gambler's Help background paper.
For practical examples of successful collaboration, download our publication, the Practice guidelines for cross-sector collaboration.
Principles of cross-sector collaboration
To assist agencies in working together we have created five key guiding principles for health and welfare services working together with Gambler's Help to set the foundations of cross-sector collaboration. Each principle includes case study examples to assist in developing a model that works best for your organisation.
To promote and support collaboration, the Bouverie Centre has developed a set of practice guidelines with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and in consultation with Victorian Gambler's Help services.
The Practice guidelines for cross-sector collaboration between health and welfare agencies and Gambler's Help outline five principles for collaboration and provide practical examples of creative ways in which Victorian Gambler's Help services have implemented effective cross-sector collaboration within the broader health and human services system.
While initially developed with practitioners in mind, the guidelines are also relevant for managers and organisations who wish to improve outcomes for clients by working holistically across services.
The guidelines draw on evidence outlined in Cross-sector collaboration: Implications for Gambler's Help, a background paper published by the Bouverie Centre and the Foundation.
Successful cross-sector collaboration also relies on evaluation and feedback.
We recognise that it is not always easy to measure the outcomes in this area and it can be difficult to isolate the impact of a particular initiative on gains made in partnership work.
As part of their work with the Gambler's Help services sector, the Bouverie Centre has developed an evaluation tool to be administered prior to the commencement of an initiative and at 3-4 month intervals thereafter to map gains made in collaborative activity.
This tool can be readily adapted for use in other service sectors.
Cross-sector collaboration: Implications for Gambler's Help
In Cross-sector collaboration: Implications for Gambler's Help, the Bouverie Centre outlines a compelling case for cross-sector collaboration by drawing on numerous Australian and international case studies where successful outcomes have been achieved.
The paper explores the evidence for cross-sector collaboration in public health as well as mechanisms that promote collaborative work. Drawing on the existing literature on the subject, this paper considers the particular value of this model of practice for the Gambler's Help sector.