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The Targeted Earlier Intervention (TEI) program delivers flexible support to children, young people, families and communities experiencing or at risk of vulnerability. 

It combines five separately funded DCJ programs into one outcomes-focused program.

This Quality Statement for the data set that contains the tables of data for the 2019-20 financial year includes information on:

  • Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy
  • Child Youth and Family Support
  • Community Builders
  • Families NSW
  • Getting It Together

Data Quality

Institutional Environment

The Targeted Earlier Intervention (TEI) Program is aimed at supporting vulnerable children, young people, families and communities in NSW, early in life and early in need, to minimise the escalation of vulnerabilities, and reduce the likelihood of children entering the child protection system including children 0-3yrs, Aboriginal children, young people & families, and young parents.

Organisations that deliver these services on behalf of the NSW Department of Communities and Justice report via the Dept. of Social Services Data Exchange every six months and by financial year.

Expected outcomes for the TEI program are people;

  • Have a safe & affordable place to live
  • Live a healthy life
  • Learn, contribute & achieve
  • Contribute to & benefit from our economy
  • Are safe
  • Participate & feel culturally & socially connected
  • Contribute to decision-making that affects them & live fulfilling lives

The reference period for data collected for the Targeted Earlier Intervention program is for the financial year 2019-20 and the first half of 2020-21. It is recent however may be incomplete due to the extensions permitted to service providers submitting data during this financial year.


Currently aggregate data is available on request from the Data Exchange. Requests for data can be made via an authenticated MyGov identity where an application for access to the data for research purposes can be made.


Supporting information on the relevant policies is provided in the Targeted Earlier Intervention Program resources page <> and the Data Exchange Home Page <>

Metadata associated with each of the TEI data tables is linked to this Data Quality Statement under the Targeted Earlier Intervention Data Set.


The target population for the program is vulnerable children, young people, families and communities.

The response to the collection of the data sufficient provides reliable information from the organisations that submitted data during the reporting period.

Approximately 2/3 of organsations delivering the TEI program reported data for the 2019-20 financial year. The submitting organisations were given extensions in submitting data due to it being a newly developed data collection tool and the impacts of COVID-19 in the latter part of the financial year.


A major component of the TEI collection is a measure of client and community outcomes based on assigning a number or Standard Client/Community Outcomes Reporting (SCORE) based on a series of criteria. Some of these are qualitative measures which may considered a subjective measure. However the criteria applied to assigning a SCORE have been well documented and can be considered as an accurate measure against each outcome. To better understand if the clients are receiving the right services at the right time.

Some Client data is not mandatory to collect and should be considered incomplete.

Of particular note:

  • Pseudonyms have been used for approx. 18% of client data,
  • Birth date is estimated in approx 30% of client data
  • Indigenous status is not stated on approx. 7,000 occasions or 13%.
  • Country of Birth and Main Language Spoken at home are not stated on approx. 2,500 occasions or 5%.

For this program activities that include group sessions for communities it is expected that up to 75% of clients could be recorded as unidentified clients in each reporting period. Applicable examples of where the use of unidentified clients may be appropriate include large group information sessions or community groups or events. However, providers should aim to collect individual client details for each participant/attendee where possible.

Accuracy of Indigenous Status Data

The data quality of Indigenous Status in current collections is poor for several reasons. Firstly, the number of individuals indicating that they are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander may not be an accurate count, but an over- or under-representation depending on certain factors. Secondly, the data quality of Indigenous Status is poor due to the variance and inadequacies of the question/s currently being asked.

The accuracy in the representation of Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islanders is determined by whether a person will identify as such on a data collection form. This is influenced by a number of factors, including the kind of data collected, the reasons for the collection, who will have access to the information, who the collector is, the way it is collected, and the perception of why the information is collected. These factors are compounded by the structural systems of racism, which have led to power imbalances and relationships founded on mistrust. For systems of intervention, such as Child Protection, being identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander is a layered decision. These factors all influence the level of accuracy of the information currently collected.

The current question/s included in data collections is also inadequate. Most commonly, this is seen as a yes or no reply to Indigenous Status and provides very limited information. A person’s Indigenous status is more complex than a yes or no reply. It is a starting point to seek more information about a person’s identity.

To begin addressing these gaps, the Department of Communities and Justice, is implementing the Family is Culture Report, which will result in the re-design and collection of identifying Indigenous information as per Recommendation 77. This more detailed suite of questions will improve the quality of the data collected and be more likely to attract an accurate representation of people identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. Multiple projects are also underway across DCJ to address the recommendations made in the Family is Culture Report to increase both the practice and policy positions of DCJ in regard to the identification and de-identification of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children. The recommendations have been made to increase consistency, improve practice and ensure the principles of Indigenous Data Sovereignty guide the design of all future data elements.

NSW Government is committed to enabling the principles of Indigenous Data Governance as per the NSW Data Strategy NSW Data Strategy . Aboriginal-led Governance structures will be formed as a result of the NSW Governments Commitment to the Family is Culture Report (Recommendation 2), and Closing the Gap, Priority Reform Four, Priority Key action Area 2 Closing the Gap, Priority Reforms.


Data Quality for Targeted Earlier Intervention Funding Data Table (Payments to Funded Service Providers)

DCJ provides services in TEI through programs provided by Funded Service Providers (FSPs).  The services are specified in Program Level Agreements (PLAs) between DCJ and the service provider.
The contract does not specify the frequency nor the intensity of service provided, it was awarded as lump sum payment and therefore unit costing cannot be developed for TEI. 

The TEI Client files from DSS contains the activity and service type delivered to clients at organisation and outlet level. These services include, but not limited to, running supported Playgroups and holding community events. It is the variety of services delivered by service providers and the lack of these service details at individual level in the PLAs that makes the linkage between the financial data and client data problematic. Caution should be exercised in using funding data for analysis.

Until there are standardised service concepts in TEI specifying dosage and activities, there is no effective way in drawing inferences about the cost-effectiveness of TEI services.

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Quality Statement Link Describes the quality of data in Payments to Funded Service Providers Table
Quality Statement Link Describes the quality of data in Targeted Earlier Intervention Data Set