“Enhancing lives through ethically based research..."

How the Centre for Better Relationships is enhancing lives through research

The Centre for Better Relationships (CBR) is the research and policy division of Better Place Australia. It conducts ethically applied research and policy analysis in the field of family and social welfare in a way that aligns with our values and mission.

We aim to establish ourselves as a research leader in this field and have clearly made our commitment to improving lives through meaningful research, knowledge translation and sharing our findings with a broad audience. Over the past year, CBR has been an invaluable resource for Better Place Australia.

It has been playing a large role in supporting and guiding many of our projects and initiatives, including research, advocacy and data analysis. It has also produced over 10 publications in the last 12 months for external and internal audiences.

When the COVID-19 pandemic sent Australians into home offices, CBR adapted quickly and easily by shifting its focus to policy work and taking advantage of existing expertise and resources.

CBR also hired a Research and Policy Officer and distributed three pieces of policy work over the year. Its most timely piece was a response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, Quality and Safety in which it stated that ageism has created a broken aged care system and facilitated the social discrimination of our older community.

CBR recommended that this discriminatory attitude be addressed through awareness-raising legislation, service provision, regulatory modernising to bring about meaningful change to and facilitate self-determination. This calibre of work has successfully positioned CBR as more than a research division.

The social changes sparked by the pandemic also gave CBR an opportunity to turn its focus inward. Among its contemplations was how to use research and best practice evidence to enhance service delivery.

In early 2020, CBR began reviewing all program logic documents and outcomes frameworks to provide stronger internal support to our practitioners. This work has been ongoing and will ultimately lead to the reviewed outcomes frameworks being trialled across specific programs.

CBR also launched a Lunchtime Series as a way to connect with staff and reinforce the importance of good data collection and management practices.

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