Emerging Minds Focus – Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • Emerging Minds Focus is a web-based platform that takes organisations on a quality improvement journey in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing and mental health outcomes of infants, children and their families. This user-friendly tool has been created for service managers, organisational executives and staff to inform, motivate, plan and track quality improvement, all in one place.


    Focus will help you to identify where your organisation is succeeding in supporting infants, children and families, and where there are opportunities to improve. It guides you through an efficient and structured quality improvement process.

  • If you would like to sign up for Emerging Minds Focus, complete an expression of interest form for your organisation. After submitting your expression of interest, one of our team members will get in touch.

  • We have a range of guides, videos and other resources to support you on your quality improvement journey, including a guide on how to interpret the data from your Results Wheels.


    If you require further support, please email us at [email protected] and we will connect you with an Emerging Minds team member.

  • A systems approach is required at multiple levels of an organisation to create a true and sustained shift in outcomes for infants, children and families; training alone cannot sustain quality improvement.


    Emerging Minds Focus supports you to explore and build upon attributes at multiple levels of your organisation, to embed mental health literacy and whole-of-family practice. This includes the mission, values and vision statements, recruitment processes, human resources, supervision, leadership and continuous professional development.

  • Organisations often invest significantly in understanding what they need to change, then how they can change it. Emerging Minds Focus is a convenient and structured guide, designed to support quality improvement within organisations. It steps you through a structured action planning process to help turn ideas and principles into achievable actions and measurable outcomes, and reach a point of sustained change.


    The Change Team Survey and Organisational Survey offer a comprehensive snapshot of your starting point, which informs your understanding of what needs to change as you progress through your quality improvement journey. While your organisation’s Executive Team might think that something is in place, practitioners and other staff members might not be aware of it or feel the same way.


    Focus offers recommended ‘actions’ for the attributes that you prioritise. These actions include tangible activities, reflective questions and links to Emerging Minds resources, which gives you a clear roadmap for how this change can happen. This also eliminates the need to search for supporting resources on how to build an understanding of child mental health and social and emotional wellbeing across your organisation. If needed, you can create your own actions to meet your organisation’s specific needs.


    The ‘action plan summary’ collates what needs to happen and how, so you can communicate what you plan to do and what tools and supports you need to do it. This develops a collective understanding with your Executive Team or Board of Management, which is crucial for informed decision-making and creating an authorising environment.


    The action plan is flexible and can be adapted over time in response to changes within your organisation. It can be changed to reflect new priorities, without losing your progress. If change is stopped or stalled, it can restart at any time, right where you left off. The time and effort invested, as well as the intellectual knowledge and staff wisdom gained along the way are retained within Focus.


    Emerging Minds Focus provides you with quality improvement evidence that demonstrates your commitment, effort invested, and progress made, all in one place. In conducting your initial surveys, you establish a baseline for your quality improvement journey. You will re-conduct the same surveys periodically, so results can be compared across time, and you can also summarise all the work and milestones that have been achieved. Together, this suite of evidence creates a storyline for your quality improvement journey in supporting infants, children and their families, across your organisation.

  • As you progress through your quality improvement journey, there are opportunities to make connections between the attributes and actions within Focus, and your existing frameworks and practice strategies. In making these connections, you can align your organisational goals toward supporting infants, children and families. This will allow you to create efficiencies and optimise resource allocation, using a single plan.

  • The image is a cyclical flowchart depicting the stages of a team-based organizational change process, from formation and surveys to action planning and reviewing, with color-coded steps for gathering data, planning, implementing changes, and reviewing progress.

    Download a copy of the quality improvement process diagram
    Download a description of the quality improvement process diagram


    You will begin your quality improvement journey by assembling your Change Team. The Facilitator will then invite them to use Emerging Minds Focus.


    ‘Gathering’ phase

    Emerging Minds Focus supports your Change Team and broader organisation to complete a survey with a pre-defined set of statements. The Change Team completes their survey within the Focus platform, and have the ability to add comments to their ratings.


    A link to the Organisational Survey is generated by the Facilitator, and sent out to staff using your internal communication processes, such as email or your intranet. This survey is completed anonymously and is done through a separate platform to Focus, which requires no login.


    The data for these surveys is collected and presented separately, which allows you to compare your survey results between the Change Team and broader organisation.


    ‘Planning’ phase

    Once both surveys have been completed, you will identify your organisation’s strengths and areas for improvement, and where there is and is not a consensus. These results will help to inform improvements to internal structures, systems and processes. The Change Team can then work together to identify which attributes they want to prioritise.


    Wherever you set your priorities, a list of recommended actions is provided for you to consider. These actions can be assigned to individual Change Team members. Each action prompts you to identify the activities and steps, barriers and facilitators, internal and external resources required as well as who needs to be involved. This information is collated in your action plan summary, which can be printed off and shared with your Executive Team or Board of Management for their endorsement.


    ‘Changing’ phase

    Once the action plan summary has been developed and authorised, actions can then be undertaken by the Change Team. During this phase, the Change Team should meet on a regular basis to review their progress and action plan summary, and collaborate on issues and opportunities that arise. The Facilitator takes an active project management role to support actions with individual members and the Change Team as a whole.


    ‘Reviewing’ phase

    Over time, you can make ‘progress updates’ to track quality improvement from your baseline, and determine if change has translated across the organisation.


    ‘Change Team progress updates’ are conducted more regularly and capture the more incremental progress made by the Change Team. As actions are completed, the Change Team can re-rate attributes to reflect how their perspective has changed based on the progress, achievements and work that has happened. This also provides the Change Team with an opportunity to review the action plan summary and consider whether there is capacity to assign and authorise new actions.


    ‘Organisational Survey progress updates’ are opportunities to review your quality improvement progress and achievements by re-surveying your staff. The new survey results will indicate whether change is being felt across the organisation and inform how your action plan summary can be updated. You should review your priorities, assign new actions, and obtain continued authorisation from your Executive Team or Board of Management.

  • The Facilitator is a member of your organisation who acts as the project manager for the quality improvement process. They also have additional responsibilities within and outside the Focus platform, including:

    • chairing Change Team meetings and facilitating conversations
    • inviting and managing Change Team members
    • distributing and closing Organisational Surveys
    • populating and managing the action plan summary
    • coordinating with the Executive Team and Board of Management
    • communicating with Change Team members who are assigned to actions (using the conversation functionality within Focus); and
    • creating progress updates.
  • A ‘Change Team’ is a group of people within your organisation who use Focus to drive quality improvement. Members of the Change Team have the capacity and are given the time to take an active role in the quality improvement process. The Change Team members co-develop the action plan, assign individual actions for members to complete and meet on an ongoing basis to review their progress.

  • The Change Team is most effective when its members represent the full diversity of experience, areas of work and perspectives across your organisation. Change Team members’ knowledge, experience and learning will be valuable resources to help shape and sustain the quality improvement journey.


    Ideally, the Change Team is a group of passionate ‘champions’ who embrace active participation and draw upon each other’s problem-solving and communication skills, experiences, creativity and innovative thinking. The Change Team should value openness, honesty and genuinely embrace each other’s voices.

  • In a few easy steps, you can generate a unique link to the Organisational Survey, which you will send out using your internal communication processes. Staff do not need a login for Emerging Minds Focus to complete the Organisational Survey.


    Email templates are available to support your communications with staff. The templates outline:

    • the survey’s purpose – understanding how your organisation currently supports infants, children and families, so you can optimise your organisational systems, processes and structures
    • that the survey is anonymous – so you have an honest and informed view as you embark on your quality improvement journey
    • that answers should reflect a whole-of-organisation perspective – attributes should be rated based on the whole organisation, rather than an individual or team’s perspective
    • what Emerging Minds Focus is – your organisation has established a Change Team that will use the results to inform and build an action plan for quality improvement.


    The email templates also provide a space for you to insert the Organisational Survey link, along with the deadline for completing the survey.


    Note: We recommend that you remind staff using follow-up emails as the deadline approaches, so you receive as many responses as possible.

  • The Organisational Survey should be sent to all relevant staff outside of the Change Team, such as practitioners, executives, front-of-house staff, human resources and administration. The aim is to establish a whole-of-organisation understanding of how you support infants, children and families. The wider you cast your net, the better.

  • Organisational Survey progress updates provide quality improvement evidence. They can show that progress is genuinely being felt across the organisation, beyond the view of the Change Team.


    Once the Change Team feel that they’ve made several forward strides, that would be a good opportunity to confirm, through an Organisational Survey, whether your staff are aware of this progress and feel that it is making a difference in their work.


    The length of time between surveys is at the discretion of your organisation. However, we recommend only conducting Organisational Surveys once or twice a year to avoid overloading your workforce.

  • Your quality improvement journey is an ongoing process of reflection and response. Wherever you start is OK, and any actions that you commit to are an achievement, no matter how small. This journey is what you make of it, and any incremental change will make a difference for infants, children and families.


    When attributes have been prioritised and you are planning your actions, be realistic about what can be achieved with your time and resourcing. Consider what some low effort, high impact actions might be and start with those. Identify which actions might require more resourcing and would be more of a long-term aspiration that you can work toward over time.


    As you embark on your quality improvement journey with Focus, remember to acknowledge that this work will take time and require continuous reflection and adaptation.

  • Change Team members

    Change Team members are invited by their Facilitator to use Emerging Minds Focus and be involved in the quality improvement process. Change Team members have access to the following:

    • ‘Assessment’ page: the Change Team and Organisational Survey results, and the ratings and comments from other Change Team members.
    • ‘Manage actions’ page: only actions that are currently assigned to them, and the conversations they have with the Facilitator about the action. If someone else was previously assigned to the action that they are now assigned to, they will also see the past conversations about that action.
    • ‘Action plan summary’ page: the priority level, due date and assigned Change Team member for each action they’re assigned to, along with their contributions to the action planning fields:
      • Activities/steps to complete this action.
      • Barriers and facilitators to completion.
      • Resources needed internally/externally.
      • Who needs to be involved.
    • ‘Progress’ page: any of the progress updates.
    • ‘Members’ page: the names of the Facilitator and all present and past Change Team members.



    Facilitators have broad oversight of their Change Team’s data in Focus. In addition to what Change Team members see, they have access to the following:

    • ‘Manage actions’ page: all actions including those with a ‘Consider’, ‘Complete’ and ‘Not relevant’ action status, and all conversations between themselves and Change Team members. Facilitator can filter actions by status or Change Team member.
    • ‘Members’ page: emails of all Change Team members, past and present.


    Please note: the Organisational Survey is anonymous. While the Change Team and Facilitator will see the results and how many people responded, they will not be able to view individual respondents’ identities and responses.

  • Emerging Minds is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care to assist organisations with resources and strategies to strengthen support for infant, child and family social and emotional wellbeing and mental health outcomes.


    Emerging Minds only has access to basic metrics on organisations’ use of the Focus platform, such as:

    • the number of users in your organisation who are using Focus
    • who the Facilitator is
    • who your Change Team members are; and
    • the number of unique logins from your organisation.


    These metrics are used for troubleshooting and technical support. All other data captured within Focus is de-identified and collated alongside data from all other organisations within the platform. We report de-identified data to the Department to demonstrate that Focus is supporting quality improvement towards infant, child and family social and emotional wellbeing and mental health outcomes. We do not share any identifiable data on individual organisations.


    Data privacy and ownership is important to us. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to [email protected]


    You can also refer to our privacy policy and the Emerging Minds Focus terms of use.

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