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- Thursday, 13th February 2020 -

Today, 13th February, marks the 12th anniversary of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s National Apology to the Stolen Generations that came about as a recommendation from The National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal Children from their Families. It highlighted the suffering of Indigenous families under the Commonwealth, state and territory Aboriginal protection and welfare laws and policies.
Members of the Stolen Generations were invited to hear the National Apology first-hand in the gallery of The House of Representatives chamber at Parliament House in Canberra. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd delivered the Apology at 9.00am on 13th February 2008.

Crowds of people across Australia watched the Apology on big screens in their own cities and towns. Photographic and video records of those witnessing the Apology show sombre and reflective faces as the Prime Minister spoke of the wrongs governments had inflicted on Indigenous peoples across Australia and a huge wave of tears, relief and applause flowed when he finished speaking.

This is an important event for all Australians to reflect upon, particularly in the light of the release of the Closing the Gap report and the historic High Court decision yesterday, both of which are commented on further in this edition of eNews.

Movements in the child protection sector

PeakCare wishes to take this opportunity to thank Michael Hogan for his dedication as Director-General for over 6 years, and a lifetime of service to the community in government and non-government roles. Michael’s respectful approach to developing collaborative partnerships across the child protection sector will be a lasting legacy for the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women. In our last eNews we acknowledged the appointment of Deidre Mulkerin to the role of Director-General. We wish to congratulate Deidre and look forward to working with her as we continue to serve children and families across Queensland. With Michael Hogan finishing as current Director-General on Friday, 14th February, Rob Seiler will act as Director-General for the interim until Deidre Mulkerin’s commencement on Monday, 24th January.

In other movements in the child protection sector, Dr Leanne Geppert has been appointed to the role of Deputy Commissioner, Programs and Operations Management at Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC). Leanne was most recently Executive Director, Queensland Mental Health Commission where she was instrumental in implementing the Shifting Minds: Queensland’s Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Strategic Plan 2018-2023 and Every Life: The Queensland Suicide Prevention Plan.

Mark Henley departs Queensland Council of Social Services after 9 years in the role of CEO. PeakCare welcomes Ms Aimee McVeigh into the role, who will be known to many of you for her tireless work to achieve the Queensland Human Rights Act. We thank Mark for his commitment to the contribution that peak bodies make and look forward to working with Aimee.

Best practice investigative interviewing of children and young people 

Children and young people are capable of being reliable witnesses in an investigation if they are interviewed well. Professor Martine Powell from the Griffith University Criminology Institute will deliver the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ) March Practice Paper on Wednesday, 11th March at 5.30pm in Brisbane on the topic of evidence-based best practice for investigative interviewing of children and young people. The presentation will address best practice including: guidelines for establishing rapport; issues related to children’s suggestibility and assessing credibility; practical strategies for structuring the interview, lowering inhibition and eliciting accurate and detailed disclosures. Professor Powell is also the Founding Director of the Centre for Investigative Interviewing at Griffith University, which recently released this free video guide on how to be a good questioner of children - ensuring children's rights to be heard during investigations into abuse and neglect are upheld. 

Children's Day 2020 theme announced

SNAICC - National Voice for Children has announced this year's National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day theme. Children's Day on 4th August is the largest annual day celebrating the lives, strengths, histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia. The day is an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of every child. This year's theme is: "We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice" to acknowledge the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children having a voice in determining their own futures. The design of this year's reusable Children's Day bags features an Irrimaru (eagle) as depicted by Bima Wear, a women's creative collective based in the Tiwi Islands. More information on when bags will be available and how to register Children's Day events will be published in eNews as they become available.


BEROS expands to new locations

Brisbane Emergency Response Outreach Service (BEROS) has expanded to the lower part of the North Coast Child Safety region, working with young people case-managed by Strathpine, Caboolture, Morayfield, and Redcliffe Child Safety Service Centres. The expansion is for a 6 month trial period, with potential for ongoing funding. The expansion will operate with the same model as BEROS Brisbane, with Outreach Case Mangement, BEROS Street to Home, and BEROS overnight support. BEROS has opened a second house as the North Coast home base and overnight support, with fourteen new staff employed. Eligibility criteria to make a referral to the BEROS service include that a young person must be: 12-18 years of age, under a Child Safety Order from Brisbane Region Child Safety Service Centres, and Lower North Coast Child Safety Service Centres (Morayfield, Strathpine, Caboolture, Redcliffe), and identify as self-placing which includes sleeping rough or couch surfing. Referrals can come from NGO's, Government Services, carers, Child Safety or a young person. Contact Chloe Warrell on 0447 385 199 or

Celebrate International Care Day

Care Day on Friday, 21st February is the largest international celebration of children and young people with a care experience. Care Day is about showing support, breaking stigma around out-of-home care, and showcasing the accomplishments of children and young people with a care experience with the wider community. Everyone can be involved in #CareDay20 by posting the hashtag on social media, creating messages and sharing the word about Care Day. 

Historic High Court ruling that Aboriginal Australians cannot be considered 'aliens'

A landmark court case has resulted in the High Court ruling four-to-three that Aboriginal Australians, including those born overseas and holding citizenship of that country, cannot be considered aliens for the purposes of the Constitution, and therefore are not subject to the Commonwealth's power to deport non-citizens. The two plaintiffs of the case were born overseas, each with one Aboriginal parent, and due to criminal convictions and time spent in prison, faced deportation resulting from cancellation of their visas on character grounds. In separate judgements, the majority of justices ruled that the tripartite test of biological descent, self-identification and recognition of Indigeneity by a traditional group - as established by Mabo native title - put Indigenous Australians in a new category of "belonger" - those who are neither an alien nor a citizen, but who owe allegiance to and are owed protection by the Crown.

Bushfire funding support available for childcare services

Eligible child care services in bushfire and/or drought affected areas can apply for extended funding under the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) special circumstance grant funding for a range of activities including: establishing a temporary premises; wages for staff; replacement of furniture and fittings; playground equipment; addressing health and safety requirements; and if facing financial pressure. Also for educators, Be You from Beyond Blue has developed a resource pack for early learning services and schools affected by bushfire events. The resource pack focuses on providing information related to mental health and wellbeing for learning communities, and covers immediate, short-term and long-term responses.

Community resource guide for families

The Family Matters campaign community resource guides contain information on the child protection intervention process specific to each state and territory and are a practical aspect of the Family Matters campaign's aim to empower families to understand and effectively engage with the child protection system. The guides are written for all families but with a particular focus on the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children who are subject to child protection intervention. The Family Matters Report 2019 shows that Queensland is the only jurisdiction to legislatively incorporate the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle (ATSICPP) and require Independent Entities to facilitate family participation, and has a continued implementation of generational strategy to eliminate over-representation. The Queensland community resource guide includes information on issues with the child protection system and recommendations for solutions, what actions families and communities can take to support positive change, pathways through the system, frequently asked questions, and contact lists. The latest updated guides will be available in May 2020.  

Genuine partnerships - tools and resources

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Department of Social Services and SNAICC are collaborating on the Genuine Partnerships Project. SNAICC has developed three new resources to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations engaging in or aiming to build partnerships for child and family service delivery. Two of these are new information resources: an introductory guide to partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations in child and family services; and a guide to best practice partnerships and applying for funding; with an additional voluntary audit tool for measuring progress towards achieving genuine partnership goals for organisations involved in partnerships to provide service supports to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. For services wishing to be involved in the third stage of the project, the audit tool must be completed by Tuesday, 10th March.

Nominations open for 2020 Queensland Volunteering Awards

It's to nominate the unsung heroes of your community for the recognition they deserve across six categories in the 2020 Queensland Volunteering AwardsVolunteer of the Year; Youth Volunteering; Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering; Excellence in Volunteer Management; Volunteering Impact (a volunteer program); and Corporate Volunteering (an employee volunteering program). Nominations close Sunday, 8th March. As part of the National Volunteer Week celebrations, every volunteer or organisation you nominate will receive complimentary attendance to the Awards Ceremony on Friday 22nd May from 10am to midday at Brisbane City Hall, with dignitaries and other community leaders. Nominees will still need to register for the event as there are limited spaces. All nominees will also receive a Certificate of Recognition for their volunteering contributions during National Volunteer Week, held 18th to 24th May.

Reminder - Review of age of criminal responsibility public submissions closing soon

The Department of Justice's Council of Attorneys-General Working Group is currently conducting a review into the age of criminal responsibility as legislated in each Australian state and territory and the Commonwealth. Currently, the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old, with a presumption of criminal incapacity for children aged 10 to 14 years. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended Australia raise the age of criminal responsibility in line with other comparable international jurisdictions, such as the European Union and New Zealand, where the minimum age is 14. Public submissions are being accepted until Friday, 28th February on questions posed on the review page and related matters, including in what situations the age should be raised, operational issues involved, whether presumption of criminal incapacity should be retained, whether there should be a separate minimum age of detention, what programs, frameworks and support services might need to be involved. Find out more.


Reminder - 2020 QLD Youth Sector Forum announced - presentation submissions now open

Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) has announced the 2020 QLD Youth Sector Forum, the first state-wide youth sector gathering since 2014. The Forum will explore the complex environment of the youth services sector through unpacking new research and thinking in youth work practices, workforce development innovations and community and government service provision priorities. Sharing of ideas, knowledge, possibilities and solutions across the human services sector will provide an exciting and challenging Forum program. Sector organisations and academics are invited to develop lead workshop breakout sessions in areas of interest/expertise. Each workshop will run for 1 hour with time being split between presentations (up to 30 mins) and facilitated discussion (around 30mins). The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 4th March. Find out more.

Each week, PeakCare publishes a 'Thumbs Up' and/or a 'Thumbs Down' about matters that have come to our attention and draw either our commendation or condemnation. If there are matters that you think are worthy of one or other of these acknowledgements, email and we will consider publishing them.

THUMBS DOWN to the findings of the 12th Closing the Gap report released yesterday, showing the majority of government targets for achieving equitable health, educational and employment outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians - five out of seven - are not on track to parity. Troublingly, the child mortality gap continues to widen since the targets were developed in 2008.

THUMBS UP to the targets on track in the report - early education and Year 12 attainment see gains towards parity - and to local programs improving outcomes over the lifecourse, such as the Literacy for Life program in Sydney's southwest. Thumbs Up as well to the federal government's recognition that partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations is key, encapsulated in the Closing the Gap National Agreement to be released shortly, highlighting an increase in local initiatives.

Applied Principles in Case Note Recording
Brisbane - Monday, 17th February
Presented by Amovita

This one-day training explores the skills required for effective professional case management. The training overviews a framework for applied writing skills and takes participants through several case studies as a way to highlight the skills and principles of applied writing. Participants use the REASON Case Note Writing Framework as they focus on the importance of language; what to include and leave out of case notes; the art of using ‘professional speak’ and how to clearly evidence what approaches and frameworks have been used. The training explores how to theme particular practices in case notes and how to write as if the case note was being crossed examined in a legal or industrial process. Find out more and register.

Kinship Care Forum 2020
Brisbane - Wednesday, 26th February
Presented by PeakCare, QATSICPP, CREATE and IFYS

Building on the successful 2019 Kinship Care Forum hosted by PeakCare, a follow up forum is being organised. The Kinship Care Forum is aimed at progressing the national agenda to raise awareness about the lack of recognition and support for extended family members caring for children, and find a way forward to influence national policy in recognising the rights and unique support needs of these children and their kinship carers. Megan Mitchell, the National Children's Commissioner will be in attendance, and the research about young kinship carers attendees heard about at the first forum is now finalised in a report which will be launched on the day. A range of other speakers involved in kinship care work and research will also be attending. Find out more and register.

No Scaredy Cats
Brisbane - Thursday, 27th February
Presented by Parentshop

The No Scaredy Cats™ workshop is based on three underlying perspectives: first, by having an understanding of how anxiety develops parents can counter its progress, second, parents can take a preventative role in the development of anxiety problems, third, there are practical steps parents can take to build resilience. Find out more and register.

Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers
Brisbane - Thursday, 27th to Friday, 28th February
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

The Focused Psychological Strategies workshop offers a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the broad and eclectic strategies contained in the Medicare protocol. Beginning with a brief historical overview of mental health interventions, the workshop explores the theoretical underpinnings, diagnostic categories and treatment strategies of the four main therapeutic modalities of treatment. This two day workshop includes a colourful slide presentation, individual experiential exercises, pair-work and group discussions; and the opportunity to develop and consolidate your therapeutic skills and knowledge. Find out more and register.

Resources for Reflection: Enhancing our conversations with strengths-based tools
Brisbane - Thursday, 5th March
Presented by Lighthouse Resources

For anyone who has an interest in enhancing conversations within your work environment, whether you are working with clients, students or colleagues. In this highly interactive workshop participants will experiment with a wide range of cards and other tools for opening up meaningful conversations with children, youth, families, adults and colleagues. This workshop will offer participants a number of immediately useful ideas for the use of these tools within a range of practice contexts. Find out more and register.

Attachment Styles in Practice
Brisbane - Monday, 23rd March

Presented by Compass Seminars

This workshop takes a deeper look into how attachment styles can be used in therapeutic settings by offering a practical and sophisticated exposition for evidence-based assessment, formulation, planning and treatment that is sure to transform attachment-focused interventions. This one-day workshop shows how to work successfully with emotional and behavioural problems rooted in deficient early attachments. It introduces the Attachment Style Interview (ASI), an evidence-based accessible instrument that reveals how attachment disorders may be properly conceptualised, to inform more targeted planing and treatment. Early bird pricing available until 10th February. Find out more and register.

First Up: client response training for administration staff
Brisbane - Thursday, 26th March
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

This workshop equips and supports administration workers in their role of providing ‘first-up’ responses to clients and members of the public who present in person at reception or over the phone. Participants consider how to interact calmly and safely with people who are presenting in a state of crisis or affected by alcohol or drugs, including how to convey empathy while encouraging the client to contain their anger or upset or behaviour. A workshop for all admin workers who may be ‘first-up’ in responding helpfully in difficult situations or helping to de-escalate potential crises. Find out more and register.

Financial Wellbeing Information Exchange
Brisbane - Tuesday, 18th February

Learn how to support people in financial hardship at this free event in Logan. Join interactive sessions on Financial Wellbeing and Mental Health, as well as discussions on issues such as Elder Abuse. Anyone from Logan-based organisations who work with people experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to attend the event. Find out more and register.

Blue Card information session
Brisbane - Wednesday, 19th February

A free session for employers to overview their obligations under the blue card system and provide an opportunity to clarify any issues regarding blue card application and assessment processes. Find out more and register.

2020 Not for Profit People Conference
Melbourne - Monday, 24th February to Tuesday, 25th February

This is Australia's biggest event focussed on how to attract, manage and retain the best people for the NFP sector. A motivating line up of speakers has already been announced, with four 2-hour workshops also locked in as part of the diverse program. Most of the 15 parallel sessions showcase the best in studies from within the NFP sector, with a dash of expertise from the private sector to seed new ideas and perspectives. Find out more and register.

What is child-focused supervision in adult-focused services and how does it work?
Webinar - Wednesday, 26th February

This free webinar co-produced by Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) and Emerging Minds will explore child-focused supervision practices, as well as presenting other initiatives used by managers, supervisors and practitioners in creating an organisational context to support child-focused practice in adult services. This webinar will assist practitioners who work with parents in adult-focused services. Find out more and register.

National Indigenous Youth Empowerment Summit 2020
Cairns - Tuesday, 25th to Friday, 28th February

This four-day summit will share knowledge with the aim to improve services and outcomes for Indigenous children and their families. With five streams including child protection, social and emotional wellbeing and youth justice, delegates have the opportunity to learn from, and network with, over 300 sector leaders, innovators, leaders and frontline workers to collaborate on strategies towards empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Find out more and register.


Changing Lives, Changing Communities Round Two
Brisbane - Tuesday, 3rd to Wednesday, 4th March

Come along and work together at this forum hosted by QCOSS, taking your place to drive change in your community. Across Queensland, communities are looking to work together to make a difference, to create a place where everyone contributes, matters and belongs. You are invited to come along to work with your neighbours and colleagues to make your community the best it can be. This is an invitation to come along and work together, taking your place to drive change in your community. Find out more and register.

Legal and Practical Response to Child Abuse QLD-specific
Webinar - Thursday, 4th March

This two-hour webinar by In Safe Hands assists educators, organisations and individuals to comply with their National Quality Framework and other legislative requirements and meet duty of care obligations regarding child protection. It is designed to be used for induction of new staff, and as a foundation or refresher course for those who have not completed recent child protection training. Find out more and register.


National Early Years Summit 2020
Melbourne - Wednesday, 11th to Thursday, 12th March

ARACY's National Early Years Summit 2020 will bring together leading thinkers and change-makers to look ahead and ask: What should a blueprint for young children’s wellbeing look like? Working together for their first 1000 days and beyond. This work and discussion will begin a ten-year endeavour to enhance understanding and bring together frontline workers with children, academics, government policy makers, parents, and others. The Summit will involve building on a knowledge of what works for kids, highlighting what information we lack, and how we can acquire it. It will also include thought and advocacy on how best to apply that knowledge to get the best results for our children with the limited resources available to governments, organisations, and families. A draft program has been released, with more details to come. A preliminary list of Thought Leaders and Panellists has also been announced, with more to be announced in coming weeks. The Thought Leaders will make a contribution by guiding the work of the Summit. Special rates are available for early bird registrations and Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Members. Find out more and register.


National Social Role Valorisation Conference 2020
Brisbane - Friday, 27th to Saturday, 28th March

The first ever Australian Social Role Valorisation Association (ASRVA) national conference will be held in Brisbane in 2020. The vision of ASRVA is that all people, including those that are marginalised and disenfranchised, are enabled to be perceived positively and have good lives. The foundation of social role valorisation (SRV) is a sense of social justice, leadership development, and working for change with individuals, services, systems and citizens. The ASRVA Conference will be reinforcing the spirit of a community of practice through a mixture of speakers, discussion and activities, and will be grounded, focussing on application, and using a range of activities and styles to better match varied learning preferences. View the date claimer, follow ASRVA on Facebook or contact to be kept updated on Conference news and be notified when registrations open.


Information Linkages & Capacity Building (ILC) Workshop
Roma - Tuesday, 28th April

Free ILC Workshops hosted by the Inclusion Ready Project will help attendees: understand the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the important business opportunities it presents; appreciate the economic and social benefits of inclusion and the important role inclusion plays in driving productivity growth; identify key opportunities for inclusion and inclusive projects; design & build ILC grant projects; incorporate critical success factors into ILC project design; and collaborate and network with potential project partners. Find out more and register.

2020 Community Legal Centres Queensland State Conference
Brisbane - Thursday, 30th April to Friday, 1st May

The conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet with a diverse range of people from across the state including centre directors and lawyers, stakeholders, social workers, volunteers and decision makers. There will be a wide variety of panel discussions, presentations and workshops relevant to both the community legal sector and the wider legal community. The conference provides delegates with the chance to network with other people in the field, broaden and strengthen their skills and enhance and develop their knowledge. Early bird discounts available until 26th March. Find out more and register.

NDS Queensland Conference 2020: Futures in Disability
Brisbane - Thursday, 7th to Friday, 8th May

With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, the program will encourage visionary thinking across the disability sector. Registrations for the conference are due to open mid February. If you are interested in attending, register your interest here.

Visit our Events page for further opportunities in the sector.

Women's Advocate, Safer Families - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a full time, fixed term (18 months) Safer Families Women's Advocate classified at SCHADS Award Level 5. The role is part of the ReNew Program delivered by Carinity, funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 18 months. This position will provide case management responses including psycho-education and support and advocacy for mothers and female care givers of boys and young males either being assessed for the ReNew program, attending BDVS Psycho-educative program or who have been referred and attending the ReNew program. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th February. Find out more and apply.

Intake Worker, Safer Families - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a full time, fixed term (18 months) Safer Families Intake Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 3. The role is part of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service ReNew Program delivered by Carinity, funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 18 months. The role is intended to provide intake, screening and information and referral responses to those referred for risk assessment, safety planning and case management. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th February. Find out more and apply.

Men's Specialist Domestic Violence Worker, Safer Families - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a full time, fixed term (18 months) Men's Specialist Domestic Violence Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 5. The role is part of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service ReNew Program delivered by Carinity, funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 18 months. The role is responsible for psycho-social education with individuals and groups of young boys, as part of a case management plan, and where appropriate, opportunities may emerge to involve fathers and other members of the family. The focus is on respectful and healthy Relationships and being accountable for not using violence in the home. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th February. Find out more and apply.

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PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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