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- Friday, 21st September 2018 -

On Friday, 14th September, a mix of over 60 senior operational, policy, human resource and financial managers representing over 30 non-government providers of residential care services gathered at a workshop co-hosted by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and PeakCare – an event that will one day come to represent a milestone in the history of Queensland’s residential care services.

Read more to find out why…

Child Aware Conference 2019 announced

Families Australia has announced the date for the 6th Child Aware Approaches Conference, to be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday, 16th to Friday, 17th May 2019. Conference participants will engage in interactive conversation and build momentum on the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children and its successor plan beyond 2020. Abstract submissions are currently open. Questions relating to the conference should be directed to Families Australia Deputy CEO, Stella Conroy by phone on (02) 6273 4885 or by email

Time for national action on kinship care

Kinship care advocacy groups, frontline practitioners, researchers and non-government and government stakeholders met at the Australian Human Rights Commission in Sydney on Thursday, 23rd August to begin mapping a blueprint for improving services, support and outcomes for kinship carers and the children they support. The Forum agreed that support for children in kinship care and their carers should be provided in a systemic way, noting the diverse pathways that bring them together, and strongly endorsed the need for public awareness and recognition of the significant role played by kinship carers. Additionally, a call was made for a national peak body to ensure that kinship carers and the children in their care have a voice. A range of practical suggestions also emerged, including: creating a carer hub where information and resources can be accessed and shared, collection of national data about children in both informal and statutory kinship care, the development of resources including financial resources and the provision of individualised packages to provide for children in care and for casework support, and creating a space for children’s voices. Read more on learnings from the Forum.

Findings on young people returning to sentenced detention

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the Young people returning to sentenced youth justice supervision 2016–17 report that shows the majority of young people do not return to sentenced supervision, but that young people released from sentenced detention - rather than community-based supervision - are more likely to return to sentenced supervision. Of those released from sentenced detention, 59% returned within 6 months, and 82% within 12 months. During the period covered in the report, young people in Queensland aged 17 or older were dealt with in the adult criminal justice system, and were not eligible for a return to sentenced youth justice supervision, which the report notes could result in an overall under-count in the rate of returns. The data available for Queensland shows young people with more than 1 supervised sentence was close to half (45%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people were more likely to return to sentenced supervision controlling for other factors.

New app for carers

Carer Connect is a web and mobile app that provides foster and kinship carers with access to important information about children in their care, allowing foster and kinship carers to: view relevant information and documentation to gain an understanding of how the needs of the children in their care can best be supported, upload pictures of their home and family that can be shown to children when they are transitioning to a new placement and, make contributions to the digital life story for children and young people in their care through kicbox. The app will be made available to carers from late September.

What non-physical intimate abuse can look like

There's No Excuse for Abuse is a website developed by Our Watch that aims to raise community awareness of the types of non-physical abuse that women can face in intimate relationships, including financial, social, emotional and technological abuse, and what this can look like. The website also has links to a men's referral service that is available nationally.

Guide for young people to communicate safely about suicide

Orygen: The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health have published a resource guide that provides tools and tips for young people to help them communicate safely online about suicide. The #chatsafe guide has been developed in partnership with young people to provide support to those who might be responding to suicide-related content posted by others or for those who might want to share their own feelings and experiences with suicidal thoughts, feelings or behaviours. The guidelines may also provide practical assistance to parents, educators, and those who provide support to young people engaging in online activities.

Government submissions open - have your say on policies affecting families 

The Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee is conducting an inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 (the Bill), which seeks to insert a new entitlement in the National Employment Standards to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave to ensure consistency in entitlements for employees in the national system. From 1 August 2018, all industry Awards provide for five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave. The Bill would provide for the same entitlement for employees not covered by Awards. Submissions are invited in response to the Bill until Monday, 24th September.

The House of Representatives Select Committee on Intergenerational Welfare Dependence is accepting submissions on matters relating to welfare dependence of families and outcomes for children. The Committee is inquiring into: factors preventing parents from gaining employment; impacts of intergenerational unemployment on children; the important role of parents as ‘first teachers’; the impact, if any, of welfare in creating disadvantage; the impact, if any, of welfare in creating disadvantage; and recommendations for breaking cycles of disadvantage; measuring the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions; better coordination of family support. 

Help inform improvements for therapeutic residential care services

There is still time to contribute to the national survey into therapeutic residential care being conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Your insights and feedback will help inform improvements within therapeutic residential care services around Australia. One representative from each service organisation that offers therapeutic residential care is asked to take part and describe the structure, staffing and therapeutic elements of the service. The survey closes 5th October. The survey is voluntary, confidential and should take less than 20 minutes.

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month 2019 community grants open

Applications are now open for community grants of up to $5000 to support events, projects and activities during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May 2019 that aim to: raise awareness about the occurrence and impacts of domestic and family violence in Queensland, provide information about help available, promote partnerships and collaboration across the community, educate Queenslanders about supporting respectful relationships and developing a culture of non-violence, and empower family, friends, neighbours and colleagues of victims to take steps they might not otherwise take to respond to domestic and family violence. In particular, events, projects or activities that target people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex or Queer are encouraged in 2019. Find out more and apply. Applications close Friday, 26th October. 

New comprehensive data tool provides insights into social services

The Ask Izzy Open Data Platform is a data tool that provides insights into the supply and demand of services such as housing, food, health and more across Australia. Using location-based data from Infoxchange sources, as well as data sets from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the platform gives a comprehensive view of the need and reasons for people seeking support from community and social services. The platform displays information on an interactive map, with overlays of data sets from multiple sources. The data can then be downloaded for use elsewhere. Find out more about what data is accessible. A free webinar will be held on Wednesday, 3rd October to teach participants how to use the platform and show some of the insights that can be gathered - register now.


Regional Australia would benefit most from raises to income payments

The ACOSS and Deloitte Analysis of the impact of raising benefit rates has found regional Australian communities would benefit most if government raised the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments by $75 a week. Not only would the size of the economy increase in line with the rate of government spending modelled in the analysis, the report also suggests the extra consumer spending resulting from the raise would push up wages and create 12,000 extra jobs. The report notes that although these prosperity dividends do exist, they will fade over time, and that "the compelling reasons to adopt this reform revolve more around fairness" with "the overwhelming bulk of relative improvements in disposable incomes going to Australia’s lowest income families." The report finds a close correlation between the areas with lowest per capita income across Australia - mostly regional - and the proposed boost to payments, especially as unemployment rates tend to be higher outside capital cities. Read the report.

Changes to cross-examining DFV victims in court

Amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) are currently before the Senate. The amendments prohibit convicted, charged and alleged perpetrators of domestic and family violence from directly cross-examining their victims during court proceedings in family law matters, including child custody and property settlements, and require that cross-examinations must be conducted by a legal representative. The amendments aim to protect victims from re-traumatisation and enable victims to provide clear and reliable evidence in legal proceedings. Find out more.

Legislation bans non-consensual sharing of private images

The Enhancing Online Safety (Non-Consensual Sharing of Intimate Images) Bill 2018 has now passed both Houses, banning both the non-consensual sharing of intimate images as well as threats to do so on websites and social networks as well as through services such as email or MMS. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is able to issue a notice that requires the removal of non-consensually posted intimate image within 48 hours, after which non-compliant individuals can be fined $105,000 and corporations up to $525,000. Amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1995 allow that perpetrators who transmit private sexual material can be imprisoned for up to five years.

The trials and triumphs of kinship caring - in conversation with a relative/kinship carer

In 2008, Jane was a young single parent of three children, living in New Zealand. A phone call from her mother one afternoon changed her and her children’s lives. In an instant, she became a single parent of six children. “My mother delivered my nephews and niece to New Zealand from Australia and we were instantly a family of seven.” Read more.

If you know of a program, group or organisation that should be In the Spotlight
please contact 
Lorraine Dupree.

Professional Boundaries, Professional Workplaces
Brisbane - Tuesday, 25th September
Presented by Amovita International

We have professional boundaries to guide us as professionals in our roles with clients. Whether we are managers, social workers, consultants, counsellors, support workers, community workers or coordinators, having solid professional boundaries is very important. The aim of this workshop is to enable you to have some time to become aware and develop your own boundary framework as a professional in the field. Because we work today with high needs and very complex clients, it is even more important that we have an acute sense of awareness of what this means and to choose what suite of professionalism we wear in our roles. Find out more and register.

Underneath the Masculine Mask: How to effectively engage and work with men experiencing depression
Webinar - Wednesday, 10th October
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

Simon Santosha will deliver this insightful workshop to help to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills to work more effectively with men experiencing mental health issues such as depression into their programs, services and groups. Men can often resist the term ‘depression’ due to traditional masculine socialisation which emphasises independence and task-focus, which results in depression often ‘masked’ as workaholism, substance abuse, withdrawal from relationships, irritability or reactive and/or aggressive behaviours. For more on the importance of supporting men to seek help in ways that make sense to them, read this interview with Simon Santosha on working with men and families and the value of strengths-based male engagement strategies. Workshop participants will have increased awareness of the barriers experienced by fathers who have depression in accessing support services, increased knowledge and understanding of what lies behind the mask, skills and strategies to effectively engage fathers who are depressed but refuse or are reluctant to admit or seek help, and knowledge and skills to maximise the effectiveness of referral and support networks for fathers experiencing depression. Find out more and register.


Digging Deeper: risk assessment and strengths-based family work
Brisbane - Thursday, 11th October

Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Is risk assessment still relevant in child protection when you work from a strengths-based framework with families? Of course! Assessing risk remains at the core of protecting children and young people. Yet what some find tricky is how to integrate the risk assessment process with a strengths-oriented approach to practice.  This workshop ‘digs deeper’ into this question, reviewing contemporary understandings of the concepts and skills critical to risk assessment and exploring how to successfully enact these in practice while working to engage with families around the safety of their children.  The complexities of this work are enormous, as is the responsibility to ‘get it right’.  This workshop provides the opportunity to explore your understanding and approach to risk assessment and where it fits with frameworks for inclusive engagement and work with families. Find out more and register.

Parenting & Enjoying Teenagers
Brisbane - Thursday, 18th October
Presented by BABI Youth & Family Service

BABI Youth & Family Service will be presenting this relaxed, informative and enjoyable 6-week group program for parents and carers of children 10+yrs each Thursday evening from 18th October to 22nd November. Topics covered will include: adolescent development and the challenges of parenting, highlighting and building on strengths, using effective and assertive communication, building your relationship with your teenager, setting limits and boundaries, improving life balance and developing self-care strategies, dealing constructively with anger, and a range of 'hot' topics: sex, alcohol and drug use, driving, social media and more! A special eSafety presentation on keeping young people safe online will occur as part of the series on Wednesday, 21st November. View the flyer for more details, or phone 3393 4176 to register.


Come have a cuppa...Morning Tea for parents
Brisbane - Monday, 22nd October
Presented by Family Inclusion Network

The Family Inclusion Network's Morning Tea for Parents is an opportunity for parents who have/had children in care, have/had intervention with parental agreement, or have been reunified with their children, to share their experiences with others, discuss how they navigated the child protection and out-of-home care systems, and offer support to other parents. The Morning Tea is held once a month on Monday from 9.30am to 11am at Wellspring Coorparoo, 143 Cavendish Road. For enquiries, contact Rebecca by email  or phone on 3013 6030.

What's going on for our kids? Do labels help or hinder?
Brisbane - Monday, 22nd October
Presented by Act for Kids

The impact of trauma on a child is complex and pervasive, often leading to significant difficulties at home and school. Through exploring trauma and developmental theory, participants will deepen their practical understanding of commonly used labels and be equipped with strategies to nurture children and navigate the systems around them. Find out more and register.

Inside Out: Understanding and supporting carer-child relationships in out-of-home care
Brisbane - Wednesday, 31st October
Presented by Compass Seminars

Some children who need love the most, ask for it in the most unloving ways.  This can be particularly true for children in out-of-home care whose complex histories of abuse, neglect and disrupted attachment, often cause them to reject adults who are trying to care and support for them. Making sense of the processes behind their often difficult behaviour can assist professionals and carers to facilitate change and healing. This workshop introduces the Relational Learning Framework (RLF), a case conceptualisation tool which helps out-of-home care practitioners, mental health professionals  and foster carers to examine what foster children have learned in their early life about relationships, particularly through abuse and neglect. Grounded in attachment theory and drawing on cognitive theory this workshop helps practitioners to understand and respond to the challenging behaviour presented by these children and remove barriers to an empathic response. Find out more and register.

123 Magic and Emotion Coaching
Brisbane - Thursday, 8th November
Presented by Parentshop

A comprehensive one-day training course that provides skills to teach parents and carers of 2-12 year-olds skills to manage their children’s difficult behaviour. It is based on two underlying perspectives on parenting: first, that children can be taught to respond more flexibly when they are frustrated or upset and second, that parents and carers can be taught easy-to-use skills they can use at particular parenting moments. Training includes role play, group discussion, worksheets and videos. This one-day course equips professionals with the knowledge to teach parents the program over three sessions and/or how to teach the tenets of the program in a few one-to-one clinical sessions. Find out more and register.

Give children a bigger voice more of the time: children's and young people's experiences of the family law system
Webinar - Thursday, 27th September 

This free webinar will discuss recent research on young people’s experiences of the family law system and its implications for child-inclusive practice. The webinar will present findings of the Children and young people in separated families study, which investigated the experiences and needs of young people whose parents had separated and had accessed the family law system. It will also discuss implications for policy and practice, with a focus on developing child-inclusive practices in the area of family dispute resolution and the family law system more generally. Find out more and register.

Internet and child safety awareness
Brisbane - Thursday, 11th October

The Queensland Child and Family Commission (QFCC) invites you to a free event to hear Alicia Kozakiewicz speaking about Internet and Child Safety Awareness 2pm-3pm at QUT Gardens Point Campus. Alicia Kozakiewicz is an international advocate for preventative safety education and effective legislation. Alicia is a survivor of internet abduction and child sexual exploitation. Her presentation will include talking about her experiences and the information that policy makers, educators and parents need to be aware of to help keep children safe from online grooming for child sexual exploitation. Find out more and register.

The Sanctuary Model in Context
Brisbane - Monday, 15th to Tuesday, 16th October

The Sanctuary Institute Australia and MacKillop Family Services are inviting community services organisations and schools to attend a two-day seminar to support cultures of safety, wellbeing and learning in organisations. Participants will learn about The Sanctuary Model, a trauma-informed, whole of organisation change model that responds to the impact of chronic stress and adversity. Educators should note this program meets the requirements for provisional or full teacher registration for 14 hours of Professional Learning in every Australian state. Teachers will be able to demonstrate increased knowledge and proficiency on Standard 1 and 4 of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL). View the flyer for more details or register here.

10th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium
Hobart - Tuesday, 16th to Wednesday, 17th October

The 10th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium is an opportunity for policy makers, clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health professionals to join together and provide a collaborative platform for the challenges, solutions, innovations, support systems and networks for rural mental health. Find out more and register.

2018 ACOSS National Conference
Sydney - Monday, 29th and Tuesday, 30th October

The ACOSS National Conference has been a key event for civil society in Australia for over six decades. Each year hundreds of thought leaders, policy makers, political leaders, social innovators, practitioners, academics, campaigners, community leaders and social justice advocates come together to engage in collective public policy analysis, discussion and debate; identifying challenges and strategising solutions with the view to address poverty and inequality and enhance social cohesion in Australia. At this year's conference dinner ACOSS and HESTA will be co-presenting the Community Sector Awards. Early bird tickets are now available - don't miss out! 

Understanding domestic and sexual violence across migrant and refugee communities
Brisbane - Wednesday, 31st October

This half-day workshop presented by The Oasis Centre will assist practitioners to understand the intersection between domestic and family  violence and its impact on the lives of migrant and refugee women. This workshop will help practitioners acknowledge how culture, ethnicity and religion impact on communities understanding of domestic and family violence, the context of Intimate Partner Violence and the challenges for women in reporting and dealing with this type of abuse, the Influence of gender roles and traditions within migrant and refugee communities, and barriers to accessing support. Find out more and register.

2018 Youth Health Conference
Gold Coast - Wednesday, 7th to Friday, 9th November

The Australian Association for Adolescent Health and the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association have partnered to host the 2018 Youth Health Conference. This year’s conference theme, “Owning Future Change”, invites young people, clinicians, researchers, educators and policy makers to act now to identify challenges and implement solutions to create real change in the lives and health of young Australians. The 2018 Youth Health Conference is the platform where the latest research findings will be presented with policy and practice recommendations, and where innovative models of care will be showcased. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Health and Sexuality Education and Sexual Health are major themes in this year’s conference. Find out more and register.

Sexuality and people with an intellectual disability: a sex positive approach
Brisbane - Tuesday, 13th November

This workshop to be delivered by Lud Allen Counselling will explore the meanings that you give to sexuality and specifically the meaning you give to sexual education for people with an intellectual disability. You will identify barriers that exist to supporting clients in meeting their sexual health and relationship education needs. You will use and critique resources specifically made for sexual health education of people with an intellectual disability and explore the benefits of 1:1 education vs small group education and hear how this has been applied successfully in real life scenarios. Find out more and register.

FRSA 2018 National Conference
Cairns - Tuesday, 20th to Friday, 23rd November 

The Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference is one of the largest annual gatherings of practitioners, academics and policy makers working to support children, families and communities. The Conference will be held at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel with the theme Be the change: Leaving no one behind

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide: The Eighth Gathering
Sydney - Monday, 26th to Thursday, 29th November

The International Indigenous Council for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide has invited The Healing Foundation and The University of Sydney to join together to celebrate the strengths of Indigenous peoples across the world. Healing Our Spirit Worldwide – The Eighth Gathering will share the experiences, resilience and challenges confronting Indigenous peoples across the world.

STOP Domestic Violence Conference
Gold Coast - Monday, 3rd December to Wednesday, 5th December

Domestic violence can affect anyone in the community, regardless of gender, sexual identity, race, age, culture, ethnicity, religion, disability, economic status or location. Over the course of three days, the 2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will highlight, acknowledge and reflect on the efforts of those who have contributed and set the bar for change. The Conference aims to facilitate policy change, raise awareness and work together to eliminate violence within Australia. Find out more and register.

Visit the Events page on our website for other opportunities in the sector. You can also email your professional development opportunities so that we may promote them through future editions of eNews.

Coordinator and caseworker - YAC

YAC is seeking a fulltime coordinator and caseworker to lead and provide casework support to young people in the youth justice system from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast. Find out more and apply. Applications close Monday, 8th October at 6pm.

Practice Supervisor - Bravehearts

Bravehearts is seeking a part-time Practice Supervisor working in the South East region. The role will report to the National Therapeutic Services Manager, and will involve supervision, debriefing, self-care and professional development of the team across the three locations - Arundel, Springwood and Strathpine. The role is classified under SCHC&DS Industry Award Level 7. Find out more and apply.

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