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- Friday, 15th February 2019 -

This week new laws were introduced into State Parliament to strengthen the sentencing of those found guilty of an offence relating to the murder or manslaughter of a child. In keeping with recommendations made by the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, the new laws will redefine the crime of murder to include reckless indifference for human life that will allow certain persons to be charged with murder rather than manslaughter, and introduce other changes that will also increase the length of sentences. Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has vowed to go further by introducing a Private Member’s Bill to set a minimum non-parole period of 25 years for the murder of a child and a new offence of child manslaughter with a minimum sentence of 15 years.

On Tuesday 13th February, the Brisbane Times published an opinion piece, We must truly honour the legacy of Queensland’s slain children, written by PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener in response to the new laws. Irrespective of whether you agree or disagree, either totally or in part, with the views expressed by Lindsay, we would like to receive your comments in response to his opinion piece and/or the new laws. When complex laws such as these are made subject to debate, those who work within the child protection sector are looked to by politicians of all persuasions, by the media and the general public to provide constructive and well-informed opinions and advice. The opportunity to speak up and provide this counsel is both a privilege and a responsibility held by leaders within the non-government child protection sector.

You are invited to enter your comments in response to Lindsay’s opinion piece and/or the new laws by clicking here. Your comments can be entered anonymously if you prefer. You may also like to join the growing number of people who have been ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ the article posted on our Facebook Page. As you consider whether or not to make your views known, you may choose to regard this act as another way in which you can play a part in truly honouring the legacy of Queensland’s slain children.

11th Anniversary of the National Apology

Wednesday, 13th February 2019 marked eleven years since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally acknowledged and apologised for the Australian government's forced child removal policies in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The Apology opened the door to reconciliation, but there is still a long way to go. SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and the Family Matters campaign have called for deeper reflection and more consistent commitment by policy leaders to ensure history does not repeat itself. Family Matters notes that the anniversary sees over 17,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out-of-home care, more than twice as many as on the day of the Apology in 2008, describing the current trend as "a very harmful trajectory...the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out-of-home care will triple by 2035." For real progress, SNAICC is calling for clear Closing the Gap Refresh targets on out-of-home care accompanied by a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s strategy premised on self-determination and informed by genuine participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. PeakCare continues to strongly support the work and messages of SNAICC and Family Matters to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up safe and cared for in family, community and culture.

Hope and Healing Framework for residential care

Implementation of the Hope and Healing Framework for residential care workers is well underway, with the release of three e-learning modules prior to Christmas. The modules are interesting and engaging, taking approximately one hour each to complete. To access the modules, residential care workers are asked to contact their immediate supervisors. Further information can be obtained by contacting Lesley Leece, Assistant Director, PeakCare.


Minimum qualifications for residential care workers

Along with the Hope and Healing Framework the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (the Department) have required since 1st July 2018 that residential care workers obtain a minimum qualification of Certificate IV level from an approved list. Further information can be obtained by accessing the information sheet on the Department's website. The link also provides information about the process for having qualifications that are not currently listed assessed for inclusion. There is an email address to the Department that individuals and organisations can write to requesting qualifications to be assessed.

CPPAQ Practice Paper - Are you ready for the National Redress Scheme?

Following the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse a National Redress Scheme (NRS) has been established. This Practice Paper on Wednesday, 20th March by Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ) will be presented by knowmore legal service, a free national legal service funded to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to ensure they have access to redress. This session will provide detailed information about the NRS, including the three components of the scheme available to survivors, the impact of prior payments, the assessment framework used to assess the amount a survivor will receive and the legal options available to survivors, including at common law. Tickets are free for CPPAQ Members and $40 for non-Members. Register here.

Encompass Family and Community 2019 training calendar released

Encompass Family and Community are consultants in child protection and child and family welfare and community services, providing training, research, consultancy and case services to government and community-based agencies in the child, youth and family welfare fields. Encompass has released their 2019 training calendar, full of comprehensive and diverse training workshops for those working in the sector. Next up are the popular workshops Are the Kids OK? Being child aware while supporting families which helps participants develop their knowledge and skills around risk assessment, and First Up: client response training for administration staff which 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. To view the full schedule for 2019 or to register for any of the workshops, visit the Encompass website or or email

Foundations to attachment

Understanding and working with issues pertaining to attachment is central to all child and family work. Evolve Therapeutic Services (ETS) have spent considerable time developing an on-line training package that outlines foundations to attachment and the 7 key attachment principles. ETS are sharing this information free to all in government and non-government organisations due to its relevance to all practitioners working in the child and family support sector. Read more.

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

2018 Australian Reconciliation Barometer released

The Australian Reconciliation Barometer is a national research study conducted every two years by Reconciliation Australia, the peak body promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.  The study measures and compares attitudes and perceptions in Australia towards reconciliation.

Reconciliation Australia CEO, Karen Mundine, said that this latest Barometer once again showed a steady strengthening of the indicators for reconciliation and improved relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians, although there was “still plenty of room for improvement”. Read more about the report’s findings by clicking here.

Working with children - a Gestalt approach
Brisbane - Saturday, 23rd February
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

In this 6-hour endorsed CPD workshop participants will explore how to use Sand Play, Drama, Music in a therapeutic context with children. The workshop will introduce the Gestalt approach to working with children, including noticing the pace, rhythm and assimilation of the content, as well as the meaning attribution to the play experiments during the session. The workshop will help practitioners understand how to practice art therapy methods and tools to encourage creativity in self and children and how enable children to achieve positive feelings about their contacts with parents and society at large. Find out more and register.

Are the Kids OK? – being child aware while supporting families
Brisbane - Thursday, 28th February
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Targeted at anyone working in a support role with families and young people, this popular workshop draws on Encompass' specialty in risk assessment in child and family work. All who work with families, children and young people must have as their focus the safety and well-being of the children. An ability to assess the risk of harm, and to recognise both protective factors and indicators of danger, is crucial. This one day workshop provides an opportunity for participants to develop their knowledge and skills specific to work with families where the well-being of children is a focus. Participants will have the opportunity to apply core concepts and knowledge to their own practice context. Find out more and register.

Tough Conversations in Child Protection
Brisbane - Tuesday, 12th March
Presented by Parentshop

This essential one-day course for child protection professionals and family workers helps to quickly assess and prepare for tough conversations in situations where clarity-of-message can make all the difference for vulnerable families. The course teaches a method to: identify and clearly articulate the strengths and deficits in parents’ caring capacity so that parents have a clear future work plan; comprehensively gather information for holding a factual tough conversation so that as many facts (as can be reasonably gathered) can be brought to bear in conversations with parents; defuse antagonism during a tough conversation while holding a firm line; and identify the important ‘dashboard’ markers for parents so that everyone has clarity about what is expected within a given timeframe. Find out more and register.

Brisbane - Monday, 18th to Tuesday, 19th March
Presented by Compass Seminars

An exploration of the ways the immune system, epigenetics, affect regulation, and attachment intersect in mental health. Mind-Brain-Gene describes the feedback loops between the multiple systems contributing to the emergence of the mind and the experience of the self. It explains how our mental operating networks "self-organise", drawing from and modifying our memory systems to establish and maintain mental health. Synthesising research in psychoneuroimmunology and epigenetics with interpersonal neurobiology and research on integrated psychotherapeutic approaches, John Arden explores how insecure attachment, deprivation, child abuse, and trauma contribute to anxiety disorders and depression to produce epigenetic affects. Find out more and register.

Practice Paper - Are you ready for the National Redress Scheme?
Brisbane - Wednesday, 20th March
Presented by Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland

Following the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse a National Redress Scheme (NRS) has been established. This Practice Paper will be presented by knowmore legal service, a free national legal service funded to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to ensure they have access to redress. This session will provide detailed information about the NRS, including the three components of the scheme available to survivors, the impact of prior payments, the assessment framework used to assess the amount a survivor will receive and the legal options available to survivors, including at common law. Tickets are free for CPPAQ Members and $40 for non-Members. Find out more and register.


‘The Triple Bunger’ National Child Protection Conference
Brisbane - Monday, 24th to Friday, 28th June
Presented by QATSICPP, PeakCare and CAFWAA

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP), PeakCare and the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia (CAFWAA) are partnering to bring to Brisbane a national child protection conference. At this stage, we’ve assigned the working title, ‘The Triple Bunger’, to the conference as it seems an apt way of describing this ambitious and exciting venture. Save the dates and stay tuned for more advice about the conference and the opportunities you will be given to attend and contribute to this triple-streamed event.

Babies brains are fed when you Paint Your Town REaD!
Webinar - Wednesday, 20th February

Literacy and language skills develop from birth and form the bedrock of education. The capacity, confidence and disposition to use language in all its forms underpin learning and promote general child development and wellbeing. About 6.5% of Australian children start primary school vulnerable in the developmental area of language and cognition. This number is double for children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. In this webinar presented by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), Barbie Bates, Executive Director of Paint the Town REaD, along with colleagues from Wollongong and Shoalhaven, will explore how, by reading to and with young children, we can all play an effective role in preparing them for future success and helping them become self-confident and motivated learners. Find out more and register.

For Purpose Connect - Focus on QLD for non-profit and for-purpose organisations
Brisbane - Thursday, 21st February

For Purpose Connect is a networking event for people working for purpose - that's you if you work, volunteer or have an interest in the work of not-for-profit organisations and purposeful organisations. The event will feature speakers from across the sector. There are so many amazing not-for-profit and purpose-driven organisations in Queensland and here is an opportunity to hear about them! As an attendee you can also nominate to share your story or just come along and listen. Find out more and register. For the month of February For Purpose have a special code FEB50 which enables you to save 50% off our Individual and Organisational Memberships, all you need to do is go here. The same code also discounts online courses by 50% only for February. Please go here to purchase modules.

Policy and Advocacy 2 Day Intensive
Brisbane - Thursday, 21st to Friday, 22nd February

This 2 Day Intensive delivered by For Purpose will provide attendees with the opportunity to work alongside like-minded people to develop the critical skills required to navigate the policy development process and make change happen. This Intensive will cover theory on how social change happens, the political process and points of influence, articulating a clear problem and ask and communicating clear messages to make the case for change. At the end of the Intensive, participants will be able to develop tailored advocacy strategies for their organisations with innovative tactics to achieve your desired policy outcomes. Find out more and register.


Building resilience and wellbeing in the early years: Coping strategies for parents and children from CALD backgrounds
Webinar - Wednesday, 27th February

This webinar presented by Child Family Community Australia will discuss an approach to productive parenting in early childhood that incorporates principles of positive psychology and productive coping skills for families with young children. This approach will be illustrated using a case example of an innovative early years productive parenting program adapted for parents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds attending a playgroup in Melbourne, Australia. Research findings which indicate that parents benefit from being introduced to culturally sensitive parenting skills and that highlight the efficacy of practical resources to support communication between parents and children will also be discussed. Find out more and register.

Churchill Fellowship information sessions
Mt Isa - Monday, 4th March (followed by other locations around Queensland)

A Churchill Fellowship offers Australian citizens the opportunity to travel overseas to research issues of interest. The high international regard for Churchill Fellowships provides a pathway for Churchill Fellows to access expertise from around the world that is not typically available to everyone, expanding your knowledge and experience for the benefit of Australian society. The Churchill Trust is on the road throughout February and March to deliver a National Roadshow of Information Sessions about the 2019 Churchill Fellowship opportunity. In Queensland, free information sessions will be held in Mt Isa (4th March), Brisbane (5th March), Noosa (12th March), Cairns (13th March), and Townsville (14th March). The sessions will provide the opportunity to listen to some extraordinary Churchill Fellows share their Fellowship experiences, impart insights on their fascinating projects and how the program helped them achieve their goals. Applications to the Fellowships are now open.

National Youth Homelessness Conference
Melbourne - Monday, 18th to Tuesday, 19th March

The first national conference focussed on youth to be held in Australia in over 20 years will take place this year. The National Youth Homelessness Conference will look at what has happened in policy and practice to address youth homelessness over the past decade, initiatives that have worked and what future reforms are required in light of developing an agenda to put to government. Despite government initiatives to reduce homelessness, the number of people experiencing homelessness, particularly young people, has increased disproportionately to population growth in the last 10 years. Find out more and register.


5th Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference
Gold Coast - Monday, 13th to Wednesday, 15th May

This annual conference by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association offers a two day educational program of speakers and a half day of workshops. The aim of the conference is to broaden the understanding of the range of addictions, comorbidity, pain management, harm reduction, mental health and wellbeing and to look at solutions in regard to prevention, treatment and recovery through evidence based research, programs and practical models. The conference is inclusive of varying populations, the professional, peer support workers and the role of the family. Find out more and register.

Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Forum
Mackay - Wednesday, 15th to Thursday, 16th May

The Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research. The Forum aims to share knowledge and highlight new approaches on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people impacted by domestic and family violence. By attending this Forum, you can expect to gain understanding about the different service delivery approaches required when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. The Forum will introduce new and different approaches based on research and evidence to inform practice when responding to this type of violence. Find out more and register.

Child Aware Approaches Conference 2019
Brisbane - Thursday, 16th to Friday, 17th May

The 6th Child Aware Approaches Conference will advance the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, and the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Conference will focus on five key themes: improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, improving access to prevention and early intervention, improving placement stability, keeping children and young people safe from abuse, and strengthening focus on wellbeing Beyond 2020. The participation of young people will be a key feature of the Conference.

Trauma Aware Schooling Conference 2019
Brisbane - Thursday, 20th to Friday, 21st June

The inaugural Trauma Aware Schooling Conference will discuss, learn about and respond to the issues of complex childhood trauma and the need for trauma aware practice in schools. A school student’s experience of complex trauma  (e.g. physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, serious neglect, violence, etc.) can have a serious impact on school behaviours, attendance, engagement and (therefore) educational and life outcomes. Worrying behaviours can also have a significant impact on the well-being, efficacy, and retention of teachers and other educators. To address this, government departments and many non-government agencies are increasingly encompassing what is now referred to as trauma-informed practice when supporting or working with children and adolescents. To minimise concerns at school that can lead to student disengagement or disciplinary exclusion, there is a growing call for a collaborative, cross-agency, trauma-informed approach to service provision – which includes the schooling system. 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.

Support and Intake Worker, Lotus Place - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a part-time (25 hrs a week) Support and Intake Worker as part of the team at Lotus Place to provide reception, administration, communications and operations support work, including planned support and advocacy services under direction of the North Queensland Regional Coordinator. This position is classified under the SCHADS Award at a Level 2 and is based in Townsville. Applications close Monday, 18th February. Find out more and apply.

Database Administrator - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a full-time Database Administrator as part of the Quality, Innovation and Performance team. The role will contribute to maintaining, reviewing and evaluating the organisation’s client management system database. This position is classified under the SCHADS Award at a Level 4. Applications close Monday, 25th February. Find out more and apply

Youth and Court Assistance Worker - Youth and Advocacy Centre

Youth and Advocacy Centre (YAC) is seeking a full time youth and court assistance worker as part of the Bail and Order Support Service (BOSS) team for young people involved in the youth justice system, based at the Gold Coast for clients attending the Southport Children's Court. Applications close Monday, 25th February. Find out more and apply.

Hub Coordinator, Wellspring Children and Families Hub - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a Hub Coordinator as a fixed term, part-time (minimum 53.2 hours per fortnight) with the possibility to extend for the Wellspring Children and Families Hub working with vulnerable families with children aged 0-5 years. This position is classified under the SCHADS Award at a Level 5. Applications close Tuesday, 26th February. Find out more and apply.

Educator, Occasional Care Service - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking an Educator for the Occasional Care Service at the Wellspring Children and Families Hub, providing flexible care for children aged 0-5 years at Hawthorne. This is a fixed term, part-time position to 31st December 2019 (Wednesday to Friday, 7.30am to 4.30pm) and is classified under the Children Services Award at a Level 3. Applications close Tuesday, 26th February. Find out more and apply.

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PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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