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- Friday, 12th January 2018 -
Happy new year! 
Welcome to the first of PeakCare’s weekly eNews for 2018.
At times, reform agendas seem a constant in child protection, family support and out-of-home care, and more recently in areas such as domestic and family violence and youth justice. Public inquiries and media attention both drive and test change, and inevitably this will continue in 2018. Federally in 2017, some good news was the passing of marriage equality legislation but despite strong representations, the Commonwealth government will roll out the cashless debit card in areas of Queensland in early 2018. The final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was released late last year. The findings and recommendations are broad ranging and intersect with a number of reviews, reforms and plans already in train or flagged for Queensland. The Royal Commission said that without the adults who as children experienced institutional sexual abuse and other child abuse and neglect, coming forward to tell their stories, and the work of care leaver advocacy groups, they would not have been able to properly do what they were commissioned to do. Similarly, without the active participation of the community sector, their peaks and statewide networks, government cannot properly devise or implement reforms and plans affecting the sector and in turn, the children, young people, families and communities with whom they work. The take-home message is to keep engaged and up-to-date with what's going on, and make use of opportunities to participate in discussion and advocacy. Throughout 2018, PeakCare will continue to flag these opportunities as well as consult with member agencies and supporters to support the preparation of submissions and other advocacy work. Included below are early opportunities in 2018 and some tips for keeping in touch.
At a national level, many public consultations are underway and have strong intersections with the work and interests of child and family services. Connected to earlier recommendations from the Royal Commission, submissions are sought on the Commonwealth’s legislative response to recommendations to introduce a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. Submissions are due by 2nd February 2018. The Australian Parliament is also seeking comment on the Family Law Amendment (Parenting Management Hearings) Bill 2017 that would establish the Parenting Management Hearings Panel as an independent statutory authority to provide self-represented litigants with an alternative to the court process for resolving parenting disputes. Submissions are due by 7th February. The review of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) legislation seeks submissions relating to the sustainability and effectiveness of the ACNC Acts, including whether there is sufficient transparency that charities and not-for-profits use funds for the purposes for which they were given, and reducing duplicative reporting. Submissions are due to the Australian Treasury by 28th February. Feedback is also sought on national risk assessment principles that aim to provide an overarching national understanding of risk and managing risk in the area of family and domestic violence. Practitioners/workers or policy-makers in the sector are invited to participate in a 15 minute survey.
In Queensland, once commenced, the amendments to Child Protection Act 1999 passed just in time before the state election will, for example, transform supports and interventions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, improve information sharing between agencies to protect children, and extend access to support to young people who have transitioned from care until they are 25. Keep up-to-date with these Supporting Families Changing Futures reforms by subscribing to the eNews. Most consultations by Queensland government agencies are coordinated through the Get Involved website. For example, the Queensland Law Reform Commission is currently seeking views about modernising Queensland’s termination of pregnancy laws. You can keep track of Bills before the Queensland Parliament and opportunities to make submissions by subscribing to updates about the work of the different Parliamentary Committees. Bills of interest are referred, for example, to the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee and the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. 

CREATE national survey

CREATE are currently undertaking the largest national survey of its kind, asking for feedback and opinions from children and young people aged 10-25 years in care or with a care experience. Findings from the previous 2013 survey continue to be used as a critical reference point for many working in the sector. As a sector that must be informed by listening to the views of children and young people, the insights from this type of survey continue to be unique and invaluable. The survey closes on Sunday 28th January so don't delay, support children and young people in your care to complete the survey now, either over the phone on 07 3317 6020 or online. For more details, view the invitation letter.


Cherbourg Women - Our Struggle, Our Fight exclusive screening

Family Inclusion Network is holding a special free screening of the new documentary Cherbourg Women - Our Struggle, Our Fight on Friday, 19th January at Bunyupa Park, Kurilpa, on the corner of Thomas and Vulture St. This strictly no alcohol event includes a Welcome to Country by Uncle Sam Watson, an introduction to the documentary by Aunty Cephia and Aunty Irene, and a post screening Q&A and opportunity for reflection. For more details contact Aunty Cephia Williams.

Launch of NCAS website

Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) has launched a new website for the National Community Attitudes towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS). Started in 1987, the NCAS is the world’s longest-running survey of community attitudes towards violence against women, exploring how people understand violence against women, attitudes to gender equality, as well as tracking any changes over time. The new website also contains information on the 2017 NCAS, including how the survey was conducted, the NCAS team, and resources such as videos and infographics from the previous 2013 NCAS.

Dispelling blue card myths

Blue Card Services recently released new video and radio play resources on Youtube to assist remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to better understand the blue card system, and help overcome misconceptions that may be preventing some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from applying for a card. Blue Card Services has also launched a new page on its website called Reporting, showcasing statistics about the key components of the blue card system including screening (e.g. timeliness and number of cards issued), monitoring (e.g. number of blue cards suspended and cancelled and number of blue card holders and applicants whose police information is monitored on a daily basis), compliance (e.g. number of compliance checks), and education and resources (e.g. number of enquiries and emails answered). The page will also highlight community engagement activities and compliance priorities.

New apps for young people in care

Two new apps have been developed to support young people in care. The kicbox app is available on Android and iOS, to help children and young people living in out-of-home care to keep track of things like personal mementos, photos, records and documents that make up their life story. kicbox is a private, digital memory box that keeps everything safe and in one place. kicbox will be available to all children and young people in care in Queensland and their Child Safety teams by March 2018. Sortli is available on Android, iOS and Microsoft to help young people reflect on their plans for the future and begin planning their transition to independence. A new budget planner has been added to help young people develop good money habits for independence, in addition to other features such as support for finding a job or a place to live, and tips for a healthy life.

CREATE Cairns connection events for kids with care experiences

CREATE will be holding two connection events to speak with children and young people with a care experience, including a fun day out at the Cairns Aquarium on Friday, 19th January 10am-2pm for all children and their families, and a special T-speak session on Thursday, 18th January for young people aged 12-25 who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander about their care experience. For those who do not wish to speak in a group session, CREATE can meet one on one as well. RSVPs close soon so be sure to email Kellie Anderson to secure a place for the Cairns Aquarium event or Kelly Lotz to secure a place for the T-speak session.

CFCA's most popular resources in 2017

CFCA 2017: A Year in Review presents an overview of Child Family Community Australia's (CFCA) most popular resources in 2017, highlighting that 1.3 million users accessed resources including practitioner guides, papers and webinars. The most popular papers included Children who bully at school, The long-term effects of child sexual abuse, and Strengths of Australian Aboriginal cultural practices in family life and child rearing. Links to more of the most popular papers, resource sheets, short articles and webinar recordings are available through the page

Helping parents and carers to be ready for the new school year

The Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) website contains a lot of resources to assist parents and carers with their children’s learning, transitions and schooling. For children aged 0 to 8 years, DET’s resources about making the early years count reflect that babies and young children are learning through every experience, every day. Specific content is included about everyday activities that carers can do with children, learning at specific ages, and about making the early years count for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. There are also resources about making a smooth transition to school and carers can access personalised tips and activities to make experiences support your child’s learning and development. For parents and carers of school-aged children and young people, DET has a range of resources about getting involved in the school community, and helping kids with science, literacy and numeracy, and other educational activities. A range of information is also available about policies and expectations in relation to children and young people in out-of-home care. Important information about planning and supports for post-school life, such as Senior Education and Training (SET) Plans developed with each student in year 10, is also available. There are also resources designed to support and increase young people's aspirations for higher education, with insights for young people into choosing what to study, how to overcome barriers to education, and how to find financial and educational support. Resources are also available for carers and teachers and practitioners on how best to support young people transitioning to higher education. 

No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming
Brisbane - Monday, 26th February 2018
Presented by Compass Seminars

No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming: How to Make Behaving Positively Possible for People with ASD will be delivered by Scandinavian psychologist, Bo Hejlskov Elvén, who will show how to identify and adapt to the challenging behaviours exhibited by people with autism and other developmental disabilities using the successful Low Arousal Approach. Find out more and register.

Tender and Grant Writing
Brisbane - Wednesday, 28th February 2018
Presented by Amovita Consulting

Amovita has designed a one-day tender and grant writing workshop to support practical skills and tools needed to decipher, design and submit winning tenders. This training will assist participants to communicate effectively and persuasively about the outcomes you can deliver as a preferred supplier and will explore how to leverage existing and new intra agency collaboration and external partnerships to secure an advantage in the tender process. Find out more.

Tough Conversations in Child Protection 
Brisbane - Tuesday, 13th March 2018
Presented by Parentshop

This workshop helps busy professionals to quickly assess and prepare for tough conversations in situations where a clarity-of-message can make all the difference for vulnerable families. The course will explore how to identify the strengths and deficits in parents’ caring capacity, comprehensively gather information for holding a factual tough conversation, defuse antagonism during a tough conversation, and identify the important ‘dashboard’ markers for parents so that everyone has clarity about what is expected. Find out more and register.

Culture Connect Seminar
Brisbane - Friday, 2nd February 2018

The first Culture Connect seminar of 2018 presented by Konnect Consulting Australia and Aunty Flo Watson will provide an opportunity to hear a number of guest speakers from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community throughout Queensland, including Uncle Des Sandy, with cultural engagement activities including yarning circles and much more! Tickets are strictly limited so don't miss out, view the flyer for more information and to book.

1st Asia Pacific Safe & Together Model Conference
Melbourne - Wednesday, 7th to Thursday, 8th February 2018

The Safe & Together Institute (USA) and the Berry Street Childhood Institute will be holding the 1st Asia Pacific Safe & Together Model Conference. The Safe & Together Model is an internationally respected approach for working with families impacted by domestic violence perpetrator behaviour. Join David Mandel, the Executive Director of the Safe & Together Institute and creator of the Safe & Together Model, and other change leaders from across Australia, for this conference, and learn about intervening with perpetrators as parents, partnering with adult survivors and promoting safer and more stable homes for children. Find out more.

Understanding legal issues in banking, credit, and debt
Webinar - Friday, 9th February 2018

Legal Aid Queensland will be delivering a free webinar for community, health and education workers at 10am AEST on the topic of legal issues in banking, credit and debt including those faced by consumers following Christmas, changes to the dispute resolution process in the financial sector, and debt collection and the change in process by some debt collection firms. Participants can also submit general questions prior to the seminar on the registration form. Find out more or register now.

Working with Men Conference
Sydney - Tuesday, 13th to Wednesday, 14th February 2018

The Working with Men to End Family Violence Conference 2018 aims to work towards ensuring the safety of women and children and, ultimately, ending family violence. This is Australia’s only conference focused on working with men. The conference will explore ways to enhance primary prevention, optimise men’s behaviour change programs, improve work with Indigenous men and communities, and increase collaboration, coordination and integration in the service system to improve outcomes. A must-attend for all who work with men or with those affected by men’s violence. Find out more.

NDS QLD State Conference 2018
Brisbane - Monday, 5th to Tuesday, 6th March 2018

The National Disability Services Queensland State Conference, Finding the Way Forward, will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2018. The conference offers the opportunity to listen and participate in discussions on workforce, adaptive practice, marketing, social innovation and financial benchmarking. The conference is also currently offering Masterclasses at no extra cost to the registration fee. Early bird registrations are now open.

No More Harm National Conference 2018
Melbourne - Thursday, 12th April 2018 to Friday, 13th April 2018

The No More Harm National Conference 2018 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park will consider how to address bullying, harassment and discrimination and other behaviours and attitudes that are harmful to others in the workplace, school yard, social situation, interpersonal relationship or sporting activity with a view to finding solutions. This conference is an ideal platform to exchange ideas and learn more from other professionals, researchers and practitioners that work with individuals, groups and organisations with bullying, harassing or discriminating behaviour challenges and outcomes. Register here.

2018 QCOSS State Conference
Brisbane - Wednesday, 16th and Thursday, 17th May 2018

The stories we tell ourselves now will predict the future. How can we change these stories to create the future we want? How do we move our communities closer to creating better wellbeing for all by challenging how we talk about the world? The 2018 QCOSS State Conference will explore these questions and more with the theme "Movement For Change - Play Your Part". The Conference will help participants develop an understanding of the evidence base for change and the current state of play from which to move forward, hear from communities who have taken action, told a different story and have had success, and learn from opinion leaders from different backgrounds and sectors who will discuss their experiences. Find out more and register before early bird pricing ends on 16th March.

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.

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