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- Friday, 22nd February 2019 -

No good parent abandons their child when they turn 18. If their child is studying, most parents will continue to support them, which includes continuing to accommodate them within their family home if that is what they need. When children are in the care of the State, the Government has the same responsibilities to act as a good parent would and not abandon these young people when they turn 18.

This week, the Palaszczuk Government took a significant step in acting as a good parent would and should by extending the period foster and kinship carers are entitled to receive the allowance paid to them. Where previously this allowance ceased when children in their care turned 18, these carers will continue to receive the allowance for children who turn 18 while still at school.

In announcing this initiative, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said that additional financial support from 2020-2021 would allow children in care to be supported, through until the age of 19, regardless of their education status.

PeakCare commends the Government for taking this action. There remains much more to be done in supporting children who have been in care in their transitions to adulthood, but this certainly represents a significant step in the right direction.

Two Bills about the sentencing of persons guilty of offences relating to the death of a child – Have your say about one or the other or both

Two Bills relating to the sentencing of persons found guilty of offences relating to the death of a child are soon to be considered by State Parliament - the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 plus the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Mason Jett Lee) Amendment Bill 2019 which is a Private Member’s Bill put forward by the LNP Opposition. As a stakeholder, PeakCare has the opportunity to provide information in response to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee’s invitation calling for submissions to their inquiries into both Bills.

In summary, both are attempting to respond to mounting community concern about the inadequacy of sentences in child homicide cases.  One Bill proposes to amend legislation so that a child’s vulnerability must be considered as an aggravating factor in sentencing and also proposes to expand the definition of murder to capture a number of matters which would currently proceed as manslaughter, and the second bill proposes mandatory non-parole periods for murder (25 years) and a new offence of child homicide (15 years).
 
Read more about how you can have your say.


Disaster relief extended in North Queensland

Disaster assistance has been now extended to the community of Cloncurry and small business assistance is available in Townsville in response to recent flooding. Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website. Affected residents can also contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 004 924 (for the cost of a local call) to get free legal information and advice, or to be referred to another organisation who can help as well as access factsheets and resources from Legal Aid including When disaster strikes: cyclones, storms and floods—a guide to getting your insurance claim paid.

 

Youth Justice practitioner guide launched

Legal Aid Queensland has released a guide for lawyers who appear in the Childrens Court about the specific provisions of the Youth Justice Act 1992 (Qld) and its principles and procedures. The Youth Justice Practitioners Guide was developed by lawyers and outlines the stages of Queensland’s youth justice process as well as a range of information including some of the considerations lawyers need to be aware of when appearing for young people, rather than adults, in court. The guide is also a companion to Legal Aid's Best practice guidelines for working with children and young people.


Legal Aid Queensland and collaborative excellence

In November 2018, lawyers from Legal Aid Queensland, the Office of the Public Guardian, the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor, and the Director of Child Protection Litigation attended a Government Lawyers Child Protection Community of Practice Training and Discussion Day, marking the first time lawyers from these key stakeholders in Queensland’s child protection system came together. All attendees committed to promoting a culture of best practice and excellence within the sector.

 

Changes to Legal Aid grants of aid, professional fees and means test

Changes to Legal Aid Queensland's grants of aid, professional fees and means tests are now effective. Grants of aid for child protection matters have been redesigned to better align to court processes. From February onward, the standard counsel preparation fee for pre-trial hearings in the District Court will increase from $192 to $270; the valuers fee for property arbitration matters will increase from $300 to $400; and prisoners who are facing committal on charges where the penalty on conviction is 14 years or less (non-specified matters) will have increased access to representation. Means testing has also been changed so that where clients’ disclosed income is below the Henderson Poverty Line, clients are no longer required to make a contribution to the cost of their legal services; and a 3% increase to the income thresholds within the means test has been in effect from November 2018.


Consultation paper released on what works to protect children

The Secretariat for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service has released a consultation paper seeking to answer the system level question "What is known about systems that enable the ‘public health approach’ to protecting children?" as part of the Australian Government project Systems for Protecting Children. The central consideration of the project is to identify what system design features are required for a system in which all the parts are working toward the objective of preventing child abuse and neglect a priori, rather than focussing on tertiary responses. Feedback is due Thursday, 21st March. Read the consultation paper and provide feedback here. Register to keep informed about the progress of the project here.


Backtrack Boys screening by ANTaR Qld

Join friends and colleagues for a special fundraiser screening of Backtrack Boys - a movie benefit night to support the education, policy and advocacy work of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation in Queensland (ANTaR Qld). Backtrack Boys is a powerful documentary by filmmaker Catherine Scott about youth justice reform in the Armidale District. The film follows a group of troubled boys who meet up with the rough talking, free-wheeling jackaroo and youth program leader Bernie Shakeshaft, and hit the road with his legendary dog jumping team. The screening will take place Sunday, 24th March 5:30pm at All Hallows School Theatre, Dodge Lane, Fortitude Valley. View the flyer for more details or book online.

Building Connections: Collaborative approaches to supporting people experiencing poverty

In addressing poverty and issues around income support and social inclusion in two of the most impoverished areas in Glasgow, Scotland, the Building Connections programme aimed to improve social and economic wellbeing for those experiencing multiple hardships. Developing and testing approaches to collaborative practice was central to the impact of this multi-faceted approach. Read more.

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

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.


Mind-Brain-Gene 
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.

 

Special benefit screening - Backtrack Boys
Brisbane - Sunday, 24th March
Presented by ANTaR Qld

Join friends and colleagues for a special fundraiser screening of the Backtrack Boys - a movie benefit night to support the education, policy and advocacy work of Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation in Queensland (ANTaR Qld). Backtrack Boys is a powerful documentary concerning Youth Justice reform in the Armidale District. The screening will be held at All Hallows School Theatre, Dodge Lane, Fortitude Valley. View the flyer for more details or book online.


‘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 Queensland, and the Child and Family Welfare Association of Australia (CAFWAA) are partnering to bring to Brisbane a national child protection conference. The Conference has been assigned the working title ‘The Triple Bunger’ to describe the nature of 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.

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.
 

JobAccess Employer Toolkit launch
Brisbane - Wednesday, 27th February

Based on the latest research, this practical new tool will help you and your organisation drive disability employment across your industry. The Toolkit is a simple, straight-forward online resource designed specifically to help employers understand how they can drive disability employment. Join Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, at the breakfast event to be held at the the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event will include a special presentation from Paralympian, triathlete, Everest-scaler and Dancing with The Stars competitor Gerrard Gosens OAM and a panel discussion and opportunity to network with other employers and people with lived experience of disability. Find out more and register.


Power Threat Meaning Framework
Brisbane - Thursday, 28th February

This 6-hour AASW CPD endorsed workshop presented by Blue Knot Foundation explores robust research from biology, neuroscience, and trauma studies, and marries them with social science and psychology to explore the dynamics of power, the threats power imposes, our responses to those threats and the meaning we, as individuals, and as a society have made of those responses. 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.
 

Creating Child Safe Organisations
Brisbane - Tuesday, 5th March

Supported by practical, real-life examples of how to implement a best practice approach to child safety based on the National Child Safety Principles, this is an essential 1-day training workshop by Child Wise that covers: how to build a child safe culture that promotes the empowerment of children and young people in your organisation; how to strengthen screening, recruitment and selection processes in your organisation; how to implement procedures that encourage an effective response to concerns, allegations or incidences of child abuse, and more. Find out more and register.


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.

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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