‘The Invisible Carers’ was the headline that led off our 5th February edition of eNews. Today’s headline – ‘Kinship Carers: Invisible No More’ – sends the message that Australian governments can no longer ignore the thousands of relatives who step up to care for their grandchildren, their nephews and nieces, their brothers and sisters, and cousins, and pretend that they are invisible. We are specifically talking about the relatives of children who are not in the care of the State.
This was the message that rang out loudly and clearly at the ‘sold out’ Queensland Kinship Care Forum co-hosted by PeakCare, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and CREATE Foundation in association with Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS) in Brisbane on 26th February. Amongst the presentations delivered by local and visiting researchers and advocates, the program heavily featured the poignant and inspiring voices of grandparent and young adult kinship carers. The event was also used to formally release the Sidney Myer Fund supported We’re Just Kids as Well report written by Meredith Kiraly, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne who presented the research findings on the day. With IFYS having provided seed funding of a pilot support service for young adult carers that was linked to the research, IFYS’ Jo Roff expertly led a panel discussion with young adult carers that complemented Meredith’s presentation. The report was formally launched by Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner who shone a human rights perspective on kinship care.
At the end of the day, calls were made to establish a Queensland working party to liaise with our interstate counterparts to develop a way forward. From the reactions given to this call on the day, it seems that there will be no shortage of people eager to join the working party when PeakCare releases the invitations in the near future.
In the meantime, make sure you read and add your comments to those already received in response to this budget submission recently lodged by PeakCare, QATSICPP, CREATE Foundation, Queensland Foster and Kinship Care and the Family Inclusion Network SEQ (Micah Projects) in which we listed the issues concerning kinship care as one of seven matters warranting focused attention by the State Government. Enter your comments here and make your voice heard!
Youth Justice – the eyes of the world are watching
As reported on in our last edition of eNews, with repeated calls by the United Nations for Australia to raise the age at which children can be held ‘criminally responsible’, the Council of Attorneys-General, which consists of Attorneys-General from the Australian Government, all states and territories, and the New Zealand Minister for Justice, established a working group to review this matter. Click here to read PeakCare’s submission sent to the working group on 28th February. If you have feedback about our submission and/ or a view about the age of criminal responsibility, enter your comments here. Remember that the eyes of the world are watching to see how Australia responds to the United Nations’ recommendations.
Toolkit for local initiatives that improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families
Following on from the findings of the latest Closing the Gap report that PeakCare covered in the 13th February edition of eNews, calling for more work on the majority of targets which do not show improvement in outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, SNAICC have released a resource on strengthening place-based approaches to supporting families. The toolkit on Using Collective Impact to see Strong Communities, Strong Culture and Stronger Children aims to encourage local place-based approaches and initiatives that improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. It provides straight-forward, practical activities to foster collaborative approaches to understanding, idea generation, design, implementation and evaluation. These activities embed the clear research findings that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, knowledge and engagement are critical to positive results for communities. This resource sits alongside previous resources recently released on building effective partnerships and best practice for funding applications.
Expressions of interest invited for residential buildings for reuse
The Queensland government is establishing a new state secondary college in Dutton Park. The school will welcome its first intake of Year 7 students at the start of Term 1, 2021 and will deliver an innovative curriculum in collaboration with the University of Queensland. Construction of school facilities has necessitated removal of existing buildings from the site. The Department of Education is inviting community and not-for-profit organisations to submit expressions of interest for use of the available buildings, which are currently in storage. There are 11 residential style buildings available for reuse with varying features. Details of the buildings can be viewed online, along with application forms, inspection bookings and Terms and Conditions. Expressions of interest can be submitted via email to BuildingFutureSchools@qed.qld.gov.au. Applications close 5pm, Thursday 9th April.
New study confirms cashless debit card is stigmatising
Compulsory Income Management in Australia and New Zealand is the only large scale, independent research ever undertaken on compulsory income management (CIM) systems in Australia and New Zealand. The study's first report, Hidden Costs: An independent study into income management in Australia, confirms that those subject to using cashless debit cards feel stigmatised and that the cards introduce unnecessary extra impractical burdens to managing day-to-day finances. The research was undertaken by the University of Queensland in collaboration with Monash University and Griffith University across four sites including the Logan, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay regions (Cashless Debit Card) in Queensland. The majority of participants reported practical difficulties paying bills or making purchases, as well as increased expenses when locked out of the cash economy. The study is being undertaken in three stages, and participation is still open to those who would like to share their experiences about CIM, either via in-person interviews or through the online survey.
Free workshop on developmental evaluation and system change
QCOSS will be hosting a free workshop and webinar Monday, 9th March on Evaluating System Change - An Inquiry Framework delivered by Mark Cabaj, President of the consulting company From Here to There and an Associate of Tamarack - An Institute for Community Engagement. Mark has first-hand knowledge of using evaluation as a policy maker, philanthropist and activist, and has played a big role in promoting the merging practice of developmental evaluation in Canada. The workshop will explore a system change framework organised around three core results: strategic learning, system change and mission level impact. The workshop will also be broadcast as a webinar for those who can't attend. Find out more and register.
How prepared is your workplace for managing domestic and family violence experienced by employees?
Responding to domestic violence at work takes a coordinated approach across all levels of your organisation including management, human resources and employees. Basic Rights Queensland, The Services Union and DV Work Aware, sponsored by the Office of Industrial Relations, are offering free workshops tailored specifically to community sector workplaces around understanding best practice in preparing for and responding to domestic and family violence (DFV) in the workplace. The workshops can be delivered as one-hour sessions for workplaces, or full-three hour training sessions for managers and supervisors. The training will help staff have practical knowledge to address workplace issues concerning those experiencing DFV. Find out more or contact Jen Carmen from Basic Rights Queensland to book.
IPSCAN Congress 2020 - abstract submissions closing soon
NAPCAN is supporting the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Congress in Adelaide, on Sunday, 15th to Wednesday, 18th November. The Congress will offer the opportunity to network with international colleagues and be challenged to re-think child maltreatment prevention and early intervention. Abstract submissions on one of nine topics close Saturday, 28th March. Submissions must be 500 words or less for presentations in one of six formats. Abstracts are double-blind scored on: technical merit, data supported methodology/evidence based/informed practices, innovation or advancement in the field of Child Abuse and Neglect practice and prevention, and three key take aways and/or practical implications. Find out more about submitting an abstract, about the Congress, or to register. Early bird registrations open Monday, 30th March.
Practitioners invited to share thoughts on capacity to support children and young people's mental health
Researchers from The University of Queensland in conjunction with the Telethon Kids Institute are conducting an evaluation of the Australian Government’s National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program. This Program is aimed at improving the mental health of children and young people in Australia. Early learning educators and support staff and professionals working with children and adults in the health and human services sectors are invited to complete the web based National Support Network Survey (NSNS) part of this evaluation. The survey will ask respondents about their views of their role and capabilities in supporting children and young people’s mental health. All information collected will be confidential and anonymous. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be open until late April.
Vouchers available to assist parents and carers with extracurricular expenses
Parents, carers or guardians can apply for a voucher valued up to $150 for their child, which can be used towards sport and active recreation membership, registration or participation fees with registered activity providers. Applicants must: hold or the child must hold, a valid Department of Human Services Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card with the child’s name on it, apply on behalf a child who is a Queensland resident aged from 5 to 17 years (inclusive) at the time of application, and must not have already received a FairPlay voucher this year. The current round closes 1st April. Find out more and apply.
Community of Practice Leaders now open
Join Pracademics' Community of Practice Leaders to extend the conversation and support implementation of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. There is no one size fits all approach to implementing the standards for child safe organisations, and leaders can often feel like they are left wondering how it all works in practice. Pracademics have developed an online community of practice forum for team leaders, supervisors and managers of organisations that deliver services to children and young people. The community includes 12 weeks on an online platform with short video lessons, questions for reflection, and facilitated discussion forums, a 'deep dive' into some common types of organisational culture and their implications for being a child safe organisation, what a criminological perspective brings to our understanding of preventing harm in organisations, and much more. For a limited time, the code "Pracademics20" entered at checkout will offer registrants 20% off the course cost. Find out more and register.
Recruiting Skilling Queenslanders for Work champions
Skilling Queenslanders for Work funds training and support for unemployed or underemployed people, with a focus on young people (including those in and transitioned from out-of-home care), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, mature-age jobseekers, women re-entering the workforce, veterans and ex-service personnel, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Skilling Queenslanders for Work are inviting anyone who has completed a Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) project or traineeship resulting in a new job to be a SQW Champion and share their success stories with others, to put a face to the positive outcomes the SQW initiative can achieve. SQW Champions will commit to 12 months in the role. During this period it is anticipated you may be required to attend up to 4 promotional events. The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) will engage up to 4 SQW Champions for each of the 7 DESBT regions. Being a Champion is voluntary but expenses incurred as part of the role will be reimbursed. Interested individuals can contact the SQW team on 1300 369 935 or email email@example.com.
Queensland Women's Week 2020
Queensland Women's Week 2020 celebrations will be held from Friday, 6th to Sunday, 15th March with the theme Celebrating our diverse community of strong women. The theme highlights the diversity of women in Queensland and aims to empower and inspire Queensland women and girls to embrace and celebrate their unique qualities and experiences. The Week is an extension of International Women’s Day (IWD) on Sunday, 8th March, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women internationally. Queensland Women's Week will provide for a week-long, statewide celebration of the achievements of Queensland women and girls. The Week features statewide events and activities including the UN Women Australia's IWD Breakfast on Tuesday, 3rd March, the 2020 Aspiring Women Leaders Summit on Wednesday, 4th March, the Women of Influence IWD Breakfast on Thursday, 5th March, the IWD Great Debate on Friday, 6th March, industry specific events including engineering and manufacturing, and much more. To stay up-to-date with news about women in Queensland, join the Office for Women's mailing list.
New expansion and continued service - BEROS is In the Spotlight
BEROS (formally known as Brisbane Emergency Response Outreach Service) has been operating in the Child Safety Brisbane District for 4.5 years with a current contract until June 2021. BEROS supports young people 12-18 years old in the care of Child Safety who are identified as self-placing which may include couch surfing and sleeping rough. In October 2019 BEROS was approached by Moreton Region Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women to expand BEROS services to the Lower North Coast district service centres. Read more.
Each week, PeakCare publishes a 'Thumbs Up' and/or a 'Thumbs Down' about matters that have come to our attention and draw either our commendation or condemnation. If there are matters that you think are worthy of one or other of these acknowledgements, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider publishing them.
A massive THUMBS UP to the kinship carers who courageously and eloquently shared their experiences with all those who attended the Kinship Care Forum held in Brisbane on 26th February – Tracey, Jill, Barbara, Hannah, Kalyra and Laura. Your voices added depth and richness to the forum that was appreciated by all. Thank you!
Resources for Reflection: Enhancing our conversations with strengths-based tools
Brisbane - Thursday, 5th March
Presented by Lighthouse Resources
For anyone who has an interest in enhancing conversations within your work environment, whether you are working with clients, students or colleagues. In this highly interactive workshop participants will experiment with a wide range of cards and other tools for opening up meaningful conversations with children, youth, families, adults and colleagues. This workshop will offer participants a number of immediately useful ideas for the use of these tools within a range of practice contexts. Find out more and register.
Best practice investigative interviewing of children and young people Practice Paper
Brisbane - Wednesday, 11th March
Presented by Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ)
Children and young people are capable of being reliable witnesses in an investigation if they are interviewed well. Professor Martine Powell from the Griffith University Criminology Institute will deliver the CPPAQ March Practice Paper at 5.30pm in Brisbane on the topic of evidence-based best practice for investigative interviewing of children and young people. The presentation will address best practice including: guidelines for establishing rapport; issues related to children’s suggestibility and assessing credibility; practical strategies for structuring the interview, lowering inhibition and eliciting accurate and detailed disclosures. Professor Powell is also the Founding Director of the Centre for Investigative Interviewing at Griffith University, which recently released this free video guide on how to be a good questioner of children - ensuring children's rights to be heard during investigations into abuse and neglect are upheld. Find out more and register.
Attachment Styles in Practice
Brisbane - Monday, 23rd March
Presented by Compass Seminars
This workshop takes a deeper look into how attachment styles can be used in therapeutic settings by offering a practical and sophisticated exposition for evidence-based assessment, formulation, planning and treatment that is sure to transform attachment-focused interventions. This one-day workshop shows how to work successfully with emotional and behavioural problems rooted in deficient early attachments. It introduces the Attachment Style Interview (ASI), an evidence-based accessible instrument that reveals how attachment disorders may be properly conceptualised, to inform more targeted planing and treatment. Early bird pricing available until 10th February. Find out more and register.
Yarn Up Times and the CASE Model of Supervision
Brisbane - Tuesday, 24th March
Presented by Amovita
Many organisations provide professional supervision to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, however it is often provided with limited cultural processes or cultural infusion across the organisation. Amovita has developed a culturally specific Yarn Up Time (CASE) model of supervision to support Aboriginal staff engage in supervision that meet their needs. Amovita has worked extensively with various Aboriginal staff and leaders in the development of the model and training. This one day introductory conversation program features the CASE Yarn Up Time supervision model and participants will explore how to support staff so that cultural supervision is effective. The training discusses how to engage cultural protocols and the process of yarning as crucial to the supervision conversation. The training has been defined into four conversation (module) areas. Find out more and register.
First Up: client response training for administration staff
Brisbane - Thursday, 26th March
Presented by Encompass Family and Community
This workshop equips and supports administration workers in their role of providing ‘first-up’ responses to clients and members of the public who present in person at reception or over the phone. Participants consider how to interact calmly and safely with people who are presenting in a state of crisis or affected by alcohol or drugs, including how to convey empathy while encouraging the client to contain their anger or upset or behaviour. A workshop for all admin workers who may be ‘first-up’ in responding helpfully in difficult situations or helping to de-escalate potential crises. Find out more and register.
Working through the pain of loss: applying theory and evidence to grief and loss work across the lifespan
Brisbane - Friday, 27th March
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers
This full day workshop provides an overview of grief and loss theory and an evidence-based practice application to acute presentations of bereavement and loss in adults and children. It will use case examples and practice reflection to consolidate active learning of the content presented. This workshop has been designed to cater to social work service providers working with grief and loss across a variety of settings Find out more and register.
No Scaredy Cats
Tweed Heads - Wednesday, 22nd April
Presented by Parentshop
The No Scaredy Cats™ workshop is based on three underlying perspectives: first, by having an understanding of how anxiety develops parents can counter its progress, second, parents can take a preventative role in the development of anxiety problems, third, there are practical steps parents can take to build resilience. Find out more and register.
2020 QLD Youth Sector Forum
Brisbane - Friday, 15th May
Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) has announced the 2020 QLD Youth Sector Forum, the first state-wide youth sector gathering since 2014. The Forum will explore the complex environment of the youth services sector through unpacking new research and thinking in youth work practices, workforce development innovations and community and government service provision priorities. Sharing of ideas, knowledge, possibilities and solutions across the human services sector will provide an exciting and challenging Forum program. Sector organisations and academics are invited to develop lead workshop breakout sessions in areas of interest/expertise. Each workshop will run for 1 hour with time being split between presentations (up to 30 mins) and facilitated discussion (around 30mins). The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 4th March. Find out more.
Changing Lives, Changing Communities Round Two
Brisbane - Tuesday, 3rd to Wednesday, 4th March
Come along and work together at this forum hosted by QCOSS, taking your place to drive change in your community. Across Queensland, communities are looking to work together to make a difference, to create a place where everyone contributes, matters and belongs. You are invited to come along to work with your neighbours and colleagues to make your community the best it can be. This is an invitation to come along and work together, taking your place to drive change in your community. Find out more and register.
Legal and Practical Response to Child Abuse QLD-specific
Webinar - Thursday, 4th March
This two-hour webinar by In Safe Hands assists educators, organisations and individuals to comply with their National Quality Framework and other legislative requirements and meet duty of care obligations regarding child protection. It is designed to be used for induction of new staff, and as a foundation or refresher course for those who have not completed recent child protection training. Find out more and register.
Blue Card information session
Brisbane - Wednesday, 4th March
A free session for employers to overview their obligations under the blue card system and provide an opportunity to clarify any issues regarding blue card application and assessment processes. Find out more and register.
How can we enhance routine screening?: Strengthening identification and response to domestic violence in the antenatal care setting
Webinar - Wednesday, 11th March
This free webinar is hosted by ANROWS, and will explore the challenges of effectively implementing antenatal DV screening in complex health care settings. Research has found that domestic violence (DV) often begins or escalates in severity when women are pregnant. Routine antenatal DV screening offers an important point of intervention. Drawing on indicative findings of upcoming ANROWS research, this expert panel of health practitioners and researchers will discuss improvements to current DV screening practices. Find out more and register.
National Early Years Summit 2020
Melbourne - Wednesday, 11th to Thursday, 12th March
ARACY's National Early Years Summit 2020 will bring together leading thinkers and change-makers to look ahead and ask: What should a blueprint for young children’s wellbeing look like? Working together for their first 1000 days and beyond. This work and discussion will begin a ten-year endeavour to enhance understanding and bring together frontline workers with children, academics, government policy makers, parents, and others. The Summit will involve building on a knowledge of what works for kids, highlighting what information we lack, and how we can acquire it. It will also include thought and advocacy on how best to apply that knowledge to get the best results for our children with the limited resources available to governments, organisations, and families. View the draft program and the list of Thought Leaders and Panellists who will support and guide the work of the Summit. Find out more and register.
Collaborative practice in child and family welfare: Building practitioners’ competence
Webinar - Wednesday, 18th March
This free webinar produced by Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) will explore strategies for improving cross-sectoral relationships between child protection and government and non-government partners. This webinar will summarise recent research on what works to strengthen practitioners’ collaborative competence. Drawing on a recent paper by CFCA, it will outline three strategies for developing collaborative competence: understanding the differences between sectors, clarifying the specifics of collaboration, and communicating with collaborative partners. Find out more and register.
Yellow Card Portal presentation and feedback session
Brisbane - Friday, 20th March
The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) is preparing for the transition to the new NDIS national Worker Screening Check. As part of this transition the DCDSS is moving to an online portal for service providers and applicants to lodge criminal history screening check applications. DCDSS is holding an information and feedback presentation for the online portal and is seeking providers to participate. The session will involve a presentation about the online portal and will give those attending the opportunity to participate in a Q&A and provide feedback. Only those with practical day to day knowledge of the Yellow card system should attend. Find out more and register.
National Social Role Valorisation Conference 2020
Brisbane - Friday, 27th to Saturday, 28th March
The first ever Australian Social Role Valorisation Association (ASRVA) national conference will be held in Brisbane in 2020. The vision of ASRVA is that all people, including those that are marginalised and disenfranchised, are enabled to be perceived positively and have good lives. The foundation of social role valorisation (SRV) is a sense of social justice, leadership development, and working for change with individuals, services, systems and citizens. The ASRVA Conference will be reinforcing the spirit of a community of practice through a mixture of speakers, discussion and activities, and will be grounded, focussing on application, and using a range of activities and styles to better match varied learning preferences. Find out more and register.
Information Linkages & Capacity Building (ILC) Workshop
Roma - Tuesday, 28th April
Free ILC Workshops hosted by the Inclusion Ready Project will help attendees: understand the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the important business opportunities it presents; appreciate the economic and social benefits of inclusion and the important role inclusion plays in driving productivity growth; identify key opportunities for inclusion and inclusive projects; design & build ILC grant projects; incorporate critical success factors into ILC project design; and collaborate and network with potential project partners. Find out more and register.
2020 Community Legal Centres Queensland State Conference
Brisbane - Thursday, 30th April to Friday, 1st May
This Conference offers the opportunity to meet with a diverse range of people from across the state including centre directors and lawyers, stakeholders, social workers, volunteers and decision makers. There will be a wide variety of panel discussions, presentations and workshops relevant to both the community legal sector and the wider legal community. The conference provides delegates with the chance to network with other people in the field, broaden and strengthen their skills and enhance and develop their knowledge. Early bird discounts available until 26th March. Find out more and register.
NDS Queensland Conference 2020: Futures in Disability
With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, the program will encourage visionary thinking across the disability sector. Registrations for the conference are due to open mid February. If you are interested in attending, register your interest here.
Brisbane - Thursday, 7th to Friday, 8th May
Garry King from Agenda 2001 Training and Consultancy will deliver this full day workshop on the latest research to better equip those working with young people who exhibit self-harm and self-injuring behaviours, and will provide answers applicable to everyday situations. The workshop gives practical easy to implement strategies and will help participants understand how to address these types of behaviours. Find out more and register.
Working with Young People Who Self-Injure
Brisbane - Monday, 11th May
Visit our Events page for further opportunities in the sector.
Clinician (part-time) - Bravehearts
Bravehearts is seeking a part-time (3 days/week) Clinician working out of the Springwood office to provide support and counselling for children, young people and families who may have experienced or are at risk of experiencing, child sexual assault. The role also includes administration associated with processing counselling service receipts, telephone and/or online counselling, undertaking psychological assessments, maintaining case notes, delivering training and undertaking regular supervision. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis so interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out. Find out more and apply.
Counsellor and Support Worker, Lotus Support Services - Micah Projects
Lotus Support Services, as part of Micah Projects, is seeking a fixed term (until 30 June 2022), part time (min 25 hours per week) Counsellor and Support Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 5 to work out of Rockhampton. The role will work to strengthen the wellbeing of people with disabilities, their families and carers engaging with The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disabilities. Applications close 5pm Tuesday, 10th March. Find out more and apply.
Family Support and Advocacy Worker - Micah Projects
The Family Support and Advocacy team at Micah Projects is seeking a permanent, full time Family Support and Advocacy Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 4. The role aims to assist families in crisis accommodation to access affordable and permanent housing through proactive outreach and case management. Applications close 5pm Tuesday, 10th March. Find out more and apply.
Family Support and Advocacy Worker, Young Mothers for Young Women - Micah Projects
Young Mothers for Young Women as part of Micah Projects is seeking a fixed term (until 31st December 2020 with possibility to extend) full time Family Support and Advocacy Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 4. The role provides targeted family support through outreach strategies to families who are referred because they have high and complex needs, limited informal supports, contact with the Department of Child Safety or because they are unable to access other services in the community. Applications close 5pm Tuesday, 10th March. Find out more and apply.