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- Thursday, 29th November 2018 -
The 2018 Family Matters Report has been released, highlighting primary prevention as the way forward in reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system. The report corroborates the weight of research evidence indicating that supports and interventions early in a child’s life are the most critical in reorienting trajectories for children and families experiencing vulnerability. 

Though Community Services Ministers from all jurisdictions met at COAG in June 2018 and made a collective commitment to undertake active efforts to implement all five elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle, the Family Matters Report shows the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children placed in out-of-home care and subject to permanent care orders continues to rise, and that fewer than half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are placed with kinship carers. This means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are removed from their families are at serious risk of being permanently disconnected from their families, communities and cultures.

The report argues that while outcomes overall have not significantly improved, policies in a number of jurisdictions have increasingly aligned with best practice principles. View this year's data snapshot and compare with the data snapshot from the 2017 report which shows Queensland and Victoria in particular have made progress in establishing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led bodies for oversight of reform agendas.

The report considers three main drivers of overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the child protection system: poverty, exposure to family violence, and intergenerational trauma. Without the framework of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Strategy that includes generational targets that address the causes of overrepresentation, reform is likely to continue ad hoc, uncoordinated and piecemeal. The report provides nine key recommendations foregrounding early years intervention, including increasing investment in accessible, evidence-informed and culturally supportive prevention and early intervention services, strategic focus on improving developmental gaps in the early years and access to services supporting child and maternal health and education, and providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with opportunities to design alternative policies (other than permanent care orders and adoption) to support stability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in connection with kin, culture and community.

Human Rights Bill - the people’s legislation
how it will affect YOU

Submissions on the Human Rights Bill 2018 sent to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee have commenced being posted on the Queensland Parliament website. You can view the submissions (including PeakCare’s submission) by clicking here. Look through the long list of submissions that have been posted so far and you will notice the very large number lodged by private individuals as well as organisations and other entities. It is the declarations of support for this legislation coming from so many private citizens that should prompt us to regard the Bill as ‘the people’s legislation’ – it seems like a fitting term.

How aware are you of the impact that this legislation will have on your organisation and the children, young people and families who receive your organisation’s services? Those who attended the What will a Human Rights Act for Queensland mean for your organisation? event hosted by QCOSS in association with other community services sector peaks including PeakCare on 28th November are more likely to be able to answer this question than many. This event featured an address by the Hon. Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and a discussion led by a panel comprising members from both Queensland and Victoria with the Victorians able to speak about the impact of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 within their State. This event was filmed and the video will soon be posted on Community Door. If you were unable to attend on the day, stay tuned for advice about when the video is posted and make sure that you watch it. It is very important that non-government organisations stay on top of what this legislation will mean to you.


UNICEF reports some children more vulnerable to rights violations

The Australian Child Rights Taskforce, UNICEF Australia, released the 2018 Children's Report, which reviewed the Australian government's compliance with obligations under the Convention of the Rights of the Child (the Convention). Interviews were undertaken with 527 children and young people aged from 4 to 24 years, with 58 consultations in 30 different locations. Some groups of children were identified as particularly vulnerable to multiple types of rights abuses, including children with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, LGBTIQ children, asylum seeker and refugee children, children living in regional and remote areas and children in out-of-home care, and the consultation methodology prioritised reaching these specific groups. The report found Australia is making insufficient progress in implementing the Convention and has regressed in areas of critical importance since the last review in 2012. The report concluded with 191 recommendations to government to improve Australia's implementation of obligations across all articles under the Convention. Among the recommendations were a more proactive, coordinated, national approach to upholding children's rights including adopting a federal Charter of Human Rights and funding a national research agenda and a national peak body representing the interests of children and young people; comprehensive child rights training for public officials; and investing in dedicated measures to address the impacts of intergenerational disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples such as a a Makarata (truth telling) Commission. Read the report.

Resource sheet for educators on supporting children's rights

The Association for Childhood Education International has developed a resource sheet for educators underpinned by the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child for understanding the importance of children’s rights and the responsibility of educators in securing those rights. The resource sheet is based on four cornerstones: children's right to identity, children's right to participate, children's right to security and stability, and children's right to education. 

Free video counselling for expectant parents

Gidget Foundation Australia is offering up to 10 free video counselling sessions for expecting parents and those of infants up to 12 months old, who are experiencing perinatal depression and/or anxiety and are unable to have a face to face consultation. Parents will need a referral and a mental health care plan from their doctor to use the service. View the information sheet for further details or contact or 1300 851 758.

QUT Back to School Health Checks in January 

QUT Health Clinics will once again be providing free children’s health checks for school-aged children 15th to 17th January 2019, including foot checks, vision screening, nutrition assessments and dietary advice, and education and development assessments. Though the checks are free, bookings on 3138 9777 are essential to secure a place. During the health checks, lunchtime workshops will also take place to support parents and children - with Tea and Tim Tams for parents: a 45 minute group aimed at parents to help children adjust and thrive through the transition to school, to develop coping skills and a positive outlook, and Ready, Set, Go! Strategies for school transition: a group targeted at children focussed on developing practical tips and strategies to better equip children to enhance their transition to school and manage the worries they may face. For more details view the poster.

Concessions and rebates available

Concessions are rebates are available from the Queensland government for eligible individuals and families. Energy rebates of up to $340 a year are available for eligible pensioner, Seniors and Commonwealth Health Care Card holders who are the electricity account holder and live alone or share the principal place of residence with (only): their spouse, other people who hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Queensland Seniors Card, other people wholly dependent on them, other people who live with the cardholder to provide care and assistance, and who do not pay rent. For more details on eligibility and how to apply for the rebate, click here. For more information on other rebates and concessions available from the Queensland government, click here.

Research on issues affecting fathers

As part of Support for Fathers, a national project run by Relationships Australia Victoria and funded by the Department of Social Services as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, research is being undertaken on issues affecting fathers. The project is currently inviting fathers, partners of fathers and professionals who work with families to share their views on issues affecting fathers in Australia. The survey aims to support young men and fathers in their role as parents and partners, as well as increase men’s involvement in gender equality and reduce family violence. Complete the survey online.

Not-for-profit workforce research

The Centre for Social Impact's Not-for-Profit Workforce Study is the largest research of its kind. The workplace is increasingly competitive and not-for-profit organisations can often struggle to attract and retain a skilled and committed workforce. This national survey seeks input on shaping the future agenda of not-for-profit practice, policy, and funding. All findings will be freely shared. Complete the survey online to share your experience.

SPEAKing OUT - foundations of advocacy

PeakCare’s SPEAK OUT: Improving Outcomes through Advocacy symposium last Wednesday, 21st November, began with Bob Atkinson AO APM, sharing his experiences of the important roles he’s undertaken in advocacy. Read more. Stay tuned next week when we bring you our Executive Director, Lindsay Wegener's address, What does Advocacy mean for PeakCare?

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

Insurance and superannuation claims legal education seminar
Brisbane - Monday, 3rd December
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers and Slater & Gordon

This presentation co-produced by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and Slater & Gordon Solicitors explores a type of insurance benefit attached to superannuation funds. This benefit may be accessible to clients who have superannuation and who experience injury or illness. In this session insurance claims are defined and entitlement options are explained. This includes eligibility criteria and the application process. Find out more and register.

Amplify your Social Work Toolkit
Brisbane - Friday, 15th February 2019
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

The 2019 AASW Queensland Branch Forum has been designed to sharpen social worker’s practice toolkits through high quality practice and skill-based workshops. The Forum program has been designed to maximise opportunities for varied and practice based workshop sessions by bringing together 80 social workers with engaging workshops across the Forum's three streams. In the Children & Young People stream, workshops include "Finding a Voice for Self-placing Young People through the Therapeutic Alliance" with trainers Tamara McGuigan and Jori Etuale; "Young People and Drugs: Practice Strategies and Interventions" with trainer Jade Phillips; and "‘It’s not just sitting still’; Mindfulness practices with children" with trainer: Stephanie Jordan. In the Families stream, workshops include "A New Storyline for Supervision" with trainer Candice Butler; "Connecting Assessment with Case Planning" with trainer Caterina Schulz; and "Working with a disclosure of violence" with trainer Dr Deborah Walsh. The Health & Wellbeing stream workshops include "What in the world is Bush Adventure Therapy? How to integrate into social work practice?" with trainer Amanda Smith; "An introduction to compassionate listening through Peer Supported Open Dialogue" with trainers Cherie McGregor, Jennifer Mulvogue, Colleen Ryan, Amanda Waegeli, Helena Roennfeldt, Paloma Cesare. 7 Hours CPD apply for full-day attendance. Early bird prices currently available. Find out more and register.

Living with family and domestic violence
Webinar - Friday, 30th November

Legal Aid Queensland invites community, health and education workers to attend a free community legal education webinar to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign from 25 November to 10 December. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence. The webinar will be delivered by Jason Garrick, acting senior lawyer, Counselling Notes Protect Service and will cover: helping people living with domestic and family violence to get help and navigate the justice system, how sexual assault counselling privilege applies to domestic violence proceedings and how a victim of sexual violence can take steps to protect their private counselling records, and how Legal Aid Queensland can help. Find out more and register.

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

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

Challenges to the safety of young Australians 
Webinar - Tuesday, 4th December

This webinar by ARACY and the federal Department of Social Services, will be presented by Kathryn Mandla, Head of the National Office for Child Safety, and will discuss current and emerging challenges to the safety of young Australians and the role of the Office in protecting Australian children. A Q&A session will conclude the webinar so questions are encouraged. The webinar is free for ARACY members and $25 exc GST for non-members. Find out more and register.

NFP Financial Leaders Summit
Sydney - Tuesday, 4th December to Thursday, 6th December

In an increasingly complex and constantly evolving environment, NFPs face ongoing challenges in their pursuit to achieve long-term social outcome success whilst remaining financial sustainability. The NFP Financial Leaders Summit is being held on 4- 6 December at the Mercure Sydney. This summit will shed light on key strategies of how to successfully diversify revenue streams and rely less on single source of funding in order to build financial strength. The practical programme will offer insights into: effective strategies for sustainability; proven measures to manage cash flow; balancing commerciality, purpose and sustainability; and developing a strong business model. View the full agenda or see the speakers list for more. 

Engaging children as partners in practice to support their mental health and wellbeing
Webinar - Wednesday, 12th December

This free webinar co-produced by Child Family Community Australia and Emerging Minds will discuss practices that can contribute to practitioners creating genuine partnerships with children and their families. For practitioners, issues in adopting this practice can include: confidence in engaging children in developmentally appropriate ways; agency structural and workflow issues that inadvertently limit flexibility and creativity; the expectations of parents and carers on the type of intervention required; and finding ways of working collaboratively that minimise power imbalances between adults and children. Find out more and register.

Blue Card Services information session
Brisbane - Wednesday, 12th December

This free session by Blue Card Services will be an overview of employer/business operator obligations and will provide an opportunity to clarify any issues regarding the blue card application or assessment process. Enquiries about the session can contact 07 3211 6749. Find out more and register.

Introduction to Working Therapeutically with Complex Trauma Clients
Brisbane - Friday, 14th December

This one-day interactive professional development training by the Blue Knot Foundation provides practitioners with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to work in counselling and/or therapeutic relationships with adult survivors of complex trauma. This training provides essential knowledge, insights and tools to enhance clinical practice and possibilities for recovery for complex trauma clients who present challenges around to ‘adaptive’ coping strategies, arousal, emotional regulation, attachment and safety. Find out more and register.

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

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.

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.

Redress Support Worker (Rockhampton) - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a Redress Support Worker to join the National Redress Support Service Team in Rockhampton to provide flexible, timely and transparent practical assistance and emotional support to people engaging with the Scheme. This is a fixed term, part time position with a minimum of 22.8 hours of work available per week, for a period of 12 months (with the option to extend) and is classified under the SCHADS Award at a Level 4. Previous applicants need not applyFind out more and apply. Applications close 5pm Monday, 3rd December.

Registered Nurse, Street to Home (after hours) - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is currently recruiting two Registered Nurses to join our existing team to work after hours within a community based outreach program as part of the Street to Home team. One position will be fixed-term part time with the other a casual position covering leave as needed. The roles will work as part of the multidisciplinary Street to Home team in an outreach capacity to provide direct nursing care and care co-ordination, and to create pathways to overcome barriers to healthcare for people with complex health and social issues across Brisbane. The position will be contracted to 30th June 2019 with the hope of extension of funding. Find out more and apply. Applications close Wednesday, 12th December.

Support and Advocacy Worker (casual pool) - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is currently seeking Support and Advocacy Workers to join the casual pool. These positions will provide casual relief across several different Micah Projects programs, including: Resident Support Program, Homefront, Street to Home, Brisbane Domestic Violence Service, Coordinated Access Team and Supportive Housing Hope Street. Hours of work for these positions can vary across programs involving weekday, weekend, and night time work across different rosters. Availability across 24 hours/7 days a week is desirable. These positions are casual and are classified under the SCHADS Award 2010 – Level 2. Find out more and apply. Applications close Monday, 31st December.

© 2018 PeakCare Queensland Inc. All rights reserved.

PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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