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- Tuesday, 28th January 2020 -

Last week, the Courier Mail published an online opinion piece by PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener, which we gather from correspondence that we have received has hit a raw nerve for some.

Lindsay’s commentary was about the looming battle between Church and State over the proposed laws that will force Catholic priests to report child abuse disclosed to them in the confessional, in keeping with a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The first few punches have been thrown with the Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge publicly declaring his intention to challenge these laws.

With the Church in one corner and the State in the other preparing to fight it out, the Law Society has now also made it clear that it is warming up outside the ring and ready to jump in.  

In Lindsay’s article, he warns that this is a battle that may spill out well beyond the confines of the confessional or indeed, the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. Most importantly, he queries whether in the battle of the heavy-weights – the Church, the State and the Law – the voices of children and families will be heard over the din.

Click here to read the article online or you can read a transcript of it by clicking here. Then let us know what you think by entering your comments here – anonymously if you prefer. Has the article also hit on a raw nerve for you?

You are invited to attend the Kinship Care Forum 2020 on Wednesday, 26th February

Building on the successful 2019 Kinship Care Forum hosted by PeakCare, a follow up forum is being organised for Wednesday, 26th February in Brisbane. The Kinship Care Forum is aimed at progressing the national agenda to raise awareness about the lack of recognition and support for extended family members caring for children, and find a way forward to influence national policy in recognising the rights and unique support needs of these children and their kinship carers. Megan Mitchell, the National Children's Commissioner will be in attendance, and the research about young kinship carers attendees heard about at the first forum is now finalised in a report which will be launched on the day. A range of other speakers involved in kinship care work and research will also be attending. Find out more and register.

New NDIS resource for providers and participants

Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) has developed a new national resource funded by the NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission to invest in building capacity amongst NDIS providers. The resource is intended to help NDIS providers better understand and comply with regulatory requirements to deliver safe and high quality services to NDIS participants, and help NDIS participants feel more confident in what best practice NDIS service provision looks like, so they can choose the best options. The resource contains information, resources, and a Helpdesk and online forum for discussion. View the information sheet for more details.

Have you been thinking about joining a new professional network in 2020?

You are invited to attend the Brisbane Youth Complex Trauma Mental Health Professional Network Meeting on Wednesday, 5th February from 2pm to 4pm at Woolloongabba Substation. Guest Danielle Toon, Associate Director, Social Ventures Australia, will discuss the topic of an evidence-based perspective on drivers of better educational outcomes for children in out of home care. Don't miss this informative session and the opportunity for networking over afternoon tea. To register or find out more, email by Friday, 31st January.

New online professional development for more culturally sensitive service delivery for CALD clients

Dr Pooja Sawrikar, Senior Lecturer School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, specialises in the nexus of culture and child protection, with a current research project seeking to understand the needs of people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities when they seek help for child sexual abuse. A new online professional development course has been developed to support culturally sensitive service delivery for counselors, social workers, psychologists, GPs, psychiatrists, interpreters, researchers, program trainers, and policy developers working in sexual assault, child protection, and/or multicultural affairs. Have you ever worked with CALD victims/survivors, but wished you knew more? Are you worried about getting it 'wrong', perhaps not knowing what is appropriate to say or do? Would you like to learn something new or deeply? Completing this full course will boost your confidence and competence in ethical practice, while helping protect the cultural safety of CALD communities. Find out more.

Safety First in Family Law

Women's Legal Services Australia have launched the Safety First in Family Law campaign calling on the Australian government to reform the family law system to prioritise the safety of women and children in the family law system. The campaign is endorsed by former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, a survivor of family violence. The evidence-based Safety First plan, which includes five recommendations for reforming the family law system, is based on key recommendations from previous family law inquiries. The five recommendations are to: strengthen family violence responses in the family law system, provide effective legal help for the most disadvantaged, ensure family law professionals have real understanding of family violence, increase access to safe dispute resolution models, and overcome the gaps between family law, family violence and child protection systems. Find out more.

Families are First

The Queensland Family and Child Commission's Families are First campaign celebrates over 60,000 years of parenting wisdom in raising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to thrive in strong communities. The campaign is sharing good stories from communities across Queensland, allowing all Queenslanders to recognise and celebrate family and community wisdom. To get involved and share a story, contact or visit the website.

Cyberbullying online portal

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women have launched the Stop Cyberbullying Portal, which includes useful information and resources for anyone dealing with cyberbullying, including children and young people, parents and carers, and the wider community. The portal includes information about what cyberbullying is, how it can affect someone, what to do if you know someone who is cyberbullying, and how to address it.

2020 Queensland Reconciliation Award nominations now open

Businesses, community groups and organisations working to advance reconciliation in Queensland are encouraged to nominate for 2020 Queensland Reconciliation Awards. The Awards are given across five categories: business, community, education, partnership and an overall Premier's Reconciliation Award. Find out more and apply. Nominations close 5pm, Monday 24th February.

Financial literacy and resilience services

The Queensland government's free Financial Resilience Program can help Queenslanders improve financial knowledge, access affordable financial products and manage the factors contributing to financial difficulties. Qualified financial workers and counsellors can provide financial education and advice and manage individual cases for those in need, and can build capacity to understand each person's financial situation. Find out more about services funded to provide this assistance here.

Stage 1 of Child Safety's Unify program now in effect

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW), in partnership with the Department of Youth Justice (DYJ), has commenced Stage 1 of changes to replace the current internal integrated client management system (ICMS). Stage 1 will conclude 31st December 2020, with further stages to come. Planned activities for Stage 1 aim to deliver new functionality, including: increasing access to information for intake services, assisting with faster identification and matching of foster and kinship carers, enhancing search functionality across multiple information systems, improving information sharing and collaboration with Education, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health, early childhood and doctors, and improving court support through more timely information access that informs critical decision making. Find out more.

Reminder: Measuring your outcomes? How is your organisation travelling? New research study

A new study of organisations working with children and families or child welfare is being undertaken by the University of New South Wales. The Australian Child, Family and Child Welfare Organisations Survey of Outcomes Measurement Practice is now open for child and family organisations to have their say. The survey looks at how nonprofit organisations in the child and family/child welfare sector are measuring their social impacts or outcomes. The study is for a doctoral research project and will also inform peak bodies, including PeakCare, as well as individual organisations working to build this area of practice. The survey is aimed at the person within your organisation who can best answer questions about whether, and how, outcomes evaluations, data monitoring and reporting are undertaken. For most community services, this will be either the CEO, senior practice/program manager, research and evaluation manager or similar. Complete the survey online to be part of this research, view the ethics information sheet or for more details contact the research coordinator Karen Wilcox by emailing

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 and we will consider publishing them.

Our THUMBS UP this week goes to IFYS (Integrated Family and Youth Service) for their enthusiastic collaboration with PeakCare and QATSICPP in organising the Queensland Kinship Care Forum II to be held on 26th February at the Brisbane International Virginia, Bondall. A highlight of the program will be the launch of the young kinship carers research report by Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner. Find out more and register. Once again, a very big Thumbs Up from PeakCare to IFYS!

Masterclass Series
Mackay - Wednesday, 29th to Friday, 31st January
Presented by Bravehearts and Mackay Women's Services

The Bravehearts Masterclass Series is designed to enhance clinical understanding of how to support children and families affected by child sexual assault. The series is ideal professional development for counsellors, social workers, psychologists, and clinical practitioners. Content covered includes: an introduction to working with families affected by child sexual assault, sexual behaviour problems and identifying needs, and teaching protective behaviours in a therapeutic setting. Find out more and register.

Critical Thinking
Brisbane - Monday, 3rd to Tuesday, 4th February
Presented by Amovita

This training explores how critical thinkers think, how they resolve issues and how they approach their work. Participants will explore how to frame arguments that support decision making as well as how to develop and engage a professional identity in the critical thinking process. We discuss the neuroscience of critical thinking and the impact on decision making in particular situations. This training is dynamic and interactive and participants will explore a contemporary case study to validate existing skills and transfer new learning back into their roles. Find out more and register.

No Scaredy Cats
Brisbane - Thursday, 27th February
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.

Repairing Broken Threads - reconnection and reunification practice
Brisbane - Thursday, 27th February
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Work to reconnect or reunify children, young people and their families is complex, sensitive, challenging and rewarding. Research suggests there are benefits in family connection. If you are interested in exploring this area of practice with a view to clarifying and consolidating your understanding, skills and approach, this is the workshop for you. Contemporary thinking and research inform activities designed to develop your knowledge and skills in: assessing safety; planning effective support and intervention; and collaborative work with children, young people, their families and carers in this emotive and critical work. Find out more and register.

Focused Psychological Strategies for Social Workers
Brisbane - Thursday, 27th to Friday, 28th February
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

The Focused Psychological Strategies workshop offers a comprehensive and accessible exploration of the broad and eclectic strategies contained in the Medicare protocol. Beginning with a brief historical overview of mental health interventions, the workshop explores the theoretical underpinnings, diagnostic categories and treatment strategies of the four main therapeutic modalities of treatment. This two day workshop includes a colourful slide presentation, individual experiential exercises, pair-work and group discussions; and the opportunity to develop and consolidate your therapeutic skills and knowledge. 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.

Putting the evidence we all know (and some we don't yet) to work for babies and toddlers
Webinar - Wednesday, 29th January

This free one hour webinar by ARACY will discuss the need for the intended outcomes of the National Early Years Summit 2020. Together we must work out how we make evidence and the government and non-government sectors work for babies, toddlers and their families. We need to harness existing momentum into a new sense of national purpose to see better outcomes for our youngest children. We need to create and support a political and policy will that leads to systemic change and appropriate, well directed resourcing beyond a traditional budgeting cycle. Find out more and register.

Free Human Rights Act webinar on advocating for people with disability
Webinar - Thursday, 30th January

How will the commencement of the Human Rights Act affect people with disability? In this free webinar delivered by Community Legal Centres Queensland, community workers can discover how to use the Act to advocate for clients with disability including how to support decision-making in key areas, the complaints process, and other strategic considerations. The webinar will be presented by Emma Phillips, Principal Solicitor at Queensland Advocacy Inc. Find out more. Also don't forget registrations for the 2020 Community Legal Centres Queensland State Conference on 30th April to 1 May in Brisbane are now open, with early bird discounts available until 26th March.

Information Linkages & Capacity Building (ILC) Workshop
Sunshine Coast - Tuesday, 4th February

The Inclusion Ready project invites businesses, services and groups from across the community to learn more about ILC grant opportunities for 2020 and beyond. ILC Workshops 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. This is a free event but registrations are essential. Find out more and register.

20th Biennal Helping Families Change Conference
Brisbane - Wednesday, 5th to Friday, 7th February

This international evidence-based scientific conference will explore parenting and family interventions to support improved outcomes for families. The program includes up-to-date research and clinical wisdom relating to the delivery of evidence-based programs, as well as overarching themes and trends in family support interventions, and implementation science in general. Find out more and register.

Advancing Community Cohesion Conference
Sydney - Monday, 10th to Thursday, 13th February

The 3rd Advancing Community Cohesion Conference will be held at the University of Western Sydney Parramatta Campus in February. The Conference will provide leaders with the opportunity to discuss challenges confronting social cohesion and community resilience and explore ways to more effectively address these issues by considering social, economic, cultural, legal, religious and other perspectives. View the program. There are reduced fee opportunities for representatives of NGOs to attend.

Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Forum
Toowoomba - Thursday, 13th February

The Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Taskforce chaired by Mr Bob Atkinson AO will be holding a forum to present the work of the Royal Commission and the National Redress Scheme, with break-out sessions for discussion. Feedback provided by service providers, support services and people with lived experience will inform the Taskforce’s advice to the Queensland Government. For more information view the flyer or contact Kelly Lotz at the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women on 3097 5793 or

Financial Wellbeing Information Exchange
Brisbane - Tuesday, 18th February

Learn how to support people in financial hardship at this free event in Logan. Join interactive sessions on Financial Wellbeing and Mental Health, as well as discussions on issues such as Elder Abuse. Anyone from Logan-based organisations who work with people experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to attend the event. Find out more and register.


2020 Not for Profit People Conference
Melbourne - Monday, 24th February to Tuesday, 25th February

This is Australia's biggest event focussed on how to attract, manage and retain the best people for the NFP sector. A motivating line up of speakers has already been announced, with four 2-hour workshops also locked in as part of the diverse program. Most of the 15 parallel sessions showcase the best in studies from within the NFP sector, with a dash of expertise from the private sector to seed new ideas and perspectives. Find out more and register.

National Indigenous Youth Empowerment Summit 2020
Cairns - Tuesday, 25th to Friday, 28th February

This four-day summit will share knowledge with the aim to improve services and outcomes for Indigenous children and their families. With five streams including child protection, social and emotional wellbeing and youth justice, delegates have the opportunity to learn from, and network with, over 300 sector leaders, innovators, leaders and frontline workers to collaborate on strategies towards empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Find out more and register.


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.


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. A draft program has been released, with more details to come. A preliminary list of Thought Leaders and Panellists has also been announced, with more to be announced in coming weeks. The Thought Leaders will make a contribution by guiding the work of the Summit. Special rates are available for early bird registrations and Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Members. 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. View the date claimer, follow ASRVA on Facebook or contact to be kept updated on Conference news and be notified when registrations open.

NDS Queensland Conference 2020: Futures in Disability
Brisbane - Thursday, 7th to Friday, 8th May

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.

Visit our Events page for further opportunities in the sector.

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PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

Click here to apply to become a PeakCare member or supporter. Membership with PeakCare will ensure your organisation is involved in the development of the child protection sector. 

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