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- Thursday, 29th March 2018 -

PeakCare’s headline story – Got to be kidding – that appeared in our 16th March edition and the similarly entitled blog by PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener have apparently stirred up quite a lot of discussion and debate.

In this article and the blog, we reported on calls made by Dr David Gillespie, Federal Assistant Minister for Children and Families for more white families to be allowed to adopt abused Aboriginal children. PeakCare sincerely thanks all of our readers who have sent us emails and entered comments in response to the blog and the Beggars belief post on our Facebook page. This includes those of you who share our concerns as well as those who hold a different opinion.

Make sure you check out the comments entered into our Facebook page and those entered in response to Lindsay’s blog. Then add your own. This is too important an issue about which to remain silent.

Are you and your organisation supporters of Family Matters: Strong communities - Strong culture - Stronger children - Campaign? To find out more about the campaign and how you can support it, click here.

Productivity Commission reports on more competition and greater risk in human services

The Productivity Commission report, Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Reforms to Human Services, was released on 26th March 2018. Their inquiry looked at the introduction of greater user choice, competition and contestability with a view to improving outcomes for service users in six areas: end-of-life care services; social housing; family and community services; services in remote Indigenous communities; patient choice over referred health services; and public dental services. This report proposes reforms for each of those areas, in acknowledgement that no one-size-fits-all competition solution exists. As ACOSS has asserted, significant risks are involved in introducing further competition in human services provision. Some proposals are however welcome. Read more or click here to read ACOSS’s media release about the report. Click here to access the report.

YANQ release Youth Sector Survey 2017 report findings

Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) has released the findings from the Queensland Youth Sector Survey 2017 which asked workers and organisations what they identified as the key issues impacting the lives of young people and the key challenges facing the sector. The survey received responses from 78 youth workers, coordinators and managers with over three-quarters of those from South-East Queensland. Among the issues identified by youth workers as significantly impacting young people were social wellbeing including alcohol and other drugs, economic wellbeing including access to appropriate accommodation and mental and emotional wellbeing including mental health issues. The main challenges facing the youth sector were all associated with lack of funding. Responses also articulated the need for strong sector leadership and representation. View the report.

Help young people have their say on growing up in Queensland

The Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) is giving all children and young people aged 4-18 the chance to have their say as part of the Growing up in Queensland projectYoung people aged 13-18 years can speak up by completing the Growing up in Queensland survey until 29th June. All completed survey responses will go into the draw to win one of 20 $50 gift cards. From early April the QFCC will explore weekly discussion topics online such as how can young people being cyberbullied be better supported, and what could make life better for children and young people in Queensland? This is a valuable opportunity to influence the future young Queenslanders live in, so please support children and young people to complete the survey by facilitating a time and place to do so if they do not have access to a computer, phone or tablet. View the poster for more details.

oneplace community services directory

oneplace is a free, online community services directory developed by the Queensland Family and Child Commission for parents, young people and families who are having tough times, to find support services in their local area, for issues from finding new mothers groups to support for financial stress, homelessness and domestic violence. More than 48,000 services are listed in oneplace, which makes it a valuable resource for all Queensland families to access as well as for service providers looking to refer clients to the right types of services. 


Online tool for Queenslanders with disability

Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia), in partnership with Legal Aid Queensland, has launched My Rights Qld, a free online tool providing information for Queenslanders with disability. My Rights Qld offers a simple, one-stop-shop solution to support people to better understand and exercise their rights in Queensland. It covers a wide range of topics including substitute decision-making, health, mental health, housing, discrimination, NDIS and more.

Reconciliation Week grants available

National Reconciliation Week is a national campaign held each year from 27th May to 3rd June, and commemorates two significant milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: the successful 1967 referendum and the 1992 High Court Mabo decision. Grants of up to $2,500 are available for grassroots events for National Reconciliation Week across Queensland. Applications close Friday. 13th April. For more information or to apply, visit the website or view the flyer.

PeakCare has created a the new position of Assistant Director within our organisation.

Applications are now sought from people who are:

  • Strong leaders with an unswerving commitment to improving the life outcomes of Queensland children, young people and families
  • Strategic thinkers with demonstrated capacity to serve as a member of our organisation’s senior management team
  • Experienced managers of work units, who inspire and support staff members in their active commitment to continuous service quality improvements
  • Disciplined project managers, skilful negotiators and robust advocates able to engage and effectively communicate with a vast array of elected officials, government and non-government organisations, other peak bodies, special interest groups, and the general public   
  • Individuals hungry to play their part in a dynamic organisation that thrives on the challenge of devising the best possible means of exerting our influence to bring about change  

For a copy of the position description, advice about how you can submit an application or responses to any queries you may have about the position, please email
The closing date for submitting applications is COB Wednesday, 18th April.

Making child protection YOUR business

With applications for grant funding recently released and the call for Awards recipients open, now is the time to become involved in Queensland Child Protection Week 2018. Queensland Child Protection Week (QCPW) is a campaign that promotes the value of children, young people and their families, with the central message Protecting Children is Everybody’s Business. Read more.

If you have contributions you'd like to donate to the Ice Bank, or know of a program, group or organisation that should be In the Spotlight, please contact Lorraine Dupree.

Ethically researching with children and young people   

This week’s In the Read is on ethical research and ethics approvals for research with children and young people. A recent Child Family Community Australia article discussed the main ethical considerations for incorporation into research or evaluation projects involving children: consent and assent; informed consent; the power dynamics between adults and potential child research participants; and that consent is an ongoing not one-off event in which the child must know they can withdraw as well as how to withdraw from the research. There are links to papers and other resources, including a handbook that provides guidance on understanding consent in research with children.

There is also a link to an article about demystifying ethical review, but applies to researching with children. Information is provided about the ethical review process and how it may apply to those outside of a ‘research organisation’. The principles of conducting ethical research – respect, research merit, justice, beneficence – are described and examples are given about how to apply the principles and when to seek ethical review and approval for involving humans in research. Again links are included, for example, to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.  

The Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services (AHRECS) offer commentary on a foundational consideration, Ethical research with young children: Whose research, whose agenda?. The article asserts that while much child research claims to be with children rather than onfor or about them, the research is “typically driven by agendas of research productivity, performativity and empirical leverage of research within policy and provision for young children – by and for adults.” Consequently some children, families and communities experience the over-burden of research.

Another AHRECS article considers the ethics and the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in social research. Noting the absence of a comprehensive and unified framework beyond the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, the NHMRC’s Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies, readers are referred to the author’s thesis which offers a child rights-based approach informed by Indigenous research methodologies using child friendly and culturally sensitive social research methods.

Ethical decision-making
Brisbane - Tuesday, 10th April
Presented by AASW

This full-day workshop is designed for ethical conduct and ethical decision making, which are ongoing requirements for all social workers throughout their careers, as stated in the AASW Code of Ethics. The workshop contents are based on current research and literature. Find out more and register.

Are the Kids OK? Assessing risk while supporting families
Brisbane - Thursday, 19th April
Presented by
Encompass Family and Community

Targeted at anyone working in a support role with families and young people, this workshop is a popular favourite which regularly receives rave reviews by participants. 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.

Resolving Conflict and Mediating Outcomes: The Black Ops of Disputes
Brisbane - Monday, 23rd to Tuesday, 24th April
Presented by Amovita Consulting

This training explores the latest research on the impacts of conflict in the workplace, and provides the necessary skills and framework to understand the contexts in which conflict takes place. Outcomes of the training include understanding conflict typology, developing a mediation framework and eight steps for assertive expression. Suitable for HR professionals, program managers, team leaders, supervisors. Find out more and register.

Child sexual abuse: issues in practice when working with multicultural communities
Brisbane - Monday, 30th April
Presented by The Oasis Centre

Jatinder Kaur, Manager of The Oasis Centre and Director of JK Diversity Consultants, will deliver this full day training workshop for practitioners working with migrant and refugee clients, to explore the issues in practice when dealing with child sexual abuse in CALD communities. Find out more and register.

123 Magic® & Emotion Coaching
Brisbane - Wednesday, 30th May
Presented by Parentshop

This one-day training course that provides skills to teach parents and carers of children aged 2-12 the skills to manage their children’s difficult behaviour. Training includes role play, group discussion, worksheets and videos. The course equips professionals with the knowledge to teach parents the program over three sessions and/or how to teach the tenets of the program in a few one-to-one clinical sessions. Active PD hours apply. Find out more and register.

Overcoming School Refusal
Brisbane - Friday, 1st June
Presented by Compass Seminars

This interactive, one day workshop explores the causes, co-morbidities and treatment of School Refusal in children and young people, along with providing step-by-step plans and strategies for educators, health professionals and parents to identify and address the problem. Combining educational and clinical perspectives, the workshop uses real case studies to demonstrate the varied reasons students disengage from school, and how tailored interventions and return to school plans, can meet the specific needs of individual children. Find out more and register. This workshop will also be held at the Gold Coast on 31st May.


Breaking the Data Silos Conference: Sharing data for bettter policy and service delivery
Canberra - Thursday, 12th April to Friday, 13th April

The Breaking the Data Silos Conference 2018 will bring together public sector, university and non-government sectors to explore the current barriers to effective data sharing and how they can be addressed. Participants will be challenged to think more broadly about the hidden value of data sets, and the possibilities of gathering behavioural insights from the data to get a fuller picture. This conference, focusing on public policy challenges and the potential to use data to solve large and small problems in service delivery, will provide a unique learning opportunity. Find out more and register here.

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

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

NFP State of the Nation Seminar 
Cairns - Friday, 11th May

The Australian Charity Guide's Not-For-Profit State of the Nation travelling seminar will explore the current state of the NFP sector, latest trends, techniques and innovations in fundraising, how to develop a marketing strategy, sales in a NFP context to attract donors, staff, volunteers and corporate partners and best practice customer service. The seminar travels around the country and will also take place at Brisbane on Friday, 29th June. Find out more and register here.

ANROWS Acting on Evidence: 2nd Research Conference on Violence Against Women and their Children
Sydney - Tuesday, 15th to Thursday, 17th May 

The 2nd ANROWS National Research Conference on Violence against Women and their Children - Acting on Evidence focuses on translating research findings into policy and practice. The conference discusses new evidence and applications, including in areas such as responding to violence against women in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, service provision in complex contexts, data challenges and opportunities, positive interventions for young people using violence and public health perspectives. View the programmore about the speakers or register now. Researchers and service providers working on current projects addressing issues of domestic and family violence, sexual violence, violence against women or gendered violence are invited to participate in a poster display at the conference by contacting Lisa Gordon at by 6th April

QCOSS 2018 State Conference - Movement for Change 
Brisbane - Wednesday, 16th to Thursday, 17th May

The QCOSS 2018 State Conference Movement for Change - Play Your Part will ask how to move our communities closer to greater wellbeing by challenging how we talk about the world. The conference will explore the current landscapes in which we live and work, uncover the big issues and identify the stories that are dividing our community, develop an understanding of the evidence base for change and the current state of play from which to move forward, explore reforms currently underway, and learn from opinion leaders from different backgrounds and sectors. The conference will be hosted by author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, speaker, broadcaster and award winning advertising writer Jane Caro, with appearances by Richard Denniss, Mick Gooda, the Puuya Foundation, Family by Family and many more. View the program, find out more about the speakers or register now.

2018 Creating Child Safe Organisations
Sydney - Tuesday, 29th to Wednesday, 30th May

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is hosting a National Conference to explore the plans to improve prevention and enhance responses to child sexual abuse. The Conference will explore future directions, how to implement a child safe culture and framework, how to improve incident reporting and responses and how to equip staff to support child safe environments. View the program or register now.

Doing School Differently Conference 2018
Gold Coast - Thursday, 28th to Friday, 29th June

The Doing School Differently National Flexible and Inclusive Education Conference 2018 offers the opportunity to advance the national conversation on practice and research in flexible and inclusive education. The conference will explore a diverse range of topics including trauma-informed practice, how to develop individualised and flexible learning plans, case studies of alternative education methods, supporting young parents and their children, improving disability inclusion, and youth mental health challenges. Early bird prices for this Conference are available until 27th April, at almost 40% off! Register online to take advantage now.

Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Conference 2018
Sydney - Monday, 20th to Wednesday, 22nd August

The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Conference 2018 will be held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. The Conference will provide professional opportunities for input and debate amongst practitioners, policymakers, researchers and academics. Submissions are now open for abstracts of up to 300 words on one of the eight themes (child protection, children’s best interests and needs, early intervention and family support, out of home care (including kinship and foster), open adoption, Aboriginal children and families, organisational innovation and leadership, and research, policy and practice) and can be submitted online until 30th March.

Visit the Events page on our website for other opportunities in the sector. You can also email your professional development opportunities so that we may promote them through future editions of eNews.

Lead Tenant - Mercy Community

The Mercy Community's Lead Tenant program is a way to support young people who can’t live at home and need to start working towards living on their own. A Lead Tenant is a volunteer who lives in a Mercy Community property with up to two young people, and provides support and a positive role model for the young people residing with them. Closing date for applications is Friday, 30th March. View more information and apply.

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