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- Friday, 3rd November 2017 -
Queensland is less than half way through the ten year road map recommended by the Carmody Child Protection Commission of Inquiry for reforming the child protection system. With the Inquiry having been commissioned by the former LNP Government led by Campbell Newman and the roadmap to reform having been initiated by that government and then continued and built upon by the ALP Palaszczuk Government, much has been achieved but there is more to be completed.
 
The Carmody Inquiry identified the major causes of systemic failures in child protection as too little money spent on early intervention, a risk-averse culture that focuses too heavily on coercive rather than supportive strategies and overreacts to hostile media and community scrutiny, and a tendency for all parts of society to shift responsibility onto the child safety department.
 
The child protection system is one where the stakes are high and children’s lives are often dependent on no mistakes being made.  Understandably, there is little tolerance or forgiveness shown by the media or general public if and when a mistake occurs and any mistake almost inevitably becomes potential fodder for political mudslinging. There is a challenge to be faced by either a returned ALP government or an incoming LNP government in maintaining a reform agenda that emphasises the importance of prevention and early intervention when the price of even a single error or lapse in judgement can lead to not only a tragic outcome for a child and family, but also the de-railing of a whole program of reforms when the system reverts back to its risk-averse state. How can a newly formed State Government – of any political persuasion - deal with this challenge?
 
Read more about PeakCare’s ‘election wishes’.

‘Just Ice?’ Symposium Video Series – Our Latest Release

Watch the latest release in our ‘Just Ice?’ Symposium Video Series - Much bigger than rehabilitation presented by Niki Parry, Treatment Support Worker/Queensland Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Mediation Service Coordinator, Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) and Jane Bowman, QuIHN’s Brisbane Program Manager.
 

Nominations of candidates for election to PeakCare Board due soon

On Wednesday, 6th December, Voting Delegates of PeakCare’s Member agencies will be casting their votes to elect three persons to fill vacated positions on PeakCare’s Board of Governance at PeakCare’s Annual General Meeting, Riverside Receptions, 50 Oxlade Drive, New Farm. Do you or someone you know hold high-level expertise in relation to governance of a human services organisation, strategic planning and continuous quality improvement, financial management and planning, or human resource management, industrial relations or workforce planning and development? For eligibility conditions, refer to the Information Sheet or submit a completed and signed Nomination Form and Candidate Election Statement by close of business Monday, 27 November.


Next Step After Care

There is now a safe Facebook page for young people to connect with over 1,400 of their peers, with advice and practical information including up-to-date content and opportunities for jobs and further study, plus some positive inspiration. CREATE and Life Without Barriers are proud to present the Next Step After Care Facebook Page. Look for the logo with the red and white shoe and green background!
 

More infants and Indigenous children admitted to out-of-home care

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released the latest bulletin on the statistics of children admitted to out-of-home-care. The bulletin shows that infants aged under 1 year and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children across all age groups were over-represented in admissions, and that over half of those admitted in 2014-15 were still living in out-of-home-care in June 2016. Among more positive findings are that 4 in 5 children were discharged within 12 months, and that nearly half were subject to only 1 unique care arrangement, with most in home-based care. In accordance with policy preferences, the rate of Indigenous children in relative or kinship care rose from 36 per cent to 50 per cent by June 2016. Listen to the ABC AM story about the release of this report featuring Muriel Bamblett, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener.


New e-safety resource for young people

A new e-safety resource for young people has been developed by young people and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. The Young & eSafe resource comprised of a five-part video series aims to empower young people with the skills to make a positive impact in their online world. Access the resource.
 

Online resource for new mums and their families

A new online resource called MumSpace has been developed by the Perinatal Depression e-Consortium to provide emotional and mental health support during and beyond pregnancy. Access the resource.
 

Release of QCOSS Annual Report 

The QCOSS Annual Report 2016-17 has been released with highlights and reflections into the past year of activity in the social services sector.
 

Holding perpetrators accountable CPPAQ Practice Paper

The Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ) will be hosting a Practice Paper on the topic of domestic and family violence and holding perpetrators accountable with Zoe Rathus, Senior Lecturer, Griffith University Law School and Stephen Lock, Principal Program Officer, Walking with Dads Project. In Queensland there are almost 70,000 reported incidents of domestic and family violence each year and around fifty-percent of the families working with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services have domestic and family violence as an indicator of harm to children. The session will cover: the topic of "mother blame" within the system, and how behaviours of survivors and perpetrators can be misunderstood; the David Mandel Safe & Together model for working with perpetrators and their families; and working differently with fathers who perpetrate violence in their families. View more information or register now.
 

Nominations open for Queensland Carers Advisory Council

Queensland Carers Advisory Council is seeking expressions of interest from people interested in providing input to government on improving recognition and support for Queensland’s carers. Nominations can be lodged online or by email or post. Nominations close Friday, 8th December.
 

Public seminar and book launch - what works in supervising child protection practice?

Southern Cross University will be hosting a free 3 hour public seminar and book launch. The seminar, conducted by Dr Lynne McPherson and Noel Macnamara, will present a model of supervision based on contemporary theory and research, address unique aspects of direct work with children and young people who have experienced trauma, offer an evidence informed approach which brings ‘news of difference’ to supervision, and launch the new book Supervising Child Protection Practice: What Works? An evidence informed approach. View the flyer for more details or register now.
 

NDIS Industry Briefing videos now available

An NDIS Industry Briefing was held in Brisbane on Monday, 25th September. Key sessions were recorded for reference and are now available to view online.
 

Survey on workplace conditions influencing professional development

The Australian Community Workers Association is conducting a short survey of frontline workers, practitioners and supervisors in community and human services on the workplace conditions and practices that help and hinder their professional development. The aim is to learn directly from workers the degree that these practices, both good and bad, are in use. The survey takes around 10 minutes and all responses are confidential, individuals won't be identified. Take the survey here.


Survey for young people with a care experience

CREATE Foundation is undertaking their updated national survey of children and young people between 8-25 years of age with a care experience of at least six months. The largest of its kind, the survey provides an avenue for young people to voice their views about the care they have received and what may make the care system better, actively participate in advocating for change in the sector, and enhance community awareness about the current issues facing children and young people in out-of-home care. Respondents will be go into the draw for $100 gift vouchers in each State and Territory as well as a draw for an iPad mini. To participate, complete the consent form via this link and the link to the survey will be emailed.


Australian Early Development Census Conference call for abstracts

Telethon Kids Institute and the Australian Government Department of Education and Training will be hosting the 2018 National Australian Early Development Census Conference in March 2018. The conference will focus on what works in supporting children’s development, and the impacts of different programs, service models or policies on children’s outcomes. Abstracts for presentations are currently being invited across four streams: place-based early years service models; early education and care pathways; highly vulnerable families; and health systems.


YAC AGM announced

The Youth Advocacy Centre (YAC) 36th Annual General Meeting will be held on on International Children’s Day, Monday, 20th November. RSVP by by Wednesday, 15th November by email to admin@yac.net.au. The event will also include a special fundraiser featuring Father Wally Dethlefs, a Churchill Fellowship recipient and a Queensland academic for a panel discussion on young people’s involvement in the youth justice system in Queensland and how Queensland compares with international systems. Purchase your ticket or view the invitation for more details. 

PeakCare’s (mostly) spectacular AGM

PeakCare has important news for you to consider about our forthcoming Annual General Meeting. Find out more...

Transition to Independence Month

Transition to Independence (T2I) Month 2017 was launched this morning in Yeppoon with 16 years old Kylie at the helm. Recent child protection legislative amendments mean that there is a greater reason to celebrate young people’s transition from care to independence this month. Last week, it was announced that the Queensland Parliament passed the Child Protection Amendment Bill. The Queensland Government will now support young people after they leave care up to the age of 25 years. The changes also clarify the department’s responsibility for planning for a child’s transition from out of home care to independence from the time they turn 15 years of age. 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.

The state of Australia's welfare

The 13th biennial report into Australia's welfare by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has been released. Among other findings, the report shows that that Indigenous children are 10 times as likely to be in out-of-home care as non-Indigenous children, and that children under 15 years in single-parent families are more than 3 times as likely to be in relative income poverty as those in two-parent families (41 per cent compared with 13 per cent). As an indicator of persistent disadvantage, the rate of relative poverty (measured as less than 50 per cent of the national median household income) remains consistent, in contrast to absolute poverty reductions and almost three decades of consecutive economic growth. The report also shows that females are consistently more likely to live in households below the poverty line than males, and that one in 6 Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former cohabiting partner since the age of 15 years, with those experiencing family and domestic violence representing the single largest client group accessing homelessness support services. The report also shows that the size of the welfare workforce is rising to support a growing and ageing population, increasing by 84 per cent since 2005. Read the report.


Report finds children experience violence across all stages of childhood

The UNICEF report A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents examines four specific forms of violence experienced by children: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. The report shows that children experience violence across all stages of childhood and in diverse settings. Children are most likely to be exposed to violence in the home - worldwide, three quarters of children aged 2 to 4 years are regularly subjected to physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by their parents or other caregivers at home, and 1 in 4 children under the age of 5 years live with a mother who has been a recent victim of intimate partner violence. Read about UNICEF programs and the report.


"The kids are OK" consensus among research

This article published in the Medical Journal of Australia finds that the consensus of peer-reviewed research is that children raised in same-sex parented families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as children raised by heterosexual couple parents. The research suggests it is the quality of "family processes" such as parenting involvement and parent wellbeing, rather than family structure, that influence children's wellbeing. Find out more.


Significant barriers to full time employment ongoing, finds report

The Jobs Availability Snapshot 2017 released by Anglicare Australia shows that despite one of the strongest periods of growth in full-time employment, those with barriers to work are facing significant challenges. The report used sample data from May 2017 to test labour market conditions as they affect people with the most barriers to securing work, including disability and illness; lack of qualifications (especially among the very young and very old); and re-entering the workforce after time away. The report shows that among a growing trend of workforce casualisation, up to five jobseekers are competing for each entry-level role advertised, and that there is no jurisdiction with sufficient jobs for the number of people seeking them. The report also contains a number of recommendations for government intervention, including raising the rates of income payments such as Newstart and Youth Allowance and providing funding to support communities to develop inclusive employment strategies such as tailored job creation for specific local opportunities. Read the report.


Over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with mental and cognitive disabilities in the Australian criminal justice system

The Indigenous people, mental health, cognitive disability and the criminal justice system brief from the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse examines current research into the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with mental health issues and cognitive disabilities in the Australian criminal justice systems. The brief suggests that Indigenous people with cognitive disability are more likely to come to the attention of police, more likely to be charged and imprisoned, and less likely to be granted parole. The brief also notes that Indigenous young people, despite constituting a minority of the Australian population, represent more than half of the juvenile population in custody, with two to three times the rate of mental or cognitive disability as non-Indigenous young people in custody. The brief suggests a dire need for holistic, targeted programs with ongoing evaluation for Indigenous people in contact with the criminal justice system. The brief concludes with a recommendation for five principles to underpin policy and program reform on this issue. Read the brief.

The Forgotten Known Stage 2 - Further development of attachment theory in practice
Brisbane - Thursday, 9th November
Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers

This full-day workshop is designed for those who have attended the core Forgotten Known workshop and who wish to further their skills and develop tools for working with clients who have experienced trauma and attachment disruptions. The workshop will also examine how the workers own attachment history and self-knowledge impacts on the client/worker relationship. Attendance at the core ‘Forgotten Known’ workshop is a prerequisite for attendance at this workshop. This is relevant for social workers who have direct contact with clients who have experienced complex trauma and attachment disruptions. The education material in the presentation is based on theoretical knowledge that is gleaned from attachment and trauma experts such as Dan Siegal, Bruce Perry, Bryan Post, Circle of Security and Karyn Purvis. Find out more.
 

Developing and Maintaining a Professional Framework for Practice
Brisbane - Friday, 10th November
Presented by Amovita

A professional practice framework (PPF) is a conceptual representation that organises thoughts and information as to how an employee undertakes their role. It is a visual that guides their work with clients, colleagues, the organisation and other professionals in the workplace. In this presentation, participants gain a deeper understanding of Amovita’s framework and explore what a professional practice framework is, why it is important to have and through a range of interactive activities, commence the development of their own framework. Find out more.
 

Morning Tea with Parents
Brisbane - Monday, 13th November

Family Inclusion Network will be hosting a series of Morning Tea with Parents events throughout November for parents who have a child protection experience, as a shared 'safe zone' to come together, share experiences and have their voices heard. Parent voices are important because they are the experts on what does/doesn’t work for their families and this informs advocacy for changes in the systems that impact families. Subsequent Morning Teas will be held Monday, 20th November and Monday, 27th November. View the flyer for more details.
 

Who is the client? Reflecting on the complexity of Child Protection and Family Support practice in the context of the intersection with Domestic and Family Violence
Brisbane - Friday, 17th November

Presented by Australian Association of Social Workers and PeakCare Queensland

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE - Due to the overwhelming interest the venue has been changed toAshgrove Bowls Club Hall, Yoku Rd, Ashgrove. This Forum by the AASW/PeakCare Practice Group aims to respond to the specific complexities involved in working within the context of child protection, family support and domestic and family violence. Forum presenters and participants will collectively unpack the questions of how we all respond to the complexities of a focus on clients whilst also considering the many associated relationships in each individual’s life. Find out more and register here.
 

Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Toowoomba - Monday, 27th November to Tuesday, 28th November
Presented by Compass Seminars

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) offers professionals an efficient, user-friendly and research-supported approach that is responsive to the practical realities of working with young people and adults. The role of counsellors, and other professionals rests largely on the ability to interact with people in ways that emphasises individuals’ strengths/resources, identifies possible solutions and supports movement to change. Find out more or register now. The workshop will also take place in Townsville on Wednesday, 29th November.

Child protection - the law and how Legal Aid Queensland can help
Webinar - Thursday, 9th November

This is a free webinar for community, health and education workers delivered by Tamaryn Townshend, Skye Mackenzie and Sandra Mohr-Edgar in the Legal Aid Children and Young People team. The webinar will include an overview of the child protection system in Queensland, LAQ guidelines to increase access to legal representation for child protection matters and a live Q&A. Register now or for information on upcoming webinars, visit the Legal Aid Information for community workers and carers page.


Wisdom of the Body, Lost and Found: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach
Brisbane - Thursday, 9th and Friday, 10th November

The body’s intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy, yet the story told by the “somatic narrative” of body language is arguably more significant than the story told by the words. The language of the body communicates implicit meanings and reveals the legacy of trauma and of early or forgotten dynamics with attachment figures. This two-day workshop will explore the body as a target of therapeutic action and is delivered by Path Ogden, phD, who founded an internationally recognised school specialising in somatic–cognitive approaches for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and attachment disturbances. Read more or register now.


Tough Conversations in Child Protection
Brisbane - Monday, 13th November

Parentshop will be delivering this one-day course for child protection professionals and family workers to help them to hold the often-challenging conversations had with parents in child protection. The workshop helps busy professionals to quickly assess and prepare for tough conversations in situations where a clarity-of-message can make all the difference for vulnerable families. View the registration form for more details!


National Employment Solutions Conference
Gold Coast - Thursday, 16th November to Friday, 17th November

The National Employment Solutions Conference will examine the changing face of work and the workplace and its impacts. The conference will examine challenges, opportunities, trends and issues that relate to innovative employment solutions, featuring over 45 presentations from industry experts. The full program has now been released. All presentations will be available as podcasts after the Conference, ensuring no one has to miss out! Topics include: tomorrow’s digitally enabled workforce; the future of disability employment; how young is too old? the downward creep of ageism; spatial patterns and drivers of Australia’s future economic landscape; looking back to the future: Migrants working in Australia. Find out more and register at the website.

 
Barriers to healthcare experienced by trans young people 
Webinar - Tuesday, 21st November

Network MindOUT is hosting a webinar which will focus on the issues faced by trans young people accessing mental health services in Australia. The webinar will draw upon experiences described in the Trans Pathways study, the largest survey of mental health in trans and gender diverse young people in Australia. Find out more or register to attend.


How to enjoy being on a committee
Toowoomba - Tuesday, 21st November 

Be involved and understand the legal and ethical requirements of being on a committee. This presentation will explore the structures of a committee or board, the roles people can undertake, legal and ethical compliance, strategic planning and meeting etiquette. View more information or book now.

 
2017 White Ribbon Day Breakfast
Brisbane - Wednesday, 22nd November

White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end men’s violence against women and girls, promote gender equality, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity. The 2017 White Ribbon Day Breakfast will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and will focus on the importance of youth as champions for change. The breakfast will feature a panel of community leaders led by Kay McGrath OAM discussing the positive role men can play in preventing violence, the importance of teaching respectful attitudes and behaviours from an early age, and how we can educate today’s youth to champion change for future generations. Purchase your ticket now.


Authentic Engagement: The nature and role of relationships at the heart of effective practice
Webinar - Wednesday, 22nd November

ARACY will be hosting the second in a series of parent-engagement 'lunchtime learning' webinars, delivered by Dr Tim Moore, developmental psychologist at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. The webinar will explore how best to achieve effective parent engagement by building strong relationships with educators, and will include an interactive Q&A session. Find out more or register.


FRSA National Conference
Melbourne - Wednesday, 22nd to Friday, 24th November

The 2017 Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference Connecting the Dots: Creating Wellbeing for All is an opportunity to promote creative ways to strengthen wellbeing across the family life course - by connecting the individual 'dots'. Senator Louise Pratt MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities will deliver the opening keynote address. For more details, visit the website.
 

Morning tea to commemorate 5th Anniversary of the Queensland Government's Apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices
Brisbane - Monday, 27th November

The Queensland Post Adoption Working Committee will be hosting a commemorative morning tea to honour the 5th Anniversary of the Queensland Government's Apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices. View the invitation for more details.


QCOSS 2017 AGM
Brisbane - Wednesday, 29th November

The QCOSS AGM will take place over breakfast at Souths Leagues Club Head Office, Davies Park, Jane Street, West End. Guest speaker Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner will be speaking. Elections will also be held for two positions to the Board. Find out more and register to attend on the QCOSS website.

 

AASW National Symposium
Hobart - Thursday, 30th November to Saturday, 2nd December

The Australian Association of Social Workers National Symposium (AASW) 2017 will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart. The theme of the symposium is ‘Advocacy and social work: creating individual and social change.’ With over 25 professional development and networking sessions and delegates from all over Australia, the symposium will be a unique opportunity to share current practice knowledge and work experiences, and network with the social work sector’s peers. Registrations are now open.

 
Trauma, the Brain and Biology: Foundations and Treatment of Trauma
Brisbane - Friday, 30th November to Friday, 1st December

Traumatised people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: the past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves. Learn about the neurobiology of traumatic stress and adaptations that hide the 'self' in this two-day workshop delivered by clinical psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, MD at the Brisbane Convetion and Exhibition Centre. Read more or register now.
 

What works in therapy: Translating 40 years of outcome research into strategies for effective clinical practice
Melbourne - Friday, 1st December

This Relationships Australia Victoria workshop will feature international guest Scott D Miller, counselling psychologist, author and co-founder of the International Centre for Clinical Excellence. Drawing upon 40 years of research, this workshop will offer evidence-based factors responsible for therapeutic success, empirically-supported practices and skills to enhance therapeutic outcomes, methods for assessing and enhancing therapeutic relationships with clients and progressing in treatment. Click here for more information and to register.


STOP Domestic Violence Conference
Melbourne - Monday, 4th to Wednesday, 6th December

The official program has been launched for the 3rd annual 2017 STOP Domestic Violence Conference with over 120 workshops, speakers and presentations. Day 1 Keynote speakers include Julie Inman Grant, Children’s eSafety Commissioner, Office of Children’s eSafety Commission, Ms Jennifer Hoffman, Commissioner for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice, Western Australia, Dr Rae Kaspiew, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Assistant Commissioner, Dean McWhirter, Family Violence Command, Victoria Police, Ms Fiona McCormack, CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria and Dr Michael Salter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Western Sydney University. All attendees will be able to view all speaker podcasts and PowerPoint presentations after the conference. Scholarships to attend the conference are open until Monday, 30th October. Register to attend the conference now; early bird prices end Monday, 23rd October.
 

Yarning Up on Trauma
Richmond - Monday, 4th to Friday, 8th December

Yarning Up on Trauma is an intensive five day course presented by Berry St Childhood Institute for those who want to learn practical ways to better work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities that have experienced individual trauma, family trauma, community trauma and historical/cultural trauma. Yarning Up on Trauma uses a holistic model to understand trauma which is in contrast to many Western perspectives which focus primarily on the traumatised individual. In working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, it is necessary to consider not only the impact of trauma on the individual but also on their families, community and culture. Find out more or register now.
 

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.
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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.