Do you know how many Queensland children are currently being cared for by relatives? We’re not talking about children in the care of the State who are living with approved kinship carers. We’re talking about children who are living with relatives as a result of private arrangements agreed to by their parents.
It is a matter of great concern that no-one actually knows the answer – because there is no system in place to count them. These children and their carers are invisible. Of even greater concern is that we can conservatively estimate that there are now over 12,000 Queensland children living in these arrangements – that’s around three times the number of children in care who are currently living with approved kinship carers and almost 2,000 more children than the total number of children in State care. Of greatest concern is that these relatives receive very little support from either the Commonwealth or State Government. They are often doing it alone and doing it tough.
We can also assume that were it not for the grandparents, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters, and cousins stepping in to care for these children when their parents were unable to, most would have ended up in the care of the State, and many still may if these relatives remain invisible and continue to receive little recognition or support.
PeakCare fully appreciates that from the perspective of all State Governments (not only Queensland’s) much of the responsibility for the support – especially financial support – that should be given to relative carers lies with the Commonwealth Government. This may be so, but from the perspective of the relative carers, they are ‘falling between the cracks’ and were they to give up on their struggle to adequately care for these children, the responsibility and cost of their care would inevitably be borne by the State.
The complexity of working out better solutions is enormous. This makes it all the more important that relative carers and your organisations are well represented at the Kinship Care Forum II being held on Wednesday, 26th February at Brisbane International Virginia at Boondall. Look for more details about how to register for this forum elsewhere in this week’s edition of eNews.
New Child Safety Director-General announced
The Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women has announced appointment of the next Director-General of the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women. Following a nationwide recruitment process Deidre Mulkerin will commence as Director-General for the Department on Monday, 24th February. With Michael Hogan finishing as current Director-General on Friday, 14th February, Rob Seiler will act as Director-General for the interim until Deidre’s commencement. Read more.
Free online resource to promote secure attachment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are seven times as likely as non-Indigenous children to receive child protection services. St John of God Social Outreach and the Western Australia Child and Adolescent Health Services - Community Health have co-produced a free online resource package incorporating attachment theory and an understanding of attachment within Indigenous, cultural and historical contexts, designed to be used to support early intervention and secure attachment in families. Developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and education professionals and researchers, the resources are also Circle of Security endorsed. Read more.
Review of age of criminal responsibility public submissions closing soon
The Department of Justice's Council of Attorneys-General Working Group is currently conducting a review into the age of criminal responsibility as legislated in each Australian state and territory and the Commonwealth. Currently, the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old, with a presumption of criminal incapacity for children aged 10 to 14 years. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended Australia raise the age of criminal responsibility in line with other comparable international jurisdictions, such as the European Union and New Zealand, where the minimum age is 14. Public submissions are being accepted until Friday, 28th February on questions posed on the review page and related matters, including in what situations the age should be raised, operational issues involved, whether presumption of criminal incapacity should be retained, whether there should be a separate minimum age of detention, what programs, frameworks and support services might need to be involved. Find out more.
2020 QLD Youth Sector Forum announced - presentation submissions now open
Registrations for Kinship Care Forum II closing soon
Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) has announced the 2020 QLD Youth Sector Forum, the first state-wide youth sector gathering since 2014. The Forum will explore the complex environment of the youth services sector through unpacking new research and thinking in youth work practices, workforce development innovations and community and government service provision priorities. Sharing of ideas, knowledge, possibilities and solutions across the human services sector will provide an exciting and challenging Forum program. Sector organisations and academics are invited to develop lead workshop breakout sessions in areas of interest/expertise. Each workshop will run for 1 hour with time being split between presentations (up to 30 mins) and facilitated discussion (around 30mins). The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 4th March. Find out more.
Registrations for the Queensland Kinship Care Forum II on Wednesday, 26th February in Brisbane close COB Tuesday, 11th February. Co-hosted by PeakCare Queensland, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and CREATE Foundation in association with Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS) after the success of the first forum in 2019, this year's 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 finding a way forward to influence national policy in recognising the rights and unique support needs of these children and their carers. There will be a particular focus on what the Commonwealth Government might be able to consider by way of developing better support for children in kinship care. Kinship carers attend free. Find out more and register.
Abstract submissions open
The Families and Children Forum being held in Brisbane on Tuesday, 26th May is seeking abstract submissions from practitioners about how they have used evaluation findings. The Forum is seeking absracts that discuss: what was learnt from an evaluation and how it shaped future programs and services, how the findings were used to build support for a program or service, unsuccessful attempts at responding to findings, and how programs were changed in response to findings. Find out more and submit an abstract by 28th February.
The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is seeking expressions of interest from researchers, practitioners and policymakers who are interested in presenting at Reframing how we understand and respond to adolescent violence in the home on Friday, 13th March in Melbourne. Expressions of interest can be made by emailing email@example.com.
Upgrades to Disability Services Yellow Card system
The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors is upgrading Queensland's Yellow Card system, including launching a new online portal for service providers and applicants to lodge criminal history screening check applications. The Department is holding a pre-launch presentation and Q&A session to gather feedback on Tuesday, 11th February at 1pm in Brisbane City. Only those with practical day-to-day knowledge of the Yellow Card system are required to attend. Find out more.
Sexual Violence Prevention Grants applications extended
The closing date for Sexual Violence Prevention Grants 2019-20 applications has been extended to Friday, 14th February. One-off funding up to $15,000 is available for projects undertaken as part of Sexual Violence Awareness Month (October) 2020, relating to Priority Area 1 (Prevention) under the Queensland Government's Framework to address Sexual Violence. Projects must: increase knowledge and understanding of sexual violence and drivers; equip people with accurate information on healthy relationships, consent and sexual violence; challenge attitudes, practices and structures acting as barriers to equality; strengthen organisational capacity to prevent violence; and implement targeted prevention and intervention activities for specific target groups. Find out more and apply.
Bushfire assistance extended for fire affected Queensland small businesses and non-profits
Bushfire-affected Queensland small businesses, primary producers and non-profits can access extended Disaster Assistance Loans to help support recovery through jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). Eligible small businesses in the following areas can apply for assistance: Southern Queensland Bushfires (6th - 12th September 2019) including Scenic Rim, Southern Downs, Noosa and Sunshine Coast, and Eastern Queensland Bushfires (7th October - 19th December 2019) including Bundaberg, Gladstone, Livingstone, Noosa, Somerset and Toowoomba. Find out more.
AIFS Conference 2020 preliminary program released
The preliminary program for the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) 2020 Conference What is a good life for families and how do we get there? in Melbourne on 9th-12th June has been released. The program includes six plenary sessions, five pre-conference workshops and 212 oral presentations all focused on family wellbeing. Keynote speakers include Patricia Turner AM, CEO National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation; Professor Steve Zubrick, Head Brain and Behaviour, Telethon Kids Institute UWA; Annabel Crabb, Chief Political Writer, ABC; Maree Brown, Director, Child Wellbeing Unit, NZ Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; Tim Dunlop, writer and academic; and many more. Early bird registrations close Friday, 3rd April to save $140 off the registration price for non-presenting attendees.
Each week, PeakCare publishes a 'Thumbs Up' and/or a 'Thumbs Down' about matters that have come to our attention and draw either our commendation or condemnation. If there are matters that you think are worthy of one or other of these acknowledgements, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will consider publishing them.
THUMBS UP to the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) for renewing its push to raise the Newstart allowance by as much as $95 a week. As recently asked by ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie, “Could you survive on $489.90 a fortnight?” That’s what a single adult on Newstart receives. Click here to find out how you can support the Raise the Rate Campaign.
Applied Principles in Case Note Recording
Brisbane - Monday, 17th February
Presented by Amovita
This one-day training explores the skills required for effective professional case management. The training overviews a framework for applied writing skills and takes participants through several case studies as a way to highlight the skills and principles of applied writing. Participants use the REASON Case Note Writing Framework as they focus on the importance of language; what to include and leave out of case notes; the art of using ‘professional speak’ and how to clearly evidence what approaches and frameworks have been used. The training explores how to theme particular practices in case notes and how to write as if the case note was being crossed examined in a legal or industrial process. Find out more and register.
Kinship Care Forum 2020
Brisbane - Wednesday, 26th February
Presented by PeakCare
Building on the successful 2019 Kinship Care Forum hosted by PeakCare, a follow up forum is being organised. 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.
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.
Information Linkages & Capacity Building (ILC) Workshop
Ipswich - Thursday, 6th February
Free ILC Workshops hosted by the Inclusion Ready Project will help attendees: understand the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the important business opportunities it presents; appreciate the economic and social benefits of inclusion and the important role inclusion plays in driving productivity growth; identify key opportunities for inclusion and inclusive projects; design & build ILC grant projects; incorporate critical success factors into ILC project design; and collaborate and network with potential project partners. Find out more and register.
Unlocking the Human Rights Act for your clients: Right to education
Webinar - Friday, 7th February
Timed to coincide with the start of the 2020 school year, this webinar by Community Legal Centres Queensland will use the right to education as a practice example of how the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld) can be used to bring clarity to tricky situations and offer families and individuals new ways to resolve problems. It will be especially useful to practitioners in generalist services, including primarily advice programs. To be presented by Bridget Burton, the Director of the Human Rights and Civil Law Practice at Caxton Legal Centre. 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 email@example.com.
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.
Blue Card information session
Brisbane - Wednesday, 19th February
A free session for employers to overview their obligations under the blue card system and provide an opportunity to clarify any issues regarding blue card application and assessment processes. Find out more and register.
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.
What is child-focused supervision in adult-focused services and how does it work?
Webinar - Wednesday, 26th February
This free webinar co-produced by Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) and Emerging Minds will explore child-focused supervision practices, as well as presenting other initiatives used by managers, supervisors and practitioners in creating an organisational context to support child-focused practice in adult services. This webinar will assist practitioners who work with parents in adult-focused services. Find out more and register.
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.
National Indigenous Youth Empowerment Summit 2020
Cairns - Tuesday, 25th to Friday, 28th February
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept updated on Conference news and be notified when registrations open.
2020 Community Legal Centres Queensland State Conference
Brisbane - Thursday, 30th April to Friday, 1st May
The conference is a fantastic opportunity to meet with a diverse range of people from across the state including centre directors and lawyers, stakeholders, social workers, volunteers and decision makers. There will be a wide variety of panel discussions, presentations and workshops relevant to both the community legal sector and the wider legal community. The conference provides delegates with the chance to network with other people in the field, broaden and strengthen their skills and enhance and develop their knowledge. Early bird discounts available until 26th March. Find out more and register.
NDS Queensland Conference 2020: Futures in Disability
With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, the program will encourage visionary thinking across the disability sector. Registrations for the conference are due to open mid February. If you are interested in attending, register your interest here.
Brisbane - Thursday, 7th to Friday, 8th May
Visit our Events page for further opportunities in the sector.
Women's Advocate, Safer Families - Micah Projects
Micah Projects is seeking a full time, fixed term (18 months) Safer Families Women's Advocate classified at SCHADS Award Level 5. The role is part of the ReNew Program delivered by Carinity, funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 18 months. This position will provide case management responses including psycho-education and support and advocacy for mothers and female care givers of boys and young males either being assessed for the ReNew program, attending BDVS Psycho-educative program or who have been referred and attending the ReNew program. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th February. Find out more and apply.
Intake Worker, Safer Families - Micah Projects
Micah Projects is seeking a full time, fixed term (18 months) Safer Families Intake Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 3. The role is part of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service ReNew Program delivered by Carinity, funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 18 months. The role is intended to provide intake, screening and information and referral responses to those referred for risk assessment, safety planning and case management. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th February. Find out more and apply.
Men's Specialist Domestic Violence Worker, Safer Families - Micah Projects
Micah Projects is seeking a full time, fixed term (18 months) Men's Specialist Domestic Violence Worker classified at SCHADS Award Level 5. The role is part of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service ReNew Program delivered by Carinity, funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women for 18 months. The role is responsible for psycho-social education with individuals and groups of young boys, as part of a case management plan, and where appropriate, opportunities may emerge to involve fathers and other members of the family. The focus is on respectful and healthy Relationships and being accountable for not using violence in the home. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th February. Find out more and apply.