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- Friday, 7th August 2020 -

On Monday, 10th August, the Queensland Parliament’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee will be conducting a public hearing to inform its consideration of the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020.  The Bill responds to recommendation 6(b) of Deputy State Coroner Bentley’s findings of the inquest into the death of Mason Jet Lee.  As stated in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 are to:

  • enhance the approach to permanency under the Child Protection Act 1999
  • clarify that adoption is an option for achieving permanency for children in care, as part of the suite of alternative long-term care options available, and
  • clarify the importance of and promote alternative permanency options for children under a long-term guardianship order to the chief executive of the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.

As subscribers to eNews are well aware, issues concerning the use of adoption are controversial and there are widely divergent views held about the matter. The high number of people – over 300 – who participated in a forum about the Bill that was jointly hosted by QCOSS, the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak and PeakCare on Friday, 31st July provides an indication of the strength of interest held in the progress of this legislation. This is also reflected in the submissions lodged with the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. Click here to read the submissions including the one submitted by PeakCare.

The public hearing will be held from 9.15am to 11.30am on Monday and can be viewed live on the Parliament TV. Click here to view the hearing’s program. The decisions to be made by Parliament about this legislation will have a lifelong impact on many children and families – both now and into the future. The stakes are high and for this reason, PeakCare urges all members of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee to give earnest consideration to all of the information and advice provided to them.     

Recognising Torres Strait Islander child rearing 

The Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (Torres Strait Islander Traditional Child Rearing Practice) Bill 2020 has been introduced to Queensland Parliament, the first legislation of its kind in Australia. The Bill establishes a framework to give legal effect to Ailan Kastom child rearing practice. It provides a process for making an application for a cultural recognition order that will result in the permanent transfer of parentage from the biological parents to the cultural parents. It also establishes a new statutory role of a commissioner to consider and decide these applications. The Bill is currently before the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee for consideration and public comment. Find out more and make a submission.

Members of Child Death Review Board announced

The members constituting the independent Child Death Review Board have been announced. Under the Child Death Review Legislation Amendment Act 2020 (the Act) the position of Board Chair is held by the Principal Commissioner, Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC), Cheryl Vardon. The Deputy Chair position is held by a Board member who is an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander person, and Dr Clinton Schultz, a Gamilaroi man, has been appointed to this role. For more information on the review process and the Act, view the fact sheet, or view the announcement letter advising appointment of members.

No Card, No Start laws commencing soon

From 31st August 2020, new No Card, No Start laws will apply to organisations, paid workers, and business operators. When the laws commence, workers will be required to hold a Blue Card (not simply a pending application) before they are allowed to work with children, and organisations employing Blue Card holders must link the card to their organisations. People with paid applications in progress when the policy starts will be able to continue working while their applications are assessed. Find out more at the Blue Card website, and view case scenarios for more details on specific circumstances.

Human rights decision-making compatibility assessment - new resource

From participant feedback and the assistance of the Queensland Human Rights Commission, PeakCare has developed a new resource designed to assess compatibility of organisational decision-making with the provisions of the Queensland Human Rights Act 2019. The resource leads decision-makers through three steps informed by legislatively protected rights, impacts and implications, and what is considered reasonable and justifiable. Download the resource or view the background summary for more on the outcomes of the Human Rights in the Child Protection Context sessions that informed development of the resource.

Talking with children around COVID-19

Act for Kids has released new resources for supporting parents and carers to talk with children about issues surrounding COVID-19. Three fact sheets cover the topics Communicating with Children on Coronavirus, Online Safety for Children, and Supporting Children in Isolation. The fact sheets offer tips and strategies for parents and carers to support safety and emotional wellbeing and links to further resources. Two videos are also available: How to talk to kids about COVID-19, and Helping kids cope: Viruses and isolation.

Best practice guide for child-centred complaints handling

A well-functioning child protection system is underpinned by an independent, transparent, child-and-young-person-friendly, accessible and responsive complaints mechanism. CREATE has developed a Best Practice Guide for workers, carers and sector professionals on child-centred complaints handling based on research and consultations with children and young people with a care experience. The guide features eight actionable principles to guide thinking and ensure young people in care feel safe, comfortable and heard when voicing their concerns. Access the guide.

QCPW annual dinner announcement 

This year's annual Queensland Child Protection Week Dinner will unfortunately not be held in its usual form due to current social distancing conditions. Instead, the child protection sector is invited to host an event with colleagues in celebration of the work that is done in the sector, and to share happy snaps on the QCPW Facebook Page and Twitter @child_week. Planning is still underway for other activities and events across the week. 

Sign the pledge to #makeit21

Join us for the Home Stretch - more than 160 organisations and 10,000 care leavers, carers and other community members across Australia are calling for change in Queensland and other states. Join us in our call to the Queensland Government to extend the leaving care age to 21 years, and give young people in care the same option for care as others their age. Sign the pledge to #makeit21, email us with a copy of your logo to show your support, and write a letter of support to the Premier - some suggested text here, but please feel free to amend and personalise your letter. Be part of this important call for change! 

T2A Month

Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Month is held in November each year. T2A Month highlights the needs of young people as they make the journey from the child protection system to adulthood, experiencing positive life outcomes along the way. Each year, more than 500 young people leave the Queensland child protection system in their transition to adulthood. Workers, support services and carers are encouraged to have a conversation, host an event and get resourced! Visit the T2A website for extensive resources to support the transition for young people, including tips for mindfulness and emotional wellbeing, scholarships and educational support, managing finances, and details on the Sortli app which helps young people keep together all the things they need to cross off before leaving care. The T2A Month launch this year will be held in Toowoomba on Thursday, 12th November from 3:30pm. RSVP here. A T2A Young Consultant Panel will also be held, with a focus upon supporting young parents (who have a care experience) on their T2A journey. This online panel will be held Wednesday, 18th November at 10am online. Register here

National Agreement with Coalition of Peaks on Closing the Gap

The Australian government and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled Peak Bodies (Coalition of Peaks) have signed a historic agreement on Closing the Gap.  The Agreement contains four significant Priority Reforms to achieve improved life outcomes for First Nations people: shared decision-making; strengthening the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector; improving government mainstream institutions; and ensuring First Nations people have access to relevant data and information. Part of the commitment includes reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45% by 2031. Read the Agreement or view SNAICC's media release for further information on proposed outcomes from the Agreement.

New edition of Bench Book released

The 2020 edition of the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book has been released, led by Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland’s School of Law. The Bench Book aims to promote best practice and consistency in judicial decision-making, and improve court experiences for victims in cases involving DFV. The resource contains research, links to a range of legal and related resources, and practical guidelines for courtroom management. The new edition offers 220 new resources, including 142 new cases and a section on victims as (alleged) perpetrators of DFV.

Changes to Jobkeeper for non-profits

The federal government's JobKeeper payment has been extended by a further six months to 28th March 2021, but the payment rate will be reduced to $1200/fortnight from 28th September. A further reduction from to $1,000/fortnight will apply from 4th January 2021. A lower payment rate will also be introduced for those who work fewer than 20 hours per week. From 28th September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper will be required to demonstrate that they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual GST turnover, rather than projected GST turnover. From 4th January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in turnover in actual GST in each of the June, September and December quarters 2020 to remain eligible from 4th January 2021 to 28th March 2021. View the Treasury factsheet for more details.

Researching COVID-19 impacts

Researching the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people with disability? Looking to share your research and find out who else is doing similar or complementary research? Take 5 minutes to complete the survey to help build a national picture of the work underway. ARACY and Children and Young People with Disability Australia are seeking to help those working with and for children and young people with a disability to better understand COVID-19 impacts. If you are conducting, or planning research regarding the impact COVID-19 is having on children and/or young people with a disability, help complete the picture by participating in the survey.

New assistance animal resources for supporting those with disability 

The NDIA has released several resources to give participants, providers and assessors clearer guidelines about assistance animals funding requests. It has also updated the ‘Including Specific Types of Supports in Plans’ Operational Guideline to include a section on assistance animals. This information will help explain what supporting evidence planners need when considering funding requests for assistance animals. There are also clear definitions and examples of assistance animals for participants, providers and assessors.

Lowitja Project Grants now open

Lowitja Institute Project Grants are now open. Lowitja Institute research aims to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to transform their ideas into aspirations that meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and improve health and wellbeing outcomes within a generation. Applications for Project Grants close on Monday, 12th October. Applicants that have not received a 2020 Lowitja Institute Seeding Grant will be required to submit an EOI by Wednesday, 12th August. Find out more and apply.

Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships EOIs closing soon

Kenneth Myer Innovation Fellowships support exceptional leaders in Australia with breakthrough ideas and the capacity to bring them to fruition.  Fellows will each receive $120,000 for their 12-month commitment to the program, with an additional $30,000 available for approved expenses. Applicants from all professional and cultural backgrounds and across all sectors - private, public and non-profit - are encouraged to apply. Projects need to align with one or more of the program themes of Human, Civil and Legal RightsSustainability and Environment and Poverty and Disadvantage and must meet a range of other eligibility criteria. Expressions of interest close midnight, Sunday 16th August. Find out more and apply.


Westpac Impact Grants now open

The Westpac Safer Children, Safer Communities Grants support community organisations and not-for-profits that are working across a range of child safety and protection programs and initiatives. Seed grants - up to 12 one-off grants of $50,000 for early stage programs and initiatives or organisations building, testing, or piloting an innovative idea - and scale grants - up to eight multi-year grants of $300,000 per year over three years for organisations with existing evidence-based innovative models looking to scale and move to their next stage of growth - are now open for applications. Applications close 17th August. Find out more and apply.

NAIDOC Week Grants now open

The 2020 NAIDOC Local Grants Round for activities that celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, achievements and continuing contributions to our country and society, is now open for events and activities being held during NAIDOC Week 2020 8th-15th November. Activities should align with the National NAIDOC Theme for 2020, ‘Always was, Always will be’. Applications close 7pm, Monday 17th August. Find out more and apply.

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.

THUMBS UP to PeakCare’s Member organisations that lodged submissions with the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee in response to the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020, especially in light of the very short time frame given to you. It is an important part of the democratic process that non-government organisations avail themselves of the opportunities provided to them to influence policy decisions made by governments. Congratulations on being prepared to go on record in stating your views.

Child Safe Organisations Workshop
Webinar - Wednesday, 19th August

Presented by NAPCAN

NAPCAN is delivering free half-day Child Safe Organisations workshops, suitable for any organisation working directly or indirectly with children. The workshops are currently being delivered online via Zoom for early childhood centres, schools, sports and recreational groups, faith-based organisations, youth groups, out-of-home-care workers, and health organisations. Online sessions are currently scheduled until August, including evening and weekend sessions. Find out more and register.

Supervision: Unpacking Practice
Webinar - Wednesday, 9th September
Presented by Lighthouse Resources

These sessions will offer workers, whether they are supervisors, supervisees or both an opportunity to explore ways of having conversations that centre the knowledge and expertise of the supervisee. In doing so the supervisee has the opportunity to build on what they know and the supervisor has a tool to make this possible. Find out more and register.

Understanding risk in child protection
Webinar - Tuesday, 15th and Wednesday, 16th September
Presented by Amovita International

This training provides a professional foundation to understand the importance of recognising and responding to risk in child protection. Participants will explore the legislative context of child protection to understand how the government mandates the reporting of risk. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a framework suitable to their organisation that enables the reporting and responding to suspected risk to the safety and welfare of children. This training is highly interactive, interesting and promotes deeper reflection, professional practices and discussion on the ethical and moral dilemmas in identifying and reporting risk with confidence using a professional framework. Find out more and register.

Platform 1225 2020: Truth, advocacy and systemic reform
Brisbane - Tuesday, 17th November
Presented by Queensland Youth Housing Coalition 

Comedian and author Corey White has been announced to headline and MC QYHC's annual forum Platform 1225. Corey joins advocates, academics, young people and practitioners who are committed to social justice, including Dr Lindy Annakin, lead writer of the out-of-home care chapter of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and researcher on whistleblowing in the public interest; Dr Alistair Ping, Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology’s Graduate School of Business; and Dr Kristy Muir, CEO of the Centre for Social Impact and a Professor of Social Policy at UNSW Sydney Business School. A panel of young people will speak to their lived experience on issues affecting their communities, including Lane Brooks, a 23 year-old Mandandanji man who is passionate about enacting change. Presentations will consider what can be done today to make sure the previous patterns of history are not repeated, and how to ensure ethical practice remains a key focus for organisations and government. Find out more and register.

Key Skills in Family Therapy
Brisbane - Thursday, 26th to Friday, 27th November

Presented by Compass Seminars

This two-day workshop is aimed at practitioners who work with children, young people, adults, couples, families, and/or organisations supporting clients with mental health issues. This workshop aims to introduce participants to core Family Therapy concepts and broaden practitioners understanding of how to view “the client’s problem”, as well as provide practical skills and interventions for use with the client groups with which they work, built on theoretical constructs from systemic, structural, solution focused and narrative family therapy models to teach core thinking and interviewing skills in family therapy. Find out more and register.

Case notes and record keeping
Webinar - Wednesday, 12th August

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is hosting a free webinar on the value of case notes and effective record keeping. The webinar will examine why keep case notes and records, what is a record, common mistakes when keeping case notes and records and how to avoid them, and how to write case notes and keep records in a way that is respectful of the client and allows the worker to discharge his or her professional responsibilities. Find out more and register.

Words Matter: getting the language of child mental health right
Webinar - Wednesday, 12th August

Getting the language of child mental health right is a crucial step in building a shared understanding, connecting children to supports and preventing mental health difficulties. Child Family Community Australia is hosting this free webinar in a two-part series exploring the importance of language in advancing child mental health. The webinar will: explore how mental health literacy affects how parents access support for their children, consider the risks and benefits of applying diagnostic labels to children, and propose a way forward for talking about child mental health. Find out more and register.

Youth Futures Summit into Employment and Transitions 2020
Online - Monday, 24th to Friday, 28th August

The National Youth Commission has rescheduled the Youth Futures Summit 2020 to August. Every young person deserves access to education, employment and a future in which they can thrive. But they are growing up in a world that is ill-equipped for the future of work, for the changing economy, for the climate crisis. The Summit will call sector representatives to collectively highlight the way forward, working together across education, VET, and industry, and with young people to form a new plan for their transitions into life and the future of work. Find out more and register.

Your Essential Briefing - National Annual Seminar
Webinar - Wednesday, 26th August

The NDS Your Essential Briefing National Annual Seminar this year will be held in a virtual format, and will provide the opportunity for disability service providers to be informed and collaborate on key topics in the disability sector. NDS CEO, David Moody, will address the hot issues currently facing the disability sector and what can be done. Speakers will also address implications from the Disability Royal Commission, NDIA pricing, and COVID-19 challenges and opportunities. Find out more and register.

Legal and practical responses to child abuse (QLD specific)
Webinar - Wednesday, 2nd September

This two-hour webinar by In Safe Hands Educators will assist early years educators, organisations and individuals to comply with their legislative requirements and meet duty of care obligations regarding child abuse specifically in Queensland. Find out more and register.

The CHAP Health Check: Who, Why, What, When and How?
Webinar - Tuesday, 8th September

Join this free NDS webinar to hear from to hear from Professor Nicholas Lennox present on the importance of comprehensive annual health assessments for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The CHAP Health Check is the only health assessment tool available for people with IDD that has been tested and proven to be effective within the Australian healthcare context. Find out more and register.

AIFS 2021 Conference
Melbourne - Tuesday, 15th to Friday, 18th June 2021

Following the postponement of the 2020 AIFS Conference, a new date has been set in 2021 for an unparalleled conference experience. Save the date for attending at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Conference will reflect on the social and economic impacts on families. What have we learnt about the challenges and the opportunities to support families with better policy and service systems in a rapidly changing world? Keep on eye on Conference updates for registrations and confirmed speakers.

Family Support Worker - YAC

YAC is seeking a fixed term (12 month contract with possibility of extension), part time (21 hours/week) Family Support Worker working out of the Petrie, Brisbane office. The role involves providing mobile/outreach services to young people aged 10-17 years and their families across an area from Caboolture to Beenleigh and Ipswich to the Bay and Islands. Applications close 6pm Monday, 10th August. Find out more and apply.

Team Leader, Coordinated Access Team - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a Team Leader for the Coordinated Access Team. The role is fixed term (to June 2021), full time (38 hours a week) and is classified at SCHADS Level 6. The role will provide effective management and consistency of partnerships and reporting in line with the relevant service agreements, and assist with management of staff and lead the team at an operational level. Applications close 5pm, Tuesday 18th August. Find out more and apply.

Specialist DV Financial Advocate, BDVS - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a fixed term to June 2021, part time (minimum 30.4 hours per week) Specialist DV Financial Advocate to work as part of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (BDVS). The role is classified at SCHADS Level 5. The role will provide financial and budgeting information, support and advocacy to women who experience financial hardship and stress arising from domestic violence. Please note, this position requires a current accredited membership of Financial Counsellors Associate of Queensland. Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 19th August. Find out more and apply.

Specialist DV Advocate (x2), BDVS - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking two full time Specialist DV Advocates to work as part of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (BDVS). One position is fixed term to June 2021, the other is ongoing. The roles are classified at SCHADS Level 4. The aim of the role is support people affected by domestic and family violence to live free from violence and to assist with the safety, emotional and practical needs and issues arising from their experience. Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 19th August. Find out more and apply.

Support Worker, Communities for Children - KENG

Kingston East Neighbourhood Group (KENG) is seeking a permanent part time (28 hours/week) Support Worker for the Communities for Children program operating out of Logan. The role is classified at SCHADS Level 4.1 and aims to support families of children aged 0-12 years through the coordination of a range of universal and evidence-based parenting and family support initiatives. Applications close Monday, 7th September. Find out more and apply. 

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PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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