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 @thehomestretch.org.au, 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!
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 Rights, Sustainability 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.