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- Tuesday, 14th July 2020 -

Australian governments having been walking a tightrope balancing their investment in strategies aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 with those aimed at ensuring that when outbreaks occur, individuals who contract the illness are quickly identified and treated. While concerns about the second wave that has hit Victoria are enormous, in comparison with other countries, Australian governments have done much better than most in walking the COVID-19 tightrope.

Parallels can be easily drawn between the complexities of managing COVID-19 with those associated with effective management of the child protection system. Both seek to strike the right balance between investing in strategies to prevent harm and those aimed at quickly responding to those who have been harmed and supporting them in their healing and recovery.

Why then have governments been able to keep the COVID-19 tightrope comparatively taut and steady, while allowing the child protection tightrope to incessantly wobble and swing?

Read more to find out PeakCare’s view and then add your own comments. This is an important discussion to which you are urged to contribute.

PeakCare-QATSICPP Survey - two short of 2,000

PeakCare and QATSICPP thank all who responded to our survey released on 19th June. We fell two short of our target of 2000 survey respondents – a fantastic effort! With several hundred pages of comments entered into the survey, it is apparent that the 1,998 people who responded were not shy in stating their opinions. With so much information having been collected, our plan is to release the survey findings in a number of instalments – an overview of the findings followed by a series of reports focussed on specific subject matters concluding with a report on what the survey respondents stated was missing from the LNP's plan to overhaul child safety system. The survey findings will provide a wealth of information that can add to the bipartisan dialogue agreed to by Premier Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington about improvements that can be made to Queensland’s child protection system. Once again, thank you to all who contributed to this important dialogue.

Next Steps Plus

From October 2018, eligibility for after care services were extended for young people in Queensland leaving care from the age of 21 to 25 years old. The Next Step Plus program adopts a collaborative approach to providing support to young people leaving care with service providers working closely with Child Safety Officers to undertake early planning while a young person is still in care and once they have transitioned out of care, providing more tailored and integrated responses and supports. Next Step Plus service providers have been funded to support eligible young people aged 15 to 25 years of age. To view the list of Next Step Plus service providers in Queensland by region, visit the Queensland government's After Your Transition From Care page. For more information on Next Step Plus, view the FAQ and fact sheet


Free modules to change the narrative around parenting in Australia

The Parenting Research Centre has released free online modules designed to help change the narrative around parenting in Australia in a way that better supports children and families to thrive. The modules are designed for anyone whose work focuses on children and families, including teachers, policymakers or community service professionals, to promote ways of talking about parenting that are more effective in engaging and equipping parents to support their childrens’ healthy development. The new modules form part of the Reframing Parenting project, which the Parenting Research Centre has been leading alongside the Frameworks Institute, with support from the Department of Social Services. Access the modules.

Raise the Age of criminal responsibility in Australia 

Join the discussion about keeping kids in community - not custody, by viewing a Q&A facilitated by Professor Larissa Behrendt and featured Children's Ground Chairperson William Tilmouth, Indigenous Advisor for Amnesty International Australia Rodney Dillon and Shahleena Musk, Senior Lawyer at Human Rights Law Centre. Australia's age of criminal responsibility is currently 10, years behind the international standard of 14. Evidence is conclusive that when children this young are forced through a criminal legal process at such a formative age, they can suffer immense harm to their health, wellbeing and future. The documentary film In My Blood It Runs is also available to view for free on ABC iView until Tuesday, 4th August. The film follows 10 year old Arrernte/Garrwa boy Dujuan and his family in Alice Springs, and charts the challenges Dujuan faces in his school and the increasing scrutiny he experiences from welfare and the police. Australian Attorneys-General will meet on Monday. 27th July to discuss raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility, so your voice is crucial.

Victim Assist updated online information sessions

Victim Assist Queensland is rolling out a new system for assessing applications for financial assistance. To learn more about the streamlined new process and how to help clients apply, free online information sessions are being held via ZOOM for workers supporting victims of violent crime in Queensland. Sessions are being held Wednesday, 22nd July 10.30am-12pm or Thursday, 30th July 1.30pm-3pm. To join RSVP to with the preferred date and time. 

I Speak Your Language during COVID-19 

The free government service I Speak Your Language could offer invaluable social support to multicultural families and individuals during COVID-19.  I Speak Your Language is a free telephone support program that connects people with a volunteer who speaks their language, and can offer access to reliable information on COVID-19. Each week, participants get a call and have a social chat to help them feel more connected with community and culture. Languages include: Russian, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, English, German, Korean, Arabic, French, Tagalog, Bulgarian, Bengali, Tamil, Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Gujarati, Punjabi, Farsi, Hindi, Dari, Ukrainian, Bangla, Macedonian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Romanian, Samoan, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hakka, Hokkein, Malay, Chin Hakha, Chin Mizo. View the flyer to find out more.

New podcast highlighting the voices of young people with a care experience

Voices in Action is a free podcast by CREATE Foundation to highlight the voices of children and young people with a care experience. The podcast launched yesterday, 13th July. The podcast provides an opportunity to hear directly from young people and provide a space for them to discuss the issues they see as important- issues such as transitioning from care, extending support to 21, the challenges they have faced, and their goals and aspirations moving forward into adulthood. The podcast is currently available on Apple and Spotify.

New COVID-19 telephone service for health professionals supporting clients with disability

A new telephone service is now available to provide specialised advice exclusively for health professionals responsible for the medical care of people with disability diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Calls will be answered by health professionals with disability service qualifications and experience working with people with disability. The service will be available on 1800 131 330 between 7am – 11pm (AEST) 7 days a week. The service will be available for a six week trial, at which point it will be assessed based on utilisation and future need. The service aims to support people with disability to receive more tailored support from mainstream health, as specific support may be required to address communication and management issues, such as behaviours of concern and the reduction of risk to the patient and staff involved in the process.

Transition to new Blue Card Organisational Portal

The Blue Card Services Organisation Portal is a free, online system designed to help organisations manage their blue card obligations and records more easily. It will enable organisations to see their blue card records in one place, perform tasks in real time, and will allow for secure exchange of sensitive information. When complete, the Organisation Portal will be an adaptable and user-friendly one-stop-shop for the management of blue card records. If your organisation is responsible for managing blue card records and obligations, the Organisation Portal can help you! Find out more about the Organisation Portal in this presentation. Contact the Blue Card team via with any questions about the transition.

Raise the Rate of income payments permanently

Today, 14th July, is the National Day of Action in support of #raisetherate, where hundreds of communities will join together to call on the Australian Government to Raise the Rate For Good. The Statement of Support developed by ACOSS to permanently raise the rate of JobSeeker (previously Newstart), Youth Allowance and related payments is now available online. Join PeakCare in signing the statement to support this important change to basic income in Australia. As we confront what will be a long-term economic downturn, we cannot turn our backs on those who are at risk of being left behind.

Life-changing grants to help Queensland's most vulnerable

Expressions of interest are now open for the Women and Change grant of up to $50,000 to support projects that address social disadvantage in Queensland. Since 2014, Queensland's first women’s giving circle Women and Change has offered eligible charities with DGR status the chance to create lasting change in Queensland’s most vulnerable communities. So far, Women and Change members have funded more than $300,000 worth of projects to support refugees, families in remote areas, young people living with chronic pain, teenage carers, children of mothers who are incarcerated, women experiencing domestic violence and newborn babies. National organisations are welcome to apply but all funds must be spent in Queensland within 12 months of the grant being awarded each November. Expressions of interest close Friday, 28th August. Click here for more details and to apply.   


Have your say on the state of the Australian community sector and the impact of COVID-19

The Australian Community Sector COVID-19 Survey is an opportunity to share your experiences of the COVID-19 crisis and help to identify priorities for the sector in coming months. Findings from the survey will government, the COVID Commission and other policy makers about critical issues affecting the community sector and any gaps in social services emerging during the COVID-19 early recovery period. All Queensland community sector staff are being asked to complete the picture of current issues and the impacts of COVID-19 on the sector. Information provided in the survey is confidential. If you complete the survey you will be given the option to enter a draw to win one of three $100 Coles-Myer shopping vouchers as a token of appreciation. The survey can be completed online and closes Tuesday, 21st July.

National Pyjama Day 2020 is on next week!

National Pyjama Day is on Friday. 17th July, so join schools and businesses across the country, jump into your favourite PJ's and help raise vital funds for children in foster care. Free host kits will continue to be sent out to every individual and group who register to hold an event in support of the day. Groups have held their days in support of the campaign as late as September, so it's not too late to register, but to join in the fun next Friday, register to receive a kit as soon as possible.

Nominations closing soon for 2021 Australian of the Year Awards

The Australian of the Year Awards is a great opportunity to nominate an outstanding Queenslander whose achievements and contributions are making a positive impact in your community or across the state for an Australian of the Year Award. Nominations can be made across four categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (those aged 65 years or over), Young Australian of the Year (ages 16 to 30), and Australia's Local Hero. Nominations close Friday, 31st July. Nominate online now.

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 each and every one of the 1,998 people who responded to the PeakCare-QATSICPP survey. PeakCare and QATSICPP fully appreciate the time taken from your busy schedules to complete the survey. A special thanks is extended to all who added well-considered and thoughtful comments. Your views will add richness and depth to our reporting on the survey findings.

Introduction to the Nurtured Heart Approach
Brisbane - Monday, 20th July
Presented by Lighthouse Resources

The Nurtured Heart Approach is a simple framework which nurtures and grows a child’s positive sense of self. All children who have been introduced to this approach flourish and learn to appreciate what is great about them. This workshop will encourage participants to change the way we look at challenging behaviours and increase awareness and understanding of relationships. Through an introduction to the Nurtured Heart Approach, the workshop will provide powerful tools to improve not only how children and young people views themselves, but also the world around them, so they can embrace themselves and embrace life. Find out more and register.

Child Safe Organisations Workshop
Webinar - Tuesday, 21st July

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.


Understanding risk in child protection
Webinar - Tuesday, 28th July and Wednesday, 29th July
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.

Anxiety and depression in children and adolescents
Webinar - Wednesday, 22nd July

The Family Law Pathways Networks Across Australia invite you to join a free webinar delivered by neuroscience educator Nathan Wallisdiscussing anxiety and depression in children and adolescents. In this webinar, Nathan will discuss the way the brain works, the human stress response system and the changes to the brain in the teenage years and will share techniques for managing stress, anxiety and depression in children and adolescents. Nathan will consider these issues in the context of family breakdown. Find out more and register.

Invisible practices: Working with fathers who use violence
Webinar - Wednesday, 22nd July

Women and children living with violence can experience inconsistent responses from different service systems. This webinar hosted by ANROWS and AIFS will explore how all-of-family approaches can help address these differences between service systems, and the need to work with men who use violence. This webinar will build on the learnings from Sadie’s story, a previous webinar from ANROWS and AIFS that highlighted one woman’s challenges within a fragmented system. Find out more and register.

The impact of COVID-19 on front line workers facing conflict in others
Webinar - Monday, 29th June

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is hosting a free webinar to learn how to managing complex emotions in yourself and others and achieve better interpersonal outcomes during stressful times such the COVID-19 experience, and understand the techniques and self-regulation skills needed to cope with anger, flooded emotions in ourselves and others and how to better manage conflict at home or work. Peter Seligman, Executive Manager, Relationship Matters, will facilitate the session. 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.

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.

Practice Supervisor, The Courage Project - Bravehearts 

Bravehearts is seeking a part time, fixed term (2 years) Practice Supervisor for the The Courage Project service operating out of Mackay. The role reports to Bravehearts’ Director of Therapeutic and Support Services and provides clinical supervision to all staff including students of the Courage Project over 2 days per week. The role is classified at SCHADS Level 7. Applications close Friday, 17th JulyFind out more and apply.

Child and Family Advocate x 2, The Courage Project - Bravehearts

Bravehearts is seeking two part time, fixed term (2 years) Child and Family Advocate for the The Courage Project service operating out of Mackay. The Child and Family Advocate assists children and families affected by child sexual assault and/or physical violence. They provide advocacy services and therapeutic supports as appropriate. They will collaborate with government service providers and community partners to ensure the best outcomes for children as well as provide community education. The role is classified at SCHADS Level 5. Applications close Friday, 17th JulyFind out more and apply.

Therapeutic Clinician x 2, The Courage Project - Bravehearts

Bravehearts is seeking two full time, fixed term (2 years) Therapeutic Clinicians for the The Courage Project service operating out of Mackay. The purpose of this role is to provide trauma-informed mental health services for children under 14 years old who have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse and/or assault; and are at risk of self-harm; in the Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac area. The role is classified at SCHADS Level 5.  Applications close Friday, 17th JulyFind out more and apply.

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PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

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