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- Friday, 13th April 2018 -

The Australian Law Reform Commission report Pathways to Justice has recommended that a national inquiry be held into the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, acknowledging the “recognised links between out-of-home care, juvenile justice and adult incarceration.” The overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in detention is not news, but for an independent Commission to explicitly recommend that an inquiry be held into “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection, and the state and territory laws that see such children placed into out-of-home care” is worth more than fleeting consideration.

Among the concerns highlighted in the report are the high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, up to 80% of whom are mothers. The removal of primary caregivers has a significant impact on families and communities, contributing to the cycle of disadvantage where Indigenous children are placed in out of home care – at rates 10 times that of non-Indigenous children – which drastically and unfairly raises the likelihood of these children becoming involved with the youth justice system.

The reaction to the report and its recommendations has been vocal, with some criticising the implication that for substantive, not merely formal, equality and effective reform, the law might need to treat Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples differently. It is worth remembering, however, for the sentencing of all offenders regardless of race, taking into consideration cultural and personal backgrounds reveals both the fault lines and the fertile grounds within our communities.

What do you think? Share a comment by email to Lindsay Wegener or over on our Facebook page.

Organisational changes to the Department of Child Safety

Michael Hogan, Director General, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (the Department) has released a statement outlining changes to the Department in effect since Tuesday, 3rd April. The two main changes involve a restructuring of the Department into five areas - corporate services; information, innovation and recovery; strategy; and service delivery - servicing five regions: Northern Queensland; Central Queensland; Moreton; South West; and South East. The full statement with detailed structure and regional distribution charts can be viewed here.

Report recommends foreign donation bill do more to ensure charities not unfairly targeted

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (the Committee) has released its report into the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017.  The bill seeks to ban foreign donations to political parties, as well as introducing a compliance framework for organisations and charities that publicly advocate on policy issues regardless of whether these organisations receive foreign donations. The Committee made 15 recommendations including clarifying non-partisan issue based advocacy from political expenditure in support of respective parties. Many smaller charities could be unfairly affected by the need to comply with the extensive recordkeeping and disclosure requirements, such as monitoring donations in real-time for some non-profit groups. Find out more, view the submissions made to the Committee or read more recent media coverage on the issue.

New videos on domestic violence court process

The Queensland Government has created a series of videos to explain what domestic violence is, the court process for applying or responding to domestic violence orders, and what happens in court. The videos are available in a range of languages and also in Auslan. Transcripts are also available for each video.

Supporting Aboriginal children and young people

VACCA is the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. They have recently launched a new website, Deadly Story, that aims to support Aboriginal children and young people in understanding of their origin, identity, belonging, purpose, beliefs and culture. It also contains resources aimed at carers and practitioners who work with them. VACCA also have a new campaign - It’s What You Don’t See - to raise awareness about family violence and its impact on Aboriginal children.

Practice implications for child protection - a conversation with Dr Silke Meyer

Dr Silke Meyer is a social worker and criminologist. Currently she is a Senior Lecturer at Central Queensland University (CQU), working with victims of domestic and family violence and on accountability for those who have perpetrated violence and the myriad of issues this highlights in research and practice. 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.

Language matters

Language both expresses and shapes our perceptions of the world. In this week’s In the Read, we take a closer look at how the language we use matters, and the ways in which we can ensure it is inclusive.

In relation to children in care, the Queensland and Family Child Commission report When a child is missing - Remembering Tiahleigh notes that changing the perception of blame or criminality around children and young people choosing to absent themselves from designated foster or residential care settings is important to conceptualising those settings as a new home. Similarly, a recent G-Force Issues Paper states that language should respect children and young people’s feelings around placements, and not ignore their choices about where they feel most at home.

A recent IndigenousX article on the language underpinning Closing the Gap strategies reveals how language can unfairly target Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The article shows how the punitive dimensions of policy – both rhetorically and functionally – have begun depicting Aboriginality itself as the active determinant in statistical outcomes such as higher rates of incarcerations or poor health; i.e. that “Aboriginal people are more likely to be arrested”, not that police are more likely to arrest Aboriginal people, or judges more likely to sentence them.

Much research has also explored the use of gendered language particularly in professional environments, which, in a similar way, favours and reproduces male domination, for example through the general application of masculine linguistic forms such as ‘guys’. This then silences and systemically disadvantages women.

For practitioners, actively adopting inclusive language and promoting positive change are crucial for equity. Excuse Interpreter is a resource to help identify and rethink gender stereotypes. Language Matters is a resource that highlights a person-centred, non-stigmatising approach to treating substance use. The Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusive Language Guide explains key terms and offers examples of preferred language for supporting gender diverse inclusiveness. 

Are the Kids OK? Assessing risk while supporting families
Brisbane - Thursday, 19th April
Presented by
Encompass Family and Community

Targeted at anyone working in a support role with families and young people, this workshop is a popular favourite which regularly receives rave reviews by participants. All who work with families, children and young people must have as their focus the safety and well-being of the children. An ability to assess the risk of harm, and to recognise both protective factors and indicators of danger, is crucial. This one day workshop provides an opportunity for participants to develop their knowledge and skills specific to work with families where the well-being of children is a focus. Participants will have the opportunity to apply core concepts and knowledge to their own practice context. Find out more and register.

Introduction to working with children in therapy sessions
Brisbane - Saturday, 21st and Sunday, 22nd April 
Presented by AASW

The basic principles and practices of working with children in therapy sessions for social workers and health care professionals will be covered through experiential exercises, discussion and some personal exploration. Content will include: the paradoxical theory of change, the magic of role playing with children, being open to the unexpected, experiencing the now and the creative void. Find out more and register.


Resolving Conflict and Mediating Outcomes: The Black Ops of Disputes
Brisbane - Monday, 23rd to Tuesday, 24th April
Presented by Amovita Consulting

This training explores the latest research on the impacts of conflict in the workplace, and provides the necessary skills and framework to understand the contexts in which conflict takes place. Outcomes of the training include understanding conflict typology, developing a mediation framework and eight steps for assertive expression. Suitable for HR professionals, program managers, team leaders, supervisors. Find out more and register.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention / Mandatory Reporting
Beaudesert - Saturday, 28th April
Presented by NAPCAN

This 3-hour interactive workshop covers essential knowledge for anyone working with children and young people, particularly those covered by mandatory reporting requirements. Topics covered include: roles and responsibilities in the prevention of child abuse and neglect, legislative requirements including mandatory reporting, organisational/individual responsibility in responding to early indicators of harm and family support needs, how to respond, and prevention strategies. This workshop will also be held in other locations around Queensland. Find out more and register


Child sexual abuse: issues in practice when working with multicultural communities
Brisbane - Monday, 30th April
Presented by The Oasis Centre

Jatinder Kaur, Manager of The Oasis Centre and Director of JK Diversity Consultants, will deliver this full day training workshop for practitioners working with migrant and refugee clients, to explore the issues in practice when dealing with child sexual abuse in CALD communities. Find out more and register.

123 Magic® & Emotion Coaching
Brisbane - Wednesday, 30th May
Presented by Parentshop

This one-day training course that provides skills to teach parents and carers of children aged 2-12 the skills to manage their children’s difficult behaviour. Training includes role play, group discussion, worksheets and videos. The course equips professionals with the knowledge to teach parents the program over three sessions and/or how to teach the tenets of the program in a few one-to-one clinical sessions. Active PD hours apply. Find out more and register.

Overcoming School Refusal
Brisbane - Friday, 1st June
Presented by Compass Seminars

This interactive, one day workshop explores the causes, co-morbidities and treatment of School Refusal in children and young people, along with providing step-by-step plans and strategies for educators, health professionals and parents to identify and address the problem. Combining educational and clinical perspectives, the workshop uses real case studies to demonstrate the varied reasons students disengage from school, and how tailored interventions and return to school plans, can meet the specific needs of individual children. Find out more and register. This workshop will also be held at the Gold Coast on 31st May.

Morning tea for parents
Brisbane - Monday, 16th April

Family Inclusion Network will host a morning tea for parents who have / had children in care, or have / had an intervention with parental agreement, or have been reunified with your children. Join the morning tea to chat with other parents about how they navigated the child protection, legal and out-of-home care systems. Hear how they gained support, addressed their child protection concerns, and became more included in the lives of their children. Child minding and morning tea provided. View the flyer for more details.

Diversity in Disaster Conference 
Melbourne -
Tuesday, 17th to Wednesday, 18th April

The Diversity in Disaster Conference is an initiative of the Gender and Disaster Pod, Monash University, VCOSS and Resilient Melbourne, and is supported by the federal and Victorian governments. The conference is designed to examine how communities can be empowered to be more resilient following natural disasters. It will focus on people from marginalised, diverse or underrepresented communities who may experience disasters differently, and can face unique challenges in their ability to respond and recover. Find out more and register.

CPPAQ Practice Paper: Interviewing children and young people - Lessons from the Royal Commission
Brisbane - Wednesday, 2nd May 

The first Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ) Practice Paper will explore the topic: Interviewing children and young people – Lessons from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Practice Paper will examine the lessons learned by the Royal Commission in order to shape systems, policy and practice approaches into the future. The session Chair will be Ann Gummow, until recently the Managing Lawyer for the Brisbane division of Knowmore, an independent service giving free legal advice to assist survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Keynote speakers include Bob Atkinson AO APM, Commissioner for the Royal Commission, and Michael Byrne QC, Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions. View the flyer or purchase tickets now

YANQ Platform 1225 Forum 2018: Abuse of Power – Confronting Dynamics of Harm
Brisbane - Friday, 11th May

Youth Affairs Network Queensland (YANQ) present Platform 1225 Forum 2018: Abuse of Power – Confronting Dynamics of Harm. Platform 1225 is an insightful discussion between key stakeholders in youth housing and homelessness featuring the voices of young people, academics and practitioners. This year, the conversation is focusing on abuse of power and dynamics of harm whilst also looking at the intersection between domestic and family violence and its impact on the lives of young people. The key aim is to encourage industry professionals to gather and explore new ideas to address the topic outlined each year. The format encompasses a keynote speaker, the experiences of young people and a panel discussion. Register here.

NFP State of the Nation Seminar 
Cairns - Friday, 11th May

The Australian Charity Guide's Not-For-Profit State of the Nation travelling seminar will explore the current state of the NFP sector, latest trends, techniques and innovations in fundraising, how to develop a marketing strategy, sales in a NFP context to attract donors, staff, volunteers and corporate partners and best practice customer service. The seminar travels around the country and will also take place at Brisbane on Friday, 29th June. Find out more and register here.

ANROWS Acting on Evidence: 2nd Research Conference on Violence Against Women and their Children
Sydney - Tuesday, 15th to Thursday, 17th May 

The 2nd ANROWS National Research Conference on Violence against Women and their Children - Acting on Evidence focuses on translating research findings into policy and practice. The conference discusses new evidence and applications, including in areas such as responding to violence against women in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, service provision in complex contexts, data challenges and opportunities, positive interventions for young people using violence and public health perspectives. View the programmore about the speakers or register now.

QCOSS 2018 State Conference - Movement for Change 
Brisbane - Wednesday, 16th to Thursday, 17th May

The QCOSS 2018 State Conference Movement for Change - Play Your Part will ask how to move our communities closer to greater wellbeing by challenging how we talk about the world. The conference will explore the current landscapes in which we live and work, uncover the big issues and identify the stories that are dividing our community, develop an understanding of the evidence base for change and the current state of play from which to move forward, explore reforms currently underway, and learn from opinion leaders from different backgrounds and sectors. The conference will be hosted by author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, speaker, broadcaster and award winning advertising writer Jane Caro, with appearances by Richard Denniss, Mick Gooda, the Puuya Foundation, Family by Family and many more. View the program, find out more about the speakers or register now.

Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference
Gold Coast - Monday, 28th and Tuesday, 29th May 

The Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association is hosting the annual Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference covering a broad range of topics including prevention, treatment, systematic responses, behaviours, mental health and harm reduction in relation to all types of addiction.  The program will include emerging trends and the various addictive habits of alcohol and other drugs, gambling, and more. View the program, find out more about the speakers, or register now.

Ending Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Family Violence Conference
Sydney - Tuesday, 29th to Wednesday, 30th May

The Ending Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Family Violence Conference has been designed to help make the change toward ending violence in Indigenous Australian communities. The conference will provide practical guidance on how to be more effective in the areas of prevention, healing, response, and working with people who use violence, as well as how to increase self-determination. View the programfind out more about speakers or register now.

2018 Creating Child Safe Organisations
Sydney - Tuesday, 29th to Wednesday, 30th May

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is hosting a National Conference to explore the plans to improve prevention and enhance responses to child sexual abuse. The Conference will explore future directions, how to implement a child safe culture and framework, how to improve incident reporting and responses and how to equip staff to support child safe environments. View the program or register now.

ACA 2018 National Childcare Conference
Gold Coast - Friday, 1st June to Sunday, 3rd June

Australian Childcare Alliance Queensland will deliver the 2018 National Childcare Conference – Together We Grow, It Takes A Village. For more details, view the program or find out more about the speakers. Register here.

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.

Assistant Director - PeakCare Queensland

Applications are now sought for the new position of Assistant Director at PeakCare from people who are: strong leaders committed to improving the life outcomes of Queensland children, young people and families; strategic thinkers with demonstrated capacity to serve as a member of PeakCare's senior management team; and hungry to play their part in a dynamic organisation that thrives on challenges. View more information about the role. For a copy of the position description, advice about how you can submit an application or responses to any queries you may have about the position, please email The closing date for submitting applications is COB Wednesday, 18th April.

Deputy Director-General Service Delivery/Chief Operations Officer - Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women is seeking a experienced, high quality leader to join the Executive team reporting to the Director-General. The successful applicant will provide strategic and operational leadership and management for the delivery of, and investment in, child safety and family support services, youth and youth justice services, and women’s and violence prevention services across Queensland. Applications close Friday, 20th April. View more information and apply.

QLD State Coordinator - CREATE

CREATE are seeking a Queensland State Coordinator for a full time, fixed term maternity leave cover. This role requires a highly motivated advocate to promote the rights of children and young people in Queensland. It also requires a person with a collaborative approach to facilitate the voice of children and young people to improve the out of home care system. The role also encompasses oversight of the delivery of CREATE programs and activities. Applications close Monday, 23rd April. View more information and apply.

Immediate Supported Accommodation Property Manager - Kingston East Neighbourhood Group (KENG)

KENG is looking for an experienced Property Manager to provide high quality tenancy management of the Immediate Supported Accommodation program. The position will support all aspects of the tenancy arrangements including leases, property inspections, maintenance and rent management. Kingston East Neighbourhood Group Inc. is a not-for-profit community organisation offering a diverse range of programs and services for the Logan community. The position is permanent part time 16 hours per week (3 days). Applications close 5pm Thursday, 26th April. View more information and apply.

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