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- Monday, 8th June 2020 -

In the wake of debate created by a recommendation to “routinely and genuinely” consider adoption as a suitable permanency option for children made by Deputy Coroner Jane Bentley in her findings into the tragic death of Mason Jet Lee, the Federal Government’s Assistant Children and Families Minister, Michelle Landry has waded in and created a furore by making an outrageous claim. In promoting her own views about adoption, Ms Landry has stated that “child protection systems must have the moral courage to remove at-risk children”.

PeakCare, similar to many other organisations, academics and individuals, has significant concerns about the excessive use of adoption and holds reservations about a number of aspects relating to the Deputy Coroner’s recommendations. PeakCare entirely rejects the notion that our concerns or those held by others are borne out of a lack of “moral courage”.  It is an offensive accusation. Whatever opinions may be held about adoption, it must be assumed that all who participate in the debate hold children’s best interests at heart and they do not deserve to be chided for expressing their views. Ms Landry’s comments are divisive and polarise opinions when, in reality, a much more nuanced discussion is required to explore and research where and when adoption can most suitably fit within the range of options that must be extended and made available to match the needs and circumstances of individual children. There is no place for quick-fix, one-size-fits-all responses to children’s needs, whether that be adoption or any other supposed solution.

PeakCare fully appreciates that questions about the use of adoption can become a contentious matter and there may be a range of opinions held about this matter. PeakCare embraces a diversity of views – it simply means that we must engage in further research, discussion and debate.

Click here to read more about PeakCare’s opinion. After doing so, you are strongly encouraged to enter comments about any of the matters discussed. No matter what view you express, please be assured that PeakCare will not accuse you of lacking “moral courage” in making your views known.

PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener speaks to the media about the findings of the inquest into the death of Mason Jet Lee, and about adoption recommendations contained in the report

“What he endured was gut wrenching” – PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener speaks to ABC Brisbane Drive’s Steve Austin on the findings of the inquest into the death of toddler Mason Jet Lee. Are there better ways of protecting children? Hear what was said in the interview, and then share your thoughts on PeakCare’s Facebook post.

Should adoption be “routinely and genuinely” considered as an option for children in out of home care? Read what was said by PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener to ABC News on the recommendations contained in the Deputy Coroner’s report into the death of Mason Lee, and then have your say on PeakCare’s Facebook post

Or watch this episode of ABC News (4th June edition). Scroll to 12:00 to view interviews of Act for Kisd Katrina Lines', PeakCare's Lindsay Wegener, and Garth Morgan from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP).

“The dangers when children become hidden away” – How and why did this tragedy occur? PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener comments to Channel 9 News on the findings of the inquest into the death of toddler Mason Jet Lee. View what was said on the news segment, and then share your thoughts on PeakCare’s Facebook post.

Additional sessions of QHRC's Human Rights in the Child Protection Context webinar now available

TWO new session times are now available of the free videoconference session by the Queensland Human Rights Commission on human rights in the child protection context, tailored for the child safety and out of home care sector. These sessions explore the scope of the 23 human rights protected by the new Queensland Human Rights Act 2019. The sessions will offer interactive opportunities to work through specific child protection scenarios to learn how to assess the compatibility of public entities’ acts or decisions with human rights. The sessions will be held Tuesday, 16th June and Wednesday, 24th June. Find out more and register.

Blue Card Services update

Due to COVID-19, Blue Card Services advises commencement of the No Card, No Start legislation is temporarily delayed. As such, the existing blue card system requirements will remain in place and continue to apply until further notice. To stay up to date with Blue Card changes subscribe to the Blue Card Newsletter or visit the website.

Wisdom for practice from young Aboriginal Australians

CREATE Aboriginal Young Consultants have shared wisdom for practice about what is needed during COVID-19. Tricia, Skye and TJ shared powerful insights into the care system and what young people need during transition, highlighting the importance of mental health, connection with culture, and education. Listen to their experiences and find out more about CREATE's work during COVID-19, featuring discussions with young people with a care experience at the centre.

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week

We are currently in the middle of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week (7-12 June), which aims to highlight the importance of babies' emotional wellbeing and development. The week provides an opportunity for everyone to share work they are doing and to help raise awareness of this important part of early childhood development, which includes the importance of the First 1,000 Days. Find out more.

Calming the body before calming the mind: strategies for children affected by trauma

This article published by Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) describes strategies to help children who have experienced trauma learn how to calm their bodies in order to help calm their minds and emotions. The article explores the Regulate-Relate-Reason approach and outlines how helping children to feel calmer can support better therapeutic approaches. The article also includes links to further resources.

Playing IT Safe resource for parents, carers and educators

Playing IT Safe is an early learning initiative developed in partnership by the Australian Federal Police, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and the eSafety Commissioner, that aims to help parents, carers and educators teach prior to school age children how to stay safe online. The online resource provides tailored information, support and further links for helping children learn about safety and technology age-appropriately. The resource also includes play-based activities that can be completed with children to help solidify safety messages. 

Self-care for youth workers

Youth Coalition of the ACT has developed a comprehensive toolkit for self-care for youth workers during these challenging times. The toolkit explains why self-care is important and how to get it right, why usual strategies may not be working at the moment, as well as providing a template for drawing up a self-care plan, and examples. Access the toolkit online.

Disability Royal Commission issues paper on rights and attitudes

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released an issues paper on the awareness and recognition of the rights of people with disability, to seek to understand more about the level of awareness that people with disability, and the wider community, have about the rights of people with disability. The issues paper also seeks responses about the attitudes people hold towards people with disability to understand more about how those attitudes develop and what can be done to change them. Responses are sought until Friday, 31st July. Find out more and respond.

Submissions open in response to Criminal Code (Choking in Domestic Settings) Bill

The Criminal Code (Choking in Domestic Settings) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2020 has been  referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee for examination. The committee seeks submissions on the Bill by midday, Friday 17th July on the Bill's terms of reference. The Bill aims to: strengthen the offence of choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting (non-lethal strangulation offence) as provided for in section 315A of the Criminal Code by addressing the ambiguity of the words ‘choke’, ‘suffocate’ and ‘strangle’; increase the maximum penalty for the non-lethal strangulation offence to adequately punish offenders and deter other persons from committing the same offence; recognise the seriousness of the non-lethal strangulation offence by classifying the offence as a serious violent offence. The committee will hold a public briefing on Monday, 13th July and a public hearing on Monday, 7th September. Find out more.

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.

A HUGE THUMBS UP this week to Black Lives Matter! Putting aside whatever views you may hold about the wisdom of large crowds gathering together during the pandemic, to witness people from across the world uniting to declare that Black Lives Matter was spine-tingling! It was a once in a lifetime historical event that will hopefully re-shape the lives of many future generations to come.

2020 Webinar Series: The power of a critical friend – Collective Change Facilitation
Online - Wednesday, 17th June
Presented by CREATE

Collective Change Facilitators are an important part of the Prevention Translation and Support System being developed as part of the CREATE-ing Pathways to Child Wellbeing project. Collective Change Facilitators work to strengthen Community Coalition functioning, a factor that has been linked to coalition success when influencing positive community change. They support collaboration and relationships within and external to the community coalition by working alongside members of a partnership to enhance their functioning while also building capacity. Find out more and register.

Mastering Vicarious Stress
Webinar - Tuesday, 23rd and Wednesday, 24th June
Presented by Amovita International

Amovita's mastering vicarious stress program assists you, your colleagues, manager, leader and teams to understand the impact of fear based energy to your brain and body. It assists to reduce the impacts of stress on the brain and understand how to remain focused and have a clear plan to move through 2020. It assists you and your family to come through this difficult time knowing you have reduced the impacts of vicarious stress on your health and wellbeing. This program is interactive, dynamic and provides you with the latest information about how to manage yourself and others during this very difficult time. Find out more and register.

Child Safe Organisations Workshop
Webinar - Thursday, 25th June

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. Face-to-face workshops are scheduled for fourth quarter in Caboolture, Townsville, Mount Isa and Emerald (restrictions permitting). Find out more and register.

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.

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.

What will it take for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to live vibrant, joyful lives?
Webinar - Wednesday, 10th June

In this free webinar as part of the AIFS Families in Focus 2020 webinar series, Richard Weston will discuss SNAICC’s work in policy development and advocacy to help more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children to have happy, healthy childhoods that set them up to have the best opportunity for a good life. Find out more and register.

Promoting the best outcomes for children in domestic family violence cases
Webinar - Wednesday, 10th June

In this free webinar, David Mandel, the creator of the internationally-known Safe & Together Model, will describe how a perpetrator pattern-based approach to domestic violence cases involving children can help with custody and access decisions by guiding evaluations and representation of a child's best interests. The Safe & Together Model aims to end the use of “failure to protect” mentality in domestic violence cases, and helps systems better work with complex cases involving mental health issues, substance misuse and domestic violence. Find out more and register.

Strengthening capacity for multicultural and settlement services to support women experiencing violence
Webinar - Wednesday, 10th June

This free webinar will unpack new ANROWS research, ‘Multicultural and settlement services supporting women experiencing violence: The MuSeS project’.  The expert panel of researchers and practitioners will discuss: how multicultural and settlement services regularly encounter and respond to clients who are experiencing violence; the strengths and constraints impacting service provision; key recommendations of the research for policy and practice. This webinar is designed for practitioners and policymakers working in refugee, migrant and settlement services, and domestic and family violence services. Find out more and register.

Pandemic: Exposing the risk
Webinar - Friday, 19th June

This free webinar delivered by National Disability Services will explore the question of whether enough is being done in the context of the pandemic shining a spotlight on disability vulnerabilities. Professor Nicholas Lennox will present the webinar and speak to the multiple compounding factors that act to heighten levels of risk to people with intellectual and developmental disability and what every provider needs to know and practice to strengthen their pandemic preparedness. Topics will include: the health status of people with intellectual and developmental disability – mortality, morbidity and barriers to care; the emerging research on COVID-19 and IDD – doubling deaths in disability; recovery and rehabilitation from the disease – what we are learning from case examples and research; latent pandemic risks – a second wave, outbreaks, and/or a slow spread; what you can do as a provider to make a difference – fact sheets, health assessments, training, planning, maintaining the core elements to keep people safe. 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.

Youth Support Worker, YASS - YAC

Youth Advocacy Centre (YAC) is seeking a near full-time, fixed term (minimum 30 hours per week, 12 month contract with possibility of extension) Youth Support Worker as part of the Brisbane Youth Accommodation Support Service (YASS). The role works out of the Petrie Terrace providing mobile/outreach services to young people aged 16-19 years who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across an area from Caboolture to Beenleigh and Ipswich to the Bay and Islands. A YAC vehicle is provided for work-related travel and the applicant must be able to work autonomously and as part of a small team. Applications close midday, Monday 15th June. Find out more and apply.

© 2020 PeakCare Queensland Inc. All rights reserved.

PeakCare Queensland
PO Box 159
Paddington Qld 4064

Click here to apply to become a PeakCare member or supporter. Membership with PeakCare will ensure your organisation is involved in the development of the child protection sector. 

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