YOUR state election wishes?
Have you read the comments entered in response to PeakCareâ€™s blog about our State Election wishes? Have you read the response from the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)? Or the comment entered by Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) Queensland? Or the many other comments entered by individuals who have seized the opportunity to let an incoming government know their views about issues of importance to the child protection sector?
This is the last opportunity YOU have to speak up and make YOUR views known. Do not leave it to only a few people to advocate for the best interests of our sector and the many Queensland children, young people and families who are receiving your organisationâ€™s services.
PeakCareâ€™s State Election Video Series
Have you watched (and made sure your staff and colleagues have watched) PeakCareâ€™s State Election Video Series featuring Minister Shannon Fentiman and Shadow Minister Ros Bates speaking on:
- The progress of child protection reforms since the Carmody Inquiry and their priorities for the future (Video One)
- Reforming the system while continuing to be held accountable for keeping children and young people safe (Video Two)
- Disproportionate representation and improving life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and families (Video Three)
- The care that Queensland children and young people are receiving, and the support of their carers (Video Four)
- Taking up the challenges of the child protection portfolio (Video Five)
Visit our Facebook page, read the comments that have been entered in response to each of the videos and enter your own.
NT Royal Commission report released
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has released its report, bringing together findings about how children and young people were treated in NT detention centres and the welfare system over the last decade. The Commissioners found much wrong with both systems: shocking and systemic failures. In recognition of the grossly disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families and the crossover between the two systems, many recommendations are made to the NT and Commonwealth governments. These focus on different aspects and seek to redress the involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in more intensive systems, ensure rights, and meet safety, health, educational, cultural and wellbeing needs. Core to change is shifting investment from tertiary systems into early intervention and prevention, shifting investment to community-controlled organisations and governments working WITH Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The findings and recommendations fit with the building blocks of the Family Matters campaign. It remains to be seen whether the NT and Commonwealth governments' pledge of 'serious action' and not letting the report 'sit on the shelf like previous reports' are realised. Similarly, whether the calls from the Prime Minister and Family Matters' co-chair Natalie Lewis will be heeded by other jurisdictions to recognise the implications and reflect on the operation of their respective systems.
Report finds educational neglect among Australian students in care
The Association of Child Welfare Agencies (ACWA) released a report providing a snapshot of the broad level of educational engagement of New South Wales students in out-of-home care. Through an online survey in week 3 of term 3, 23 services provided data about 2,581 children and young people (about 40% of school-aged children in care in NSW). Eleven survey respondents were subsequently interviewed to investigate practitioners' experiences in interacting with the education system given that services hold case management responsibilities and interact directly with schools, rather than the statutory agency. Findings include 1 in 5 children were absent from school during the survey period, including more than 1 in 3 students living in residential care. Over 30% of students did not have an individual education plan, and around the same percentage of students were attending part time (14.5%) or were suspended (14.1%). â€˜Chronic disengagementâ€™ (eg. due to school or performance anxiety) accounted for over a third of students being absent in survey week.
Vocational education and training for young people in care
Do you know young people aged 15-21 who are, or have been living in care, and are thinking about vocational education and training or job options, but not sure where to start? The Department of Education and Training's Whatâ€™s Next Out-of-Home Care fund can help these young people take the next step, including financial help with enrolment fees and other training costs like uniforms, textbooks and occupational licenses such as a Blue Card or the work safety White Card. You can help the young people register by sending an email to WhatsNextOOHC@det.qld.gov.au and include the young personâ€™s name, age, postcode and contact number AND a statement confirming the young personâ€™s eligibility: eg. I can confirm that XXX is currently/has been in out-of-home care in Queensland. The young person will then be contacted by a Whatâ€™s Next Pathways Officer to help them take the next step. This is a great opportunity, so itâ€™s really important that young people register for this funding now. Find out more at the website or view the flyer.
Findings on Australian experiences of personal safety
Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) have developed an infographic containing some of the most significant findings on violence against women from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey 2016. The findings show that women continue to be affected by violence in different contexts, including one quarter of women who experience violence by an intimate partner and half of all women who experience sexual harassment during their lifetimes. View the infographic. The ABS statistics also show that men are more likely to have experienced physical violence (41%) than women (31%). Overall, the proportion of people experiencing violence in the last 12 months has declined over the last decade, primarily due to a decline in incidents of physical violence, though for women, the rates of partner violence have not declined. One in six women (16%) and one in ten men (11%) experienced abuse before the age of 15, with 10% of men and 13% of women witnessing violence towards their mother by a partner before the age of 15. View the full ABS data.
Your voice, one vision consultation report delivered
The Queensland Mental Health Commission has launched Your voice, one vision, consultation report 2017, Review of the Queensland Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Strategic Plan 2014-2019 consultation report, providing key findings obtained during consultation with the Queensland community to support systemic improvements in treating mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency and impacts of suicide. Find out more about how the findings will be utilised in improving outcomes for Queenslanders.
Resource sheet on children in care
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) have developed a factsheet to inform service providers, practitioners and policy-makers about children living in alternative care arrangements. It provides a snapshot of the data on Australian children and young people who were in out-of-home care during 2015-16 and identifies current issues in providing a safe and stable care arrangement, including implementing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Placement Principle and supporting young people leaving care. Access the fact sheet.
Toolkit for disaster resilient organisations
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has developed Resilient Community Organisations, a toolkit for community sector organisations to help measure and improve resilience to disasters and emergencies. The toolkit includes a benchmarking system so organisations can assess their current state of preparedness for disasters and emergencies and identify areas of improvement and a guide to Six Steps to Disaster Resilience which provides information and resources to take action.
Community Partnership Scheme funding available
The Nous Community Partnership Scheme is seeking applications for consulting projects that will help to build the capability of eligible organisations to contribute to positive social, cultural, economic and/ or environmental outcomes in Australia. Nous will contribute up to $40,000 to any one organisation for a consulting project in the 2017 Round. They ask successful applicants to co-contribute between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of the total monetary value of the project. Find out more.
Young people's experiences of separated families
The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is conducting research into children and young people's experiences of living in families that have separated. They are seeking to speak with young people aged 10â€“17 years and a parent about their experiences with family law system services. As a thank you for their participation, young people will receive a $30 gift voucher and their parent a $20 gift voucher. This research is ending soon, so to participate, visit the website.
Save the date for 1st Asia Pacific Safe & Together Model Conference 2018
The Safe & Together Institute (USA) and the Berry Street Childhood Institute will be holding the 1st Asia Pacific Safe & Together Model Conference on 7th-8th February 2018 in Melbourne. The Safe & Together Model is an internationally respected approach for working with families impacted by domestic violence perpetrator behaviour. Join David Mandel, the Executive Director of the Safe & Together Institute and creator of the Safe & Together Model, and other change leaders from across Australia, for this conference, and learn about intervening with perpetrators as parents, partnering with adult survivors and promoting safer and more stable homes for children. Visit the website to stay updated with further details of the conference.
Urgent appeal for Micah Projects' 2017 Christmas Hamper Appeal
In 2016 Micah Projects organised, packed and delivered over 500 food and fresh fruit hampers as a result of generous donations from the community. This year Micah are requesting donations of goods from the Hampers list or money to purchase fresh fruit and groceries, with NON-PERISHABLE food items urgently required. Volunteers are also urgently required for Hamper Day on Friday 22nd December, for packing and/or delivering hampers. For more details and to volunteer, visit the SignUp site.
Don't forget kids in care this Christmas
As part of their Christmas Appeal, CREATE are trying to secure as many gift vouchers from as many different places as possible to use as gifts and prizes for children and young people who are clubCREATE members. These gift vouchers can bring joy, excitement and most importantly the knowledge that someone cares. To help, either donate online or send a gift voucher of your choice from any major national retailer, such as Coles Myer, Hoyts or Toys R Us to email@example.com or by mail to CREATE's Sydney office.
Nominations of candidates to stand for election to PeakCareâ€™s Board
Nominations of candidates standing for election to the three vacated positions on PeakCareâ€™s Board must be received by close of business Wednesday, 29th November. This includes completed Nomination Forms and Candidate Election Statements. Access an Information Sheet for more details if you are considering standing for election.