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- Friday, 24th November 2017 -
PeakCare and its Board are pleased to release findings of our 2017 Member Survey. Our sincere appreciation is extended to the 101 representatives of our Member agencies and Supporters who generously gave of their time to participate in the telephone interviews conducted during October.
Amongst the range of matters discussed during the interviews, the survey respondents were asked to provide an overall rating of PeakCare on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent. The average score was 8.65. This compares with an overall average rating of 7.9 reported on as a finding of a similar Member Survey conducted in 2015. PeakCare was very pleased with this result.
The survey findings are now being used to inform a review and updating of PeakCare’s Strategic and Operational Plans. We trust that all our Members and Supporters will find the 2017 Member Survey Report to be an informative account of the survey findings.

YOUR state election wishes?

Have you read the comments entered in response to PeakCare’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 organisation’s services.


PeakCare’s State Election Video Series

Have you watched (and made sure your staff and colleagues have watched) PeakCare’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%). ‘Chronic disengagement’ (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 What’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 and include the young person’s name, age, postcode and contact number AND a statement confirming the young person’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 What’s Next Pathways Officer to help them take the next step. This is a great opportunity, so it’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 10–17 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 or by mail to CREATE's Sydney office.

Nominations of candidates to stand for election to PeakCare’s Board

Nominations of candidates standing for election to the three vacated positions on PeakCare’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.

Do not miss out on attending PeakCare’s (mostly) spectacular AGM. Registrations close Wednesday, 29 November -
Already the lead-up to the Trivia with a Twist competition is causing turmoil across both government and non-government sectors. Please be warned that the rumours and displays of competitive nonsense that are emerging will not be tolerated by PeakCare. We will be introducing some strictly applied new rules to govern this event. Expect to hear more from us next week about this very concerning matter.

here to register.
here for a print-friendly flyer.

PeakCare/AASW Child Protection Practice Forum

On Friday, 17th November a record number of practitioners joined with the AASW/PeakCare Child Protection practice group to tackle the question Who is the client? Reflecting on the complexity of child protection and family support practice in the context of the intersection with domestic and family violence. Seven expert presenters offered their expertise and insights with regard to child protection, family support and the domestic and family violence nexus.  It was heartening to see so many committed to working together to improve the lives of women, children and families impacted by domestic and family violence whilst working holistically with non-perpetrating parents, children and perpetrating parents to respond to domestic and family violence and the plethora of associated complexities. 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.

Developments in Australian child protection reform 

The latest paper from Child Family Community Australia examines developments within Australian child protection systems since 2010. The paper details findings from a data collection survey of key agencies with responsibility for statutory child protection in all Australian states and territories and the Commonwealth Department of Social Services undertaken in November 2016. The survey sought to collect information about changes within eight system components or “building blocks” (structures, functions and capacities) as well as system principles and goals. Among key findings are that child protection systems are facing insufficient capacity to address the quantity and complexity of cases into statutory child protection and alternative care arrangements and the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children within the system. Though many changes are noted as taking place in all jurisdictions, the paper questions whether the changes will be substantial enough to address complex, multi-level systemic challenges. To facilitate transformative change, the paper recommends that continuous adaptation underpin the system, informed by a sense of collective responsibility and collaboration. 

Working with children whose parents have a drug or alcohol problem

The  UK charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has published an evaluation of the Family Environment: Drug Using Parents (FEDUP) service which supported children whose parents have a drug or alcohol problem. Findings from the evaluation of the experiences of 59 parents and 253 children who took part in the programme between 2011 and 2015 include a small but statistically significant improvement in children’s emotional and behavioural wellbeing, and in their self-esteem and ability to process their thoughts and feelings. Implications include family-oriented program design (i.e. group and individual work with children and parents), involving a wide range of referring agencies, leveraging the opportunity afforded by assessment to commence relationship-building and change, and that parental engagement is key to improving outcomes for children. Read the report.

Working effectively to address child sexual exploitation

Developed by Research in Practice, this 2017 paper brings together evidence that supports interventions and multi-agency and inter-professional approaches to working to improve outcomes for young people who may be affected by child sexual exploitation (CSE). Although CSE may be a complex area, what is not in question is who causes CSE. The blame lies clearly with the perpetrators who exploit young people and cause them harm; this is irrespective of the behaviour or circumstances of the victim. Discussions within this evidence scope actively challenge assumptions, practice and language that may contribute to victim blaming of children affected by CSE.

School exclusions and adopted children

Adoption UK has published a report on findings from a survey of adoptive parents in the United Kingdom asking about their children’s experiences in school with a particular focus on exclusions. Findings from 2,084 survey responses, each relating to one individual adopted child include 23% of children had received a fixed period exclusion and 14.5% of these had been excluded more than 10 times in their school career; and compared to national statistics from the Department for Education and devolved governments, adopted children are over-represented in exclusions statistics in all nations.

Culturally Sensitive Practice in Foster Care
Brisbane - Monday, 27th November

This half-day workshop aims to build cultural capacity for practitioners supporting culturally diverse children and young people in out of home care, foster/kinship care placements. The workshop aims to help participants understand Culturally Sensitive Practice in a child protection context, improve service planning, and support cultural needs. Click here for more details and to register.

Professional Boundaries
Brisbane - Monday, 27th November
Presented by Amovita

Are you aware of your own professional boundaries? Right now you may not be aware of your own boundary framework. The aim of this workshop is to enable participants to have time to become aware of and further develop their own professional boundary framework. Click here for more details and to register.

Queensland Men's Interfaith Forum 
Brisbane - Tuesday, 28th November
Presented by Griffith University Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue and JK Diversity Consultants

The first Queensland Men's Interfaith Forum on the topic of preventing domestic violence will be held at the Multi-faith Centre, Nathan campus, Griffith University. Speakers will include men from Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh and Buddhist faiths. Attendance is free. RSVP by email or phone on 0422 887 579.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy
Toowoomba - Monday, 27th November to Tuesday, 28th November
Presented by Compass Seminars

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) offers professionals an efficient, user-friendly and research-supported approach that is responsive to the practical realities of working with young people and adults. The role of counsellors, and other professionals rests largely on the ability to interact with people in ways that emphasises individuals’ strengths/resources, identifies possible solutions and supports movement to change. Find out more or register now. The workshop will also take place in Townsville on Wednesday, 29th November.

PeakCare's (almost) spectacular AGM
New Farm - Wednesday, 6th December
Presented by PeakCare

Registrations to attend PeakCare’s (mostly) spectacular AGM and our traditional post-AGM Trivia with a Twist competition are also being received. View the flyer for further details and to register! Registrations close Wednesday, 29th November so don't miss out!

Morning tea to commemorate 5th Anniversary of the Queensland Government's Apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices
Brisbane - Monday, 27th November

The Queensland Post Adoption Working Committee will be hosting a commemorative morning tea to honour the 5th Anniversary of the Queensland Government's Apology for Forced Adoption Policies and Practices. View the invitation for more details.


Holding perpetrators of family and domestic violence accountable - CPPAQ Practice Paper
Brisbane - Tuesday, 28th November

Natalie Siegel-Brown, Public Guardian from the Office of the Public Guardian, will chair the upcoming Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ) Practice Paper. The Paper will explore the child protection and family court interface, how behaviours of survivors and perpetrators can be misunderstood and how the system continues to ‘mother blame’; the David Mandel Safe & Together model for working with perpetrators and their families as a new way of conceptualising violence accountability and the impacts of domestic and family violence on survivors and children; and working differently with fathers who perpetrate violence in their families, as embodied in the Walking with Dads Project. Attendance is free for CPPAQ members. Click here to register. 

AASW National Symposium
Hobart - Thursday, 30th November to Saturday, 2nd December

The Australian Association of Social Workers National Symposium (AASW) 2017 will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart. The theme of the symposium is ‘Advocacy and social work: creating individual and social change.’ With over 25 professional development and networking sessions and delegates from all over Australia, the symposium will be a unique opportunity to share current practice knowledge and work experiences, and network with the social work sector’s peers. Registrations are now open.

Trauma, the Brain and Biology: Foundations and Treatment of Trauma
Brisbane - Friday, 30th November to Friday, 1st December

Traumatised people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: the past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves. Learn about the neurobiology of traumatic stress and adaptations that hide the 'self' in this two-day workshop delivered by clinical psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, MD at the Brisbane Convetion and Exhibition Centre. Read more or register now.

What works in therapy: Translating 40 years of outcome research into strategies for effective clinical practice
Melbourne - Friday, 1st December

This Relationships Australia Victoria workshop will feature international guest Scott D Miller, counselling psychologist, author and co-founder of the International Centre for Clinical Excellence. Drawing upon 40 years of research, this workshop will offer evidence-based factors responsible for therapeutic success, empirically-supported practices and skills to enhance therapeutic outcomes, methods for assessing and enhancing therapeutic relationships with clients and progressing in treatment. Click here for more information and to register.

STOP Domestic Violence Conference
Melbourne - Monday, 4th to Wednesday, 6th December

The official program has been launched for the 3rd annual 2017 STOP Domestic Violence Conference with over 120 workshops, speakers and presentations. Day 1 Keynote speakers include Julie Inman Grant, Children’s eSafety Commissioner, Office of Children’s eSafety Commission, Ms Jennifer Hoffman, Commissioner for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice, Western Australia, Dr Rae Kaspiew, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Assistant Commissioner, Dean McWhirter, Family Violence Command, Victoria Police, Ms Fiona McCormack, CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria and Dr Michael Salter, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Western Sydney University. All attendees will be able to view all speaker podcasts and PowerPoint presentations after the conference. Scholarships to attend the conference are open until Monday, 30th October. Register to attend the conference now; early bird prices end Monday, 23rd October.

Yarning Up on Trauma
Richmond - Monday, 4th to Friday, 8th December

Yarning Up on Trauma is an intensive five day course presented by Berry St Childhood Institute for those who want to learn practical ways to better work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities that have experienced individual trauma, family trauma, community trauma and historical/cultural trauma. Yarning Up on Trauma uses a holistic model to understand trauma which is in contrast to many Western perspectives which focus primarily on the traumatised individual. In working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, it is necessary to consider not only the impact of trauma on the individual but also on their families, community and culture. Find out more or register now.


No More Harm National Conference 2018
Melbourne - Thursday, 12th April 2018 to Friday, 13th April 2018

The No More Harm National Conference 2018 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park will consider how to address bullying, harassment and discrimination and other behaviours and attitudes that are harmful to others in the workplace, school yard, social situation, interpersonal relationship or sporting activity with a view to finding solutions. This conference is an ideal platform to exchange ideas and learn more from other professionals, researchers and practitioners that work with individuals, groups and organisations with bullying, harassing or discriminating behaviour challenges and outcomes. The conference is currently accepting online abstract submissions until Monday, 18th December and registrations to attend.

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.

Support and Advocacy Worker - Micah Projects 

Micah Projects is seeking to fill two full time positions for Support and Advocacy Workers to join the Coordinated Access Team. The position involves providing services to individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Find out more details and how to apply. Applications close 5pm Monday, 27th November.

DV Specialist Worker, Safer Lives Mobile Service - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a Domestic Violence Specialist Worker to join the Safer Lives Mobile Service. This position is part of an after-hours domestic violence crisis response to individuals who have been referred to Safer Lives as victims of domestic violence. This position is permanent, part time with a minimum of 30.4 hours of work available per week and is classified under the SCHADS Award 2010 – Level 3. Find out more details and how to apply. Applications close 5pm Thursday, 7th December.

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Our postal address is:
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.