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- Wednesday, 13th June 2018 -

This week’s edition of eNews focuses on the 2018-19 State Budget announced on Tuesday, 12th June. In addition to reporting on Government investment in the child safety, youth and women portfolio, highlights concerning Government investment in other portfolios impacting the safety and wellbeing of children and the support of their families are also noted.

In particular, PeakCare is especially pleased to note the investment of $2.5 million over four years to support the operation and administration of a Human Rights Act for Queensland. PeakCare has been a long-time supporter of the Human Rights for Queensland Campaign and welcomes this investment as an indication of the Palaszczuk Government honoring its stated commitment to the introduction of this legislation.

Within the child safety, youth and women portfolio, the ‘stand-out’ highlights include the allocation of $500 million over 10 years to support Queensland’s participation in the National Redress Scheme and the significant investment in a range of youth justice initiatives that comprise a whole-of-Government Youth Justice Strategy.

PeakCare is interested in your views about the Budget – what you are pleased about as well as what you think could have received greater attention and enhanced investment. You can enter your comments, anonymously if you prefer, in response to this blog or comment on our Facebook page.

Child and Family Services 

The total operating expenditure allocation for Child and Family Services during 2018-2019 is $1.259 billion.

In a statement jointly released by the Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence and Mr Michael Hogan, Director-General, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, they comment on “a significant investment by government in continuing the Supporting Families Changing Futures reforms, including implementing recent amendments to the Child Protection Act 1999 to improve information sharing, strengthen permanency, and embed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle”. 

Specific highlights noted in the statement include:

  • A $52.8 million allocation in 2018-19 for a further 56 child and family staff (as part of the 292 additional staff announced in the 2017-18 Budget) and to continue initiatives such as the Department’s Quality Improvement Program, the Navigate leadership development program, the Partners in Care initiative, and joint initiatives with Health, Education and Police
  • Additional funding of $20 million for children in care with complex needs
  • $2.2 million for 19 positions in a specialist service team
  • $3.3 million for 16 additional staff in the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor
  • $3.3 million allocation to the Action on Ice strategy, and
  • $3.2 million to maintain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family support services.
The joint statement by Minister Farmer and Mr Hogan notes that the Government investment “allows us to progress the fifth year of the Supporting Families Changing Futures reforms, and to keep implementing the Our Way Strategy and Changing Tracks Action Plan that are focussed on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families”.

PeakCare contends that it is now time for the Government to build on its laudable achievements in introducing legislative reforms that are supportive of self-determination and all elements of the Child Placement Principle and the commencement of the Our Way Strategy to set targets for the transition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s out-of-home care away from mainstream organisations towards community control of their care arrangements. This should be undertaken, of course, in a context of reducing their over-representation in the out-of-home care system generally and must incorporate the engagement of peak bodies – the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) and PeakCare – and both mainstream and community-controlled organisations in planning and implementing the transition.      


Youth Justice Services

The total operating expenditure allocation for Youth Justice Services during 2018-2019 is $224.7 million.

The joint statement by Minister Farmer and Mr Hogan notes that they are “especially pleased that the department will lead the development of a new whole-of-Government Youth Justice Strategy, with a focus on preventing youth crime, reducing remand, reducing reoffending, and reducing the disproportionate representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander young people in the youth justice system”.

Specific highlights noted in the statement include:
  • Increased funding of $11.7 million over three years from 2018-19, and internally reprioritised funding of $6.4 million, allocated to reduce the number of, and length of time, children and young people are held on remand in custody, and to maintain restorative justice services
  • Additional funding of $10.6 million over two years from 2017-18 for 84 additional positions in Queensland’s two youth detention centres – the Brisbane Youth Detention and Cleveland Youth Detention Centre located in Townsville
  • Funding of $6.5 million allocated to continuing implementation of the Government response to the 83 recommendations of the 2016 Independent Review of Youth Detention in Queensland
  • Funding of $2.9 million allocated to continue partnerships across government on critical intervention strategies under the Community Youth Response initiative in Townsville
  • Funding of $2.5 million allocated to continuation of the Transition to Success initiative.
Given PeakCare’s strong interest in achieving a better understanding and management of the intersection between the child protection and youth justice systems, we welcome this increased investment.

Women, Violence Prevention and Youth Services

The total operating expenditure allocation for Women, Violence Prevention and Youth Services during 2018-2019 is $141.8 million.

The joint statement by Minister Farmer and Mr Hogan notes that this allocation will support implementation of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy and the Queensland Violence Against Women Prevention Plan, which will be updated during 2018-19.

Specific highlights noted in the statement include allocations of:
  • $14.2 million for new and enhanced specialist and generalist domestic and family violence services
  • $2.9 million for additional perpetrator interventions and to support quality improvement for organisations working in this area
  • $3.6 million to continue support of High Risk Teams in Cairns/Mossman, Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan-Beenleigh, Cherbourg and Mount Isa/Gulf, and the establishment of new teams in Mackay and Moreton in 2018-19
  • Increased funding of $274,000 to expand the Townsville Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court (including circuits to Mt Isa and Palm Island)
  • $1 million for five services located in Mackay, Moreton Bay, Inala, Ipswich and Redlands to support women and girls who have experienced sexual assault, including assault within an intimate partner relationship.

Capital outlays

Capital funding allocations within the portfolio include:

  • $19 million of a total $26 million to support the transition of 17-year-olds into the Youth Justice system including an allocation of $13.1 million for further fencing and an additional 12 beds at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre (Townsville)
  • $7.2 million of a total $32.8 million to upgrade the security management system at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre
  • $4.1 million for upgrades to Child Safety Service Centres to accommodate additional child protection staff
  • $5.2 million to conduct maintenance and minor works at Youth Justice facilities
  • $9.4 million to enhance and develop information systems, including the Our Child ICT system, the Social Investment Program, Destination Information and the Child and Family Services Information and Communication Technology Program
  • $500,000 for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to construct a counselling centre in Palmwoods

Indexation and wage costs

For non-government organisations, State indexation of 2.625% will be applied to existing State funded ongoing service arrangements.

Close to $16.5 million in additional funding will be provided to eligible organisations to cover the costs arising from the Fair Work Australia 2012 Equal Remuneration Order. That’s good news - for those organisations that are eligible.

In the meantime, PeakCare remains concerned about the lack of parity that exists between government and non-government salary levels and the costs pressures being experienced by non-government organisations - smaller organisations in particular (which includes PeakCare) - to consider over-award salary payments to remain viable in a competitive job market. This is also of particular concern to non-government organisations delivering services in regional and remote areas of the State where staff recruitment is reportedly becoming increasingly difficult.

National Redress Scheme

PeakCare welcomes the allocation of approximately $500 million for redress payments to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and to facilitate their access to counselling and psychological support as part of Queensland’s participation in the National Redress Scheme. The scheme will also provide eligible applicants with the option to receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible for providing the redress. As noted in last week’s edition of eNews, five major non-government institutions have also committed to joining the Scheme and provide redress to people sexually abused in their care as children. These include: the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, Salvation Army, Scouts Australia, YMCA and the Uniting Church.

Human Rights Act

PeakCare welcomes the allocation of $2.5 million over four years to support the operation and administration of a Human Rights Act for Queensland. It is pleasing to note that the development of a Human Rights Act is listed as a key priority within the Budget Papers for the Department of justice and Attorney-General (p. 11).

Support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities 

PeakCare welcomes the Palaszczuk Government’s stated commitment to ‘closing the gap’. This includes, in particular, the allocation of $239 million to continue delivering improved housing options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through the Remote Home Ownership Program. This includes expanding and improving social rental housing, and activities to support private home ownership in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Recognition in law of Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices 

PeakCare welcomes the allocation of $1 million over three years to engage with the community on how traditional Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices can be recognised in law. This initiative will involve the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Partnerships working with Torres Strait Islanders and an Eminent Persons Panel (of legal and cultural experts) to develop the new laws.

Adolescent mental health services

PeakCare welcomes the allocation of $28.1 million for adolescent mental health facilities in South East Queensland, including a new Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.

School Breakfast Program

PeakCare welcomes the allocation of $1 million over four years from 2017-18 to Foodbank Queensland to expand the School Breakfast Program to additional schools across Queensland.

EOIs open for being co-opted to PeakCare's Board

Are YOU employed by a PeakCare member organisation? Are YOU interested in being co-opted to serve as a Member of PeakCare’s Board? PeakCare’s Constitution allows for the ‘co-opting’ of up to two persons to serve on the Board, additional to those who are elected by the membership at Annual General Meetings. Co-opted Members do not have the ‘voting rights’ held by elected Board Members. Currently, one of the co-opted positions on the Board is vacant and the Board has elected to call for expressions of interest from individuals who wish to be considered for this role. Read more for advice about whether or not you may be eligible to take on this important role and the process for expressing your interest. Expressions of interest are to be received by COB on Wednesday, 20th June 2018.

Working with Complexity: parents with mental health, substance use and family violence issues 
Brisbane - Thursday, 21st June 
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Frontline workers confront increasingly complex family situations where the safety of children and young people is linked to serious and seemingly chronic parental issues. This workshop considers practice skills in working with families to make a difference, when parental issues relate to the often concurrent issues of mental health, substance misuse and family violence. This workshop reflects upon frameworks for understanding parental functioning, including complexity and change theory, and considers how best to respond to the needs of children in these circumstances. Find out more and register.

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 - Part 2
Brisbane - Friday, 22nd June
Presented by AASW/PeakCare Child Protection Practice Group Forum

This half-day Forum aims to respond to the specific complexities involved in working within the context of child protection, family support and domestic and family violence. This includes addressing the tricky issues around who is the client and the different roles practitioners undertake. The additional marginalisation of clients - such as those who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, parents in the system, and those who live with a disability - will be explored. There will be an emphasis on perpetrator accountability and engaging with perpetrators of abuse. In asking the question, Who is the Client? Forum presenters and attendees will collectively unpack the questions of how we all respond to the complexities that impact our clients whilst also considering the many associated relationships in each individual’s life. Read more about Part 1, or register for Part 2.

TACT: The Accidental Counsellor Training (2-day)
Brisbane - Tuesday, 26th to Wednesday, 27th June 2018
Presented by Amovita Consulting

The TACT program has been designed for those who are not employed in the role of a trainer counsellor, but are required to provide similar support to clients. The program will explore the impact of stress and resilience and develop and review a framework in which participants can look after themselves and the client in distress, and will provide participants with the necessary skills and tools to be able to respond appropriately, effectively and efficiently when they are the first point of contact for a distressed client. Find out more and register.

Stuff That Sucks
Brisbane - Wednesday, 27th June
Presented by Compass Seminars

This full-day workshop will introduce participants to the fundamentals of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with a specific focus on its successful application with younger people. ACT is an empirically supported therapeutic approach that draws on behavioural and mindfulness principles to help people make space for painful thoughts and feelings and instead turn their focus towards values. ACT is rapidly growing in popularity internationally and is being used successfully with people experiencing a range of life challenges including low mood, worries, difficult behaviour, anger, anxiety, and interpersonal or family conflict. Find out more and register. This workshop will also be held at the Gold Coast on 25th June and Toowoomba on 26th June.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention / Mandatory Reporting
Gladstone - Tuesday, 10th July
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

123 Magic & Emotion Coaching
Brisbane - Wednesday, 22nd August
Presented by Parentshop

A comprehensive one-day training course that provides skills to teach parents and carers of 2-12 year-olds skills to manage their children’s difficult behaviour. The professional training includes role play, group discussion, worksheets and videos. This one-day 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. Each participant receives professional practitioner training resources including a manual, slideshow and session-by-session guidelines to facilitate parent meetings. Find out more and register.

Doing School Differently Conference
Gold Coast - Thursday, 28th to Friday, 29th June

Berry Street Childhood Institute presents this unique opportunity to advance the national conversation on flexible and inclusive education by bringing together educators, researchers, policy makers and young people who are committed to developing and sustaining successful educational opportunities and pathways for young people who have experienced barriers. The conference will explore a diverse range of topics including trauma-informed practice, how to develop individualised and flexible learning plans, case studies of alternative education methods, supporting young parents and their children, improving disability inclusion, and youth mental health challenges. Find out more and register.

National Conference on Indigenous Incarceration
Tweed Coast - Thursday, 28th to Friday, 29th June

The Conference will discuss the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in prison in Australia and options for rehabilitation and change, such as healing and rehabilitation centres and raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14. First Nations peoples will also be sharing their lived experiences with the criminal justice system. Find out more and register.

Not-For-Profit State of the Nation travelling seminar
Brisbane - Friday, 29th June

The 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. Find out more and register.

Our Healing, Our Future: shaping strategies with our young people - Intergenerational trauma youth forum
Brisbane - Tuesday, 24th July 

The Healing Foundation will host a public forum and webinar discussing best practice in shaping strategies with young people in healing from Intergenerational Trauma. The forum brings together young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, policy makers, community leaders, and professionals. Speakers will include Professor Helen Milroy, a leader in Indigenous mental health and trauma; young advocates Tonii Skeen and Karlie Stewart; and Joel Wenitong, a respected community mentor and member of The Last Kinection. The Healing Foundation is inviting young people aged from 17 - 25 years in particular to attend in person, and if they can't, to attend online. Save the date and stay tuned for updates!


2018 AIFS Conference: What matters most to families in the 21st Century?
Melbourne - Wednesday, 25th July to Friday, 27th July

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is the Australian government’s key research body in the area of family wellbeing. Every two years, the AIFS Conference offers unrivalled opportunities to mix with leading thinkers, decision-makers and researchers across a range of sectors and disciplines who are dedicated to improving the lives of families. Join leading thinkers and change-makers at the 2018 AIFS Conference – What matters most to families in the 21st Century? which will look ahead and ask: what does the future for families look like? What are the challenges and opportunities and how prepared are we? Exploring these questions requires boldness, curiosity and imagination, and the AIFS 2018 Conference will provide rich debate and inquiry, and encourage participants to engage with the emerging issues for families. The Conference MCs will be Virginia Trioli, ABC journalist, and Madonna King, writer and journalist and the Conference boasts a range of renowned speakers

3rd Biennial Childhood Trauma Conference 2018
Melbourne - Sunday, 29th July to Friday, 3rd August

The Australian Childhood Foundation presents this conference with 18 internationally renowned practitioners and major authors in the field of trauma and neuroscience offering the opportunity to hear about innovative, practical and translatable ways of working with creative arts, sand tray, play, attachment based dynamics, movement and sensorimotor intervention. The conference themes of Trust, Love and Betrayal are at the core of the experience of childhood trauma and ultimately the relationships which can offer safety, hope and resolution. Find out more and register.

Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Conference 2018
Sydney - Monday, 20th to Wednesday, 22nd August

This program will highlight the continuing endeavour of working with community organisations in providing positive outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families. Early bird registration ends Saturday, 30th June. Find out more and register.

Protective Behaviours Australia Conference 2018
Brisbane - Thursday, 30th to Friday, 31st August

Act for Kids, NAPCAN and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation are partnering with Protective Behaviours Australia, to present the Protective Behaviours Australia Conference at the Brisbane Exhibition and Convention Centre. The two-day event features keynote speakers from all across Australia sharing their research, insights and knowledge of protective behaviours. Combined with informative and interactive workshops, attendees will walk away empowered with the knowledge to collectively reduce the incidence and impact of abuse and violence in the community and keep our kids safe. Discounted accommodation rates are available at Oaks Casino Towers, Oaks Festival Towers and ISTAY River City.

2018 Child Protection Week Dinner
Brisbane - Friday, 7th September

The Annual Child Protection Week Dinner celebrates the dedication and commitment of those working within the child protection industry. This year's dinner will be hosted by Kay McGrath, with Hon. Dianne Farmer, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence speaking. Find out more and purchase tickets.

10th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium
Hobart - Tuesday, 16th – Wednesday, 17th October

The 10th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium is an opportunity for policy makers, clinical practitioners, academics, service providers and mental health professionals to join together and provide a collaborative platform for the challenges, solutions, innovations, support systems and networks for rural mental health. The Symposium is accepting abstracts on any of the eleven topic categories until Monday, 25th June. Find out more and register.

2018 Youth Health Conference
Gold Coast - Wednesday, 7th to Friday, 9th November

The Australian Association for Adolescent Health and the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association have partnered to bring the 2018 Youth Health Conference to Surfers Paradise. This year’s conference will explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people’s health, diversity and health, and sexuality education and sexual health as its major themes. Technology, mental health, and young people with chronic illness and disability will be just some of our other streams. Find out more and register.

FRSA 2018 National Conference
Cairns - Tuesday, 20th to Friday, 23rd November 

The Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA) National Conference is one of the largest annual gatherings of practitioners, academics and policy makers working to support children, families and communities. The Conference will be held at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel with the theme Be the change: Leaving no one behind

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide: The Eighth Gathering
Sydney - Monday, 26th to Thursday, 29th November

The International Indigenous Council for Healing Our Spirit Worldwide has invited The Healing Foundation and The University of Sydney to join together to celebrate the strengths of Indigenous peoples across the world. Healing Our Spirit Worldwide – The Eighth Gathering will share the experiences, resilience and challenges confronting Indigenous peoples across the world.

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.

Childminder for Family Inclusion Network SEQ - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a casual Childminder for a fixed term from June to December for a total of approximately 90 hours. The role will be to offer childminding services for parents engaging in sessions run by Family Inclusion Network in June and on Wednesday evenings from July to December, 4.30pm to 8.30pm. Applications close Monday, 18th JuneFind out more and apply.

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