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- Wednesday, 7th February 2018 -
On 12th February 2018, 17 year-old young people will cease being charged and treated as adults under Queensland law. This will be in keeping with the passing of the Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Act by the Queensland Parliament in 2016.

The Youth Justice Transitional Regulation needed to support the transition of 17 year-olds currently involved in the adult criminal justice system to the youth justice system which will also take effect on 12th February has now been published and can be accessed here.

To find out what the Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence has said about this and other planned youth justice reforms, read this media release.  Read the media release and you will also discover what others have to say about the transition of 17 year-old young people to the youth justice system, including Debbie Kilroy from Sisters inside, Lindsay Wegener from PeakCare, Bevan Costello, Cherbourg Elder and Chair of the Barambah Justice Group, Dale Murray, Director of the Edmund Rice Education Australia Youth+ Institute and Terry Hutchinson, Adjunct Professor, Southern Cross University.

PeakCare’s Lindsay Wegener has described the changes as representing “good news for everyone – young people themselves, their parents and families, those who have been the victims of youth crime and the community at large”.  Click here to find out why.

After considering what others have to say about the transition of 17 year-old young people to the youth justice system, share what YOU have to say about it on our Facebook page or by entering a comment in response to Lindsay’s blog

 Child protection legislation reforms commence 

The first stage of provisions contained in the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 commenced on 29th January 2018. Child Safety can now provide more information to: people who are or have been in out-of-home care, including information relating to another individual; a parent or guardian, if a deceased child was subject to a child protection order; the police, if an investigation is being conducted following a child's death; and child welfare authorities in other jurisdictions to respond to child protection concerns. For more details, visit the Department's website. To support providing more detailed information to people who are, or have been, in out-of-home care, the Department has introduced the Time in Care Information Access Service (scroll down on the page) which can provide a Time in Care Report as well as a range of documents the Department holds, such as birth certificates, school reports and medical reports. Child Safety advises young people in care, or transitioning from care, to contact their Child Safety Officer in the first instance about accessing information.

New legal advice hotline for young people

Legal Aid Queensland has launched a new hotline specifically for young people to access free, confidential and independent legal advice. Young people in Queensland can call the hotline to speak to a lawyer about bail, diversionary options, being charged with an offence, talking to police and youth justice issues. The service is available for young people who have been arrested, asked to give a police interview, given a notice to appear, or have been released on bail. The service operates 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday 7am to 12 midday (except for public holidays) on 1800 527 527.

National Standards for Volunteer Involvement

The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement, promoted by Volunteering Qld, provide a framework for organisations to consider the role of volunteers. Volunteer involvement can extend the capacity of organisations to meet strategic aims, by providing time, skills, expertise and points of view that enable an organisation to pursue programs and activities that benefit the community. The eight standards address the key areas of volunteer involvement from leadership to workplace safety and quality management, and can be used in a variety of ways, from a general guide to good practice to a planning framework for establishing a new volunteer service. The standards guide also describes the types of evidence that support meeting each standard. 

Queensland ranked as best nationally for reducing alcohol related harms

The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol has scored Queensland as the best overall performer in the 2017 Alcohol Policy Scorecard for government policy responsible for preventing or reducing alcohol related harms. Queensland came out ahead due to the implementation of a number of new policies including last drinks liquor laws. The scorecard measures both scientific evidence regarding which alcohol policies are most effective and what achievable gains could be made, across nine criteria, with Queensland scoring above average in every criterion. 

Important dates coming up

Nominations for the Queensland Reconciliation Awards will close on 26th February for Queensland businesses, organisations, educational institutions and government going above and beyond to create meaningful change in facilitating reconciliation. During 3-11 March, Queensland Women’s Week will recognise and celebrate the achievements of Queensland’s women and girls with the theme 'Celebrate wellbeing. Everybody wins', encouraging everyone to contribute to a community that respects women, embraces gender equality, and promotes and protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of women and girls. 25th March will commemorate Neighbour Day, with the aim of helping to build better relationships with the people who live around us, especially elderly people and those experiencing vulnerabilities.

Funding available now - but closing soon

The Brisbane City Council Housing Support Program provides funding to community organisations for projects or services that respond to the housing and social needs of homeless people, or those living in social housing. The round closes midnight on Monday, 12th February. For more details and to apply, click here. Somerset Regional Community Assistance provides funding for community organisations in the Somerset region of Queensland to conduct projects and activities benefiting the community. The current round closes Friday, 23rd February. For more details and to apply, click here. Celebrating Multicultural Queensland round for multicultural projects is now open, for projects that promote multicultural identity, the benefits of multiculturalism, and equitable access to opportunities by people from diverse cultural backgrounds in Queensland. The round closes Friday, 9th March. For more details and to apply, click here. Skilling Queenslanders for Work projects funding is open until Thursday, 12th April. For more details and to apply, click here.

Youth CONNECT - one of Queensland's Social Benefit Bonds 

In July 2015 the Queensland Treasury released three Social Benefit Bonds, in recognition of the need to try a different approach to tackling challenging social issues. The Youth CONNECT Social Benefit Bond is the first in the world to focus on improving the life chances of young people transitioning from state care into adulthood and independence in the general community. During February, In the Spotlight will share articles contributed by the organisations responsible for Queensland’s Social Benefit Bonds. This week, Churches of Christ Care details Youth CONNECT. 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.

Another take on bullying, respectful relationships and youth participation

The 19th January 2018 issue of eNews included extensive links to resources about bullying and cyber-safety for children and young people. In the context of domestic violence, Young people as agents of change in preventing violence against women, a recently announced ANROWS research project, is on youth participation models - young people helping other young people - build respectful relationships as a critical way to prevent violence against women in future generations. The project is led by Dr Karen Struthers of Griffith University, with Prof Clare Tilbury, as a collaboration between Griffith University, YFS Ltd, and the Ruby Gaea Sexual Assault Service in the Northern Territory.

The research aims to explore ways young people can effectively engage in positive change that promotes gender equality and reduces the prevalence of violence against women. Using an action research approach, R4Respect, a peer-to-peer respectful relationships program coordinated by YFS, will be evaluated to see how the program influences the views of the youth participants involved in the program, the actions they take to build more respectful relationships, and the effectiveness of the peer-to-peer respectful relationships education model.

To read more about R4Respect, click here. A 2017 article in Children Australia presents findings from a process evaluation of the model, which drew on interviews with youth participants and adult external stakeholders. These highlight how young people can play an important role in domestic violence prevention. Another 2017 article reviewing the program can be accessed from here. This article explains how the development of the model was guided by Kathryn Seymour's 2012 Good Practice Principles for Youth Development and affirms the importance of these principles to building a participatory model in which young people feel valued and supported. 

Frightened Disturbed Dangerous?
Gold Coast - Thursday, 22nd February
Presented by Compass Seminars

This half day workshop will be delivered by Scandinavian psychologist, Bo Hejlskov Elven, who will explore The Low Arousal Approach to reducing conflict and distress, de-escalating difficult situations, and creating a calmer environment in which care/ treatment can fulfil its task of positive change. This workshop is suitable for all staff and carers who look after, care or supervise young people across settings such as mental health units, residential and foster care, youth justice facilities, and drug and alcohol units. Find out more and register.

Tender and Grant Writing
Brisbane - Wednesday, 28th February
Presented by Amovita Consulting

Amovita has designed a one-day tender and grant writing workshop to support practical skills and tools needed to decipher, design and submit winning tenders. This training will assist participants to communicate effectively and persuasively about the outcomes you can deliver as a preferred supplier and will explore how to leverage existing and new intra agency collaboration and external partnerships to secure an advantage in the tender process. Find out more and register.


For The Record - effective case notes for child and youth work
Brisbane - Thursday, 1st March
Presented by Encompass Family and Community

Recording – particularly making case notes – is essential to effective child and youth work but can be difficult to do well. This highly interactive workshop examines the science and the art of recording in various contexts, with a focus on case notes. Learn how to write well-structured documents which achieve their purpose as tools to help protect and support children and young people. Participants will learn to how to record succinctly but effectively, including developing efficient and useful case notes, assessment notes and action plans, and well-supported practice decisions. Find out more and register.

Exploring Attachment in Couple Work
Brisbane - Thursday, 1st March
Presented by AASW

This half day workshop is designed to assist social workers, psychologists and counsellors to develop a better understanding of working with couples from an attachment framework. This is relevant for social workers who work therapeutically with couples. The education material in the presentation is based on theoretical knowledge Attachment specialists and The Circle of Security. Find out more and register.

Tough Conversations in Child Protection 
Brisbane - Tuesday, 13th March
Presented by Parentshop

This workshop helps busy professionals to quickly assess and prepare for tough conversations in situations where a clarity-of-message can make all the difference for vulnerable families. The course will explore how to identify the strengths and deficits in parental caring capacity, comprehensively gather information for holding a factual tough conversation, defuse antagonism during a tough conversation, and identify the important dashboard markers for parents so that everyone has clarity about what is expected. Find out more and register.

Understanding legal issues in banking, credit, and debt
Webinar - Friday, 9th February

Legal Aid Queensland will be delivering a free webinar for community, health and education workers at 10am AEST on the topic of legal issues in banking, credit and debt including those faced by consumers following Christmas, changes to the dispute resolution process in the financial sector, and debt collection and the change in process by some debt collection firms. Participants can also submit general questions prior to the seminar on the registration form. Find out more or register here.

Working with Men Conference
Sydney - Tuesday, 13th to Wednesday, 14th February 2018

The Working with Men to End Family Violence Conference 2018 aims to work towards ensuring the safety of women and children and, ultimately, ending family violence. This is the only Australian conference focused on working with men. The conference will explore ways to enhance primary prevention, optimise behaviour change programs for men, improve work with Indigenous men and communities, and increase collaboration, coordination and integration in the service system to improve outcomes. A must-attend for all who work with men or with those affected by violence. Find out more.

NFP State of the Nation Seminar 
Brisbane - Friday, 23rd February

Registrations are closing soon for the Australian Charity Guide's Not-For-Profit State of the Nation travelling seminar. The seminar will cover valuable content including the current state of the NFP sector, globally and nationally, 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 will also take place at the Gold Coast on Friday, 16th March, Sunshine Coast on Friday, 23rd March, and Cairns on Friday, 11th May. Find out more and register here.

NDS QLD State Conference 2018
Brisbane - Monday, 5th to Tuesday, 6th March 2018

The National Disability Services Queensland State Conference, Finding the Way Forward, will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in 2018. The conference offers the opportunity to listen and participate in discussions on workforce, adaptive practice, marketing, social innovation and financial benchmarking. The conference is also currently offering Masterclasses at no extra cost to the registration fee. Registration is open.

Legal and practical responses to child abuse, QLD specific
Webinar - Wednesday, 7th March

This course webinar by In Safe Hands: Educators in Safety assists educators, organisations and individuals to comply with their National Quality Framework, ACECQA and other legislative requirements and meet duty of care obligations regarding child protection. It is designed to be used for induction of new staff, and as a foundation or refresher course for those who have not completed recent child protection training. Find out more and register here.

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. Registration is open.

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.

Family Support Worker, BOWS - Sisters Inside Inc.

Sisters Inside Inc. is seeking a Building on Women's Strengths (BOWS) Family Support Worker for a six month maternity leave cover term with the possibility of extension. The BOWS worker is primarily responsible for providing intensive support to women both before and after released from prison in southeast Queensland and to their children, who are in a statutory system or at risk of entering a statutory system. Applications close 5pm, Monday 12th February. Click here for more details and to apply.

Support and Advocacy Worker - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a permanent full time Support and Advocacy Worker to join the Coordinated Access Team. The team is an integrated housing, healthcare and social support for homeless and vulnerable populations, with this role being centre-based, providing a triage and prioritisation services based on presenting needs to individuals and families who are present experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Applications close 5pm, Monday 12th February. Click here for more details and to apply.

Team Leader (Caboolture) - Micah Projects

Micah is seeking a team leader to join a new service being established in Cabooltue for young pregnant and parenting women 20 years and under and their children and partners. The primary goal of Caboolture Young Mothers for Young Women will be to support young families to operate in their fullest capacities. The program will target the young women, their children, and their partners, where appropriate, in the population group of families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, violence and poverty. Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 21st February. Click here for more details and to apply.

Children and Family Support Worker (Caboolture) - Micah Projects

Micah is seeking a Children and Family Support Worker to join a new service being established in Cabooltue for young pregnant and parenting women 20 years and under and their children and partners. The primary goal of Caboolture Young Mothers for Young Women will be to support young families to operate in their fullest capacities. The program will target the young women, their children, and their partners, where appropriate, in the population group of families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, violence and poverty. Applications close 5pm, Wednesday 21st February. Click here for more details and to apply.

Service Manager (Mackay) - Churches of Christ Care

Churches of Christ Care is seeking a permanent full time Service Manager for their Mackay location. The role will manage day-to-day operations of the Mackay service, with responsibilities including preparing budgets, monitoring financial performance, and human resource management. Applications will be considered as they are received for an immediate start. Click here for more details and to apply.

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