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- Friday, 16th March 2018 -

This week, Dr David Gillespie, Federal Assistant Minister for Children and Families called for more white families to be allowed to adopt abused Aboriginal children so that they can be rescued from rape, assault and neglect.

Read Lindsay Wegener’s blog entitled Got to be Kidding to find out why PeakCare believes Dr Gillespie’s views “beggar belief”.

You’ll also need to read the blog to understand the meaning of the graphic that headlines this week’s edition of eNews.

And don’t stay silent – enter a comment in response to Lindsay’s blog and let us know if you agree or disagree.

Digital technology in NFPs report

The report Digital Technology for The Not-For-Profit Sector in 2018, by Connecting Up, TechSoup New Zealand and Infoxchange, surveyed 385 not-for-profit organisations about their information systems. The report suggests that many organisations identified a significant under-investment in information technology, resulting in a drop in efficiency. Organisations providing disability services were the least satisfied with their information systems. The biggest challenges identified for all organisations were budget and capacity, with key priorities including improvements to websites and client management systems.


Submissions extended for Closing the Gap Refresh

The current Closing the GapRefresh process seeks to review and potentially expand the current set of targets and commitments to equality of outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to improve implementation. Community consultations are now underway nationally. The public discussion paper on the Refresh process is available here, and submissions have been extended to 30th April. Lodge a submission and/or share opinions on what is most important and what to improve here

QFCC Research in the Round on youth suicide

The Queensland Family and Child Commission recently hosted its bi-annual Research in the Round forum to showcase the work of key Australian researchers who focus on vulnerable children and families. Presenters included Associate Professor James Scott from University of Queensland, Dr Samantha Batchelor from yourtown, and Ms Leda Barnett from The Hopkins Centre, Griffith University. View their presentations and research summaries from the forum here.


EOIs open for Empowering Families Innovation Grants 

The Empowering Families Innovation Grants support initiatives, programs or ways of working to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children safe, well and connected to family, culture and country. Round 2 is now open for Queensland Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander-led approaches focussing on any of the five target areas: family finder services; targeted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander foster carer recruitment and support, pilot and evaluation of in home support arrangements that enable family preservation; reunification initiatives for age groups or locations outside of NEWPIN scope (i.e. excluding children under five and half years old in Far North Queensland); and innovative approaches for enabling the voices of children and families to be heard in the child and family service system. Applications close Friday, 27th April. Find out more and apply.

Australia's welfare report 2017

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released the Australia's welfare 2017 report. The chapter on children, youth and families finds that since 1999, more children attend formal care (including before and after-school care, and daycare) and fewer are being cared for by relatives. Almost 1 in 5 children are developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains, with a greater likelihood of vulnerability in very remote or low socioeconomic areas. The chapter on Indigenous Australians finds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders also experience higher rates of unemployment and lower earnings than non-Indigenous Australians, with home ownership rates half that of non-Indigenous Australians. The chapter on housing and homelessness finds that family, domestic and sexual violence is the leading cause of homelessness and housing instability, and that more Australians are experiencing housing instability, with fewer people able to afford to purchase a home. However, the proportion of newly assisted households in greatest need has more than doubled, with 74% of households in public rental housing programs in greatest need, compared with 36% in 2003-04.


Submissions open for Law Reform Commission Issues Paper

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released an Issues Paper for its Review of the Family Law System report due to the Attorney-General by 31st March 2019, discussing issues outlined in the Terms of Reference including how to best support the needs of families involved with the family law system. Submissions are being invited from the public on any of the issues covered in the paper, until 7th May. Families with recent experiences with the system are also invited to share their stories anonymously through the Tell Us Your Story portal on the ALRC website. Unlike formal submissions, these stories are for the ALRC’s use only and will not be published (although they may be subject to freedom of information requests). 

NDIA supports recommendations of IPR report

The Board of the National Disability Insurance Agency has released the Independent Pricing Review Report, giving in principle support to all of the Report's 25 recommendations, including adding a tier to the complexity loading for experienced workers, allowing providers to charge for travel time in rural areas, changing the cancellation policy, and changing therapy prices. Find out more.

Substation33 - a YFS social enterprise

Substation33 is a social enterprise that recycles electronic trash into electronic treasure whilst giving volunteering and work experience opportunities to the long term unemployed. A project of YFS, founder and development manager Tony Sharp embarked on this venture that has seen 50 trainees entering or re-entering the workforce and 10 new positions created in-house. This is a great opportunity to responsibly recycle your office equipment whilst assisting a fantastic social enterprise. 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.

Child Protection Australia 2016-17

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently released Child protection Australia 2016-17. The publication includes detailed statistical information on state and territory child protection and support services, and selected characteristics of children receiving these services. Where possible, trends over time and comparisons across jurisdictions are reported. Some of the data were released by states and territories in their annual reporting toward the end of 2017 and also reported in the child protection chapter of the annual Report on Government Services released in January 2018. National child protection data are also available in reports and online about the national indicator framework and progress in implementation of the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children. States, like Queensland, are also increasing public reporting of data particularly where the data sets or measures are of significance to government priorities. 

Child protection Australia is a good resource because states and territories provide de-identified unit record (i.e. child-level) data from their administrative data collection systems, which means that detailed linking across otherwise silo-ed data sets can occur. An example is reporting about the rate of children receiving child protection services across Australia in 2016-17: 1 in 32 children received an investigation, care and protection order and/or were placed in out-of-home care, and 74% were repeat clients. Another is that children from very remote areas were 4 times as likely as those from major cities to be the subject of a substantiation. 

States and territories also provide aggregate data about the use of intensive family support services and information about carers. Examples of reporting this information are that at 30th June 2017, more than half (52%) of children in relative/kinship placements were placed with grandparents (including Queensland data) and that of children who were in long-term out-of-home care in 2016–17, 24% lived with a third-party carer who had long-term legal responsibility for them and 62% were under the long-term legal responsibility of the state or territory.

Most data are disaggregated to report the numbers and rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in contact with child protection and support services and each section includes summary information. For example, in relation to admissions to out-of-home care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were over-represented - between 2012–13 and 2015–16, the rate of Indigenous children admitted to out-of-home care rose from 12.8 to 14.6 per 1,000, then fell to 13.6 per 1,000 in 2016–17. For non-Indigenous children, the rate remained stable over the 5-year period, at about 1.5 per 1,000.

It's a valuable resource and worth a read. 

 Culturally sensitive practice in out of home care 
Brisbane - Monday, 26th March
Presented by The Oasis Centre

This workshop will provide skills for practitioners on culturally sensitive practice in child protection. The aim of the workshop is to build cultural capacity for practitioners supporting culturally diverse children and young people in out of home care, and foster and kinship care placements. Find out more and register.

SaFa Training: Risk assessment in action
Brisbane - Thursday, 29th March
Presented by
Encompass Family and Community

Safety and risk assessments are foundation skills for effective child protection practice, underpinning all decisions about safety and support. This comprehensive workshop uses evidence-based knowledge to develop participants’ understanding of the concepts central to risk assessment in contemporary child protection practice. Beyond a core understanding and skills-base in child protection, this workshop challenges participants to examine how they apply knowledge in practice. Practical exercises, using frameworks which reinforce good quality assessments, enable participants to increase their competence in making comprehensive assessments and defensible decisions. Find out more and register.

Ethical decision-making
Brisbane - Tuesday, 10th April
Presented by AASW

This full-day workshop is designed for ethical conduct and ethical decision making, which are ongoing requirements for all social workers throughout their careers, as stated in the AASW Code of Ethics. The workshop contents are based on current research and literature. Find out more and register.

Resolving Conflict and Mediating Outcomes: The Black Ops of Disputes
Brisbane - Monday, 23rd to Tuesday, 24th April
Presented by Amovita Consulting

This training explores the latest research on the impacts of conflict in the workplace, and provides the necessary skills and framework to understand the contexts in which conflict takes place. Outcomes of the training include understanding conflict typology, developing a mediation framework and eight steps for assertive expression. Suitable for HR professionals, program managers, team leaders, supervisors. Find out more and register.

123 Magic® & Emotion Coaching
Brisbane - Wednesday, 30th May
Presented by Parentshop

This one-day training course that provides skills to teach parents and carers of children aged 2-12 the skills to manage their children’s difficult behaviour. Training includes role play, group discussion, worksheets and videos. The 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. Active PD hours apply. Find out more and register.

Overcoming School Refusal
Brisbane - Friday, 1st June
Presented by Compass Seminars

This interactive, one day workshop explores the causes, co-morbidities and treatment of School Refusal in children and young people, along with providing step-by-step plans and strategies for educators, health professionals and parents to identify and address the problem. Combining educational and clinical perspectives, the workshop uses real case studies to demonstrate the varied reasons students disengage from school, and how tailored interventions and return to school plans, can meet the specific needs of individual children. Find out more and register. This workshop will also be held at the Gold Coast on 31st May.


Bravehearts Hats for High Tea Garden Party
Brisbane - Saturday, 17th March

The annual Bravehearts Hats for High Tea Garden Party charity event is in its fourth year and raises funds for the child protection organisation in an effort to create awareness around child sexual assault. The event will be hosted by Kat and Stav Davidson, from B105. Find out more and register here.

The Skilled Communicator in Social Work:
The Art and Science of Communication in Practice book launch
Brisbane - Wednesday, 21st March

Join Karen Healey, author of new book The Skilled Communicator in Social Work and Christine Craik, National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers for insights into the skills needed for effective communication in tricky situations at West End, at 8.30am. Light refreshments will be provided. View the flyer for more details.

Breaking the Data Silos Conference: Sharing data for bettter policy and service delivery
Canberra - Thursday, 12th April to Friday, 13th April

The Breaking the Data Silos Conference 2018 will bring together public sector, university and non-government sectors to explore the current barriers to effective data sharing and how they can be addressed. Participants will be challenged to think more broadly about the hidden value of data sets, and the possibilities of gathering behavioural insights from the data to get a fuller picture. This conference, focusing on public policy challenges and the potential to use data to solve large and small problems in service delivery, will provide a unique learning opportunity. Find out more and register here.

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

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.

NFP State of the Nation Seminar 
Cairns - Friday, 11th May

The Australian Charity Guide's Not-For-Profit State of the Nation travelling 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. The seminar travels around the country and will also take place at Brisbane on Friday, 29th June. Find out more and register here.

QCOSS 2018 State Conference - Movement for Change 
Brisbane - Wednesday, 16th to Thursday, 17th May

The QCOSS 2018 State Conference Movement for Change - Play Your Part will ask how to move our communities closer to creating greater wellbeing by challenging how we talk about the world. The conference will explore the current landscapes in which we live and work, uncover the big issues and identify the stories that are dividing our community, develop an understanding of the evidence base for change and the current state of play from which to move forward, explore reforms currently underway, and learn from opinion leaders from different backgrounds and sectors. The conference will be hosted by author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, speaker, broadcaster and award winning advertising writer Jane Caro, with appearances by Richard Denniss, Mick Gooda, the Puuya Foundation, Family by Family and many more. Registrations are open.

2018 Creating Child Safe Organisations
Sydney - Tuesday, 29th to Wednesday, 30th May

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is hosting a National Forum to explore the plans to improve prevention and enhance responses to child sexual abuse. The Forum will explore future directions, how to implement a child safe culture and framework, how to improve incident reporting and responses and how to equip staff to support child safe environments. The conference is offering a substantial $800 discount for an extremely limited time, to take advantage contact Luke Cullimore on (02) 9239 5755 or by email.

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

The Association of Children's Welfare Agencies Conference 2018 will be held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. The Conference will provide professional opportunities for input and debate amongst practitioners, policymakers, researchers and academics. Submissions are now open for abstracts of up to 300 words on one of the eight themes (child protection, children’s best interests and needs, early intervention and family support, out of home care (including kinship and foster), open adoption, Aboriginal children and families, organisational innovation and leadership, and research, policy and practice) and can be submitted online until 30th March.

STOP Domestic Violence Conference 2018
Gold Coast - Monday, 3rd to Tuesday, 4th December 

Save the date for the 2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference, which will highlight, acknowledge and reflect on the efforts of those who have contributed and set the bar for change, providing a platform for a unified voice to share, network and collaborate on the challenges and successes of behaviour change. The conference is currently accepting abstract submissions not exceeding 300 words, with registrations also open for an early bird discount. Sign up for conference updates as they become available.

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 and Advocacy Worker - Micah Projects

Micah Projects is seeking a fixed term, part time Family Support and Advocacy Worker for a minimum of 22.8 hours per week for a 1 year period for the Family Support and Advocacy Team, which supports particularly vulnerable families who are either currently experiencing homelessness, at‐risk of homelessness, and young women who are under the age of twenty five pregnant and/or parenting, their partners and children in the greater Brisbane region. Applications close Monday, 19th MarchView more information and apply.

Community Facilitator - CREATE

CREATE is seeking a permanent part time Community Facilitator for their Albion, Brisbane office. Community Facilitators are responsible for facilitating the voices of children and young people through active participation and engagement, specifically ensuring that CREATE’s systems for connecting children and young people to clubCREATE are maintained and new members recruited; and facilitating connection through activities and programs. View more information and apply. Applications close 5pm, Monday 26th March. 

Lead Tenant - Mercy Community

The Mercy Community's Lead Tenant program is a way to support young people who can’t live at home and need to start working towards living on their own. A Lead Tenant is a volunteer who lives in a Mercy Community property with up to two young people, and provides support and a positive role model for the young people residing with them. Closing date for applications is Friday, 30th March. View more information and apply.

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