Working for a better future and outcomes for our children.
A message from our CEO: Natalie Lewis
Welcome to our next edition of the QATSICPP Newsletter. We are in extraordinary times, but we are an extraordinary sector. There is a level of comfort that I feel knowing that despite the disruption, our children and families will remain a priority for all of you.
While clearly you are all focussed on providing support to those in our communities experiencing vulnerability at this time, we recognise that this can and will take a toll on each of us individually.
Adapting to this new operating and non-social “social” environment is a challenge. I personally have struggled on some days but am determined to ensure that the QATSICPP team stay connected to our purpose and each other. While we have a clear program of work to progress we are also conscious about responding to the unique needs of the sector that continue to emerge in the context of this health crisis.
In a communication to sector CEO’s recently, I identified a number of current advocacy priorities that we are continuing to progress. Importantly, this is not an exhaustive list and I would invite you to reach out to anyone in our team, if there are things that we could do or be doing better to help our member organisations through this pandemic.
I wish you and your loved ones good health, happiness and hope and I look forward to the time when we can reflect on all we learnt and all we overcame during 2020.
COVID-19 Resources and Information
The Team at QATSICPP have been working from home now for about 3-4 weeks due to the ongoing uncertain times that we all have to endure because of COVID-19. In this new world of communication, QATSICPP have been using different media platforms to conduct internal meetings or external meetings to ensure continuance of our work priorities.
Further, in this ever changing environment it can be difficult to manage and comprehend the vast amount of information that is distributed everyday through our inboxes, television, social media and web sources. As more and more information becomes available, it is necessary to focus your attention on creditable sources only. The QATSICPP team have pulled together the below web links to resources which we use and can recommend. Please feel free to use and also forward to others within your respective communities.
Remember the best method to ensure the safety of our people is to practice excellent hand hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation when feeling unwell. The Team at QATSICPP are operating in the virtual world with all team members being available during business hours via email, phone and video conferencing.
The Kalwun Youth Wellbeing program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children on an identified need basis. Our team consists of; 1 x P/Time Youth Well-being Advisor, 1 x Youth Wellbeing worker and 1 – P/Time Youth Wellbeing worker.
Kalwun Youth Wellbeing program aims to build on positive change, strengthen relationships with families and support networks as well as improve life skills and choices.
We support young people through a combination of case management, mentoring and group activities. The program operates from a person-centred framework, designed to meet the needs of children and young people.
Kalwun’s Youth wellbeing service has collaborated with ‘Fight 4 Youth’ Gym in Currumbin and engaged in a boxing program to Empower and Support young people. The aim of the program is to:
Help young people build self-esteem
Encourage personal development
Increase physical and emotional stability
Encourage active education,
Promote positive and healthy choices
Improve performance and behaviour at school
Relieve stress in a safe and nurturing environment
Encourage positive and healthy relationships
Reduce risk of harm to self and others
Increase resilience and develop purpose in the lives of our Youth.
Recently, we received some positive feedback from a parent of a young person,
engaged in our program that reassured our Youth team that we are heading in the right direction;
Extract of text message received:
“That’s heaps good to hear. Soo proud of him & the massive change he has had this year. He is definitely keen to do boxing on a regular basis. I’ve looked into a few programs at the local pcyc’s. Unless you know of any other programs I could look into as well?
He has been doing a 4km lake run as an extra fitness for soccer & he smashed his running time by 7mins. Which is awesome. This time last year he didn’t even want to
leave the house so it’s a huge change for him to want to be outdoors every day.
He has been speaking about looking for work as soon as he is old enough as well. A massive change from his attitude last year. I’ve had positive feedback from school as well & his attendance is improving. The youth program & having you to support him has helped make a change for the better for him.
Any change is good for our young people and especially in a short amount of time, is promising. One aim of the Kalwun YWB program is to provide support to the young person so they can achieve increased competencies, self-esteem and enhanced individual development. We believe that this is a great example of reaching that aim and look forward to working with our young people to achieve many more.
Article provided by Kalwun Child and Family Support Services Team.
Calling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to get involved in the Queensland Healing Strategy
The Healing Foundation is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders to co-design and develop the first ever Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Strategy.
Eleven community yarning circles have been held so far in St George, Gold Coast and Inala. We have been gathering stories and listening to people dream big about healing. Communities have shared their stories of what healing means, what solutions will work and the most immediate priorities for healing.
We want organisations to get involved and advocate for solutions that will contribute to healing for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people they work with, and the urgent healing needs and priorities of their communities. We encourage organisations to complete a submission response and share stories of programs that are already supporting collective healing in communities, through a short case study.
Central Queensland Indigenous Development Ltd shared a case study on their gabu gu djaan program, meaning boys to men in Butchulla language. The eight week program provides boys aged 10 – 17 years with a stronger sense of identity, culture, respect and belonging, while building trust, communication skills and improving wellbeing.
“We see young men come in to the program and they won’t look at you or even talk with you for the first couple of weeks, but by the end of the 8 week program they are brimming and full of confidence. I had one mum say that “Thursdays are his happy days” and he is in a good mood and enthusiastic when he comes home from the program.” said James Briggs, Family Wellbeing Case Worker.
We know that Community-controlled organisations have knowledge of Queensland’s healing needs based on a deep understanding of local context, cultures and history and trusted relationships with communities. We also know the solutions are already out there in community.
Encourage people you work with to submit a creative piece to express what healing means to them
Healing creates a better future for our children and a world where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and our cultures thrive. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders are ready to lead their own healing solutions, break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and create a better and brighter future for the next generations.
QATSICPP, TAIHS and DCSYW
"A Partnership Approach in Townsville"
On 19 February 2020, Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) Family Participation Program (FPP) hosted a morning tea at their office to strengthen their relationships with Child Safety Investigation and Assessment teams, the GRO Team as well as the Cultural Practice Leader and the FPP champion for our region. The introduction of the FPP guidelines and the changes to the practice manual provided a good opportunity for Child Safety staff to meet the FPP staff in person, discuss their roles and service provision, build on the existing relationships and find ways of creating more referral pathways.
The TAIHS FPP team put on an amazing spread and everyone was able to make connections in an informal setting, as well as share their ideas and aspirations for 2020 to foster best possible outcomes for our families. In the North Queensland region, QATSICPP are planning to offer as many opportunities as possible to connect TAIHS FPP and our other service providers with Child Safety staff to ensure ongoing positive and collaborative working relationships. We know how busy everyone is, which meant that the attendance of FPP and Child Safety staff was very appreciated and shows the commitment to engaging positively with our families. The FPP staff highlighted the ways in which they are creatively working with families with a focus on family lead decision making. They were able to highlight their innovative practice and dedication to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in our region.
We are excited about the prospects of continuing to work in a creative and collaborative manner and building on the positive work that we have already started.
Joshua Leedie, the Practice Leader from the Family Participation Program at the Townsville Aboriginal & Islander Health Service and, Corinne Smith, Principal Team Leader, Collaborative Family Decision Making, Practice Support both provided their perspectives in relation to this collaboration event:
The TAIHS Family Participation Program recently held a morning tea to meet with NQ Region South Child Safety. It was an exciting time for all who attended as it was a chance for everyone to meet and to come together to discuss a new collaborative approach working together.
The morning was spent sharing stories and asking questions and by the conclusion all were excited the new direction we are heading. The obvious connectedness in the room assured all that together we can help reduce our families and young people who are at risk of entering the Child Protection System.
Joshua Leedie - Practice Leader, Family Participation Program Townsville Aboriginal & Islander Health Service
I am the Principal Team Leader for the Collaborative Family Decision Making team in the NQ South region for Child Safety. Recently I was invited to participate in a networking morning tea with TAIHS Family Participation Program. The morning tea provided all parties an opportunity to meet face-to-face and begin to form new relationships and build on existing ones between our department, TAIHS and QATSICPP. The energy in the room was full of positivity and excitement for what 2020 was going to bring for our families. It gave us all an opportunity to ask questions, problem solve and share successes in a collaborative and outcome focused space. We all agreed that as a region we are forging strong partnerships and leading the way in reducing the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system.
Corinne Smith - Principal Team Leader, Collaborative Family Decision Making Practice Support (South) | North Queensland Region
Youth Justice Family Led Decision Making
Community of Practice Forum - Cairns
On 11 & 12 of March, QATSICPP facilitated the second Youth Justice Family Led Decision Making (YJFLDM) Community of Practice Forum which was hosted by the Wuchopperen Health Services in Cairns. The event was well attended by QATSICPP members and Youth Justice.
Mr Phillip Brooks, Deputy Director General of Youth Justice opened the forum and provided valuable background information and spent most of the first morning in the forum. A common theme discussed by Phillip and other key Department staff present over the two days is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Led Decision Making is an important feature of a Culturally Responsive Youth Justice Framework.
The four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trial sites-services (Goolburri, Kurbingui, ATSICHS Brisbane & Wuchopperen Health Services) all presented and shared unidentified case studies. Participants gained valuable insights as to the complexities of cases and the sharing of practical examples and knowledge. This helped all participants in understanding that we are not alone in our own communities; and that all services share similar successes and challenges in this important area of our collective work.
After the first day, Wuchopperen then also kindly hosted the screening of the film ‘In My Blood It Runs’, the story of Dujan Hoosan who addressed the United Nations last year about raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 years to 14 years. The event was sold out and around 40 people, from all walks of life attended. A three member panel comprising Mr. Anthony Satrick Manager of Child Well-Being (Wuchopperen), Ms. Shannon Keating, Youth Empowered Towards Independence (YETI) and Mr. Steven Kynuna a young man from Yarrabah also discussed the film afterwards and its impact.
On the second day of the Community of Practice, Mr Garth Morgan, Social Policy & Research Manager from QATSICPP shared the draft YJFLDM Mid-Term Report that has been commissioned from Inside Policy and specifically their CEO/Director Noel Niddre. Inside Policy are currently undertaking the Evaluation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth Justice Family Led Decision Making Trial for QATSICPP and the Department of Youth Justice. The Evaluation which is titled My Family, Our Decisions, Our Way aims to focus on the success of the trial in addressing factors that lead to youth offending.
For more information, please contact Des Rogersat QATSICPP.
While the two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations have worked closely with each other in the past, formalising the partnership will see greater opportunities for young and old people to connect through the cultural lens of physical, mental and social and emotional health.
Chief of Good of DIYDGATSIC, Merrissa Nona says she is looking forward to the opportunity of working more closely with Wuchopperen.
“Wuchopperen has such a strong forty-year history in the Cairns region, we are excited to become a part of that history, and work with the team to bring the next generation into the Wuchopperen story. This partnership won’t just be at face value, but rather will see real change created for both organisations,” says Merissa.
The partnership will place a huge focus on promoting the health and wellbeing of young people in our community, with an emphasis on community events, connection with Elders and placing culture at the centre of our wellbeing narrative.
Dania Ahwang, Chief Executive Officer of Wuchopperen says the partnership is a fantastic way to empower youth to lead us into the future.
“Having the opportunity to partner with a youth focused organisation like Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good is only going to strengthen our vision of Keeping Our Generations Growing Strong. We know young people are our future and if Wuchopperen can assist in strengthening the emotional and social wellbeing of the leaders of tomorrow, we know we are set for excellence for another 60,000 years,” says Dania.
The partnership will kick off with a joint launch of the Wellbeing and Kulture Festival later in the year to celebrate self, wellbeing and culture led by young people in our community.
For more information, please contact Sara Brown from Wuchopperen Health Service.
Community of Practice (CoP) - Update
QATSICPP recently hosted the Community of Practice virtually on 2 of April. We had approximately 37 people join via Zoom!
It was a great opportunity to connect and debrief during this different time of working.
We heard some fantastic examples of how the sector are embracing technology to meet with families and looking at ways of still connecting with families at their homes by distributing food hampers to their front gates.
We spoke about the opportunity to develop a suite of practice resources for the sector. The first resource that we will look at developing is a Referral Form as well as a guide to completing the referral form. The Practice Development and Regional Implementation Teams will work alongside the sector in the development of this resource.
Thank-you all for joining in and we hope to catch-up again with you all very soon.
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Candice Butler via email.
Cape York Partnership “Family Empowerment Report”
July – December 2019
Welcome, I would like to reflect on some of our most remarkable achievements and developments of 2019 while also touching on our challenges.
At a regional Level, as part of the national Empowered Communities initiative we support Cape York people to design and build their governannce structures and priorities for their communities their way. This is called the Pama Futures agenda. It steps out the practical framework for resetting better relationship with government where the power is in local hands.
Pama Futures forums gathered together community leaders from Cape York to build their voice around jobs, home ownership, and a community partnership schools approach. In a very exciting development, this work support the Guugu Yimithirr nation to convene their own local summit at Elm Beach near Hope Vale where young and old led robust but productive talks around how their community would come to the table with governments. They made fantastic progress and have been refining how their model of local governance will work whilst also putting into practice their rules of engagement around a Joint Decision-Making Process for ceasing grants.
On 29 October 2018, the Child Protection Act 1999was amended to enable the Chief Executive (CE) (Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women) to delegate functions and powers to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation (Part 2A S148BB).
The capacity to delegate authority under the Child Protection Act 1999 was part of a range of changes made by the Queensland Government to the Act referred to as Safe Care and Connection with the stated intention of addressing the over representation of our children and young people, and their families in the child protection system.
This is a significant change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people, their families and communities, and organisations.
The delegation of legal authority is an important step in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination over matters relating to children and young people, and their families. It means greater control of decision making, determining how authority is exercised, and how work is done with children and young people, and their families.
We are working with our members to look at what delegation means, what functions and powers members may be interested in pursuing and what members need to do to get ready, and to date, we have hosted regional information sessions with each of our regions. There will be a session held for those CEOs who were unable to attend during the regional sessions.
We are currently developing an issues register and will ensure feedback is continuously provided to the sector.
The Queensland Government is participating in the National Redress Scheme which is in response to recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) provides support to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Queensland institutions including in missions, dormitories, residential care, children’s homes, schools, churches, foster care, health services and youth detention centres.
If you or someone you know experienced sexual abuse as a child in an institution you may be eligible for redress under this Scheme.
The Scheme will provide access to - a redress payment, up to 20 hours of counselling and psychological care (and more if required) and the option to receive a Direct Personal Response, for example a culturally appropriate apology from the responsible institution.
Many institutions have already joined the Scheme, including the Australian Government and all state and territory governments, and many of the major churches and charities.
The Queensland Government is working with the Scheme to encourage all non-Government institutions, including organisations that ran missions and dormitories, to participate.
You can still apply to the Scheme even if the institution is not listed on the National Redress Scheme website. The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
There are support services available to help people through the redress application process, including specialist services that provide counselling, healing and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Link-Up (Qld) and the Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care (RAATSICC) Advisory Association can explain how the Scheme works and help you apply. knowmore can provide free and confidential legal support.
The Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care (RAATSICC) Advisory Association and can be contacted on 07 4030 0900 and 1300 663 411.
knowmore is a free, confidential and independent legal service and can be contacted on 1800 605 762.
QATSICPP Regional Forums
Southwest and Central Queensland Family Participation Program and Family Wellbeing Services
QATSICPP’sReform Implementation Support Officers recently convened regional forums in two (2) regions in February 2020. Staff from the Family Participation Program (FPP) and Family Wellbeing Service (FWS) member organisations staff where invited to attend and participate. QATSICPP host 3 regional forums in each regional per year. These forums then flow into the state-wide Community of Practice that QATSICPP deliver every year.
The Regional forums are specifically for all FPP/FWS frontline practitioners and really allow for meaningful and thought-out conversations to take place. Both forums presented themes ranging from practice barriers and program delivery road blocks between each service and the Department of Child Safety, Youth & Women (DCSYW) staff, what’s working well within your service vs how can we improve, CHAMPIONS within DCSYW, SWOT analysis and a place for all to connect, network and share positive new stories.
The South West and Central Qld QATSICPP Reform Implementation Officers held three forums this quarter. The first was delivered to the South West region at the Murgon PCYC, with key practitioners from Goolburri, CRAICCHSand Kambu attending. The second was delivered specifically to CQID practitioners in Rockhampton and lastly in Mackay to the far Central Queensland consortium which consists of Marabisda, Girudala and Mudth-Niyleta.
Each session was successful and the feedback positive. The conversations really set the tone for emerging practice and it is evident that those who participate within these forums really are our emerging leaders of the future.
If you have any questions, or would like information about the Regional Forums, please contact Eliza Miller who is the QATSICPP Regional Implementation Support Officer for South West Queensland Region.
Family Matters National Week of Action postponed
Each year the Family Matters campaign holds a national week of action to celebrate the strengths of our families in growing up children connected to family, community, country and culture and also to sound the alarm bells at the steadily increasing rate at which our children are placed in out of home care. Our children are now 10.6 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children.
This year, due to COVID-19, the National Week of Action is being postponed (from May) to 15 – 22 October 2020. This week will follow the launch of the annual Family Matters Report (2020) that investigates the rates, and factors underpinning the rates, of involvement of our children in the child protection system across every state and territory. Read Family Matters Report 2019, and previous reports, here.
The National Week of Action gives community and community organisations a chance to host events of their choosing, or to take action online, to raise awareness locally of what ‘family matters’ means to them and the directions that can be taken to keep children safely at home with their families, support networks and on country.
This year Family Matters is partnering with the film team of In My Blood It Runs to offer access for free to this film for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and community organisations wanting to host their own screening when it is safe to do so. We encourage you to plan ahead to host a screening in the week of 15 – 22 October. Other ideas for ‘What you can do’ during the National Week of Action are available on familymatters.org.au/week-action/
Should you require further information, please contact Eva Ruggiero at QATSICPP.
QATSICPP Workforce Professional Scholarships 2020-2021
Each scholarship has a maximum value of $11,000 payable towards the recipients’ Student Contribution Charges.
Keep an eye out for further information on the scholarships in July 2020.
Scholarships advertised Week of 13 July 2020
Scholarship Applications open 11 August 2020
Scholarship Applications close 11 September 2020
Applicants notified Week of 5 October 2020
Key Dates – Griffith University
Enrolments open for Trimester 3 11 August 2020
Commencement of Trimester 3 26 October 2020
Census date Trimester 3 22 November 2020
For further information on the scholarships, contact Dion Tatow, Senior Workforce Development Officer, QATSICPP.
Queensland Child Protection Week 2020 Grants Open
until 15 May 2020
The Queensland Child Protection Week Committee is accepting applications for the following grants:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Grants
Please follow the outlined selection criteria when responding. We will continue to monitor the situation in relation to events as the year progresses. We plan to process your applications as scheduled in the hope that we might be able to proceed in September. Should it become apparent this is not possible, we will then work with the various community groups to postpone to a suitable date.
Please continue to submit your applications and note applications must be received by close of business Friday 15 May 2020.
Grants of up to $1000 (inclusive of GST) are available to non-government organisations, community organisations and networks. Successful applicants may receive full or partial grants. The Queensland Child Protection Week Committee encourages applications for events that have been designed to positively support the theme and aims of Child Protection Week. Thus your local activity will:-
promote the theme ‘Protecting children is everybody’s business’
Regional Grants of $5,000 (inclusive of GST) are available for each of the FIVE regional areas of Queensland. The regions are:
Funding submissions must reflect collaboration with a minimum of five other agencies within the region. To be eligible for funding your submission must respond to the selection criteria for the Regional Grants. The funding application form contains further details. Regional Grant Applications must be received by close of business Friday 15 May 2020
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Grants
Not for profit groups operating in Queensland can apply for the one off grant payment of $5,000 (inclusive of GST) through the QCPW Committee. This grant will be awarded to a not-for-profit community group to enhance and promote child protection messages within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The lead organisation applying for the grant should be an Indigenous organisation.
To be eligible for funding your submission must respond to the selection criteria outlined below.
Facilitate an event across multiple locations that promotes the theme Protecting Children is Everybody’s Business and reflects the interests and diversity of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community;
Raise awareness of child abuse and neglect as an issue within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Promote local services available to support children and families who have experienced child abuse and neglect, or are at risk
Equip individuals and communities with knowledge and skills to understand child abuse and neglect and empower them to take action
Funding submissions must reflect collaboration with other agencies across multiple regional locations (minimum 5 organisations required)
The lead organisation applying for the grant should be an Indigenous organisation.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Grants must be received by close of business Friday 15 May 2020
Examples of organisations eligible for funding under the Child Protection Week Grants program include:
Non-Government Organisations, Neighbourhood Centres, Childcare Centres, Women's Centres, Parents and Friends/Citizens/ Associations, Police Citizens Youth Clubs, Community Playgroups, Youth Centres.
Organisations can only submit one application per funding round for any one location
Applications for funding will be considered for new and separate activities/events of existing projects
Examples of organisations ineligible for funding under Child Protection Week Grants program are:
Government organisations (e.g Department of Education Training and the Arts, Queensland Health), Local Government authorities (e.g. City Councils).
Organisations applying for funding for a project that already has funding from another source.
Organisations having a previous Child Protection Week Grant that has reached the acquittal stage, but have not provided a satisfactory performance report.
The following activities do not fall under child protection and are not eligible for grants (bullying, water safety, car safety, cyber bullying)
Examples of events previously held:
Family Fun Days with information on local services to support children and families who have experienced abuse and neglect, or are at risk
Education sessions providing information on child abuse and neglect services to support children and families
Art exhibitions showcasing works which capture the theme Protecting Children is Everybody's Business
Professional development sessions for those working in the Child Protection sector (note must be in addition to mandatory training)
Family movie events with information booths connecting families to local child protection services
Educational safety sessions targeted at keeping Children and Young People safe online (excludes cyber bullying)
Community Events which promote Child Protection Week Key Messages
Complete the online application forms and submit. Notification of grant outcomes will be issued early July 2020. No late applications will be accepted.
For more information regarding Activity, Regional or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Grants, or for assistance in completing your application, Contact us
Youth Housing and Reintegration Service (YHARS)
including After Care
YHARSAfter Care brokerage service provides individualised financial support through brokerage funds (and case management support where eligible) focused on supporting those transitioning from a child protection order and are finding themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Brokerage funding of up to $3,500 GST EXCLUSIVE may be available to assist in meeting the assessed needs of a client included in their case management plan.
Look forward to working with you to ensure that those who need the support can receive it.