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March 2015

27 March 2015

Chinese Delegation Visit & Study Tour 2015

Dear subscribers & friends,

On 27th February, the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare hosted a visit by a delegation of representatives from China.  The delegation, organised by Save the Children Australia, visited a number of organisations over their week in Melbourne.

The focus of the visit at the Centre was to provide an overview of the work of the Centre and the organisations it represents, as well as focusing on the current thinking and approaches in regards to children and young people and their intersection with child protection, out of home care and the legal systems.

The visit not only provided valuable information for the delegation to take back to China, but also allowed the Centre staff to reflect on a very different perspective of the child protection system across Victoria.

The Centre's first study tour for 10 years is only weeks away from taking off to the UK.  12 participants from a range of organisations across Victoria make up the Tour and will be attending the BAPSCAN Conference in Edinburgh,as well as a number of organisations across the UK.  Moira Kairys will be keeping all Centre members updated through the Study Tour Blog, which can be accessed by clicking here.

The Centre will be organising some evening forums for the participants to share the knowledge gained with the broader sector across May and June.  Dates for these session will be advised after the Study Tour has returned.

The Centre was pleased with the announcement on 16 March by the Hon Jenny Mikakos of $43 million in Targeted Care Packages.  These packages will ensure more children and young people will receive the type of care they
need, tailored to their individual circumstances. It’s about identifying the best care options for all children.  Click here to read the Centre's media release.

Deb Tsorbaris




Giving Sorrow Words

Berry Street Childhood Institute & the Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare invite you to "Giving Sorrow Words: the experience of siblings separated in care" a 1 day seminar on enhancing sibling placement and contact in out-of-home care.

The event will be launched by The Hon Jenny Mikakos and the keynote address will be delivered by Trish McCluskey.  Speakers will include the Hon Judge Peter Couzens of the Children's Court and Prof Marie Connolly of Melbourne University.

Centre Members $80
Non-Members $140.00

Click here for further details and to book.


Learning & Development

The Centre Training Guide 2015 has been recently released.  Click here to view the range of accredited and non-accredited training available to members and non-members.

Mindfulness-Based Wellbeing & Stress Reduction Training (Wednesday 22nd April)

This half-day workshop is practical, experimental & fun. It gives participants the skills to manage stressful situations at work& in life by developing practical strategies for their own self-care.

For more information on Upcoming Learning & Development Opportunities click here.


State Budget Submission

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare's 2015-2016 Victorian State Budget Submission places a major emphasis on prevention and early intervention.  We have reviewed our 2014 Election Statement in light of the significant commitments already made by the Andrews Labor Government in relation to family violence, residential care and foster care ($19 million) , targeted care packages ($43 million) and the establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Children in out of home care.  Emerging information about the needs of Victorian children and families represented in the Productivity Commission Report on Government Services has also been considered.

The Centre's State Budget Submission can be accessed here.



ResiROCKS is the one opportunity each year to bring together residential workers from across the state to learn, laugh & celebrate.

ResiROCKS 2015 will be held on Tuesday 26 May.

Your organisation can be part of ResiROCKS 2015 by:

1. Through a Presentation (submissions due 31 March)
2. By hosting a Market Stall
3. Nominate for a Resi Award (closing 31 March)

Click here to keep up to date with information as it becomes available.



The Platform - CREATE

The platform is a space where young people with an Out of Home care background who are either a part of leadership/youth advocacy groups, or are not yet a part of one however have a keen interest in networking with those who are, can meet with a clear focus of sharing knowledge, skills and ideas to collectively advocate for the change that these groups would like to see within the Child Protection system.

Click here for further information and an invite to the launch on Wednesday 1st April at 4pm


Bumps to Babes and Beyond

A ground breaking Victorian program has helped to reduce the risk of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being placed in out-of-home care and helped build stronger families.  The Bumps to Babes and Beyond program has found that giving vulnerable mothers parenting education and support during pregnancy and during the first 18 months of their child’s life improved outcomes for children during this critical time.

Further information is available on the QEC website, including the Evaluation of the Bumps to Babes and Beyond Program and How Effective Partnerships can Create a Better Future.


Anglicare Tasmania - Research

Anglicare Tasmania have recently published the following research reports:

Parents in the Child Protection System: identifying the challenges of negotiating a successful way through the child protection system for parents and for the workers who support them.

A Necessary Engagement: This overview documents international and Australian examples of good practice in engagement, support and advocacy for parents who have contact with child protection systems.


Out of Care, into University

A study funded by the NCSEHE and undertaken by La Trobe University advocates a framework to increase university access for care leavers – young people who spent time in out-of-home care before the age of 18.

The study, Out of care, into university: Raising higher education access and achievement of care leavers can be accessed here.



Beyond Tomorrow Conference

Presented by early learning service provider, ECMS, Beyond Tomorrow is a leading early childhood conference designed for everyone interested in, or working for the development and wellbeing of children aged 0-8.

At Beyond Tomorrow, expert speakers will challenge, enlighten and inspire attendees as they explore the opportunities that can be realised by ‘reaching out’ in the early childhood sector. Speakers will use contemporary research to explore ‘reaching out’ in order to deliver socially inclusive services, to understand the importance of Reconciliation and to create positive partnerships.

Click here for full details.


Mental Health Awareness

LifeWorks Senior Consultant Rebecca Henshall will deliver the first LifeWorks in the workplace webinar on mental health in the workplace.

DATE: Tuesday 14 April 2015
TIME: 11am - 12pm
COST: $40 per person

This one hour webinar will provide you with current information about two common types of mental illness (Depressive and Anxiety), outlining signs and symptoms and treatment options.

Click here for further details and to book.


Can we walk to the park?

Is it Ok to let your ten year old and six year old children walk alone to the local park or reserve? Not according to Maryland, USA child protection authorities who found a couple responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect.

Click here to read more.


Evaluation in child and family organisations

A research project on the use of evaluation in Australian child and family welfare organisations is seeking the views of both practitioners/team leaders and internal evaluators via a short online survey.

The project is being undertaken by Alicia McCoy, a PhD candidate in the social work department.  This research project has been approved by The University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (ID 1341377).

Click here for more information and to complete the survey.

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