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Newsletter – April 2014

7 April 2014

Five Year Plan for Out-of-Home Care

In late-March the Victorian Government released the Out-of-Home Care Five Year Plan and Auditor General’s report into Residential Care Services for Children. These two reports have significant impacts for children living in out-of-home care, which we will continue to monitor and discuss as reforms and recommendations are implemented. Details of both reports can be found below.

Together with OzChild, in early-May we are hosting a forum to look at ways we can improve support for children with disabilities in child and family services. We have secured incredible speakers (details below) so ensure you RSVP quickly to secure your place.

Preparations are also being made for the upcoming Victorian phase of the Royal Commission. Later this month we will be holding a forum to help agencies prepare for the public hearings, and discuss the government’s response to the Betrayal of Trust report (details are below).

Deb Tsorbaris


Improving Support for Children with Disabilities

On Friday 2nd May the Centre and OzChild are hosting a forum to discuss Improving Support for Children with a Disability.

A report prepared by Dr Gaye Mitchell (OzChild) on the specific needs of children with a disability will be launched at the event.

Speakers will include Andrea Coote (Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Bernie Geary (CCYP), Kate Jenkins (Vic Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner), Laurie Harkin (Disability Services Commissioner), Robyn Miller (DHS), Frank Lambrick (DHS) and more.

There is no cost to attend, but you will need to register soon as places are limited. Details are on the flyer here.

Auditor General Report – Residential Care

Last week the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office released its report on Residential Care Services for Children. The audit found that the residential care system has “insufficient capacity and capability to respond to the level of demand and growing complexity of children’s needs. This affects the quality of care provided and reduces opportunities for children to achieve positive outcomes while in care…”

For an overview of the audit findings and copy of the full report, see the VAGO website.

The Centre’s response is available here.

5 Year Plan – OOHC

Last week the Minister for Community Services released Out-of-Home Care: A Five Year Plan, which sets out the government’s reforms to the OOHC system. This plan is a reponse to the Cummins Inquiry.

The Centre’s statement about the plan is available here.


Culturally Competent Practice with Vulnerable Families

The Victorian Cooperative on Children’s Services for Ethnic Groups (VICSEG) in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is pleased to offer training in Culturally Competent Practice With Vulnerable Families.

This training is unique in its practice focus, offering four modules – An introduction to cultural competency and diversity, Cross-cultural communication, interpreters and bicultural facilitators, Parenting and Managing self in culturally diverse situations and Community engagement and organisational improvements.

Please encourage your management and staff to attend. Details are available here.

Connections UnitingCare Conference

Early Bird registrations for Connections UnitingCare’s inaugural conference close in one week.

Featuring keynote speakers from around the world including author Maia Szalavitz, (UnitingCare Australia CEO), Lin Hatfield-Dodds (Professor of Evidence Informed Practice), Professor Aron Shlonsky, Connections conference will address areas of work that are leading the way in improving the lives of those most vulnerable in our community. More →

SNAICC – Family Matters

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are ten times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Aboriginal children.

This week the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care launched a strategic alliance to address this over-representation of Aboriginal Children in out-of-home care.

Contact SNAICC if you want like to discuss this important project, or refer to the flyer here.

ACF – Childhood Trauma Conference

The Australian Childhood Foundation has assembled leaders in interpersonal neurobiology, trauma and therapy for a conference on Childhood Trauma: Understanding the basis of change and recovery.

The conference will be held from the 4-8th August, with a special full-day session for carers only with Dan Hughes.

Details of the conference are available on the event website, or in brief on the flyer.

Royal Commission Q&A and Forum

As the Royal Commission continues to build momentum, the Centre has prepared a Q&A to provide an overview on its work and address frequently asked questions. The Q&A is available here on the Centre’s website.

On 28 April the Centre is hosting a forum to discuss preparing for the Royal Commission’s Victorian public hearings, which are due in the second half of 2014.

Invitations will be distributed in the coming days, or contact Mary Kyrios on 03 9614 15 if you would like to talk about the event.

DHS: New Directions for Social Housing

In late March the Minister for Housing released New Directions for Social Housing: A framework for a strong and sustainable future. The framework commits to building better communities, delivering better opportunities for tenants and developing better social housing assets.

A copy of the framework is available on the DHS website.

World Conference – Promoting Social and Economic Equality

From the 9-12th July the World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Keynote speakers include Professor Margaret Alston (Aus), Mr Herbert Paulischin (Austria), Professor In Yong Han (Sth Korea), Mr Greg Vines (Switzerland) and Dr Tom Calma AO (Aus).

A flyer with registration information is available online here.

James Anglin

Following his popular presentations at Resi ROCKS 2013 and the Centre’s Residential Care Policy Breakfast, Professor James Anglin will return to Melbourne in early May.

Visiting from Canada’s University of Victoria, Professor Anglin is a leading expert in residential care.

On Wednesday 7th May he will be speaking at the Centre’s forum on providing quality residential care and responding to the sexual exploitation of our vulnerable youth. The event will also feature Robyn Miller from DHS, who featured alongside Prof Anglin at Resi ROCKS 2013. More →

RCLDS Secondment

The Centre for Excellence in Child & Family Welfare is seeking Expressions of Interest from anybody interested in a secondment to support the Residential Care Learning & Development Strategy (RCLDS) Manager for a period of 6 months.

  1. This opportunity will provide support to the RCLDS Manager including:
  2. Assisting in organising Resi-Rocks.
  3. Supporting the Joint CFECFW/Commission for Children and Young People Deb Ball.
  4. Ensuring the continued development and delivery of the Residential Care Learning & Development Strategy. More →


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