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Newsletter – February 2014

6 February 2014

Back to school…

As school goes back we are acutely aware of the challenges that come with this time of year, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people and families.

The recently released Looking After Children Outcomes Data Project: A summary of findings (DHS) had mixed findings on the education outcomes for children in out-of-home care in Victoria. The study showed that:

> 58.6 per cent of the sample children aged five years or older were attaining educational achievements that matched their ability, while 31 per cent were somewhat below and 4.8 per cent were seriously below.

> 87.2 per cent of the sample children aged five years and older were attending school full time. 12.8 per cent were not attending school full time; however, most were attending part-time courses or special education arrangements. Fewer than one per cent were not participating in any education at all.

The data strongly reinforces the need to maintain a focus on addressing the educational needs of young people in out of home care to ensure they can reach their full potential.

2014 promises to be a big year at the Centre and we look forward to consulting with communities across the state in the coming months. Look out for invitations to meet while we are in your area.

Deb Tsorbaris

2014 Leaving Care & Kinship Forums

The 2014 calendar of Centre Kinship and Leaving Care Forums has been released and is available here.

These forums are aimed towards professional workers, providing an opportunity to discuss systemic, strategic and long-term issues that are fundamental to the child and family services sector.

If you would like more information or attend any of the forums, please contact Angela Scarfe.

Learning and Development

The Centre’s 2014 Learning and Development Calendar is available here.

For more information email Jane Lawrence or call the office on 03 9614 1577.

Details of individual courses and registration forms are available through the online training calendar.

Resi ROCKS 2014 – save the date

Save the date – Resi ROCKS 2014 is confirmed for Thursday 22nd May.

Registrations will open soon, but ensure that you save the date if you would like to attend.

Resi ROCKS is the highlight of the Residential Care Learning and Development Strategy, providing a day of training alongside the announcement of the Residential Care Awards. Special guests will be announced in near future.

Royal Commission – Six Month Schedule

The Royal Commission has released its schedule for the first half of 2014. The schedule is subject to change, but the most up-to-date version is available here.

Details about the subjects to be covered at public hearings will be published on the Royal Commission’s website prior to each hearing.

Looking After Children – Outcomes Data Project

In late-2011 DHS commenced a project to investigate how young people in Victoria’s out-of-home care services were faring.

The data collected during the project has been analysed and a report was released last week summarising the key findings.

The Looking After Children Outcomes Data Project Report is available on the DHS website here.

CCYP – Debutante Ball

The Commission for Children and Young People is holding its annual Debutante Ball on Wednesday 6th August 2014.

The Deb Ball is offered to all young people living in out-of-home care and will be held at the Melbourne Town Hall.

For more information contact the CCYP on 03 8601 5882.

OzChild CEO Tony Pitman – Retirement

The Centre would like to congratulate Tony Pitman on the enormous contribution he has made to the child and family sector, following his retirement after 16 years as CEO at OzChild.

Since taking over the role in 1996, Tony has built OzChild into a leader in the provision of services for vulnerable children and advocated strongly for the rights of the child.

We wish Tony and his family well in his retirement and are confident that his expertise will not be permanently lost to the sector.

Connections Conference – call for abstracts

Connections UnitingCare is calling for abstracts for their inaugural conference: Leading Practice – Making a difference in the lives of children and families, which will be held in May 2014.

Featuring keynote speakers from around the world, the conference will cover topics including; trauma-informed practice; evidence-based practice; cross sectoral work and partnerships; and quality systems, feedback and evaluations. More →

BIBA – Big Futures

On Sunday 9th February the BIBA Academy is hosting a day of hair fashion, beauty and style tips for young Australians living in residential units – and others at risk.

The event aims to inspire, encourage and inform these young people about opportunities that are available to them, while providing grooming and styling tips from experts.

Details of the event – and information about celebrities that will be present – can be found here. Places are still available if you know young people that would like to attend.

Child Protection Practice Manual – update

Changes have been made to the Child Protection Practice Manual – specifically advice around The Children’s Court legal processes and court proceedings, children’s court information sheets, emergency care information for placement providers and court forms.

The latest version of the Child Protection Practice Manual is available online here.

Foster Care Recruitment

Hard copies of the Centre’s 2013 foster care recruitment report Pathways to Caring are now available.

The report analyses the choices and decision making of people enquiring about becoming foster carers and makes a range of recommendations for ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of this process.

If you would like a hard copy, please contact the office on 03 9614 1577. A small fee applies to cover production costs and postage.

National Families Week

National Families Week will be held from 15-21 May 2014.

The theme this year is ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’, which highlights that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.

Information about National Families Week 2014 can be found here.

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