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September E-News

1 October 2013

Anti-Poverty Week

Despite more than two decades of continuous growth, 17% of Australian children are living in poverty. Worryingly, this represents an increase of 15% since 2001.

Recent cuts to sole parenting allowances have made life even more difficult for families already struggling to get by, as growing disparities of wealth and rising costs of living are forcing more into homelessness.

While Australia boasts the highest median wealth in the world, we also have the fifth highest poverty rate for single parent families of all OECD countries. This sees a staggering one-in-four children in Australian sole parent households living below the poverty line.

Arresting our growing child poverty crisis requires urgent improvements to social security payments for low income households. This must begin by revising the flawed Newstart policy to deliver adequate support to some of our most vulnerable families.

We must also reform the Family Tax Benefit system to see payments indexed to wage movements. If we continue with the current policy it is inevitable that rates of child poverty will continue to rise.

Foster Care Week

Foster Care Week 2013 has been an enormous success, with 20 separate activities held across Victoria to celebrate the contribution foster care makes to our community.

During Foster Care Week the Centre’s policy breakfast brought 70 experts from agencies, the Department of Human Services and academia together to discuss the future directions of foster care in Australia. More →

Royal Commission – Preventing sexual abuse in OOHC

In September the Royal Commission released an issues paper looking at ways to prevent the sexual abuse of children living in out-of-home care.

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare will respond to this paper with input from its members, which includes all Victorian providers of out-of-home care. More →

Program Logic Training – 21st October

On Monday 21st October the Centre is conducting training in ‘How to Undertake Program Logic’.

This opportunity will teach the steps and application of the logic model, which is an increasingly valuable tool for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of community programs.

For more details and registration information, please see the training flyer here.

CFECFW AGM – Wedneday 23rd October

Join us for the Centre’s 101st AGM at the Melbourne Town Hall on Wednesday 23 October.

We are pleased to announce that the Minister for Community Services – the hon. Mary Wooldridge – will be a guest speaker, and joined by a number of other special guests.

An invitation is available here.

Future Directions of IT & Data

In September the Centre hosted a CEO and Business Manager Network Meeting to look at the ‘Future Directions of IT and Data’ within our sector.

Forty-five attendees heard presentations from DHS, the University of Melbourne and Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare on a range of issues around the use of IT and data within the child and family services sector. More →

Anti-Poverty Week – 13-19 October

Anti-Poverty Week is less than a fortnight away. The week aims to strengthen understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty, and encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems.

More information is available on the Anti-Poverty Week Website.

During Anti-Poverty Week the Centre will launch an evaluation of our scholarship program, which has empowered young people that have lived in out-of-home care by funding their tertiary education. We will share this report our next E-news.

Robin Clark Awards

The 2013 Robin Clarke Awards ceremony took place in early September, coinciding with the launch of Child Protection Week.

The Robin Clark Awards are offered annually to respected, inspirational leaders in the field of child, youth and family services. They aim to recognise service provision and leadership that significantly improve the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families in Victoria and across the wider child and family service sector. More →

As Eye See It

During September Federation Square hosted the As Eye See It exhibition, displaying photographs taken by 74 young people living in out-of-home care.

The As Eye See It project annually provides kids living in OOHC with a camera and two weeks to capture images of five things that are important to them.

This allows a particularly vulnerable group of young people to have their voice heard, raising awareness of out-of-home care and initiating discussion around ways to improve the care experience. More →

Divided We Stand – Why Inequality Keeps Rising

The 2013 Corden Lecture will be presented by Professor John Martin on Wednesday 9 October 2013.

Professor Martin is the former Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

His lecture will look at the growing inequality in most developed countries, and how policy can break this trend.

Details and registration information is available here.

Research Study – Placement in OOHC

The University of South Australia and Australian Centre for Child Protection are seeking child protection practitioners to complete an online survey about their beliefs around the placement selection process.

This survey is part of a new research project investigating the factors that influence decision making around the placement of children in out-of-home care.

More information and a link to the survey can be found here.

Upcoming Events

1. DHS: Not For Profit Summit – 9 October.

2. Berry Street: The Good Childhood Conference. October 10-11.

3. VAADA: Family Violence and Alcohol and Drug Forum. 22 October.

4. VACCA: Wominjeka Festival – 26 October.

5. Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. November 10-13.

6. Crisis Intervention and Management Australia Conference – 28 & 29 October.

7. CREATE: National Conference – 22-24 November.

Josh Fergeus – Farewell

After four years in a number of roles, Josh Fergeus has left the Centre.

Josh is best known for his work leading the Foster Care Communication and Recruitment Strategy, but has more recently managed the Centre’s Learning and Development Unit.

Josh’s passion and expertise on a wide range of issues impacting vulnerable children will be missed, but we look forward to a continued involvement with him on a number of projects.

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