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Working towards better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families through building a strong, sustainable and capable sector - QATSICPP is In the spotlight

by PeakCare Qld on 17th November 2016

Home -> Articles -> 2016 -> November -> Working towards better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families through building a strong, sustainable and capable sector - QATSICPP is In the spotlight

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP) is the peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations across Queensland. Their members include: Foster and Kinship Care organisations, Family Support Services, Intensive Family Support and Recognised Entities.

QATSICPP’s Senior Practice Team presented their latest innovations at the November AASW/PeakCare Child Protection Practice Group meeting last week. Members travelled significant distances across Queensland and as far as Far North Queensland to benefit from this presentation.

These Practice Leaders have between them an enviable wealth of knowledge based upon decades of service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the wider sector both in Queensland and other states and territories. Their practice wisdom is underpinned by a plethora of formal tertiary qualifications that include: Social Work, Education, Mental Health, Community Services Co-ordination and Training and Assessment. This is a dynamic team of 4 members, led by Chief Executive Officer Natalie Lewis, who work across Queensland and visit the most remote of communities to ensure their work reaches the most marginalised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

As the QATSICPP senior practice team spoke of their work, they highlighted the pertinence of operating child protection intervention and family support services from a grass roots perspective. These interventions, assessments and processes all need to be based on what children and young people and their supportive family members say and then ensuring that they are heard.

QATSICPP, established in 2009, works to provide support to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population of Queensland, particularly children and young people. Working in partnership with key stakeholders, QATSICPP supports the effective implementation of child protection and family wellbeing initiatives. They provide leadership, advocacy and the development of strategies and programs that resource, support and enhance the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations focused on child protection, family support and community inclusion.

QATSICPP’s vision is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are physically, emotionally and spiritually strong; live in safe, caring and nurturing environments within their own families and communities and are afforded the same life opportunities available to other children and young people to achieve their full potential. QATSICPP believes this will be achieved through the understanding of meaningful partnerships that recognise the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

The overarching purpose of QATSICPP is to promote and advocate for the rights, safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, young people and their families through effective partnerships and strategic collaborations. The strategic priorities of QATSICPP are: partnerships and accountability, a voice for children, young people and their families, sector reform and development.

QATSICPP is a leader in the Family Matters Campaign that is focused on Kids safe in culture, not in care. Given that there are currently an estimated 3760 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in out-of-home care in Queensland and at the current rate of growth, it is projected that there will be 4000 ATSI children in care by the end of 2016, their involvement in this campaign is a key priority, amongst others.

In order to effectively impact change, QATSICPP foresee changes to key elements of the child protection system such as: policy and legislation, programs and services, processes and practices as essential. Such transformational change requires widespread understanding and intervention. In order to effect the proposed improvements, various modalities need to be in place. Such building blocks include:

  • Secure access to quality universal and targeted services necessary for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to thrive
  • Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations participate in and have control over decisions that affect their children
  • Ensure culturally safe and responsive law, policy and practices
  • Hold governments and services accountable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

QATSICPP is currently focused on redefining the concept of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control within the child protection arena. They are seeking input from member organisations into this process of redefinition to ensure that when community control is spoken about, all are in agreement about what it really means. It is also important to be able to articulate this with the wider sector and colleagues.

QATSICPP is also looking at establishing a set of standards that denotes what constitutes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Control to ensure that the QATSICPP membership controls the members and is able to present government with a robust definition that is sector led.

Community control is the local community having control of its issues that directly affect their community independent of government bodies. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people must determine and self-manage the standard of child protection issues taking into consideration cultural protocols and community beliefs when caring for and protecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must determine and control the standards/requirements of families, carers and care givers when caring for and protecting children and young people. This includes Blue Cards and Social Assessments. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must determine and self-manage children and young people when they are in the criminal justice system. They also need to engage with regard to government interventions.

Redefining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander control requires that consultations need to continue to occur with the remainder of the member organisations. They also need to allow for real representation to the redefinition and establishment of the standards.

The Supervision Framework was developed to promote quality, culturally grounded, professional supervision specific to the unique requirements of child protection services. The purpose of this Guide is to provide a framework, accompanied by practical resources, for delivery of culturally-grounded, professional supervision within child protection services.

QATSICPP is currently in the process of developing a suite of training modules in relation to all of the practice resources that have been developed to date. This training will be facilitated by the QATSICPP Senior Practice Leaders.

For more information, please view: QATSICPP Practice Guide, QATSICPP Appendix Forms, QATSICPP Supervision Framework and QATSICPP Supervision Framework Appendix Booklet.

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