PeakCare Articles RSS feed of PeakCareWed, 12 Apr 2017 23:40:00 Australia/Brisbaneen-US Logo rock and hard place, 12 Apr 2017 23:40:00 ESTIn the vault, 12 Apr 2017 03:38:00 EST

Whilst we are busily researching the history and impact of Ice in our communities, through contributions to our Ice Bank, in order to actively respond to the growing issue that ice represents in our communities, we’re warned of the need to be proactive about another far deadlier substance entering the fray.

From substance abuse to self-discovery. Icelands answer., 04 Apr 2017 21:36:00 EST

20 years ago Iceland was concerned by the increasing substance abuse of teenagers and the resultant social issues. Despite school based drug and alcohol education drug abuse was deemed to be spiralling out of control.

In the vault: Tackling Ice Nationally, 24 Mar 2017 06:31:00 EST

“Its use creates a distinct problem for society. Unlike cannabis and heroin, ice is an extremely powerful stimulant. For some people, it can trigger psychological disturbances or violent and aggressive behaviour. Long term use may damage the brain and cause impaired attention, memory and motor skills. The distress ice causes for individuals, families, communities and frontline workers is disproportionate to that caused by other drugs.” Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce, 2015.

In the vault II, 17 Mar 2017 23:51:00 EST

As we delve into the varying articles members have shared with us regarding ice, addiction and the multitude of arguments for changing the way we look at addiction and treatment, a few perspectives stand out. This week we focus on a blog post in the Huffington post focused on changing the criminal manner with which we respond to ice users.

In the vault, 09 Mar 2017 08:55:00 EST

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) is committed to preventing the harm caused by alcohol and other drugs in Australia with their focus being on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.

In the Spotlight: Lowood shines in integrated service delivery, 16 Feb 2017 00:28:00 EST

Whilst Mercy Community Services (MCS) has delivered outreach services to Lowood and the surrounding community for many years, last year saw the introduction of innovative services to expand support to families and the community.

Crystal Meth: What you said in 2015 and 2016 is In the spotlight, 10 Feb 2017 01:03:00 EST

Crystal meth is short for crystal methamphetamine. As crystal meth’s effect is highly concentrated, it is considered addictive from the first time of use. Consequently, it is reported as being one of the hardest drug addictions to treat and the fatality rate is high.  Crystal meth is commonly known as ice or sometimes glass.

Prevalence of ICE in families of children entering care: DCCSDS study, 10 Feb 2017 00:06:00 EST

In late 2016, the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services conducted a once-off study based on a representative sample regarding the prevalence of methamphetamine use amongst parents whose children came into care (either intervention with parental agreement or child protection order).

Play2Learn is In the Spotlight, 02 Feb 2017 09:19:00 EST

As thousands of Queensland children returned to school last week, this week we shine a spotlight on a program designed to support young children and their families in preparing for education whilst focusing on holistic wellbeing.

Qld Child Safety September quarterly data plus Productivity Commission annual report released: what do the figures say?, 25 Jan 2017 00:17:00 EST

The Australian Government Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services (ROGS) Chapter 15, which covers Australia’s child protection services, was released on 24th January 2017. The Queensland Government has also released Child Safety’s September 2016 quarterly data.

Home Stretch is In the Spotlight, 21 Dec 2016 02:34:00 EST

In Australia over 3000 young people aged 15 to 17 years exit the child protection statutory care system annually. In 2015, 566 young Queenslanders in this age group exited care. The experiences of many Australian young people post exit point to the concern that many young people may not be ready to exit care at 18 and our collective systems are not equipped to support their needs without an ‘anchor’.

PeakCares Trivia with a Twist competition and all the behind-the-scenes intrigue is In the Spotlight, 09 Dec 2016 03:29:00 ESTTransition from care in Europe: Part 2, 01 Dec 2016 03:46:00 ESTReflections on Transition to Independence Month - November 2016, 01 Dec 2016 03:34:00 ESTBuilding the house of child protection, 24 Nov 2016 06:08:00 EST

Have you ever built a house? If so, you’ll know just how complex it can be.

JK Diversity Consultants is In the Spotlight, 24 Nov 2016 00:37:00 EST

JK Diversity Consultants specialise in working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities. Director, Jatinder Kaur, has been actively involved in advocating for the needs of CALD children, families and communities for well over a decade. These endeavours extend beyond Queensland to other states and territories of Australia. This advocacy has included supporting the needs of CALD children to be recognised in key social policy initiatives led by the Commonwealth government and involve JK Diversity Consultants being a member of taskforces such as: ARACY Early Childhood Development Reference group and the National Framework for Protecting Children ‘Common Approach to Assessment, Referral and Support (CAARS) Taskforce. The purpose and vision of JK Diversity Consultants is to bridge the gap between multicultural issues and mainstream government and non-government agencies across Australia.

Transition from care in Europe: Part 1, 23 Nov 2016 23:33:00 EST

As Transition to Independence month for 2016 draws to a close, it’s timely to look at approaches in other countries. Become (formerly The Who Cares Trust) undertakes similar work to CREATE and organisations for children and young people in care and care leavers in the UK. Not surprisingly, their work focuses on the same ‘big issues’ for children and young people in care and leaving care as in other countries – belonging and identity, contact, education, employment and training, finance, mental wellbeing, placement stability, and rights and entitlements.

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, 17 Nov 2016 23:08:00 EST

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 offer services that 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.

Transition to Independence Month Launch is In the Spotlight, 10 Nov 2016 01:05:00 EST

Townsville put on a fabulous show to begin Transition to Independence (T2I) Month 2016.  This month is an opportunity to hear the stories of young people, celebrate their journeys and successes and highlight policy and practice issues that ensure the road to independence is a journey to success for children and young people as they move through the Queensland care system towards independence.

Reflections of an ACWA Conference Masterclass: Working with children who exhibit problematic sexual behaviour towards other children is In the Spotlight, 03 Nov 2016 22:03:00 EST

At the 2016 Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) Conference, Pathways to Protection and Permanency:  Getting it Right for Children, Young people and Families, Dale Tolliday presented a Masterclass on the topic: Is there an Accessible Framework and Roadmap for Prevention and Therapeutic Responses for Sexual Abuse that includes Children who Abuse?

Dale Tolliday is the Clinical Advisor at New Street Services, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and Office of Kids and Families, NSW Ministry of Health. He stated that prevention and recognising risk and occurrence of harm whilst developing appropriate responses are challenging requirements for the sector. His presentation explored each of these elements of providing safe care for children and suggested strategies for those caring for or responsible for the care of children in out of home care.

Chris Boyle Consultancy is In the Spotlight, 26 Oct 2016 23:24:00 EST

Chris Boyle Consultancy (CBC) offers training, professional supervision, assessment and intervention services as well as consultancy services to those engaged in child protection, community services and family support. Based in Queensland, CBC is focused on improving the lives of all children, kin, families and community members. This has been CBC’s Director Chris Boyle’s professional passion since becoming a Social Worker 20 years ago. His dedication to this goal has taken him across the State as well as across the globe when he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship that increased his contribution to both the knowledge and practical implementation of the work he has undertaken.

Mentoring Young People is In the Spotlight, 19 Oct 2016 22:55:00 EST

Multicultural Youth Empowerment Strategy (M-YES) was founded by Tamba Thomas in 2009. As a migrant himself, his observations of the needs of young people from diverse backgrounds led to this mentoring strategy. Thomas saw the need for mentoring and guidance for young people offered in a safe and inclusive manner. This not-for-profit organisation has reinvented itself and in recognition of the importance of mentoring for all vulnerable young people in South East Queensland aged 14 to 24 years now offers their program to all who face disadvantage.

Yadeni Tago - Moving Forward Together is In the Spotlight, 13 Oct 2016 21:53:00 EST

Brisbane’s Family and Child Connect comprises Mercy Community Services (MCS), Indigenous Family and Child Connect (IFACC - Kurbingui Youth Development, KYD), Indigenous Intensive Family and Child Support Services (Indigenous Family and Child Support Services, IFACSS) and the Yeaca Dhargo Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Family Support Service.

Resilience in spite of evidence of the traumatic impact of neglect is In the Spotlight, 06 Oct 2016 00:44:00 EST

When faced with overwhelming knowledge and research about the impact of neglect on a child or young person, it is easy to become despondent about the possibility of positive outcomes. Yet so much of what we know about resilience demonstrates the capacity of children and young people to overcome trauma and hardship. What is it that turns their forecast life trajectory around and demonstrates instead their capacity for resilience and building a positive life with the opportunity for holistic wellbeing? This question has been at the heart of child protection practice and research for decades. Whilst it has been posed in various ways and researched through a multitude of avenues, the answers whilst far from simple, are often similar.

Karyn Wells Consultancy is In the Spotlight, 30 Sep 2016 00:42:00 EST

Karyn Wells Consultancy offers various services to non-government organisations, government departments and individuals. For over 22 years Karyn Wells has worked within the child protection sector across a variety of roles. Karyn states that her passion for the safety of children and young people continues to grow and she never ceases to be impressed by the paralleled passion and commitment of foster carers, government and non-government workers with whom she works alongside in this sector.

Reflections of a Child Safety Service Centre Manager Committed to Listening to Children and Young People is In the Spotlight, 22 Sep 2016 04:45:00 EST

Following on from last week’s In the Spotlight, this week we showcase another champion identified through the CREATE Foundation’s Voices in Action project. This project offered an opportunity to hear the perspectives of young people with a care experience in the South West region. They were invited to talk about what experiences and processes work for them and assists their progress and development. They were also encouraged to offer suggestions for improvement or change. Identifying workers passionate about positive life outcomes for children and young people who are focused on involving young people in the decisions that affect their lives was a significant aspect of the Voices in Action project.

A Child Safety Officer's relections on young peoples' involvement in decision making is In the Spotlight, 16 Sep 2016 02:15:00 EST

For almost a year the CREATE Foundation has been undertaking the Voices in Action project in the South West region. This project offers an opportunity to hear from young people with a care experience about their perceptions of care, what worked well for them and the areas they noted that could be improved. Young people have made suggestions for change. As part of Voices in Action workers passionate about young people being involved in the decisions that impact their lives and prepared to champion this work were identified.

Queensland Child Protection Week 2016 celebrates 30 years, 09 Sep 2016 11:29:00 EST

Officially launched at Parliament House during the Awards Ceremony, Queensland’s 30th Child Protection Week began its anniversary year on Sunday September 4th and runs until 10th September 2016. The Awards received significant media and community attention due to the high calibre of recipients. Queensland Child Protection Week 2016 has boasted many further achievements thus far.

Queensland Child Protection Week began unofficially 32 years ago whilst a young television reporter was building her career covering police and court matters in Brisbane. That same year, a 4 year old child fell prey to a family ‘friend’ who sexually abused her. Neither had any idea how their stories would entwine.

Big, fat ticks for youth justice changes (but some question marks remain), 09 Sep 2016 06:00:00 EST

PeakCare applauded the Palaszczuk Government’s recent announcement that legislation would be introduced into Parliament next week to end the practice of treating 17-year olds as adults in Queensland’s justice system. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated that the aim will be to have all 17-year olds removed from adult prisons within 12 months.

Queensland Child Protection Week Awards 2016, 02 Sep 2016 00:14:00 EST

PeakCare congratulates the 2016 Queensland Child Protection Week Award recipients. Each year numerous nominations are received and the onerous task of assessing applications and voting for the winners is undertaken. Whilst so many outstanding practitioners, policy makers, programs and individuals are nominated across the various categories, it is increasingly difficult to select winners. It is, however, heartening to see the calibre of the work being undertaken across Queensland in many organisations and industries.

Independent review of Queensland youth detention centres, 26 Aug 2016 04:50:00 EST

PeakCare has welcomed the announcement made by the Queensland Government on 19th August 2016 of an independent review of Queensland's youth detention centres. When announcing the review, the Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice referred to recent controversy concerning the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Detention Centre and serious allegations levelled against Queensland youth detention centre staff reported on by the ABC’s Four Corners, 7.30 Report and Lateline.

Pathways to Child Protection and Permanency is In the Spotlight, 24 Aug 2016 21:19:00 EST

Upon reflection of the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies (ACWA) National Conference: Pathways to Protection and Permanency Getting it right for children, young people and families, there were a multitude of consistent messages offered by national and international speakers with which few would disagree. There were also offerings that challenged those of us working in the Australian context to continue to hear other perspectives and rethink some of our own.

Aunties and Uncles Queensland is In the Spotlight, 17 Aug 2016 23:39:00 EST

Aunties and Uncles Queensland is an early intervention and prevention mentoring program assisting vulnerable and socially isolated children aged 1 to 11 years within the greater Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. The mentor relationship affords each child time, attention, care and stability. Mentors also offer guidance and exposure to new experiences through activities and positive relationships. Parents eligible for the program face significant challenges. Through Aunties and Uncles, they have more people ‘in their corner’ to support them and their family whilst focusing on their overall wellbeing.

AASW (Southern Queensland) is In the Spotlight, 10 Aug 2016 21:24:00 EST

The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the key professional body representing approximately 10,000 social workers throughout Australia. Social work is the profession noted for its commitment to social justice, the enhancement of quality of life and the development of the full potential of each individual, family, group and community in society. Arguably, this professional discipline is most immersed in the areas of knowledge that are essential for quality relationship based and holistic child protection practice. As a result, Social Workers are recognised throughout the world as the core professional group in child protection policy, management and practice.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day is In the Spotlight, 03 Aug 2016 21:59:00 EST

First held in 1988, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day is celebrated annually on the 4th August. It is the largest national celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Seed Skills is In the Spotlight, 25 Jul 2016 23:40:00 EST

Seed Skills offer specialised training for residential care and family support services. Their training programs for community services have been developed by industry experts to ensure that all current industry-specific qualifications certification requirements are met. Training programs are delivered through a blend of class-based, workplace and webinar modular presentations to ensure that participants are able to access training in the format most suitable for them.

White Boy Privilege, 21 Jul 2016 05:21:00 EST

Do yourself a favour! Watch White Boy Privilege for the best and most powerful description of ‘white privilege’ that PeakCare has ever come across. ‘White Boy Privilege’ is a poem written by a 14 year old boy. His recital of the poem has now gone viral on YouTube.

Capricorn Community Development Association is In the Spotlight, 20 Jul 2016 23:23:00 EST

Capricorn Community Development Association (CCDA) has as their mission statement Pro-actively working with the community since 1983. This reads as an understatement when delving into the work and passion of those who lead and are associated with CCDA.

Future Focused Families is In the Spotlight, 14 Jul 2016 23:48:00 EST

Future Focused Families is an organisation that focuses on assessments of foster carers, kinship carers and specialist foster carers as well as eco mapping. Staff of this organisation work with both the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS) and non-government organisations. They also run training packages for carers and staff to enhance skills and professional development.

Wellbeing for organisations and practitioners is In the Spotlight, 07 Jul 2016 03:00:00 EST

Wellbeing Consultancy Australia was created to assist organisations, teams and individuals with the aim to increase wellbeing in the areas of management, leadership, team dynamics, personal and professional development. The organisation offers wellbeing workshops and private consultations that provide practical tools to enhance professional and personal capacity with the ultimate goal of inspiring individuals, groups and organisations to focus on wellbeing and build resilience.

Let their voices be heard is In the Spotlight, 29 Jun 2016 21:49:00 EST

Let their Voices be Heard is a whole of community project coordinated by Bundaberg’s Child and Youth Protection Partnership (now Bundaberg’s Child, Youth & Family Alliance) in collaboration with individuals, organisations and services who work with or interface with children and young people. This project formed part of a 3 stage child and family friendly project with the longer term aim to build Bundaberg as an inclusive child and young person friendly city.

Vic Auditor-General reviews progress with Vic resi care services, 24 Jun 2016 05:39:00 EST

In 2014, the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office audited residential care services for children and young people in Victoria. The audit found that the Department of Health and Human Services had failed to oversee and ensure the safety and development of children in the residential care system, and that there were significant shortcomings in the quality of oversight and staffing of services, as well as reporting outcomes achieved for children. The Auditor-General recently released the first of three reports on the department’s progress and completion of actions. While commending the department for swift responses and promising indications about addressing some long term systemic issues, the need for ongoing oversight of strategies to improve outcomes for children and the quality of residential care was stressed. Not surprisingly, Victoria and Queensland are tackling similar challenges and considering similar strategies to improve residential care services.

Good, but not good enough!, 24 Jun 2016 05:01:00 EST
PeakCare welcomes changes to Youth Justice laws passed by Parliament last week. These changes include, amongst others, the re-introduction of youth justice conferencing, the abandonment of boot camp orders, removal of the provision for findings of guilt for a childhood offence when no conviction is recorded to be admissible in court when later sentencing the person for an adult offence, the reinstatement of the ‘detention as a last resort’ principle and overturning of the automatic transfer of young people from youth detention centres to adult prisons upon turning 17 years of age. But do these changes go far enough? Unfortunately, the answer is no!
Youth Care Support Services (YCSS) Child, Youth and Family Intervention Service is In the Spotlight, 23 Jun 2016 01:20:00 EST

Respect, Empower & Achieve are the mantras of YCSS Child, Youth and Family Intervention Service. They endeavour to ensure that each child and young person is noted and respected for their uniqueness. In working with children and young people, particularly in their advocacy work, they are a voice for children and young people and as such encourage young people to also find their own voices. Each young person has a unique story that needs to be heard. YCSS experiences this with young people regularly and encourages them to speak out and be heard.

Amovita is In the Spotlight, 15 Jun 2016 22:01:00 EST

Amovita has as its mantra – inspiring business and people excellence. They have a culture of cohesion and creativity. Their consultants and support staff are problem solvers who avoid risk averse processing and continuously look for new and improved ways of working with clients and the community services sector. They describe their ‘approach’ as refreshingly different in that they understand the uniqueness of each organisation and as such the requirement to ensure a tailored response. They view underlying success as symptomatic of the psychology and positive mindset of its team at every level of operations.

A Street University for young people by young people is In the Spotlight, 03 Jun 2016 02:24:00 EST

The Street University is a youth development project created by the Ted Noffs Foundation. Originally named The Wayside Foundation, Noffs Foundation was founded in 1970 by Australian humanitarian, Reverend Ted Noffs and his wife. Prior to establishing the Foundation, Noffs established Sydney’s first crisis centre in 1968, set up the first Drug Referral Centre in Sydney in 1967, co-founded the Aboriginal Affairs Foundation in 1962 and co-founded Lifeline in 1963.

The professional is personal is In the spotlight, 26 May 2016 02:35:00 EST

Dr Fotina Hardy is a Lecturer in Social Work and Human Services at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and leads their field education unit. Fotina is also the South East Queensland President of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). In this robust voluntary role, she covers a multitude of issues that involve practice discussions, policy positions and advocacy stances taken alongside her colleagues and members. 

Encompass Family and Community is In the Spotlight, 19 May 2016 00:56:00 EST

The Encompass Family and Community team works with organisations and individuals who share their passion for excellence in child and family work.

REFOCUS is In the Spotlight, 12 May 2016 00:29:00 EST

Redirecting and Empowering Families with Opportunities in Culturally Unique Services

Domestic and Family Violence Prevention is In the Spotlight, 05 May 2016 00:42:00 EST

Not Now, Not Ever will domestic and family violence be tolerated in Queensland.


A Week to say thank you to those who care: Foster and Kinship Carer Week is in the spotlight., 28 Apr 2016 02:12:00 EST

The Queensland child protection system relies on the generosity and capacity of countless foster and kinship carers who give tirelessly of themselves and their families in supporting and caring for children and young people in the care system. 

Unlocking Transition. A local initiative intent on reaching out across Queensland is In the Spotlight, 13 Apr 2016 23:58:00 EST

The overarching vision of the Mt Gravatt Child Safety Transitions Alliance is: Every child in care is provided the equality of opportunity and the equity of participation that helps them to develop identity, belonging and acceptance. 

Senate Committee Inquiry into Gonski funding cuts, 07 Apr 2016 02:55:00 EST
Opening statement by Mr Lindsay Wegener, Executive Director, PeakCare Queensland Inc. at hearing held in Brisbane on 5th April 2016
Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence is In the Spotlight, 07 Apr 2016 02:36:00 EST

What did they have to say about children and young people?

Connection for children and young people is In the Spotlight, 31 Mar 2016 00:31:00 EST

The vast majority of professionals who work with children and young people understand and acknowledge the power of connection.The importance of connectedness in building resilience, assisting healing and ensuring long term wellbeing is well known. Furthermore this is not a new concept. It is decades old.

Valuing the Voices of Families in the Queensland Child Protection System is In the Spotlight, 24 Mar 2016 02:17:00 EST

Most working in child protection, regardless of their position, are well aware of the complexities that families, children and young people need to navigate on a regular basis.

Queensland Child Protection Week is In the Spotlight, 17 Mar 2016 02:14:00 EST

32 Years Ago a small group of professionals stood up. 30 Years ago they founded Queensland Child Protection Week (QCPW). This week, this collective and QCPW is In the Spotlight.

Who Am I is In the Spotlight, 11 Mar 2016 00:28:00 EST

The Who Am I program was developed as a partnership between the Indigenous Family and Child Support Service (IFACSS) and the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre (BYDC) Programs and Transition Team. The aim of the program is to focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and their social and emotional wellness in order to enhance inclusion.

A fresh new look and name for BoysTown is in the Spotlight, 03 Mar 2016 03:30:00 EST

On Sunday February 28th 2016 the national organisation BoysTown officially became yourtown.

The vulnerability of children and young people in the legal system is In the Spotlight, 25 Feb 2016 05:31:00 EST

The Youth Advocacy Centre (YAC) offers free legal services, support and services to children, young people and families with a specific focus on children and young people aged 10 to 18 years.  YAC’s primary client group is those who are involved in, or are at risk of involvement in, the youth justice and/or the child protection system.  This includes young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and live in or around the greater Brisbane region.  

On the matter of secure care, 25 Feb 2016 02:48:00 EST

The possibility of Queensland children being placed in secure care is again emerging as a hot topic of discussion.

Young people building social supports through goals is In the Spotlight, 17 Feb 2016 22:49:00 EST

Goalzie is a recently released free app that was developed by the Safe and Well Online project, a collaboration of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, the University of South Australia, the Western Sydney University, Digital Advertising Agency, Zuni and the Queensland University of Technology.

Young people born in 1997 are in the spotlight, 10 Feb 2016 23:32:00 EST

If you or others you know were born in 1997 and have had a care experience, the CREATE Foundation needs you! 

If you have worked with a young person over the past 12 months who transitioned from care to independence in 2015, CREATE needs you too!


A Platform to Independence, 04 Feb 2016 01:09:00 EST

Platform 18 is in the spotlight

Individual advocacy for children and young people in out of home care. - lessons from practice is in the spotlight, 10 Dec 2015 00:24:00 EST

At the recent PeakCare Encore Sessions, Catherine Moynihan, Official Solicitor of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) outlined the role of the OPG and highlighted the importance of advocating for and listening to children and young people. The OPG came to be on July 1st, 2014 as a result of recommendations of the Carmody Inquiry.

Child Protection Reforms and Knowledge Circles: Understanding Real Family and Community Needs in Family Support is in the spotlight, 03 Dec 2015 00:32:00 EST

Those in attendance at the recent PeakCare Encore Sessions were fortunate to partake in the presentation by the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak’s (QATSICPP’s) Raymond Brunker, Reform Projects Officer.  Raymond outlined the Knowledge Circles established by QATSICPP to enhance the Queensland Child Protection reforms through ensuring a voice for families in the support and interventions they require.


Supported Independent Living Services (SILS) in the Spotlight, 26 Nov 2015 00:16:00 EST

Supported independent living is provided to young people as a transitional process from foster, kinship or residential care in preparation for independent living. Young people live in residential premises either individually or with one or two other young people. They are supported by practitioners who visit the premises and offer transitional support. Several organisations across Queensland provide supported independent living options to young people.

Working Together to Protect Children and Young People From Sexual Harm, 19 Nov 2015 03:27:00 EST

This week, PeakCare was incredibly fortunate to be able to offer encore sessions from esteemed researchers, advocates and experts in child protection. Those who agreed to offer encore presentations had previously delivered their messages to a range of forums and were highly regarded. What was important about these presentations is that they not only offered a recap of important information, they also offered a second chance opportunity for those who were unable to attend the first time to partake in the research and practice wisdom offered.

Over the next few weeks PeakCare will further expand this opportunity for learning from our esteemed colleagues by noting their presentations through our In the Spotlight articles. This week we begin with Carol Ronken’s presentation about protecting children and young people from sexual harm. Carol Ronken is Director of Research and Policy Development at Bravehearts.

Young People Making a Difference is In the Spotlight, 29 Oct 2015 00:38:00 EST

Formed in 2012 in Central Queensland, Young People Making a Difference (MAD) is a not for profit organisation.  All MAD staff, support adults and young leaders are volunteers.  MAD is a program that reaches out to young people aged 12 to 18 years of age.  It is based around peer support and adult mentoring.  Young People Making a Difference recently won the Youth Category of the 2015 Queensland Child Protection Week Awards.

Transition to Independence Month is In the Spotlight, 21 Oct 2015 23:32:00 EST

Each year approximately 500 young people exit care to live independently. Focusing on young people’s journeys to independence is the aim of Transition to Independence Month (T2I Month).  Held each November, it’s an initiative of G Force, a State-wide group comprising government and non-government organisations. 

An innovative service response to young people in care is in the spotlight, 15 Oct 2015 01:44:00 EST

Children and young people ‘self-placing’ has been a long stated concern with regard to their wellbeing. In the Brisbane region, an exciting and innovative response program aims to redress this issue.

A Circle of Wellbeing and Giving is In the Spotlight, 08 Oct 2015 01:44:00 EST

Most services are intent on providing quality services to clients. Some provide holistic wellbeing. Every now and then a unique service that provides innovation to enhance client wellbeing whilst also operating a circle of giving back comes to the fore. Joining Hands is such an organisation.

Transforming Theory and Research into Practice is In the Spotlight, 30 Sep 2015 22:58:00 EST

Internationally respected thought leader Dr Julie Tilsen is coming to Brisbane.

Queensland Says Enough!, 17 Sep 2015 00:50:00 EST

Tackling Domestic and Family Violence is in the Spotlight

Fatherhood is in the Spotlight, 27 Aug 2015 01:23:00 EST

With Child Protection Week just around the corner, fatherhood is in the spotlight. Child Protection Week, which begins on Father’s day, is an apt opportunity to promote the importance of fathers as active participants and carers in their children’s lives.

Over 130 Queensland Child Protection Week Events are In the Spotlight, 19 Aug 2015 23:24:00 EST

Each year Child Protection Week takes place from the first Sunday in September.  In 2015 September 6th-12th is Child Protection Week.  In Queensland a landmark number of events are being held.  Approximately 100 events take place in Queensland during Child Protection Week each year. This year the number will exceed 130.

When solutions become the problem, 13 Aug 2015 00:38:00 EST

There’s little left to be said that hasn’t already been said about the failure of the I.T. system to process reports of suspected child abuse by school principals. The public has a right to feel confident in the systems developed to manage the protection of our state’s children and in this instance, we have been let down badly.

National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), 13 Aug 2015 00:09:00 EST

NAPCAN was co-founded in 1987 by Rosemary Sinclair AO and Christine Stewart OAM. In the almost three decades of its presence in Australian society NAPCAN has made a significant contribution to the safety and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people. NAPCAN has aimed to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect as well as the impacts which include increased risk of: substance misuse, crime, homelessness, poor physical health, difficulty completing education and obtaining long term employment, depression and suicide.

Stylin Up is in the Spotlight, 05 Aug 2015 02:23:00 EST

This week we celebrated the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2015 on August 4th, with: ‘Little People, Big Futures’ being the key theme of this significant day in our calendar.

This week we also celebrate an inspiring program incorporating a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people with big futures making a difference in their community. Stylin' Up is well known.

Timely Support for Children and their Families, 29 Jul 2015 23:43:00 EST

"The role of practitioners in family support, child protection and out-of-home care is to find the strengths within families and the resources within their communities that support change and promote greater protectiveness for their children from all forms of harm."

Australian Childhood Foundation CEO Joe Tucci and Deputy CEO Janise Mitchell.


Queensland Child Protection Week is in the spotlight, 16 Jul 2015 01:30:00 EST

Queensland Child Protection Week is co-ordinated by a group of approximately 25 representatives from both government departments and non-government organisations across the state.  The week is traditionally held from the first Sunday in September.  This year Child Protection Week begins on September 6th and ends on September 12th.

An invitation for different ways of working, 25 Jun 2015 00:52:00 EST

Differential Response is in the spotlight

QFCC Services Directory is in the Spotlight, 11 Jun 2015 02:18:00 EST

Most of us in the community services sector know that keeping abreast of available service options and also ensuring up-to-date contacts and resources is a significant and often burdensome requirement of all organisations needing to make appropriate and timely referrals when working with children, young people and their families.  Just keeping our own contact lists up to date seems like a major feat at times.

Listening to and engaging with the VOICES OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE, 03 Jun 2015 23:26:00 EST

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead. 

Valuing the Voice of Children and Young People, 28 May 2015 00:05:00 EST

Office of the Public Guardian is in the Spotlight

Love Bites is in the Spotlight, 21 May 2015 01:04:00 EST

As many are aware, May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.  PeakCare began the month with our post on the Our Watch initiative that is working towards a National strategy to prevent violence against women and their children.  This week we focus on a preventative program aimed at young people.

Tree of Shade, 15 May 2015 00:05:00 EST

Deception Bay is in the Spotlight 

Shining a spotlight on medicating kids, 06 May 2015 01:17:00 EST

Yet again, a spotlight is being shone on the practice of prescribing psychotropic medication to Queensland children, both children in care and those from the general population.  

Take heart Australia is leading the way on Violence Prevention, 30 Apr 2015 00:53:00 EST

The National Framework to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children is in the Spotlight

Domestic and Family Violence is in the Spotlight, 15 Apr 2015 23:52:00 EST

“The guarantee of safety in a battering relationship can never be based upon a promise from the perpetrator, no matter how heartfelt. Rather, it must be based upon the self-protective capability of the victim. Until the victim has developed a detailed and realistic contingency plan and has demonstrated her ability to carry it out, she remains in danger of repeated abuse.”

Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery

Unearthing and examining ideas, assumptions and practices, 08 Apr 2015 22:48:00 ESTYouth Advocacy Centre is in the Spotlight, 02 Apr 2015 03:47:00 EST

“YAC is a great organisation.  The YAC workers supported me and assisted me with all my problems.  They were friendly, reliable, they listened, were supportive and even came to the house to help.”

Are we there yet, 26 Mar 2015 02:57:00 EST

Strengths based Practice is in the Spotlight

The Next Step, 19 Mar 2015 02:39:00 EST

For so many years those of us in the child protection system have been asking young people at the age of 18 years to take the next step into adulthood, often totally independent and most often without a continuum of care to assist this transition to adulthood offered to most of our young people who grow up in their family homes. We are all well aware both through research and anecdotal evidence that young people are remaining at home longer than ever before.

World Social Work Day 2015, 12 Mar 2015 00:07:00 EST

This year's theme for World Social Work Day is ‘Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples’. 

Queenslands Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice, 11 Mar 2015 23:50:00 EST

This week, the launch of the Queensland Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice is a highlight of our child protection calendar and marks a timely response to one of the key recommendations of the Carmody Inquiry.  The intensive training regime, initially aimed at reaching over three thousand practitioners, is underway. 

Not Now, Not Ever, 05 Mar 2015 03:16:00 EST

Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce has released their report.  They’ve undertaken a mammoth task delivered in just a few short months.  

Open letter of appreciation to Queensland Foster and Kinship Carers, 2014, 05 Mar 2015 00:01:00 EST

Dear Foster and Kinship Carers

Thank you!  Sincerely and wholeheartedly, Queensland thanks you!

Innovation based on research and practice wisdom takes time, 25 Feb 2015 23:05:00 EST

Engaging with research to deliver exemplary services to children, young people, parents and the community takes time. 

It takes a Village, 19 Feb 2015 01:18:00 EST

In the spotlight - Key Assets on Team Parenting

Is this our next Inquiry?, 13 Feb 2015 00:57:00 EST

The increasing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Oxford University is a Key Asset for Queensland Children and Young People, 13 Feb 2015 00:48:00 EST

Key Assets Queensland is a non-government agency that provides foster care placements for children and young people with high and complex needs.  It’s an organisation with international links through its founding body, Core Assets.  In spite of distance, Key Assets strives to hold true to the ethos upon which Core Assets and subsequently Key Assets was formed – a vision of delivering high quality care in a family setting through holistic support services to carers and children.

Shining the Spotlight on Early Intervention for Children and Families, 05 Feb 2015 02:41:00 EST

In a case of ‘Pay it Forward’ yourtown has a therapeutic intervention they’d like to share across our sector to ensure children and their families benefit.

Child protection. When politics must take a back seat., 21 Jan 2015 22:07:00 EST

The State election is fast approaching. Campaigning by the political parties is now in full swing with each releasing their policy platforms and promises for the future.  Unlike some previous elections, child protection does not seem to have become a hot topic this time around. 

DONT READ THIS if you have your life sorted!!!, 12 Nov 2014 04:37:00 EST

My name is Dillon and I am a young consultant with Create. I was in care for 10 years and was lucky to turn out the way I am. Though I have had a good experience, there have still been many times when I have fallen and needed help, whether it be getting a car and license or a job and a house. That is why I am privileged to talk about a brand new resource to help young people transition to independence.

Talking Families, 06 Nov 2014 01:09:00 EST

Since last Sunday night, radios and television screens have been sending out the messages of Talking Families, the Talking Families website was launched and posters have been appearing in shopping centres and other venues.

Let's Talk Kinship, 21 Oct 2014 04:19:00 EST

Guest book review by Annaley Clarke

Who pays for poverty?, 16 Oct 2014 00:00:00 EST

Anti-Poverty Week 2014 is here with the news that 2.5 million Australians are now living below the poverty line.

In the spotlight with Claire Randall, 09 Oct 2014 07:20:00 EST

An interview with Claire Randall

In the spotlight with Brenda Boustead, 01 Oct 2014 04:35:00 EST

An interview with Brenda Boustead

In the spotlight with Bernadette Burns, 25 Sep 2014 00:08:00 EST

An Interview with Bernadette Burns. 

Child Protection Week marred by Bolt commentary, 17 Sep 2014 03:34:00 EST

It’s all black and white according to Andrew Bolt (Courier Mail, September 11). During Child Protection Week he managed to selectively quote Aboriginal leaders and spokespeople while assigning them to one of two camps.

View from the frontline with Steve Jacques, 28 Aug 2014 00:28:00 EST

This week's View from the Frontline is Steve Jacques.

Steve is a Director with Key Assets.

View from the Frontline with Alison Ingram, 21 Aug 2014 00:36:00 EST

This week's View from the Frontline is Alison Ingram.

Alison is currently Child and Youth Practice Lead with Anglicare Southern Queensland.

Release of tender specifications for new CBIR and IFS services, 31 Jul 2014 00:11:00 EST

This is to bring to your attention the release of tender specifications for new Community Based Intake and Referral (CBIR) services and Intensive Family Support (IFS) services, by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

View from the Frontline with Phil Schultz, 30 Jul 2014 03:25:00 EST

This week's View from the Frontline is Phil Schultz,

Phil is the Queensland and Northern Territory State Director for Mission Australia (MA). 

Invitation to nominate Reform Network members, 17 Jul 2014 03:39:00 EST

You are invited to nominate one or more representatives to form a network with whom PeakCare can regularly liaise about the planning and implementation of reforms associated with the State Government’s response to recommendations of the Carmody Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.

View from the Frontline with Professor Bob Lonne, 17 Jul 2014 01:24:00 EST

This week's ‘View from the Frontline’ is from Professor Bob Lonne. 

Try something different for NAIDOC 2014, 10 Jul 2014 01:27:00 EST

Think about what it means to be white!

View from the Frontline with Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, 08 Jul 2014 22:31:00 EST

This week's ‘View from the Frontline’ is from Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, also known as Aunty Cheri.


Coronial Inquiry and the Lessons to be Learned, 02 Jul 2014 02:45:00 EST

The report of a Coronial inquiry into the death of a child, 8 year old Faith, who was known to the Queensland child protection system was released earlier this week. Consistent with the Coroners Act 2003 (Qld), the report is available from the Officer of the State Coroner’s website.


Ramp It Up, 12 Jun 2014 02:54:00 EST

In the past few weeks, our sector has seen three new child protection bills passed by Parliament, a new Social Services Investment Framework released, the announcement of an unprecedented financial investment in child protection reforms in the State Budget, the ‘settling in’ of the governance arrangements established to exercise oversight of, and guide, the reforms, and steps taken towards ‘co-designing’ the roll-out of a Government investment in a Community-based Referral (CBR) ‘model’ as a component of its investment in family support.

Budget announcement is good news for child protection but comes with a caution, 05 Jun 2014 02:47:00 EST

PeakCare welcomes the announcement of a $406 million investment in child protection over five years. The State Government is to be commended for putting its money where its mouth is and maintaining its commitment to implementing recommendations of the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry led by Commissioner Tim Carmody SC .

View from Frontline with Debra Mainwaring, 30 Apr 2014 01:37:00 EST

This week's warrior is Debra Mainwaring.  Debra offers us a 'view from the frontline' ais the Principal Psychologist of Cared4 by DJM Psychological Services which provides services and programs that support the learning and development of vulnerable children, young people, their families, care teams and schools.

PeakCare Research Group, 27 Feb 2014 00:34:00 EST

In mid 2013, PeakCare established a Research Group to bring together PeakCare member agencies with research positions and / or an interest in research and evaluation.

Government response to the Carmody Inquiry and the challenges that lie ahead, 19 Dec 2013 04:23:00 EST

On Monday 16th December, the Queensland Government released its response to the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry led by the Honourable Tim Carmody SC.

View from the Frontline, 04 Dec 2013 00:56:00 EST

“I have learnt that most families usually know what they need, and what society expects of them – we just have to ask the right questions. “ Debra Doherty

View from the Frontline, 04 Dec 2013 00:38:00 EST

“I have learnt that families usually know what they need, and what society expects of them – we just have to ask the right questions. “ Debra Doherty

Shining the light on Transitioning to Independence, 31 Oct 2013 00:01:00 EST

November is Transition to Independence (T2I) month.  This is a time to reflect on best practice and share opportunities to improve the supports offered to young people through their transition from care to independence. 

You Said It, 25 Sep 2013 03:10:00 EST

PeakCare is very pleased to release to our Member Agencies and Supporters a report detailing your feedback about PeakCare’s preliminary response to recommendations of the Carmody Inquiry.  Our sincere appreciation is extended to those who, within a very tight timeframe, provided us with their well-considered feedback as well as those who participated in our recently held roundtable meetings.

Do we use our resources optimally to achieve our aims? How would we know?, 12 Aug 2013 03:18:00 EST

Wouldn’t you think that when money is tight, we would make extra sure that we are spending it on things that work?

Industry Body Proceeding, 08 Aug 2013 01:53:00 EST

In a move likely to be one of the most significant in many years in changing the community services landscape within Queensland, a decision has been made to proceed with the establishment of a Community Services Industry Body (CSIB).  

Inquiry Hopes and Fears, 26 Jun 2013 04:15:00 EST

In the final week or so leading up to the release of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry (the Inquiry) report by 30 June 2013, PeakCare invited member agencies, supporters, eNews readers and others to tell us about your hopes and fears about the recommendations.

Australia Unites to end Over-Representation!, 12 Jun 2013 23:59:00 EST

On 13 June, leaders of national, state and territory organisations are meeting in Melbourne to support a national campaign to end the scourge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s over-representation in child protection systems throughout this country.

For the Big Budget News. Wait for the Inquiry., 06 Jun 2013 01:50:00 EST

While the state budget announced on Tuesday 4th June contained some news for the child protection sector, it is expected that we will need to wait for the Child Protection Inquiry to conclude before we find out more about ways in which the Government can better invest its financial resources in creating an improved child protection system. 

Response to the Commission of Audit's Final Report, 02 May 2013 03:06:00 EST

On 1st May, the Newman Government tabled in Parliament the Commission of Audit’s Final Report and the Government’s response to the report’s 155 recommendations.

What you are saying about secure care, 18 Apr 2013 03:57:00 EST


Prompted by proposals for the introduction of a secure care option for young people having been brought to the attention of the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, PeakCare recently released a discussion paper, Secure Care – Needed or Not?

Charge up the GPS., 27 Mar 2013 23:30:00 EST

Charge up the GPS - Our Response to the Inquiry’s Discussion Paper.

I love my GPS!  What a fantastic invention!  It works out the route that I am to travel, tells me where and when to turn, tells me how long it will take to get there, even warns me when I may be breaking the rules and driving a tad too fast  – too easy.  But sometimes I hate my GPS – when it says that the newly constructed road I am on does not yet exist, when its instructions are confusing and especially when it won’t recognise the address of my destination. 


Beneath and Beyond the Bravado, 13 Feb 2013 13:27:00 EST

Recent hearings of the Queensland Child Protection Inquiry have focussed on residential care.

Medication Minefield, 23 Jan 2013 15:56:00 EST

The use of Ritalin and anti-psychotic drugs has hit the news again in Australia

Let\'s talk about Permanency Planning and Adoption, 23 Jan 2013 14:13:00 EST

One of the more contentious issues brought to the attention of the current Child Protection Commission of Inquiry concerns the role of adoption.

Child protection is simple, isn\'t it?, 04 Sep 2012 15:32:00 EST

Child protection is simple, isn’t it?  Work out who the bad parents are who abuse their kids and give them to more deserving families who will love and care for them.

Who is at the helm?, 22 Aug 2012 14:04:00 EST

This week, PeakCare submitted a catalogue of around forty documents to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.  The documents that were assembled within the catalogue included feedback in response to drafted government agency policies, submissions, discussion papers and research reports produced or commissioned by PeakCare in recent years.

If this was the flu, we would call it an epidemic, 14 Aug 2012 12:48:00 EST

Public hearings by the Child Protection Inquiry commenced this week with the release of some astounding figures.  We have now reached the point where the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services is projecting that 23.8% - nearly one quarter - of Queensland’s children will be known to Child Safety Services during 2012-13.   For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, this figure is an alarming 62.5%.

Re-thinking out-of-home care, 09 Aug 2012 14:44:00 EST

Media attention has again been placed on residential care.  This is likely to continue, if not significantly increase as the current Child Protection Commission of Inquiry proceeds.  Whilst residential care appears to be the focus of attention at the moment, this could and is likely to extend very quickly to other forms of out-of-home care.

Re-shaping the System. But into What?, 01 Aug 2012 15:07:00 EST

Widespread media commentary has noted that, whilst most inquiries into the abuse and neglect of children are ‘crisis-driven’ and prompted by scandalous treatment of an individual child or family, no such impetus has underpinned the establishment of Queensland’s current Child Protection Inquiry.  Rather, its stated rationale is to deliver a ‘road map’ for child protection over the next decade.

No Closed Doors, 18 Jul 2012 11:03:00 EST

Inquiry Opened with a Promise of No Closed Doors

Yesterday, Commissioner Tim Carmody opened the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.  His recommendations for the ‘road map’ for Queensland’s child protection system for the next decade, are due in 10 months.

Launch of Cultural Diversity and Child Protection Report, 18 Jul 2012 11:00:00 EST

On 17th July, I was able to launch my report, Cultural Diversity and Child Protection: A review of the Australian research on the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee children and families in Brisbane with the kind support of the Queensland Commission of Children and Young People and Child Guardian, there were more than 40 people who attended the launch. The video from today’s launch will be uploaded to my website later on today.

Meet The Protectors Expos, 10 Jul 2012 11:20:00 EST

You’ve heard of The Avengers, you’ve heard of the Justice League of America, now meet The Protectors!

PeakCare is pleased to announce that the Child Protection Expos we will be hosting in five locations during 2012 will be named Meet The Protectors.  In keeping with our aim to ensure that the Expos are events about the people, by the people, for the people, this seems to be a very apt and appropriate title.

Do Not Miss the Missing Peoples Conference, 27 Jun 2012 12:49:00 EST

Every week, children and young people in care go missing – sometimes for only a few minutes or hours, sometimes for weeks, months or years.

Children, young people and families with whom you are working may also be experiencing the turmoil created when a member of their family is missing.

Finding the Missing Link between Missing Persons and Child Protection, 27 Jun 2012 12:46:00 EST

Julie Clark is a Lecturer at Griffith University and has conducted research into missing persons and their families.  Julies research inspired The Disappearances Project.

Julie is this weeks Child Protection Warrior.  Here is a guest post by Julie, about Julie.

Child Protection Expos, Coming Your Way Soon, 20 Jun 2012 12:52:00 EST

Planning for five Child Protection Expos to be held in different locations across the State is now well and truly underway.  We have selected a much more exciting title than Child Protection Expo, but you will need to wait before that is revealed in a future edition of eNews.

Shining the Light on Residential Care, 14 Jun 2012 13:46:00 EST

In recent weeks, a bright light has been shone on residential care services in Queensland.  On 30th May, ABC Lateline aired a story questioning whether residential care is “serving as an incubator for a lifetime of crime, violence and prison”.

Kindergarten Plus, 29 Feb 2012 17:23:00 EST

The Labor Party has announced a Kindergarten Plus policy that includes $20 million worth of initiatives to improve and increase the accessibility of kindergartens.

These initiatives include:

  • $10 million in Renovation and Refurbishment Grants for eligible kindergartens to undertake infrastructure upgrades (such as painting, new bathrooms or kitchens, restumping or a new roof)
  • $4.3 million in Enhancement Grants to provide $10,000 per kindy room to eligible kindergartens for the purchase of office equipment or resources such as toys and books, minor repairs or community profiling to increase enrolments
  • $5 million in Start Up Grants to assist not-for-profit early childhood education and care services in disadvantaged communities or regional areas to facilitate the provision of a kindergarten program – the grants may be used by a community long day care service to establish a kind room or by a limited hours care service to extend their playground or effect other renovations necessary to be accredited under the National Quality Framework, and
  • $700,000 to support the purchase or lease of a bus or similar vehicle for kindergartens located in disadvantaged or regional areas to increase kindergarten participation.
Maternal Child and Health Service to give \"all mums and bubs the best possible start to life\", 29 Feb 2012 17:15:00 EST

The LNP has announced a plan to establish a $92 million Maternal and Child Health Service to be made available to all parents and newborn children across the State.  Staffed by nurses with experience in maternal and child health, this service will include visits to newborn parents’ homes and free community health clinics to:

  • provide advice and support on child health, parenting, early infant development, maternal health and well-being, immunisation and nutrition
  • link families to public and private health services, and
  • foster community support through local parent groups.

The home visits will occur when children are aged two and four weeks of age, and free community consultations will be made available when children turn two, four, eight and twelve months old.

Do We Care?, 29 Feb 2012 17:12:00 EST

“Here’s what I want to explore: Can we teach people to care? I know that we can teach them not to care; that’s pretty easy. But given the massive technological and economic changes we’re living through, do we have the opportunity to teach productive and effective caring?

- Seth Godin

Queensland Election 2012 Update, 22 Feb 2012 16:54:00 EST

Since PeakCare asked member agencies and other interested parties to send their commentaries on the Queensland child protection system, the areas of domestic violence and child sexual abuse have received significant attention.  The need to remain mindful of confidentiality in circumstances of domestic violence and child abuse reporting has also received comment.

The issues of domestic violence and child sexual abuse are amongst the most complex when navigating the child protection arena.  They are also the issues most likely to hit the ‘hot buttons’ across our communities.  For some members of our society accepting that people they love and trust can harm their partners and/or their children and then to stand up to such perpetrators who may be family members, close friends, colleagues or respected community members proves to be immensely difficult time and time again. As such, denial and victim blaming are common experiences for women and children facing these issues.

We Need to Lift Our Game, 22 Feb 2012 15:18:00 EST

As Queensland gears up for a State Election, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations are asking: “Can it get any worse for the safety and well-being of children and families?”

The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in care currently sits at 37% and is continually rising especially in that part of the system where neglect and poverty are the reasons behind out of home care placements.

Of particular concern to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations is the low level of compliance with the Child Placement Principle. As a result, many children are becoming disconnected from their families and their culture and risk losing their identity unique to being the latest generation in the oldest continuous known culture on the planet.

Protecting Children or Systems?, 15 Feb 2012 15:14:00 EST

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.”  Kofi Annan

As Queensland gears up for a State Election PeakCare is asking pertinent questions about child protection and child and family well-being.  Key themes are emerging from the feedback offered by our members and stakeholders.  Not surprisingly compliance mechanisms have been raised as a major concern.

Behind the 8 ball, 08 Feb 2012 15:09:00 EST

Pay Equity is a hot topic since the national pay equity win of February 1, 2012.  This much anticipated outcome followed extensive national campaigning and comes three years after the Queensland pay equity win of 2009.  Those of us fortunate enough to have employers who honoured that win in Queensland are now being fully  remunerated under the pay equity rates rolled out over the past three years.  For our colleagues around Australia and those in Queensland whose employers did not maintain the momentum of our earlier win, it will be eight years before the full financial benefit will be recognised.  However, by 2020 workers in our sector will yet again be significantly behind the 8 ball in pay equity.

Vote 1 - Children and Their Families, 02 Feb 2012 13:05:00 EST

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”. – Nelson Mandela 

Child protection is a topic on the agendas of most governments and communities globally.  Countries around the world consistently grapple with the multiple issues and competing tensions involved in protecting our most vulnerable children and supporting their families.  Deciding where the protection of children ‘fits’ within the competing priorities and complex arrangements of both government and non-government organisations, whilst also engaging the wider community in promoting a robust integrated system that protects children and enhances their life opportunities, is a challenge for Queensland just as it is for many countries around the world.

Where Is Superwoman?, 01 Feb 2012 13:10:00 EST

Media is perhaps the most pervasive force shaping our cultural norms and our self-concept. The collective message delivered by media about the value and power of girls, young women and women undeniably shapes and molds us all in varying degrees. But nothing is quite so obtrusive today as the media’s obsession with, and let’s face it, blatant attack on women and girls. In the media, women are objectified, “things” to be used to make sales and “things” to be sold to.

Community Control in Indigenous Communities - Does it Work?, 25 Jan 2012 13:05:00 EST

“I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.” Thomas Jefferson

Recently at PeakCare we have been involved in research and discussion around the issue of community control.  The model of community control involves the devolution of child protection and family support services to local Indigenous community controlled organisations. These organisations take responsibility for the operation of these services.
A key example of this model is provided by the Canadian child protection system. Canada devolved responsibility for child protection and family support services for on-reserve children and families to local First Nation agencies in 1990.

Whilst the Canadian system has had some success, it has also raised a number of issues that we in Australia can consider.  A brief outline of the main issues can be seen below.

Engagement: 2012 New Year\'s Resolution, 21 Dec 2011 12:15:00 EST

What will you do in 2012 to engage?

Do As I Say Not As I Do, 07 Dec 2011 12:10:00 EST

As a social worker and longtime social justice advocate, I have been carefully watching the Occupy Wall Street movement and related events. I am torn as I write this, between wanting to discuss the implictions of social media for social justice and social advocacy and also looking at the response to the Occupy Wall Street protests, which is actually a response to freedom of speech, the right to gather, the right to dissent and peaceful protest – the right to advocate for social change.

Foster Carers Speak Out About Transition From Care, 30 Nov 2011 12:06:00 EST

Very pleasingly, Transition From Care Month 2011 was met with considerable media attention.  Through several radio interviews and newspaper articles, public attention was drawn to the issues faced by around 400 Queensland young people who leave care each year.

Even more pleasingly, foster carers elected to add their voice to our media campaign.  In response to a column entitled “Care can’t end when kids hit 18”  that was recently published in the Courier Mail, former foster carers responded by sending letters to the editor:  “Foster kids need support as adults” and “Kids set up to fail”.

Swearing to aspire to..., 22 Nov 2011 12:00:00 EST

“Be the change you want to see in the world."  - Gandhi

What do Jimmy Barnes, Keith Urban, Hamish and Andy, Will Anderson and Hazem el Masri have in common? 

They’re all swearing and they are encouraging other men to do so too:

  •   Jimmy Barnes says all working men should swear
  •   Keith Urban says all country boys should swear
  •   Hamish and Andy say all teams should swear
  •   Will Anderson says all comedians should swear
  •   Hazem el Masri says all real mean should swear

Whilst it is no great surprise to hear of Jimmy Barnes swearing, why are so many of our noted celebrities also swearing and encouraging the same of their peers?  Why is it that in Parliament on November 16th our Community Services’ Minister Karen Struthers also called on Queensland men to swear?

November is Transition From Care Month, 16 Nov 2011 11:53:00 EST

For three years running, November has been celebrated as “Transition From Care Month”.  It is the time of  year when we are all asked to stop and fully reflect on the needs of around 400 Queensland young people who leave care each year.  Very importantly, it is a time set aside for us to listen to these young people as they themselves tell us what they need to support them in their journeys to independence as young adults.

AASW Conference was fantastic but where were the child protection workers?, 09 Nov 2011 14:30:00 EST

Congratulations to the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) for conducting a well-organised, entertaining and highly informative Biennial Conference. Held in Townsville from 4th to 6th November, the Conference was incredibly well-attended and featured a range of high calibre keynote and session speakers.

PeakCare Queensland was pleased to sponsor the Conference’s Welcome Cocktail Reception and feature a trade display that attracted a high level of patronage that enabled our networks to be extended with universities and other individuals and groups expressing an active interest in partnering with PeakCare on some joint endeavours.

Don\'t Fence Me In?, 02 Nov 2011 18:37:00 EST

I recently received some information about Queensland schools that I thought was very surprising.   This information came from some members of the public who contacted PeakCare expressing their concerns about the absence of any legislated or administrative obligations requiring schools to be fenced.

This was a surprise to me as I could not recall having ever seen a school that was not fenced, but I was assured by this couple that at least one such school exists and it is located within close proximity to their home.  Moreover, this school adjoins a public park accommodating the usual range of park facilities including public toilets and a recently constructed school hall.  Correspondence sent to the couple by the Department of Education and Training confirms the lack of any legal or other requirements to fence school properties.

Are you also surprised by the above information?  Does it raise concerns for you similar to those that were reported to PeakCare?

Cheaper to Medicate, 31 Oct 2011 18:30:00 EST

“Children are one-third of our population and all of our future”- unknown

The overmedication of babies, children and teenagers is gaining more and more media attention both in Australia and around the world.

The over prescribing of anti-depressant and antipsychotic medications in particular is becoming increasingly concerning.   The decision to use of these drugs to treat children and adolescents should not be taken lightly and parents and carers should be warned of the potential dangers before agreement is reached to treat the child in their care with these medications.

Recent reports regarding the deaths of children and young people that are linked to antidepressants and antipsychotics include babies dying when their mothers had taken anti-depressant medications whilst pregnant and a four year old child dying from an overdose of medication prescribed to her by her psychiatrist to treat bipolar disorder.

A Risky Combination, 19 Oct 2011 18:19:00 EST

“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of.” Confucius

Once again, this week’s ABC Four Corners program has opened up avenues for discussion around the implications on society of poverty, this time in relation to premature birth.  BBC documentary, “23weekbabies: The Price of Life” discussed the ethics of keeping premature babies alive.

Whilst this ethical argument may seem on the surface to be unrelated to child protection, one of the issues raised was that premature births are often directly attributed to conditions of maternal poverty.  Living in poverty is now understood to be a major factor in putting a woman at risk of premature birth.

Studies such as Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention  discuss the effects of poor socioeconomic conditions in relation to premature birth.

Do you know about this?, 12 Oct 2011 17:40:00 EST

Do you know who Pemulwuy and Tedbury were?

Do you know when the first and only treaty was negotiated between British colonists and Aboriginal people and what became of this treaty?

Do you know how many people were killed at Slaughterhouse Creek in 1838?  Or during the Myall Creek Massacre in that same year?  Or at the Cullin-la-Ringo Station near Emerald in 1861?

Do you know when a select committee reported to the British House of Commons that genocide was happening in the colonies?

Do you know when the Queensland laws that appointed the Director of Native Affairs the guardian of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children within this State, were repealed?

Do you know who delivered the “Redfern Speech”?

Do you know when the Torres Strait Islander flag was designed?

Do you know what terra nullus means and when the doctrine of terra nullus was rejected by the High Court of Australia?

Do you know when the Bringing Them Home Report was tabled in Federal Parliament?

Heads in the Sand, 05 Oct 2011 17:31:00 EST

“Inequality, rather than want, is the cause of trouble.” Chinese Proverb

The recent airing of “Poor Kids” on the ABC’s 4Corners program has opened up many avenues for discussion, particularly around the implications on society of financial inequality.

The stories in the documentary, told by three British children living below the poverty line, give the viewer an insight into what life is really like for an increasing number of families in Britain as welfare payments are tightened and unemployment continues to rise.  The gap between rich and poor is increasing day by day in these economically unstable times.

A glance over discussions following the program on social media sites shows us that for many 4Corners viewers, the harsh reality of life for these children was truly shocking.  Why?  Have we Australians buried our heads in the sand?  Are we oblivious to the fact that an increasing number of children in Australia are growing up in similar circumstances?

Freedom of Speech or Racist Slander?, 05 Oct 2011 17:04:00 EST

In a recent edition of PeakCare’s Enews, “In The Loop”, I commented upon a letter that I had sent to the Editor of the Sunday Mail in response to an article by Mr Andrew Bolt entitled “Very sorry state of affairs indeed”.

After submitting my letter to the Editor, a finding was brought down by Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg that Mr Bolt had breached the Racial Discrimination Act in his authoring of two articles published by the Herald Sun in 2009 – “It’s so hip to be black” and “White fellas in the black”.

Unfortunately, the Sunday Mail elected to not publish my letter to the Editor.  Perhaps it was thought that the story had now moved on.  It would seem that instead of sparking further debate about the racist vilification so often experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Justice Bromberg’s decision mostly raised the ire of journalists concerned about the implications of this decision in regard to freedom of speech and the rights of columnists (and others) to express an opinion.

Pay Equity Chapter Two, 27 Sep 2011 16:57:00 EST

Last week saw some tumultuous activity take place in relation to pay equity that culminated on Thursday with the repealing of the original Regulation of 4th August 2011.
This should not be viewed as the end of the pay equity story however.  It is far better to regard last week’s events as the closing of one chapter and the commencement of another.

Throughout the week, PeakCare sought to ensure that our Member Agencies were provided a forum to express their differing viewpoints about the Regulation and their concerns in relation to its implementation.  We also sought to make sure that our Member Agencies were given prompt and accurate advice of the events that transpired during the week.

The Real Stories behind Paying for Pay Equity, 21 Sep 2011 16:52:00 EST

At the start of this week, PeakCare Queensland wrote to our Member Agencies seeking to find out the “real stories behind paying for pay equity” so that we can properly represent these stories in our advocacy on their behalf and on behalf of the children, young people and families who are entitled to receive high quality services.

Amidst the confusion of facts and figures being contended with by organisations as they have been attempting to examine the implications of recent decisions made about the delivery of pay equity to our sector employees, PeakCare was keen to ensure that the actual hardships and dilemmas being caused to many of our Member Agencies and the children, young people and families who are the recipients of their services, were being accurately conveyed and made known to governments, the media and the general public.

The Week that Was., 14 Sep 2011 16:39:00 EST

As Child Protection Week has now ended for 2011, it’s timely to consider the question, “Are the systems and services designed to protect our children improving?”

The answer is a mixed one – many things have improved, whilst others have a long way to go before, as a community, we can feel confident that our children are being adequately protected.

If we look back in time, some major milestones can be seen to have been achieved.  Due to an absence of any laws designed to protect children, the first action ever taken through a court to protect a child took place in Britain in the early nineteenth century under laws governing the protection of animals.  It seems that the rights and need of animals to be protected was understood before anyone realised that children also needed protection.

In Defense of Families, 13 Sep 2011 16:34:00 EST

“We all have one idea of what the color blue is, but pressed to describe it specifically, there are so many ways: the ocean, lapis lazuli, the sky, someone’s eyes. Our definitions were as different as we were ourselves.”  — Sarah Dessen

I’ve been thinking about the information which is disseminated and shared about family through the media, through professionals who work with individuals and families and through the stories of people who experience family as something outside of “normal”.

Across the past week or two there have been a number of articles released nationally and internationally that have been putting family under fire. For me this flurry of writing began with a series of articles from the UK suggesting that the break down of the nuclear family and the rise in “broken families”may have contributed to the London riots (Aug 6-10, 2011) Closer to home, A Sydney University report, For Kid’s Sakes; Repairing the Social Environment for Australia’s Children and Young People advises that more children are suffering and are at risk in “fragile families” (read: non-nuclear).

Listen, Believe, Report., 07 Sep 2011 16:27:00 EST

Today is White Balloon Day.  As the 15th White Balloon Day campaign held during child protection week annually, this day is about recognition, awareness and support for victims of child sexual assault.

When Braveheart’s Founder and Executive Director Hetty Johnston spoke at the White Balloon lunch, she outlined some alarming statistics.

Do Tools Rule?, 07 Sep 2011 16:12:00 EST

The Munro Review of the United Kingdom’s child protection system promotes a vision for “child-centred” practice where professional expertise in individualising the services to be provided to children, young people and families is properly valued.

Underpinning the reforms recommended by Professor Eileen Munro were concerns about the UK’s use of “one-size-fits-all” approaches to the delivery of child protection services.  In particular, this included concerns about an overly rigid and routine use of electronic assessment tools as a substitute for the exercise of professional judgement and decision-making.This can be seen as symptomatic of the concerns described in my previous posts about “procedure driving practice” (i.e. the “tail wagging the dog”) in place of “good practice” remaining in charge (i.e. the “dog wagging its tail”).

It\'s all about the sum of the parts, isn\'t it?, 07 Sep 2011 16:07:00 EST

Amongst the range of changes to be made to the United Kingdom’s child protection system, Professor Eileen Munro recommended that there be a shift away from conducting inspections of individual organisations to police their compliance with various guidelines, rules and performance measures.  In place of this, she recommended that an inspection system be created that allows for an examination of the contributions being collectively made by all key services in achieving an effective child protection system at a local level. 

Professor Munro noted that this should include an examination of the contributions being made by local health services, education, police and the justice system to the creation and maintenance of an effective child protection system.  According to Professor Munro, if “rules” are to exist, those that should be focussed upon are those that are developed to ensure that organisations are effectively working together.

When the tragedy of youth suicide strikes, will you know what to do?, 31 Aug 2011 15:58:00 EST

During recent weeks, a series of articles by The Australian has shone a spotlight on the deaths by suicide of two teenage girls from Maryborough – both aged 16 – in 2009.  Their deaths in such sad circumstances and at such a young age are, of course, a tragedy and our sincere sympathy is extended to their families and friends.

The articles published by The Australian serve as vivid reminders of the complexity of child protection work, the high and often life-threatening stakes involved in delivering child protection services and the onerous responsibilities held by both Government and non-Government organisations and their staff in exercising their roles to the best of their abilities.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, 30 Aug 2011 15:53:00 EST

“Hookers, it seems, are the new social workers and they are demanding respect.”

~Des Houghton, Australian Courier Mail

When you look at the image to the left, do you think “social worker”? No, me either. So it came as a bit of a shock when I received the link for a recent news article run in the Courier Mail entitled, Dark underbelly to sex industry spin and read Des Houghton’s above quote.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, 24 Aug 2011 15:46:00 EST

“Whiteness in a racist, corporate controlled society is like having the image of an American Express Card. . . . stamped on one’s face: immediately you are “universally accepted.”   — Manning Marable

 A while ago, my good friend and colleague, Di Harvey from the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak gave me a copy of an essay to read that she thought I would enjoy.  She was right – and like all good things that should be passed forward, I think that I should provide of a copy of this essay to you – but not yet!

E-Mail Trauma, 16 Aug 2011 15:34:00 EST

Careers are made or broken by the soft skills that make you able to handle a very large workload.

- Merlin Mann

Recently we did a quick poll about how people engage with our e-news letter. We were interested to learn that 33% of the people who receive our e-news letter, and have chosen to receive it, don’t have time to click the links.  Now clicking  the links on our e-news letter is pretty important, because if you don’t click, you can’t read it! We could take this lack of clicking and not reading personally, but we won’t, because we’re all in the same boat! What does it mean, when we sign on to read newsletters and such, and never have the time to read them? What does it mean when we rely on email to keep us in the loop, manage our projects and time, set up our meetings and many, many other things, yet don’t get around to opening, reading and replying?

Solution: Suprise Visits?, 12 Aug 2011 15:30:00 EST

It is important to consider that Professor Munro did not recommend the removal of all frameworks and systems for managing and monitoring service quality in the UK.  What she recommended however was a shift in focus away from “compliance” to what “really matters” – that being, whether or not children and families are actually being helped.

In particular, Professor Munro recommended that the system of scheduled “inspections” that are conducted in the UK be replaced with inspections conducted on an “unannounced basis” to reduce the administrative and bureaucratic burden currently involved in preparing for an inspection.

Warning! Scaffold With Care, 11 Aug 2011 15:26:00 EST

Interestingly, those responsible for implementing recommendations of the Munro Review within the UK are now concerned that when shifting away from an over-reliance on “guidelines, targets and rules” that they not “kick away the scaffolding” without safe transition plans in place.

Follow along the discussion in the UK and have a read of the minutes of the Munro Review Implementation Working Group, then consider the questions below. Don’t forget to share your thoughts!

Guidelines, Targets and Rules, Oh My!, 09 Aug 2011 15:20:00 EST

If we were to track back in time, some very good reasons could be found that explain why certain systems and processes were established in Queensland for ensuring the quality of services that children, young people and families are entitled to receive.  For instance: The system of licensing out-of-home care services, arose out of recommendations contained within the 1998-99 Forde Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions – this Inquiry having discovered a significant lack of accountability and consistency in relation to the quality of services being provided for children and young people living in out-of-home care.

We need to think carefully about systems and processes to ensure we do not ‘toss the baby out with the bathwater’. Here’s some questions to consider:

Is The Tail Wagging Queensland\'s Child Protection System?, 09 Aug 2011 11:50:00 EST

Let’s think about key features of the United Kingdom’s child protection system that were criticized in the recently completed review conducted by Professor Eileen Munro and how closely they resemble the image of “a tail wagging its dog”.  Then let’s think about Queensland’s child protection system and ask ourselves, “Is the dog still wagging its tail or has the tail taken over?”

Key features of the UK’s child protection system noted by Professor Munro included excessive “bureaucratic demands” and a “standardisation” of services that has resulted in these services being unable to flexibly respond to the variety of needs held by children, young people and families, excessive “statutory guidance, targets and local rules”, many of which are “unnecessary”, “unhelpful” and “distort practice”, and an over-reliance on “compliance” in place of valuing and promoting “professional expertise” in ensuring good child protection practice.

10 Ways To Jump Start Your Professional Development, 02 Aug 2011 11:42:00 EST

“Education isn’t for getting a job. It’s about developing yourself as a human being.” 
— Liz Berry

In an ideal world child and family welfare practitioners would be guaranteed to receive quality supervision on demand and unlimited access to professional development opportunities. Obviously this ideal is not possible and many practitioners struggle to receive much needed support to continue to grow their practice skills. Even if practitioners are fortunate and do receive great supervision and regular training opportunities, chances are they will still need to manage their professional learning and development.

So what can you do to ensure that you continue to learn, develop your skills and receive the support and feedback that are essential for quality practice?

Who Wins According to the Munro Report?, 27 Jul 2011 11:35:00 EST

The recently completed Munro Review of the United Kingdom’s child protection system found that the “demands of bureaucracy” had become so great that the capacity of child protection organisations and their staff to work directly with children and families was being hindered.  Practitioners and managers told the review that the demands of observing statutory guidelines, meeting targets and adhering to “local rules” had become so extensive that their ability to stay “child-centred” was compromised.  In addition, complaints were received that, in becoming “so standardised” through the requirement to comply with these guidelines, targets and rules, UK services were no longer able to provide the range of responses needed to respond to the variety of needs with which children and families often present.

So the question is…Are these features of Queensland’s child protection system?  And if so, are they features of Government child protection services only or do they also apply to non-Government services?

The Age of Independence, 27 Jul 2011 11:30:00 EST

“Uncomfortable truths are revealed when the most powerless find their voice.” 

Debbie Kilroy

Coming of age is a concept regarding a milestone and is usually synonymous with celebration.  Most coming of age is filled with excitement, particularly when it involves children reaching adulthood.  However, for many Queensland children who have grown up in state care, coming of age is far more complex and is the cause of significant angst.

At the age of 18 children in statutory care are ‘transitioned from care.’  In essence this means their time of support has ended and they are now largely on their own. Transition from Care (TFC) under the current Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) is a process that begins for a young person in care when they turn 15.  For the next 3 years they will be supported through their ‘transition from care’ (TFC). Their case plan and support processes become focused on their journey to 18 by which time they are expected to be independent.

The Munro Campaign: The Journey Continues, 20 Jul 2011 11:26:00 EST

The journey so far…

* On 8th June 2010, PeakCare Queensland launched “The Munro Campaign” to comprehensively examine the implications for Queensland of the recently completed UK Review of Child Protection conducted by Professor Eileen Munro.
* On 15th June 2010, in a post by Lorraine Dupree, PeakCare’s Policy and Research Manager – “The Munro Campaign: The Difference between Saying and Doing” – provided an overview of key themes addressed within the Munro Report and noted parallels with the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children that was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2009.
* On 21st June 2010, in a post by Fiona McColl, PeakCare’s Training and Sector Development Manager – “The Munro Campaign: Conspicuously Silent” – questions were posed about   whether or not there exists within Queensland, the same range of UK associations, bodies and institutions able and prepared to identify, critique, influence and support the reforms needed within Queensland’s child protection system and practice.
* On 6th July, 2010, Lindsay Wegener, PeakCare’s Executive Director, in a post entitled “What does a British Bulldog and a Queensland Koala have in common?”,  challenged all members of the child protection sector to now “shift gears” and “get down to business”  in our examination of the Munro Report and its implications for Queensland.

Combined Voices Campaign Continues!, 13 Jul 2011 11:15:00 EST

The story of Combined Voices

Combined Voices is the story of a small group of people coming together to express their alarm about the increasingly high rate of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people within Queensland’s child protection system.

It is the story of a small band of people joining together to share their grave concerns about the poor outcomes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people within our State continue to experience in relation to their safety, education and health.

It is the story of people joining forces to say, “We can – and must – do better!”

What does a British Bulldog and a Queensland Koala have in common?, 06 Jul 2011 11:08:00 EST

Birth of the Munro Campaign

In June 2011, PeakCare Queensland commenced our Munro Campaign.

Regular readers of Our Practice Blogs and Facebook will have already received some information about the Munro Campaign:

What\'s Good For the Goose is Good For the Gander, 29 Jun 2011 11:02:00 EST

“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”
- Robert Kennedy

As our Acting Police Minister so eloquently stated today our Police Officers should be recognised by Queenslanders for their significant contribution to our community.  Their role puts them at risk on a daily basis.  Any strategy that upholds their safety as well as human rights is welcome.  Clearly thus far there is demonstration that holding perpetrators of violence against Police to account has worked.  It is essential to maintain and enhance this position as stated today in our acting Police Minister’s Media Release:

The Munro Campaign: Conspicuously Silent, 21 Jun 2011 10:55:00 EST

“Silence is golden when it’s called for. Silence can be deadly
when it’s not called for.”
— Meryl Runion

In 2009 The National Framework For Protecting Australia’s Children was launched. The framework kicked off an Australian wide, call to action to better our policies, procedures and practices with vulnerable children, young people and their families. I’d been feeling pretty optimistic about Australia’s chance to action child protection reform. However, as time has marched on, I have begun to wonder do we have the necessary climate to consider and support child protection reform in Australia, at this time?


The Difference Between Saying and Doing, 15 Jun 2011 14:21:00 EST

To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I’m working on the foundation.

Marilyn Monroe

Are our child protection systems superstructures without a solid foundation?

As we introduced the Munro campaign last week we outlined that Professor Eileen Munro had extensively explored the experiences of British children, young people and families who had contact with child protective services and the impact of current policies and practice on their experience.  This landmark report contains extensive research which also offers significant insight for child protection in Australia.

Whilst we analyse the key components of Professor Munro’s report, we will also draw parallels with our National Child Protection Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009 – 2020.  This report talks about the need for a shared agenda for change with national leadership and a common goal.  It also focuses direction towards much needed early intervention reforms to combat the annual child protection expenditure across the states and territory in excess of $2 billion and rising on average of 12% per annum.

So why are child protection systems around the world spending billions per annum yet struggling to protect children?

The Munro Campaign, 08 Jun 2011 11:00:00 EST

The Monroe Munro Campaign – it’s not about Marilyn!  Or is it?

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was one of the most celebrated actresses of all time.  Born Norma Jeanne Mortenson, she was almost smothered to death at the age of two, sexually assaulted at the age of six and spent most of her childhood in a sequence of foster homes and orphanages.  At the age of 36, she was found dead of an overdose that was adjudged “probable suicide”.

The Munro Report is not about Marilyn Monroe’s tragic life, or is it?  Perhaps a more purposeful and better functioning child protection system during the period of her childhood may have prevented at least some of the sadness of her life that was tragically cut short.  Whilst too late for Ms Monroe, perhaps the lessons to be learned from the Munro Report will help to prevent much of the sadness experienced now and in the future by other children, young people and families.

The Monroe .... emmm, Munro Campaign!, 08 Jun 2011 10:32:00 EST

The Monroe Munro Campaign – it’s not about Marilyn!  Or is it?

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was one of the most celebrated actresses of all time.  Born Norma Jeanne Mortenson, she was almost smothered to death at the age of two, sexually assaulted at the age of six and spent most of her childhood in a sequence of foster homes and orphanages.  At the age of 36, she was found dead of an overdose that was adjudged “probable suicide”.

The Munro Report is not about Marilyn Monroe’s tragic life, or is it?  Perhaps a more purposeful and better functioning child protection system during the period of her childhood may have prevented at least some of the sadness of her life that was tragically cut short.  Whilst too late for Ms Monroe, perhaps the lessons to be learned from the Munro Report will help to prevent much of the sadness experienced now and in the future by other children, young people and families.

The Cost of Not Paying the Price ..., 08 Jun 2011 10:25:00 EST

In March this year I wrote a blog post regarding pay equity,  “The price we pay when we won’t pay the price”.  I’m revisiting it today because this is the National Day of Action for Pay Equity that I alluded to in my former post.  Whilst there have been a couple of significant changes, the issues of pay equity are still largely unresolved and need to remain high on our agenda.

The National Pay Equity case has been heard and in unison with the Queensland decision found that the low wages in our sector are largely the result of our predominately female workforce and are thus discriminatory.   The Australian Services Union (ASU) won this battle, but is yet to win the war.  Further submissions to Fair Work Australia are required in June in order to begin the process of remedying pay structures.  The ASU is set to fight yet another battle to thwart this inequity that currently means offering miserly pay rates to our community service staff committed and passionate about their work with vulnerable clients reliant on our services.

Still Sorry!, 01 Jun 2011 10:20:00 EST

As a part of the PCQ CEO’s Breakfast held last Thursday (26/05/11) on National Sorry Day, Lindsay Wegener gave the opening address, asking whether Australia is doing enough to stop racism. Below please listen to his address and if you would like to read more check out his blog post, ‘National Sorry Day- Are We Truly Sorry’.

Baby Babes, 31 May 2011 10:10:00 EST

“The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says: “It’s a girl.”
— Shirley Chisholm

Earlier this week,  PeakCare staff were critically de-constructing a piece of current news. The article in question was from the Sydney Morning Herald, Tending to Children With the Bodies of Women. It definitely got me thinking. On average girls these days are menstruating earlier than in the past. During the 1900’s girls usually reached menarche (onset of periods) at around 14 or 15 years of age. Now the average onset is 12 years and seven months. While this represents a seemingly significant age difference I question if this reduction in age is surprising or even concerning. What concerns me is how some are responding to the changes, with such suggestions surfacing that parents should demonstrate more control over their daughters’ activity and weight levels and that a consequence of early menstruation is that girls will become sexualised earlier.

Combined Voices Campaign, 25 May 2011 11:19:00 EST

It was 26th May 2011 and a post, Are We Truly Sorry,  was entered into PeakCare’s Practice Blogs about National Sorry Day.  Sparked off by racist taunts that appeared on You Tube about a widely acclaimed recording artist and performer – a Torres Strait Islander woman – PeakCare called for our member agencies and others to stand with us in saying that we are sorry and continue to be sorry for the injustices experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the past and that they continue to endure today, as evidenced by the racist diatribes directed towards this famous iconic performer.

National Sorry Day - are we truly sorry?, 25 May 2011 09:58:00 EST

Thursday 26th May 2011 is National Sorry Day.

Since 1998, this is the day of the year set aside for all Australians to collectively express our regret over the historical treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This date was chosen in commemoration of the Bringing Them Home Report being handed to the Federal Government on 26th May 1997.

I was recently browsing through YouTube to listen to some music video clips of some of my favourite singers.  One of these singers happened to be a Torres Strait Islander woman – a quite famous, widely acclaimed artist whose music, I think, is pretty cool.

I then did something which I don’t often do – I read some of the comments made by people who elected to review her music.   For some reason, I tend to not be all that interested in what other people think about an artist’s music.  I’m usually happy enough to just appreciate it for myself rather than be concerned about other people’s tastes or preferences – if I like it, I’m not really all that concerned about whether anyone else likes it or not. On this day though, when I read the comments a number of people had made about this particular artist’s music, I became incredibly concerned about what other people were thinking and about what they liked or didn’t liked.

Permission to Perpetrate, 24 May 2011 09:52:00 EST

Whilst May as Domestic Violence Prevention Month is drawing to a close, domestic violence isn’t.  Its impact costs millions of Australians significant harm and costs the economy billions of dollars per annum.  Many would argue abuse of power is at epidemic proportions. Yet we continuously fail to adequately address it. Why is that so?

Whilst I don’t have the billion dollar answer, there are plenty of reasons offered by researchers and experts in the field. Our PeakCare 2010 Challenging Silence Conference offered some analysis. Dr Jenny Gilmore said that violence and abuse would not exist in our society if we all agreed as a collective that we would not accept it. That sounds like a sensible place to start. Her words were emulated by Dr Allan Wade, a Canadian expert in violence. Dr Wade outlined our use of language as being central to our tendency to hold victims accountable for their abuse whilst letting perpetrators off the hook. Dr Wade further argued that the only way of combating abuse and violence was to insist perpetrators be 100% responsible for their behaviours. With serious consequences for what he terms ‘wife assault’ the battering was unlikely to continue. He alongside many experts argues perpetrators exercise power over partners simply because they can. In various ways society, institutions, communities and individuals give them permission.

Is it really that simple? Perpetrators abuse because they can.

Dancing With Myself, 18 May 2011 09:47:00 EST

“No comment” is a comment.” 
— George Carlin

I have been dancing ballet for a year and a half. I love it. When I want to practice at home I usually do so in front of glass sliding doors that lead onto the balcony of the apartment that I live in. I do this because I can see my reflection and the sliding doors become like a mirror. The problem is that I need to practice without curtains so I can see my reflection. This means that everyone in the apartment block opposite mine can see me performing very, very poor attempts at pirouettes. I must say it is fairly funny and has become a laugh with friends in the apartments. This may seem unrelated but the topic of today’s blog is voyeurism.

The definition of voyeurism is changing. No longer is perving on someone dancing ballet in their apartment the definition of voyeurism. Voyeurism is now seen as observing the world online. Social Media has changed the way people observe and interact with each other.  I can go online and be voyeuristic. I can observe different blogs, websites, facebook pages, twitter account ect. No one needs to know my name; no one needs to know I am even doing it.

Talk To Me ...., 11 May 2011 09:41:00 EST

What’s the point of being alive,” she said, “if you’re not going to communicate?
— Kurt Vonnegut

Well, here I am at PeakCare – the new Executive Director who has a thousand ideas running around in my head with most of those ideas containing the thought, “We must do something about this or something about that!”

As someone who is writing his very first blog post, my thoughts have also been about, “What do I write about in my first blog post that people will want to read?”  There is, after all, an onerous responsibility when writing a blog post for PeakCare – especially when you are the new Executive Director and you are wishing to seem at least somewhat sensible!

Sold! Now What?, 04 May 2011 09:33:00 EST

I don’t want to write anymore about why we need to embrace social media. Boring… That’s old news.


What I am interested in is the next step. How are we going to use social media to help marginalised people? In Peak Care’s context how are we going to help people to support children and families to prevent child abuse and neglect? How can human services take ownership of social media for good?

Workplace Violence, 20 Apr 2011 09:29:00 EST

“While it is clear that organisations must confront, understand and do all they can to prevent violence and its consequences, it is inevitable that community welfare professionals will often have to deal with situations where violence is a possibility or a fact. “


In the late ’80′s I was working for a women’s organization, providing therapeutic support to women who were looking to leave violent relationships. I was working with my last client of the day, the rest of the staff had left, and although the front door had been closed, it was not locked. When my client and I exited my office it was to find her ex-partner in the reception area. She and I were held in my office for a period of approximately 45 minutes while this man waved a knife at us, and threatened to cut me for encouraging his partner to leave their relationship. Fortunately, no one was physically hurt and I was able to talk him down, and out of my office. He was later picked up by police and charged but I will never forget that experience and it has forever coloured my perception of safety in my work.

The paradox of Social Media, 06 Apr 2011 09:22:00 EST

Yesterday I sat down to write a blog post about the challenges of social media at 10:30 in the morning. By 4:30 I had written over 1000 words and I was no closer to finishing the post than when I started. Every challenge of social media I attempted to extrapolate had an equal positive spin. The more I wrote the more confused I became. The challenges of social media did not sit with me. Trying to identify the challenges of social media is a paradox. It is like trying to identify whether we ourselves are innately good or bad. It’s an age old question, good versus evil, and not only is it not an easy question, its also intensely subjective.

Presently, there is a lot of discourse in traditional media about the negative attributes of social media. Almost daily there are reports about how people are misusing social media for absolutely horrible purposes. I wanted to write a blog that acknowledges the anxiety that exists in the community about social media. To me it is important to discuss the potential issues and challenges of using social media before we begin to use it. I feel that ethically we have a responsibility to explore the potential harm that can be created through using social media. So I wrote about challenges of online safety, access, social media literacy, workload and privacy. Each one became a huge deconstruction. The conclusion I formed was that social media is not to blame for how it is used. Social media is the tool. It’s how people use social media that is the concern.

Are We De-professionalizing Child Protection?, 06 Apr 2011 09:16:00 EST

A week or so ago I wrote a blog post that discussed some of my concerns about the implementation of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children. This week I want to share some of my critical reflection that has arisen as a result of the practicum project I have been working on. Lynn Barratt and I have been looking at recruitment and retention issues for the child and family welfare sector and I am finding some of the issues hit close to home!

Increasingly in working on the project I have been exposed to the trend of de-professionalization of the social service industry. Not only does this have obvious implications on my own employment prospects in the sector, it also raises a range of important questions around the impact of our work with vulnerable children and families. My research and training whilst at PeakCare, and arguably throughout my MSW degree, has highlighted for me the complexity of issues social workers engage within their practice. I do not mention this complexity lightly. I am the first to admit that life is complex. There are so many competing priorities, obligations and needs that it is easy to be overwhelmed.

The Good News About Social Media, 30 Mar 2011 09:10:00 EST

A fortnight ago – Wow! Has it been that long already? – I wrote a blog post about whether or not the Human Services Sector is resistant to innovation. This week I am going to try and sell social media. Ready for my spiel?

Ten Ways Social media could help the Human Services Sector to improve how we do our work

\"New Media\", Old Media - How Do We Use It?, 30 Mar 2011 09:01:00 EST

One of the cool features of  WordPress blogs is a snazzy little feature, called “clicks”. You find it under your overall blog stats and what it does is allow you to see which links people have clicked in your post. I am usually reluctant to reinvent the wheel when I am writing and so, rather than writing massive posts, will attempt to link my reader into further information or substantiating information about what I am writing about. The links aren’t meant to be exhaustive, rather jumping off points to more info or fill in the blanks – like how did I get from point A —> Conclusion B. My links hopefully show my trail of thought, much the way Hansel and Gretel relied on breadcrumbs.

Interestingly, what I have come to see is that not many people click the links. I’ve been asking around and other bloggers tell me the same. Even when they provide clear and accessible supporting or developing information via links, a considerable number of people fundamentally disregard them and fail to click.

After We Leave, 29 Mar 2011 08:54:00 EST

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation

- Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead makes an interesting point. The struggles of modern, Western families are further intensified by the lack of broader support structures and community in their lives. This also raises some interesting questions to reflect upon in the human services sector. Is it possible that we contribute to this social isolation by providing services and resources that once would have been provided within community support networks? Does this service provision undermine the sustainability of the work that we do? Are there other ways of supporting people that can challenge social isolation, by creating more sustainable support structures in the community?

The National Framework: Wolf In Sheep\'s Clothing?, 23 Mar 2011 08:42:00 EST

I have had a great opportunity since starting my practicum placement with PeakCare, to look carefully at the National Framework For Protecting Australia’s Children. I started the learning process with considerable enthusiasm and interest, however, I found myself with increasing questions and concerns. I’d like to share my critical reflection with you in this post, and invite you to think about the National Framework, how it might impact your practice and to share your notes with me!

Innovation Resistance, 16 Mar 2011 08:34:00 EST

Social Media, it turns out, isn’t about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell.


Social Media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online.

We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led.

~  Seth Godin


Social media is being keenly discussed by all at the moment. Blogs (like this one), Facebook, twitter, linkedIn, Flickr, Ning, Myspace, Bebo…  Social media is changing the way we manage disasters, the way we share and receive information and the way we socialize. People are divided about it. For every story on the remarkable use of social media, another story exists to negate the positives.

I am a current social work student completing my placement with Peak Care. My project for placement is to uncover what social media is all about, and whether it can be used by human service organisations to build community and support children and families. I hope to write a weekly post about social media. I am interested in canvassing people’s thoughts and feelings about social media. This week I thought I would begin by asking, “Is the human service sector resistant to innovation?”

Reinventing Feminism and Systemic Activism, 10 Mar 2011 08:19:00 EST

I wanted to post this quick and quite interesting Ted Talk of Courtney Martin (of Feministing fame) who is chatting not only about the need for us to remain aware and conscious of inequity in our personal and professional lives – but also has something to say about systemic activism, disillusionment and burn out. Have a listen and a think about how this conundrum translates into your life and practice. Please comment!

Where Have All The Social Workers Gone? Critical Reflection and Child Protection, 09 Mar 2011 18:36:00 EST

“All efforts at self-transformation challenge us to engage in on-going, critical self-examination and reflection about practice, and about how we live in the world. This individual commitment, when coupled with engagement in collective discussion, provides a space for critical feedback which strengthens our efforts to change and make ourselves anew.”

— bell hooks

Critical reflection from the position of academics and educators may be viewed differently from the position of child protection field workers. What looks ‘possible’ and ‘positive’ from an academic perspective may feel considerably different for those who are ‘in the trenches’.  Critical reflection leads to increased awareness of the tension between personal and professional integrity and ethics, and the tasks one is meant to undertake in the course of one’s work. Self-reflection, self-location and critical reflection are unquestionably necessary skills for child protection as the need to remain conscious is integral to anti-oppressive and emancipatory work with others. Whether such frameworks are the purveyance of social work, or social work alone, is not the subject of this post. However social work education unquestionably supports the development and integration of such frameworks into practice.

Child Abuse and other Un-Natural Disasters, 23 Feb 2011 18:29:00 EST

“All natural disasters are comforting because they reaffirm our impotence, in which, otherwise, we might stop believing. At times it is strangely sedative to know the extent of your own powerlessness.”

~ Erica Jong


I have been very moved over the past weeks by the community spirit in response to the Queensland floods. It seems that our capacity for kindness and compassion, both in relation to those we know and to strangers, is in abundance at the moment.

From my experience as a social worker, I’ve been somewhat accustomed to a sense of disappointment and frustration at our collective inability to act against injustice and to work together as a community to assist people who, for a range of reasons, are suffering in some way.

Joining Up The Dots of Practice and Services, 16 Feb 2011 17:52:00 EST

The current catch cry is for the service system to be joined up or integrated to better support families and children.  If services are joined up what difference does this make to the work of the individuals working within that system?

When we begin work with an organisation in community services  we are told about client confidentiality, and the need to maintain client information in a safe place, of the strictures of the Child Protection Act and Privacy law, of the issues we confront when writing case notes or client records, of the trauma associated of being called before a court to defend our professional assessment and records.  All this sounds as if we cannot talk to anyone about anything unless it is the police or staff of the Regional Intake Services about our concerns that children may be at risk of harm.

Professional Development: A Timely Idea!, 28 Jan 2011 17:45:00 EST

If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you
must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.”

~ Brian Tracy

It’s been a pretty exciting couple of weeks around PeakCare. Not only have we been coping with the aftermath of the flooding in Brisbane and Queensland wide, we have also been hard at work putting the finishing touches on our 2011 Professional Development Calendar. It’s a gigantic undertaking for so many reasons, but we have it up and running with all sorts of great professional development opportunities on offer!

As we all are aware, our sector serves some of Queensland’s most vulnerable young people, children and their families. Across our sector we provide a vast assortment of prevention, early intervention, secondary and tertiary supports and services particularly to children who have been, or are at risk of abuse or neglect. Our sector sees practitioners working in both government and non-government organizations and agencies, charged with the critical task of reducing risk for at risk families; providing vulnerable families with supports and services to build their capacity and be better able to successfully care for their children and young people; to ensure that children and young people are safe from neglect and abuse; to provides services and supports to address the emotional, physical and behavioral problems of  children and young people; and when necessary, to ensure children and young people have safe, caring places to live when they are unable to remain with their families.

Giving, 15 Dec 2010 17:32:00 EST

Although the above talk made by Jessica Jackley is not strictly speaking, about child protection, I believe it speaks volume about practice.  I was going to write a little about practice frameworks today, and about how our framework influences and informs the way we view our work; the sadness, suffering and the sorts of problems and issues we confront every day, as part of child protection work. However, I remembered this inspirational Ted talk, and decided it would accomplish the same purpose of a framework discussion, in a more uplifting way.

Obviously, Jessica’s talk of money, micro-transactions and entrepreneurship is not a part of child protection practice, however the way she discusses the use of stories to frame the way we see the work we do, and the way that we see people and their problems, certainly does. You might recognize Jessica’s use of  strengths based, psycho-social, systemic frameworks for working with poverty, but that is not all she is doing. Her approach is not only about advocating and supporting frameworks for doing the work with clients, she is also speaking to the need to develop frameworks for conceptualizing the way we work as  practitioners, for us.  She is asking us to have fresh eyes. After-all, our work is not only about helping clients to engage and change, it’s also about how we conceptualize the problems in the first place.

Strut Your Stuff!, 06 Dec 2010 17:01:00 EST

Dear Child Protection Professionals,

If you are reading this post, you have found PeakCare’s professional practice blog. Well done!

We know how committed and keen our sector is to undertake and promote best practice through ongoing professional development. We also know how difficult it can be to get out of the office or away from your desk. Enter this blog as a creative PeakCare solution!

Every two weeks we aim to have a new article that relates to working in the child protection sector – all along the continuum from prevention, right through to tertiary work. We are looking to feature a guest blogger once a month. The guest blogger should have an area of professional interest they are passionate and knowledgeable about – and be willing to share their practice wisdom in 1200 words or less.

Guest blogging is a fantastic way to showcase and share your organization, the work you are busy with and your own professional passion. It allows you to build informal connections, receive support and feedback and contribute to an informal professional development network! Lots of good stuff!

Whole Hearted Child Protection Work, 30 Nov 2010 16:14:00 EST

I’ve been writing lately about vulnerability, sticking with the discomfort of the feeling, and using it to guide more authentic and connected living. It occurs to me, that the capacity to sit with vulnerability and to have the courage to explore it, is foundational to reflective practice and in turn to healthy child protection work. Yet vulnerability is not encouraged or easily incorporated into professional child protection practice. Far too often we are focused on managerial tasks, compliance and maintaining an “I’m just fine” stoicism.  A good child protection practitioner, it is reasoned, can (and should) incorporate the emotional intensity of the work, the environments in which the work is undertaken and the absence of support, into their professional reality. If they cannot, the failure to do so is likely to be attributed to a personal or professional deficit, rather than a reflection of the work, or the system the work is undertaken within. “Maybe they just weren’t cut out for the work…”

In order to explore the cultural imperatives that encourage us as individuals and practitioners to numb our vulnerability, I have posted Dr Brene Brown’s wonderful Ted Talk  above. I am certain listening to her speak will resonate for you on both a personal and professional level.

Reclaiming Professional Supervision for High Performance, 16 Nov 2010 16:07:00 EST

I hear and I forget’ ‘I see and I remember’ ‘I do and I understand

~ Confucius


Professional supervision is one of the most fundamental elements to improve professional standards, practice and performance in the workplace. It is essential for measuring sound decision-making, service delivery outcomes, ensuring evidence-based practice and staff are well supported and appreciated in their role. There is also a growing body of knowledge to suggest that professional supervision can prevent or minimise the potential for burnout.

One of the most important parts of supervision is to provide support, encouragement, the opportunity to reflect, provide guidance and positively challenge us as professionals to strive and maintain high performance. “Professional supervision provides a quarantined time and space whereby you and your supervisor can explore how you are going in your role, if you are feeling supported and valued, explore continued professional development opportunities and develop your practice framework in which to reflect and respond to clients” (Harris 2010).

Imposter Syndrome, 27 Oct 2010 16:04:00 EST

There’s always that feeling of “Oh, God! One day they’ll find out that I really have no idea what I’m doing.” Samantha Mathis [Seventeen, June 1992]

Some years back, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of sitting at my desk at work and realizing I felt frozen, unable to make the decision I was expected to make. The stakes were high; would I recommend the removal of a child from their family, or not?  It’s not that I didn’t know how to do an assessment, or weigh risk. It was more that I knew the far-reaching consequence my decision could have on the lives of a child and a family. I knew how to do the task;  but despite my education and experience, I didn’t believe I’d ever be truly equipped to make the recommendation. At the same time I felt like all my colleagues were perfectly positioned and never struggled to make such decisions.

Exercising Mastery in Assertive Interactions: How assertive are you?, 25 Oct 2010 15:58:00 EST

Ever heard yourself saying; “I wish I could have said more” or “Why didn’t I say that?” or “Why can’t they just listen to me?” or “I just want to run away and pretend it never happened.”
Yes? Then chances are you were not as assertive as you could have been at the time in that particular situation.

We often choose not to be assertive in any given situation for many reasons. These could be because you do not want to hurt the other persons’ feelings, you want to avoid a possible confrontation, you feel vulnerable, you are unable to find the appropriate words or you think it will be a waste of time because the other person might not understand your point of view. Whatever the reason for choosing not to be assertive, the end result of not expressing your opinion can leave you feeling angry, resentful, inadequate, hurt, upset and even more vulnerable. This is because deep down, you might believe that you could have been more assertive, but chose not to, or didn’t feel able to.