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2020 Workshops Schedule

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Event Venue Date Description
NEW! Repairing Broken Threads - Reconnection and reunification practice February 27, 2020 9:30 am Work to reconnect or reunify children, young people and their families is complex, sensitive, challenging and rewarding. It must be done well. We know that most children and young people living away from their families will return home – at some point, in some way. Even for those who cannot ‘go home’, research suggests there are benefits in family connection. The craft of this work lies in how to determine the optimal level and nature of this connection for individual children and young people. If you are interested in exploring this area of practice with a view to clarifying and consolidating your understanding, skills and approach, this is the workshop for you. Contemporary thinking and research inform activities designed to develop your knowledge and skills in: assessing safety; planning effective support and intervention; and collaborative work with children, young people, their families and carers in this emotive and critical work.

Who should attend?

Government and non-government alternative care and reunification workers, residential care workers, foster and kinship care support workers
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First-Up – client response training for administration staff March 26, 2020 9:30 am

Administration workers are often the first persons with whom a client or potential client of your agency will have contact. When that initial contact is by an upset, highly anxious or angry client, it is not easy to find the right response. This workshop equips and supports administration workers in their role of providing ‘first-up’ responses to clients and members of the public who present in person at reception or over the phone. We consider how to interact calmly and safely with people who are presenting in a state of crisis or affected by alcohol or drugs, including how to convey empathy while encouraging the client to contain their anger or upset or behaviour. A workshop for all admin workers who may be ‘first-up’ in responding helpfully in difficult situations or helping to de-escalate potential crises.

Who should attend?

Administration workers in human service agencies who have direct ‘front counter’ or telephone contact with clients and members of the public.

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SaFa training – Risk assessment in action: the art of judging risk in child protection April 23, 2020 9:30 am

Safety and risk assessments are foundation skills for effective child protection practice, underpinning all decisions about safety and support. This comprehensive workshop uses evidence-based knowledge to develop participants’ understanding of the concepts central to risk assessment in contemporary child protection practice. Beyond a core understanding and skills-base in child protection, this workshop challenges participants to examine how they apply knowledge in practice. Practical exercises, using frameworks which reinforce good quality assessments, enable participants to increase their competence in making comprehensive assessments and defensible decisions.

Who should attend SaFa training?

Child protection workers in government and community based services, including Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support, statutory intervention services and FIS, alternative care and reunification services, Assessment and Service Connect practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Wellbeing services. Both experienced workers and those newer to the field will benefit.

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High Voltage – working with ‘high risk’ adolescents May 21, 2020 9:30 am

Work with young people with ‘high risk’ behaviours can carry shock potential – for young people themselves and others around them, including front-line workers. Workers often face the tricky challenge of providing an immediate response to extreme and dangerous behaviour by young people, in order to provide safety, while at the same time trying to connect with the hidden pain, trauma and unmet need underpinning this behaviour. This carries the inbuilt conundrum of maintaining a planned approach in the face of continuing crisis. If you are grappling with this ‘high voltage’ work then this is the workshop for you. It is informed by the AIM4® concept map, which supports a practical and effective approach to working with vulnerable young people, grounded in contemporary thinking and research.

Who should attend?

Workers in statutory and community services who work with young people with complex needs and challenging behaviour, including child safety, youth justice, education settings, residential care, youth services.

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Effective Supervision For Supervisors – being the best you can be! June 18, 2020 9:30 am

Supervisors in the area of child, youth and family welfare commonly learn how to supervise solely through ‘on the job’ experience. Their main source of knowledge may be their own experiences of being supervised. This interactive one-day workshop helps supervisors in child and family welfare and youth services to understand supervision as a specific area of practice and to develop their practice skills in this area.  Participants consider contemporary thinking and knowledge around supervision frameworks and models and are supported to use this in developing their supervision practice approach.

Who should attend?

Government and community agency workers currently supervising staff, new supervisors and workers interested in taking on a supervisory role.

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Working with Complexity – parents with mental health, substance use & family violence issues July 23, 2020 9:30 am

Frontline workers confront increasingly complex family situations where the safety of children and young people is linked to serious and seemingly chronic parental issues. These issues can also complicate engagement, relationship-based practice, goal-setting and planning. This workshop considers practice skills in working with families to make a difference, when parental issues relate to the often concurrent issues of mental health, substance misuse and family violence. This workshop reflects upon frameworks for understanding parental functioning, including complexity and change theory, and considers how best to respond to the needs of children in these circumstances. Workshop content is evidence-based and focuses on decision making which balances safety with least intrusive intervention.

Who should attend?

Child protection workers in government and community agencies, including investigation and assessment, Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support, statutory intervention services, Family Wellbeing Services, foster and kinship care support services, Assessment and Service Connect practitioners and reunification services.

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For The record - effective case notes for child and youth work August 20, 2020 9:30 am

Recording – particularly making case notes – is essential to effective child and youth work but can be difficult to do well. This highly interactive workshop examines the science and the art of recording in various contexts, with a focus on case notes. Learn how to write well-structured documents which achieve their purpose as tools to help protect and support children and young people. Participants will learn to apply the ‘rules’ for succinct but effective recording, including efficient and useful case notes, assessment notes and action plans, and well-supported practice decisions.

Who should attend?

Government and community agency workers, family support workers, youth workers, foster and kinship care support workers, intervention service workers, Assessment and Service Connect practitioners.

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NEW! Eyes Wide Open - assessing risk in family-based care September 17, 2020 9:30 am

There are no risk-free decisions in child protection placement work. Foster and kinship care offers a protective strategy to keep children safe, but it comes with inherent risks (and benefits). This workshop offers Foster and Kinship Care Support Workers the opportunity to clarify and develop their risk-assessment framework to ensure that they are tuned in to both the structural and inherent risks in foster care, as well as the individual risk profiles of the child and carer themselves. Identifying risks and strengths allows FKC Workers to work purposefully in supporting foster and kinship carers. This in turn will support placement stability and continuity and better outcomes for children in placement.

Who should attend?

Foster and Kinship Care Support Workers in government and community agencies.

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Tuning In to Acting Out – responding to the behaviours and needs of young people October 22, 2020 9:30 am

This advanced workshop assumes that participants have a working knowledge of the impacts of disrupted attachment, trauma and loss upon young people in care or disengaged from family. We know that these issues underpin the often challenging behaviour of these young people. But how best to respond? This workshop takes a very practical approach to applying this theoretical knowledge in everyday work with troubled young people. It considers effective behaviour guidance, staying safe when behaviour is extreme, and responding to behavioural crises in ways which apply the evidence about ‘what works’ in addressing the underlying causes of the behaviour.

Who should attend?

Experienced workers in both government and community services working with young people, including youth workers, direct care workers in residential services for young people, statutory child protection and juvenile justice workers.

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Workshops not currently scheduled but available for delivery on request

Bridging Troubled Waters – resolving workplace issues and difficult team dynamics

Positive team dynamics underpin effective workgroups and when all is well, we may take this harmony for granted. But when conflict or personality clashes persist, everyone is affected and productivity can plummet. This workshop considers the tricky issues in managing workplace conflict and tension and restoring harmony. How do you engage ‘difficult’ workers who do not respond to the usual supervisory efforts to address unacceptable behaviour. How do you use your own personality and negotiation skills to ensure fair dealing while getting to the source of trouble? What strategies and techniques might help? This workshop is for competent supervisors who need a few more ‘tricks up their sleeve’ for resolving workgroup issues and for those who want to avoid such issues arising.

Who should attend? Team leaders, supervisors and managers responsible for workgroups in both government and community agencies.

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Digging Deeper – risk assessment and strengths-based family work

Is risk assessment still relevant in child protection when you work from a strengths-based framework with families? Of course! Assessing risk remains at the core of protecting children and young people. Yet what some find tricky is how to integrate the risk assessment process with a strengths-oriented approach to practice. This workshop ‘digs deeper’ into this question, reviewing contemporary understandings of the concepts and skills critical to risk assessment and exploring how to successfully enact these in practice while working to engage with families around the safety of their children. The complexities of this work are enormous, as is the responsibility to ‘get it right’. This workshop provides the opportunity to explore your understanding and approach to risk assessment and where it fits with frameworks for inclusive engagement and work with families.

Who should attend? Frontline child safety workers, team leaders and managers, in statutory and community services. Child Safety, Family and Child Connect, Intensive Family Support services and any personnel across government and community sectors who have responsibility for risk assessment in the context of working to support families.

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Starlight, Starbright – practice tools for change in families (one-day)

You have your case plan and are home visiting regularly, but what should you actually be doing when you see your families? You know there must be more to it than having a chat about how everything is going. How do you help families “make the change”? Illuminate, brighten and shine up your practice by participating in this very practical workshop that explores the “how-to’s” of real work with families to achieve outcomes. During this workshop you will have the opportunity to be introduced to a range of practical techniques and tools that you can implement with families during home visits. By the end of this skills-oriented workshop you will have new strategies in your “tool kit” for immediate use in your practice with families in seeking the change they want to achieve.

Who should attend? Family support workers; government and community agency workers providing early intervention and support services.

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SaFa® training – The relationship route to safe families: integrated planning

When faced with multiple complex issues and the involvement of multiple agencies, it can be difficult to ‘hold it all
together’ in working with families towards the possibility of change. A commitment to client-directed planning can
seem at odds with ‘imposed’ goals around child safety, and working with other agencies to ensure integrated support
planning brings its own challenges. This workshop examines:

  • effective inclusive support planning with families whose lives may appear chaotic
  • inclusive planning in which the process itself engenders hope and promotes change
  • working through relationship to craft effective responses and avoid drift of focus.

Who should attend SaFa® training? Child protection workers in government and community based services, including Family and Child Connect, intensive family support, statutory intervention services and FIS, foster and kinship care support, reunification services, Assessment and Service Connect Practitioners and Family Wellbeing services. Both experienced workers and those newer to the field will benefit.

Make an enquiry