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2017 Workshops Schedule

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Event Venue Date Description
For The record - effective case notes for child and youth work February 9, 2017 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, alternative care workers, intervention service workers.

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Building Bridges – child protection practice for educators February 16, 2017 9:30 am

This workshop is specifically designed for teachers and school personnel. The concept of ‘building bridges’ acknowledges the roles of educators as conduits between home and school in promoting student wellbeing. This workshop covers legislative requirements for identifying and responding to harm to students, along with core concepts of effective child protection practice. Case scenarios guide participants to consider child protection risk and protective factors, to determine risk of significant harm and to decide the most appropriate course of action. We consider contemporary research about how best to support families within the school community to help prevent child protection crises.

Who should attend?

Teachers, principals, school counsellors, school nurses and designated student protection officers.

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Are the Kids OK? Assessing risk while supporting families February 23, 2017 9:30 am

Targeted at anyone working in a support role with families and young people, this workshop is a popular favourite which regularly receives rave reviews by participants. All who work with families, children and young people must have as their focus the safety and well-being of the children. An ability to assess the risk of harm, and to recognise both protective factors and indicators of danger, is crucial. This one day workshop provides an opportunity for participants to develop their knowledge and skills specific to work with families where the well-being of children is a focus. Participants will have the opportunity to apply core concepts and knowledge to their own practice context.

Who should attend?

Workers providing early intervention and family support services; people who work with young parents and families in crisis; workers in housing, DFV, and health services.

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High Voltage – working with young people with ‘high risk’ behaviour March 9, 2017 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 AIM 4 model, a practical and effective approach to working with vulnerable young people, which is 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, juvenile justice, education settings, residential care, youth services.

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First-Up – client response training for administration staff March 16, 2017 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 27, 2017 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, HOF and RAI services. Both experienced workers and those newer to the field will benefit.

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Keeping Hope Alive - vicarious trauma and emotional wellbeing in human services practice April 28, 2017 9:30 am

The concept of ‘vicarious trauma’ is used to describe the emotional and psychological impact of working in the human services. Those who have chosen careers that require them to care about the plight of others often endure a significant impact on their own emotional health. However few of us have had the opportunity to learn about these complex processes, to reflect on our own personal experiences of caring, and, most importantly, to learn and implement strategies which allow us to practice our unique profession in ways which are safe, sustainable, and which celebrate the privilege of helping others. This workshop is presented by Matthew J Armstrong, who has researched vicarious trauma and delivered papers on the topic at national and international conferences.

Who should attend?

Workers in human services who regularly assist adults, children or young people who experience trauma. Includes strategies for child protection and family welfare workers, teachers, foster carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, private practitioners, and administrative staff.

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Effective Supervision For Supervisors – being the best you can be! June 8, 2017 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 assists supervisors in child and family welfare and youth services to develop their skills in supervision practice. Participants are introduced to key theory and knowledge, and supported to use this in examining their own framework for supervision.

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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SaFa training – The relationship route to safe families: complex case planning July 13, 2017 9:30 am

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, IFS (intensive family support), statutory intervention services and FIS, alternative care and reunification services, Family Wellbeing services and RAI services. Both experienced workers and those newer to the field will benefit.

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Bridging Troubled Waters – resolving workplace issues and difficult team dynamics July 27, 2017 9:30 am

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. We also consider engaging ‘difficult’ workers who resist normal supervisory efforts to change 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 your sleeve in 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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Y Links – engaging young people with family and community August 3, 2017 9:30 am

If you work with young people, you have one of the most challenging and yet rewarding of jobs. You must respect young people’s rights to autonomy while having a developmental focus and also taking into account issues such as trauma and loss which influence individual needs. This workshop looks in particular at how to support young people to make positive linkages with family and community to help meet identified needs. We examine the concept of ‘optimal connectedness’ and what this means in tricky situations where family functioning appears counter to a young person’s interests. We consider the balancing act of working through relationship to support sustainable connections with others, especially with ‘disconnected’ young people and those whose lives are impacted by complex issues.

Who should attend?

Workers in youth support services, child safety and residential care workers, transition to independence workers, youth justice officers, youth counsellors, community workers with a focus on youth work.

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Family Ties – working with kinship and relative carers August 31, 2017 9:30 am

We all acknowledge the principle that children and young people who need care are best placed with kin, if there are family members who can provide safety and help meet their emotional needs. However there are some challenges to be overcome! Achieving positive family contact with parents can be tricky, and research tells us that reunification planning can be more difficult than with non-relative carers. Family of origin patterns of interaction, and longstanding issues around relationships and the meanings attributed to past events, can be complicated. Cultural and customary kinship roles add a further dimension. This workshop puts the spotlight on the particular issues which workers must address for kinship care to work well, and considers strategies to assist all parties to focus on the child’s needs irrespective of ‘family’ issues.

Who should attend?

Workers in any agency working with kinship carers to actively support their care of children and young people, government and community services, Indigenous and non-Indigenous licensed care services.

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Tuning In to Acting Out – responding to the behaviours and needs of young people September 14, 2017 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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Weaving the Tapestry – applying relationship based parenting approaches in family support October 26, 2017 9:30 am

Parenting approaches have changed significantly with the emergence of attachment theory and neuroscience based understandings. How do we use this advanced knowledge in practical everyday parenting? This workshop takes you on a journey of discovery towards applying attachment principles in the daily parenting of children and invites you to consider how you use this knowledge in your family support work. You’ll have an opportunity to understand Circle of Security™ concepts and how to talk about these with families you support. Parenting approaches that strive to control behaviour do not respond to children’s underlying needs and feelings. Relationship based approaches such as Circle of Security™ allow parents to see behaviour as a form of communication. This workshop will give you an overview of these approaches so that you in turn can support the parents you work with.

Who should attend? Family support workers, foster care support workers, family intervention workers, child safety staff, child care workers, anyone who provides skills-development and support to the families or carers of young children.

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Digging Deeper – risk assessment and strengths-based family work November 2, 2017 9:30 am

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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Workshops not currently scheduled but available for delivery on request

Playing It Safe – child safety risk management for educators (two hours)

Every school and childcare service has a duty of care and legal obligations around ensuring the safety of children and young people from abuse. The educators and others involved will be aware of the child protection policy – but is this enough? It needs to be acknowledged that sexual abuse and other harm can and does occur in school and childcare settings. And then there is the responsibility of being alert to the needs of children and young people who may be at risk at home. This short workshop goes beyond the basics and assists your key people – teachers, group leaders, in-home educators – to not only recognise child protection issues, but also to respond appropriately to the children and young people relying upon their vigilance.

Who should attend? This workshop is aimed at schools and childcare services, of all types and across the P-12 spectrum. Contact us to arrange a suitable time for us to come to you, including evenings.

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Building the Picture for educators – identifying and responding to harm and sexual behaviour (half-day)

This half-day workshop equips educators with knowledge and skills to meet mandatory training requirements for identifying and responding to harm. It considers concepts of abuse/neglect and likely harm to children, within the context of legal requirements and duty of care. It explores children’s sexual development and distinguishes between normal and problem sexual behaviour, providing a framework that guides educators in responding to all types of sexual behaviour including problematic behaviour. There is opportunity for participants to discuss behaviour and concerns encountered in work settings so that they leave the workshop with more confidence and potential solutions.
Who should attend? Child care educators, child care directors, family day care educators, outside school hours (OSHC) educators and directors.

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Child Sexual Abuse – dilemmas and decisions

Judgments about the safety needs of children in families where sexual abuse is alleged, or has occurred outside the family, can be extraordinarily difficult to make. This one-day workshop considers the many factors to be assessed in arriving at a defensible decision, within a framework which integrates both knowledge of the dynamics of families affected by sexual abuse and the sometimes conflicting needs of children and young people.

Who should attend? Child protection workers in government and community agencies, including investigation and assessment, intensive family support, statutory intervention services, alternative care and reunification services.

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For The Record – effective report-writing for child and youth work (half day)

Report writing ranges from assessment reports, internal accounting for actions taken (such as incident reports), summaries of work done with a family or young person(progress reports and final reports), advocacy and referral reports and court reports (including affidavits). All family and youth workers will at some time have to produce a well-argued report that gets your message across, either presenting a case on behalf of the client or presenting a well-articulated set of conclusions and recommendations. This workshop takes a highly practical approach to examining the structure and elements of any good report.

Who should attend? Government and community agency workers, family support workers, youth workers, alternative care workers, intervention service workers.

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