PeakCares recent submissions

by PeakCare Qld on 2nd December 2015

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Minister Fentiman delivers enthralling speech at PeakCare's AGM

by PeakCare Qld
on 12th December 2016

If you were unable to attend PeakCare’s AGM on Wednesday, 7th December 2016, make sure you read the enthralling speech delivered by the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

PeakCare's Board for 2017

by PeakCare Qld
on 12th December 2016

Your candidates for PeakCare's Board for 2017

by PeakCare Qld
on 30th November 2016

New Family and Child Connect services (FaCC), Intensive Family Support services (IFS) and specialist Domestic and Family Violence services

by PeakCare Qld
on 18th August 2016

The Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (the department) wishes to advise of the release of an Expression of Interest (EOI) for Mount Isa / Gulf Family Support and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention and Support Services

More about the Royal Commission into the South Australian child protection system

by PeakCare Qld
on 18th August 2016

The South Australian Child Protection Systems Royal Commission Report, The life they deserve, was released in early August 2016. The report is presented in two volumes. The first volume sets out what the Royal Commission did to examine the adequacy of current laws and policies to protect children and young people, system deficits and 260 recommendations addressing a wide range of structural, system and practice aspects across the SA government and service system. The second volume contains 5 case studies that examine the operation of the system and practice quality in specific areas. Four focus on the individual circumstances of young children, intervening in high risk families, leaving care, and children with complex needs in out of home care.

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PeakCare took advantage of two recent opportunities to make submissions to Queensland Government consultation processes. The first was in response to the draft engagement strategy for implementing the Child and Family Reforms and the other was in response to the draft Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy 2015 to 2025.

The draft engagement strategy focused on strategies at the program and portfolio levels, rather than at local or project level. New engagement mechanisms, largely implemented through the ‘Stronger Families’ website, such as an annual stakeholder survey and schedule of engagement activities were proposed. In supporting the development, implementation and ongoing review of a strategy to enhance engagement, PeakCare’s submission argued for consistent language and terminology across public documents and avoiding the use of jargon such as ‘work packages’. Suggested changes included PeakCare’s membership of the cross-sector Reform Leaders Group (alongside QCOSS and QATSICPP) and a greater emphasis on two-way, ongoing communication, rather than stakeholders feeding in and getting back. You can read PeakCare’s submission here.

The Queensland Government’s draft Domestic and Family Violence Strategy sets out the reform program to end domestic and family violence over a 10 year period, 2015 to 2025. In explaining PeakCare’s interest in the proposed strategy and actions to end domestic and family violence in Queensland, PeakCare stated the importance of recognising that not all domestic and family violence involves families with dependent children. For this cohort affected by domestic and family violence, the concerns centre on the impact on family functioning and parenting, and promoting children’s safety and wellbeing. The imperative is therefore to better manage the nexus between the family support and child protection systems and the range of domestic and family violence responses to those who have been the victims of this violence, those who have perpetrated the violence, children, young people and other family members. Neither ‘child protection’ nor ‘domestic and family violence’ should be ‘hijacked’ or lose their specialist role, functions and identity.

PeakCare’s submission supported the draft strategy’s position that domestic and family violence is a human rights violation and is gendered with the dominant pattern of men’s violence toward women. The submission argued that the direct and indirect impacts on the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, and separate to responding to the needs of a protective parent, could be stated more clearly, which would then support targeted actions for those children and their families over the next decade. The strategy’s language of children’s ‘safety and security’ was challenged as it could be interpreted as limiting of children’s broader social, emotional, physical, educational, health, developmental and other needs related to the impacts on them of domestic and family violence.

The draft strategy stated the importance of holding those who perpetrate violence accountable for their violence. While strongly supporting this position, PeakCare queried the reference to this being limited to the justice system. While justice-related changes are overdue, there is a range of other systems and service settings in which those who have perpetrated domestic and family violence must also be held to account. For example, where victims and particularly mothers are otherwise said to have failed to protect their children or more generally, are blamed and/or forced to make changes rather than the person who has perpetrated the violence.

The draft strategy proposed local, regional and statewide governance arrangements. PeakCare supported a Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council to provide independent oversight of the implementation of the strategy and public reporting of their assessments of progress. However, some concerns were expressed about the proposed expansion of existing Regional Child and Family Committees to oversee implementation of the domestic and family violence strategy. These concerns relate to membership, dilution of both reform strategies, and muddled governance and communication arrangements. The input more generally of non-government organisations that deliver legal, support, accommodation, advocacy, counselling, court support, health and other services to those who have been subjected to domestic and family violence, those who have perpetrated the violence and others who have been impacted, to ongoing deliberations about directions, strategies, progress, and evaluation was also queried. You can read PeakCare’s submission here.

PeakCare’s next major submissions include responding to the reviews of the Child Protection Act 1999 and Adoption Act 2009. Member agencies and Supporters who would like to participate in discussions about the Government’s discussion papers and PeakCare’s submissions, are invited to contact Tracey Smith, PeakCare’s Principal Policy Officer.

 

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