Working for a better future and outcomes for our children
New Family-led Decision Making Training coming to Queensland
From January 2016 to September 2017 the Family-led decision making trial was conducted across four Queensland communities. This was in response to recommendations in the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry’s report (Taking Responsibility: A Roadmap for Queensland Child Protection, 2013).
An external evaluation undertaken by research partners Winangali Pty Ltd and Ipsos Australia found the family led decision making process to be effective for:
- Promoting self-determination;
- Empowering families to make informed choices and decisions about what’s best for their children; and
- Developing the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations to lead decision making and case planning in a culturally sensitive way (Evaluation: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Led Decision Making Trial, 2017).
SNAICC – National Voice for our children supported the trials as an implementation partner, with a focus on:
- Developing guidelines and practice resources for the trials in partnership with Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Association
- training and practice support to trial convenors from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations,
- supporting local governance groups and
- supporting collaborative practice between department and convenors at each trial site.
SNAICC's report on the trails provides 24 recommendations for the next steps in implementing family-led decision making in Queensland. The report also highlights key learnings on the themes of:
- Cultural authority and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander convenors, community members and community organisations
- Support across all decision-making points in the child protection continuum as well as early intervention
- Adequate resourcing
- Preparing families for meetings
- Collaborative practice development between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations and the Department of Child Safety
- Holistic responses and integration with other family supports
- Supporting practice excellence.
The roll out of family-led decision making is enabled by the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017 that directs the department to:
- Incorporate the five elements of the child placement principle into any decisions in relation to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child/ ren and their families, and
- Engage an Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander organisation or a person or a group of people, that:
- are independent of the Department of Child Safety,
- have appropriate authority to speak about and on behalf of the child or the child’s family, and
- can facilitate the process of decision-making through the family lead decision making process.
Queensland Government is in the process of procuring Family Participation Programs across the state to align with this legislative change. This will take effect as of 1 November 2018.
SNAICC is partnering with QATSICPP and AbSec’s Registered Training Organisation to develop an intensive, 5-day course on family-led decision making based on learnings from the trials.
The development of the training program content and activities will be informed by:
- QATSICPP Practice Standards, Position Statement for Aboriginal Kinship Care, and 2018 Workforce Survey Results
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle
- Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice.
Training is targeted at workers from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community controlled organisations that support families with child safety concerns (at all stages including early intervention) and that have a role in supporting families using a family led decision making process. This includes staff of Family Wellbeing services and the new Family Participation Programs.
Participants will learn principles and best practice approaches to family-led decision-making and will develop skills in working with families and other service providers using this approach, as well as in facilitating family-led decision-making meetings.
The course will be delivered face to face in South-east Qld, Central Qld, North Qld and the Torres Strait Islands during October and November this year.
If you have questions or suggestions to make regarding this training, SNAICC would love to hear from you. Contact Eva at email@example.com