If you are registered to attend the Practice Conference please complete the form at the bottom of this page to nominate your preferred workshop stream or jump to the form here. Remember places are limited so get in quick!
Live streamers will still have the chance to take part in workshops – more information coming soon.
PRACTICE STREAM ONE
Keeping children connected with family, community and culture
Noticing how children, young people and families respond to experiences in their lives and thinking about why can give us new ways to connect with them, understand their experience and work towards safety and connection for them and their family.
Cathy Richardson – Islands of Safety in practice
Building on Dr Richardson’s keynote, this workshop will provide opportunity to practice skills and reflect on personal experiences to understand the importance of social responses and how people act to try to preserve their dignity.
PRACTICE STREAM TWO
Keeping children connected with family, community and culture
Richard Rose – Tools and techniques to communicate with children during therapeutic Life Story Work
This workshop will provide an overview of the Therapeutic Life Story Work process and how this work helps traumatised children and young people make sense of the past, so that what has happened to them does not dominate, control or inhibit the present. Based on Richard Rose's books 'Life Story Therapy with Traumatised Children - A Model for Practice' (2012) and ‘Innovative Therapeutic Life Story Work’ (2017), it will highlight techniques that have been successfully utilised to assist children to communicate their trauma.
PRACTICE STREAM THREE
Difficult conversations - working in partnership with families to create change
The work we do in preserving families needs brave and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about our worries. Kids and young people have the right to have someone strong enough to listen – and families need us to have these conversations.
Embedding the learning into practice – Keeping the CSA kit alive in work with families
The workshop focuses on the skills needed to have challenging conversations about safety, risk and worries with families and colleagues. Using the Child Sexual Abuse Kit for context, the workshop explores how we might feel about approaching and preparing for a challenging conversation, and how we might react when an unexpected contentious issue arises and how we can develop our skills to work with empathy, help families retain dignity, and reduce the impact of this anxiety on our practice.
About Tim & Renee
Tim is a CWS and a social worker with over 16 years experience working with children and their families. He specialises in building connections between children, their families and communities and ha a keen interest in how language influences practice. Renee is a CWS with extensive experience in FACS and instrumental in the delivery of the CSA kit across her district.
Sexual Health Planning for Young People: Pathways to Personal Empowerment
The discussion around sexual health of young people and their rights to determine their own health needs and access medical treatment can be a balancing act of self determination and safety.
This workshop looks at how caseworkers, in partnership with carers and health practitioners can create opportunities to talk with, support and actively develop young people's understanding, capacity and control of their own health in a rights-based approach to case planning and support.
As Director Operations for New England & Upper Hunter, Ben Spence is responsible for operational service delivery, including child protection and Out of Home Care, in Hunter New England & Central Coast District.
Deborah Bateson is currently the Medical Director of Family Planning NSW. With over 18 years experience, Deborah is the current Co-Chair of the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance and has honorary positions as Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and Adjunct Associate Professor at La Trobe University in Victoria.
Sibling Safety - talking with families, assessing safety for siblings and managing dual roles of assessment and support.
Assessing sibling safety and talking to families after a child has died requires intricate management of dual roles and work with a family in a time of extreme grief and distress. This workshop will examine FACS responses to vulnerable families after a child has died and provide guidance to practitioners about the dual roles and difficult and sensitive conversations required.
Joanna is a senior project officer with the Serious Case Review team in the office of the Senior Practitioner.
Sophie has worked in child protection for over 20 years in both Australia and the United Kingdom. She currently works in the Serious Case Review Unit and is passionate about sharing the learning from serious case reviews to inform current practice.
PRACTICE STREAM FOUR
Bringing healing, dignity and empathy into practice
Parent and family engagement and partnership after a child has been removed from their family can be challenging. Many young people leave care with few connections to family and experience loneliness and limited support and families continue to grieve these relationships. This workshop stream focuses on inclusion and the work of bringing connection and healing to mothers, parents, and families where children have been taken into care and where their children may not always go home – but need connection to their family.
Protecting Children through Family Inclusion
Family inclusion recognises that parents (and other family) do not stop being parents when children are removed. There is an ongoing and crucial role for parents when children are in care and afterwards. This role can never be replaced even when children permanently live away from their family. This workshop will provide evidence based, child focused practical strategies to meaningfully include parents and family in child protection and out of home care practice including hearing and learning directly from parents with lived experience of chid removal.
Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter (FISH) is a partnership of parents and family with children in care or with a care experience and child protection and out of home care practitioners.
PAUSE - Keeping her in Mind: Supporting women who have multiple children removed from their care
The issue of repeat removals of children and intergenerational cycles of children being taken into care is sadly too familiar. This workshop run by UK agency PAUSE highlights why intervening differently with women who have children removed from their care is vitally important and how focusing on the issues through the lens of the woman, with a purpose on supporting themselves to take control of their lives, develop new skills and responses, they are working with women to ultimately help reduce the number of children coming into care and support women to pause, reflect, learn and aspire.
About PAUSE - creating space to change (UK)
Pause works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care. It aims to break this cycle and give women the opportunity to develop new skills and responses that can help them create a more positive future.
PRACTICE STREAM FIVE
Shared Stories – learning from each other
This workshop stream provides opportunities for you to hear about real and current innovative practice and initiatives from your colleagues about how they’ve been working across NSW. Using the same skills, tools, and information available in your CSC, hear and learn how you can creatively transfer the thinking and skills you already use, to broader practice areas in working with children and their families.
Family engagement and worker capacity in child protection and restoration case planning
Applying the Minnesota framework in practice with a family allows them to engage in the process of change with transparency and clarity. This story provides an overview of how this practice initiative has impacted on families and practitioners and in turn the culture within the CSC.
Katrina Clark is a CWS in North West NSW. With over 12 years in a range of roles and program areas Katrina strives to support solid foundation skills in casework practice with a focus on quality engagement with children and families.
Social media, section 105 and the protection of children’s privacy
Breaches of children's privacy in social media is an emerging and concerning issue. There are more examples of parents increasingly using social networking sites to publish sensitive information about their child's involvement in care proceedings. Section 105 of the Care Act is designed to protect the privacy of children and young people in care. This shared story will focus on social media and its intersection with the care jurisdiction, and how you can respond to and manage issues that arise in protecting the privacy of children in care.
Brooke is the Acting manager of the child law team where she is responsible for providing advice on a range of issues affecting children and young people in care, including adoption, gender dysphoria and breaches of S105 of the Care Act.
Mobile child protection unit – a family journey through relationship based practice
The barriers faced in rural and remote communities require creative casework approaches to help families achieve their goals. This shared story explores the practice approaches used by MCPU which have seen positive outcomes for families, high rates of inclusion for extended family members, increased home visiting and safety and continuity of relationships and connection even if a child enters care.
About Amber and Daniella
As experienced members of the Mobile Child Protection Unit Amber and Daniella both have a passion for working in rural and remote communities and the unique challenges that this can bring.
Targeted at practice leaders this workshop stream is for those in management and director positions. Framed around building and supporting your capacity to lead and support the workforce and practice and demonstrate ethical leadership through times of change, this masterclass and workshops are specifically designed to meet your leadership needs.
Masterclass - Leadership in Child Welfare: Transforming the Way We Lead Systems Change With Insights from Brain Science
Leadership in child welfare is complex. Effective leaders at all levels are needed in order to motivate others to engage staff, children, young people, and families in new ways. However, the field of contemporary neuroscience tells us that human behaviour in child and family-serving organisations doesn’t work the way many leaders think that it does (Rock & Schwartz, 2006). “Getting people on board” during an organisational change initiative is challenging. There is science to engagement that can help us better understand what it takes to inspire others to be actively involved and invested in the personal learning and systems change that leads to improved outcomes for children, young people, and families. This workshop will explore:
- key brain areas involved in decision-making and problem solving
- the role emotions play in memory and decision-making
- the concept of the brain as a social organ and the social needs that influence our capacity to engage or collaborate with others.
- why change is hard and how to make it stick
Noel has been a social worker for over 35 years and is the current National Manager of Policy and Research at the Australian Childhood Foundation.
With extensive experience as practitioner, supervisor, manager and senior executive in the statutory and community sectors, Noel has experience in therapeutic communities for children, child protection, and counselling and trauma, abuse and neglect work. His particular areas of interest include: trauma and the impact on children, young people and families; understanding the impact of caring for children and young people who have been hurt in relationships; the neuroscience of supervision and leadership. He is the co-author of Supervising Child Protection Practice: What Works? (2017) Springer.
Creating cultural safety for workers and families
Creating an organisational culture that is culturally safe for Aboriginal staff and families who receive our intervention is more than knowing the history of colonisation, our agency’s role in removing children of the Stolen Generations or the on-going disadvantage and over-representation experienced by Aboriginal families in the child protection system. This workshop focuses on understanding the impact of these experiences and trauma and creating cultural safety for workers and families that addresses the barriers Aboriginal communities, families and staff experience.
Ethics in leadership
There are constant ethical tensions for practice leaders in child protection. The work with families to keep their children safe requires assessment of our own values and decisions, how we influence and lead our own teams and critical thinking about how families experience the collective ethics of our intervention. This workshop will explore the role of practice leaders in child protection in modelling collective accountability, inviting feedback and creating cultures of critique. In particular we will examine how ethical acknowledgement and thoughtful use of the power, authority and privilege can guide staff to better practice with families.
About Lauren and Pam
Lauren Dean is the Director Community Services Mid North Coast. Pam Swinfield is Director Practice Support, Northern Cluster, Office of Senior Practitioner.
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