Practice Conference 2018 Workshops

We listened to your feedback from last year and wanted to make as much workshop content available to delegates as possible.

This year every delegate will have the opportunity to participate in the Participation in Practice workshop and a workshop stream. The OSP Participation in Practice Workshop registration is automatic.

We also have ten workshop streams this year to choose from. Some streams will have two 45 minute sessions, others will be full 90 minute sessions. All workshops will be skills based and interactive with opportunities to take direct learning to your practice.

Details of streams, abstracts and presenters will be updated regularly on this page as they are confirmed.

Nominations for your preferred workshop stream will open soon.

Workshop Nomination Information

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! Please complete your preferred nomination by Wednesday 29 August. Nominations received after this date (or if no nomination is made) will be allocated to an available workshop stream.

Live streamers will still have the chance to take part in workshops – more information is coming soon about which workshops will be live streamed. Click here for details about the live stream workshop program.

Live stream workshop program

Day 1 (1:10pm – 2:40pm) - live streamed workshops TBA

Day 2 (12:50-2:20pm) – live streamed workshops TBA

Confirmed Workshops

  • Masterclass Day 1 – Getting the most out of Group Supervision (DAY 1 ONLY)

This 90 minute masterclass on day 1 provides a fantastic opportunity to explore the skills of group supervision with Dr Sue Lohrbach, the creator of the Minnesota Model for Group Supervision. Targeting current or aspiring practice leaders, participants will be able learn more about the principles of group supervision and hone their facilitation skills with tips from one of the best in the business!

Dr Sue Lohrbach, KV Institute (90 minutes)

  • Masterclass - Day 2: Bringing it all together. (DAY 2 ONLY)

This 90 minute masterclass brings together our conference speakers, Shelly Bonnah, Allan Wade, David Mandel, Andrew Turnell and Sue Lohrbach on day 2 for a realistic practice discussion using each of their approaches. Facilitated by a senior FACS practitioner, this interactive panel will use a case scenario as the basis for a fascinating and thoughtful discussion about how each of their approaches can work together to form a solid and child focussed response to a family.

  • Practice stream 1: Invisible parenting practices in families where there is violence

Focused on making visible the often invisible dynamics that impact on creating and sustaining safety in families, this workshop stream is suitable for those practitioners who are looking for ways of understanding how children and women experience the complexities of safety and parenting when there is violence and strategies for working with perpetrators of violence to address them.

Dr Susan Heward Belle, University of Sydney (90 minutes) 

  • Practice stream 2: Partnering with families and communities to create and sustain safety

Focused on revaluing all roles in family, community and culture and working with whole families to build and sustain and maintain active and meaningful relationships for children’s safety where children are at home, or in the community. This workshop stream is suitable for those who are interested in thinking creatively about how they can work differently with families and communities, even when they might seem ‘hard to reach’. Participants will develop practical strategies to include parents and family in children’s lives. The emphasis will be on building and sustaining worker-parent relationships which are fundamental to strengthening children’s identities and successful restoration.

  • Workshop one: Building Better Relationships - Family Inclusion Strategy – Hunter (F.I.S.H) (45 minutes)
  • Workshop two: Communities and families changing lives - Outpost Casework – Robert Bosi, Place Manager, and Melanie Laidlaw, caseworker  (45 minutes)  
  • Practice Stream 3:  Keeping children connected with family, community and culture 

Keeping children safe at home and working to return them home means working with whole family’s to build and sustain safe and nurturing relationships. This workshop provides practical and useful strategies for talking, working, and building safety with children and their families to keep children at home and safely return them home. 

  • Workshop one: Pregnancy Conferencing a collaborative journey for pregnant women in the child protection system – Daniela Lewkowicz, FACS and Zia Tayebjee, Sydney Local Health District (45 minutes) 
  • Workshop two: Signs of Safety to support reunification – Carrie Osborn, Maroonbaliin IFBS and Sarah Hughes, FACS (45 minutes) 
  • Practice Stream 4: 'Getting to know the FaCtS': Reflections on building strength, knowledge and hope through purposeful partnerships

This 90 minute workshop will share reflections from Marrin Weejali Aboriginal Corporation, parents and FACS practitioners on collaborating and building relationships to create the ‘Getting to know the FaCtS’ support group for families involved in the child protection system in Nepean Blue Mountains and Western Sydney. The workshop will explore the journey to develop the partnership between Marrin Weejali, FaCS, parents and Legal Aid based on principles of power sharing, social justice, advocacy, dignity and cultural safety and share how this partnership has seen an increase in the strength, knowledge and hope for families and FaCS practitioners. Participants will build and share knowledge about how establish collaborative and meaningful partnerships and strategies to take back to their own CSCs and Districts.

Felicity Davis (CWS), with Sahra Hawkins, parent, Debbie Hind, CWS and Marrin Weejali, Aboriginal Corporation 

  • Practice Stream 5: Cultural practice - in practice

This workshop stream is for all practitioners who want to make sure their practice is culturally safe, relevant and sensitive in a way that is respectful of the families they work with and feels authentic to them. Using stories from practice with young people and how they experience cultural practice in casework, this workshop will support you to find ways to understand and apply culturally sensitive practices to your casework with children, young people and their families.  

  • Practice stream 6: Language, curiosity and creating culture of critique

How we talk about our work and the children and young people who experience our work, influences how we approach it, and how they experience it. Noticing our language and looking for opportunities to make changes to the way we approach our practice takes skill and practice. This workshop is about rethinking your role in working with, talking about and supporting children and young people in care and refining your advocacy skills to help them have successful futures.  

  • Workshop one: Children versus cases – Tim Gough and Alexis Beniston, Southern District, FACS (45 minutes)  
  • Workshop two – Building meaningful relationships with teenagers - Jade Davis and Scott Lewis, Caseworker, Wagga Wagga (45 minutes) 
  • Practice stream 7: Seeing, understanding and responding to children’s need for belonging

‘Felt security has better long term outcomes than placement stability alone’. This workshop is suitable for those who are supporting children who may be living away from home, or thinking about returning home, and needing to understand, build and support their psychological safety and felt security in relationships with the people around them.

  • Practice stream 8: Using the Practice Framework to help our thinking - understanding and responding to behaviour

Using case studies to highlight practice opportunities, this practice stream is suitable for those who work with young people and are looking for new ways of seeing, understanding and responding to young people’s behaviours with empathy, and compassion, and develop richer assessments and build safety.

  • Workshop one: Practicing our Practice – How the practice framework makes a difference in our work with vulnerable young people – Zoe Sharman and Caitlin Stewart, Clinical Issues Team with Wendy Dennes and Anna Mattiuzo, Metro ISS (45 minutes)  
  • Workshop two: They’re kids, not criminals. Positive management of children (u12) with sexual behaviour problems. – Jodi Barton and Matt Anderson, Psychologists, FACS  
  • Practice stream 9: Children get hurt in relationship, they can only be healed in relationships

How we think about children’s attachments and relationships to significant people, and how we support it and use it to guide our decision making is important. How we understand children’s relationships to people helps us understand how they can be best supported to be safe. This workshop is suitable for all practitioners looking to make better, more confident and holistic and collaborative assessments and decisions about children staying home and returning home when working with families and services.

  • Workshop one: Considering attachment in decisions about restoration – Freija Brandie, Practice Quality and Romina Tucker, Psychological Services (45 minutes)  
  • Workshop two: MST-CAN and FACS working together for families – learning’s from the last year – Rebecca Hirst, Casework Specialist, FACS and Michael Gathercole, Uniting Multi Systemic Therapy (45 minutes)  
  • Practice stream 10: Working with the Family Court for good outcomes for children

This is a 90 minute workshop for practitioners who would like know more about how to work more effectively and efficiently with the Family Court. When to intervene, how to help, how the family court can help and what they need to help to respond to FACS concerns. A joint presentation by Judge Tom Altobelli (Federal Circuit Court) and Dr Catherine Samuels, (FACS legal) with case discussion and practice tips, this workshop will be very useful for all practitioners who would like to work more collaboratively with families and legal services in this practice space.  

  • Practice stream 11: Participation in practice

This 90 minute session will help you bring connection, partnership and rapport to the day to day work you do with children, young people, and their families. Shoulder-to-shoulder with your fellow FACS practitioners, this is time for you reflect on the practice tools you already know, learn and practice new ones, and learn new ways of using ‘old’ ones to enhance your work with kids and their families. Casework Specialists from across the state will be sharing examples of tools that they know work well, are creative and fun! There will be time for three tools; to explain, to demonstrate and to practice them. You’ll receive a booklet to explain the tools and you’ll get the chance to bring any resources you create to take back to your work! Prepare to be inspired to share your new or renewed knowledge of the tools with those around you when you get back to your CSC.​​​​​​​