After an unexpected year, we were excited to bring the sector together online for this event. And without the constraints of travelling to another city, we had our biggest delegation yet! More than 400 delegates, including mediators, social workers, psychologists, counsellors and more, joined us from all over Australia and even some from overseas.
This year the theme was “Expanding the Lens: Child Inclusion and Vulnerable Children”.
The day kicked off with a panel discussion on “What the Pandemic has taught us about the needs of children: Implications for policy and practice”, facilitated by Professor Jennifer McIntosh AM with panellists:
- Anne Hollands, National Children’s Commissioner
- Dr Joe Tucci, CEO of the Australian Childhood Foundation
- John Lochowiak, Centacare Catholic Family Services
The panellists observed that the pandemic brought with it both threats – for example, an elevated risk of family violence – and opportunities for children. Dr Tucci noted that lockdown restrictions gave some families the time and space to connect in ways they hadn’t before. Panellists further observed that the pandemic has provided a one in a generation opportunity to develop a sustainable overarching policy framework that places children centre-stage.
Two sets of concurrent sessions were held across the following themes: Programme design improvement incorporating the feedback of children, the role of telepractice when working with children – learnings from COVID, Child inclusive Practice within Family Law, and Child Inclusive Practice across service domains/contexts.
The Forum ended with a keynote address from Professor Jennifer McIntosh AM titled, “Child Inclusion: When nothing else would work”.
Last week, evaluation surveys were sent out to all who attended the Forum and it’s not too late to share your views. We would love you to spend 10 minutes in providing feedback, to capture the highlights of this year’s Forum and make the next Forum even better.
If you registered for the Forum, you will be able to access the video recordings and PowerPoint presentations via the CIP Forum portal for up to 60 days post Forum.
To the sector, our delegates, our Gold and Panel sponsor Children Beyond Dispute and the clinical committee – thank you! Your ongoing support made the Forum a resounding success.