FRSA eBulletin, No. 1, 2022

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No. 1, 2022 | 4 February 2022

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From FRSA's Executive Director

And just like that….it is February already!

January is a particularly busy time for the Family and Relationship Services sector.  Dealing with an increased demand for services whilst managing staff leave over the holiday period, further exacerbated by COVID-19 and the significant increase in cases over the last 6 weeks, has been really challenging.

As always, organisations within our sector have taken all these challenges in their stride and have continued to ensure they are meeting the needs of the children, women, men and communities they work with.  These are services essential to their health and wellbeing.

In an election year and a year in which Government/Opposition and others vying for Office make spending promises – a key message from FRSA is that there needs to be an increase in focus and expenditure towards prevention and early intervention.  This should be in addition to and not to the detriment of tertiary or secondary services.

Further, for services in the family and relationship services sector, no real funding increase has been delivered over many years of operation, and as our Report in 2020 clearly identified – services are at the ‘efficiency frontier’.  There is no more blood to squeeze out of the stone.

Strengthened family and community connectedness and support has been clearly identified in a number of recently released strategies and reports such as:  the National Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy; the Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children; and, the Prevalence of Elder Abuse Study, as being critically important in aiding prevention and early intervention measures across each of these areas.  These are not necessarily ‘tertiary end services’ however they are indeed vital and essential services for ensuring the wellbeing of children, women, men and communities across Australia.

These are key elements of FRSA’s Federal Pre-Budget submission lodged in January.

We have entered 2022 with great hope and optimism that we will have the opportunity to bring the sector together, face-to-face, for a National Conference in Adelaide scheduled for 16-19 May 2022.  January has been a flurry of activity in progressing preparations for Conference. We have had a record number of abstracts submitted and are very close to releasing the concurrent session program, which promises to deliver something for everyone.

January also marks the month in which the Australia Day honours are announced – providing an opportunity for important and outstanding work in the community to be acknowledged.  FRSA was delighted to see members and friends of FRSA recognised in these awards.  At the same time, we know that 26 January marks a painful point in history that has had enduring consequences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  I was moved by the statement released by SNAICC on 25 January, which paid tribute to the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and called on Australia ‘to spend Survival Day as a day of reflection’.

With 2022 well underway, just a reminder that the FRSA team is here to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

Or contact the National Office on 02 6162 1811.

Kind regards,
Jackie Brady
FRSA Executive Director

FRSA’s new address!

Just a reminder that the FRSA National Office has moved, below is our new postal and office address to update your records:

✉️PO Box 326 Deakin West ACT 2600

📍Level 1, 3-4/36 Thesiger Court, Deakin ACT 2600

☎️ 02 6162 1811

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National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study – Report released

On 24 December 2021, the Australian Government released the much anticipated National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study: Final Report.

The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department commissioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) to conduct a study of the nature of elder abuse and the extent to which it occurs among those in the Australian population aged 65 and over.

The study involved a survey of 7,000 people aged 65 and over who live in the community, and a survey of 3,400 people aged 18-64 years, which focussed on knowledge of elder abuse and attitudes towards older people.

The key findings of the study include:

  • One in six older Australians reported experiencing abuse in the twelve months prior to being surveyed between February and May 2020. (14.8%).
  • Elder abuse can take the form of psychological abuse (11.7%), neglect (2.9%), financial abuse (2.1%), physical abuse (1.8%) and sexual abuse (1%).
  • Perpetrators of elder abuse are often family members, mostly adult children, but they can also be friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
  • People with poor physical or psychological health and higher levels of social isolation are more likely to experience elder abuse.

The Report points to two approaches that are seen as promising interventions for elder abuse that are of particular relevance to the family and relationship services sector: family mediation and multidisciplinary approaches that may include legal, health and therapeutic supports. The Elder Abuse Service trials, which some FRSA members are involved in, are an example of this second approach.

More information about this important study, including the full report and a summary report, are available on AIFS’ website.

Economic insecurity and intimate partner violence in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted significant concerns about the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women, and in particular intimate partner violence. A new study published by ANROWS highlights the intersection of economic insecurity and women’s experiences of intimate partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.

Findings showed that economic factors, including job loss and financial stress, linked with the pandemic were associated with both the onset and escalation of intimate partner violence.

The study, Economic insecurity and intimate partner violence in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, surveyed 10,000 women aged 18 years and over about their experiences of violence in their most recent intimate relationship during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is most concerning that women’s experiences of economic insecurity were linked with an increased chance of also experiencing intimate partner violence, regardless of economic disparity within the relationship,” said ANROWS CEO, Padma Raman PSM.

Record reports of elder abuse

Reports of elder abuse have drastically increased across Queensland in 2020-21, with a 31.8% rise of calls to the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit (EAPU) Helpline, a service funded by the Queensland Government.

UnitingCare Queensland’s ‘Year in Review’ report, outlines reported abuse to the EAPU Helpline of victims aged 50 years and older.

In 2020-2021 the helpline received 2,022 abuse notification calls over the period— the highest yearly total recorded since data collation commenced two decades ago.

Key findings:

  • Most common types of abuse reported were psychological (72.9%), followed by financial (62.6%), and social abuse (28.0%).
  • It is common for victims to experience numerous types of abuses at once, with close to twothirds of victims experiencing more than one type of abuse.
  • There were 1,455 cases of psychological abuse reported to the Helpline. The most common forms of psychological abuse were pressuring, shouting, and degrading victims.
  • In 2020–21, 1,248 cases of financial abuse were reported to the Helpline. The most common methods of perpetrating financial abuse were undue influence (32.9%), followed by misuse of an Executive Power of Attorney (18.6%).
  • 80.7% of calls related to abuse were attributed to a person in a close or intimate relationship with the victim.

Read more

Australia Day Honours

FRSA congratulates all these wonderful people on receiving Australia Day Honours for the outstanding contribution they each make to the lives of many children, families and communities.

YFS CEO, Cath Bartolo received an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her significant service to youth, to social welfare, and to the community of Logan.

Former Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission, Professor Helen Rhoades received an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to the law, particularly to policy reform and legal research.

Tracy Creech received a Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service in establishing survivor-focused support services for the National Redress Scheme and for guiding instrumental improvements. Tracey was previously in the Families team at the Department of Social Services.

Home-schooling parents/carers during COVID experienced greater psychological distress

A recently published study by researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) found that parents and carers who home-schooled children during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced markedly higher levels of psychological distress than other adults.

The study asked over 1,200 Australian adults to rank their psychological wellbeing during the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in March-April 2020. Impacts on respondents with pre-existing mental health conditions was compounded.

$2 million expansion for the National Debt Helpline online chat

Last week, Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston announced an additional $2 million to expand the National Debt Helpline online chat function around the country.

This will allow more Australians to receive confidential, free, expert advice from financial counsellors online through the National Debt Helpline.

“The online chat function allows someone to talk to a financial counsellor for advice on a full range of financial issues such as developing a realistic payment plan for debts and can also provide referrals to other services including the National Gambling Helpline,” Minister Ruston said.

“The nation-wide chat rollout will be especially beneficial for Australians living in rural and remote parts of the country who may otherwise have to travel long distances for a face to face appointment.”

Family law parenting orders – ANROWS research report released

ANROWS recently released a report on the first part of a four-part research project that examines the drivers of non-compliance with parenting orders and the operation of the parenting order enforcement regime in Australia.

This stage of the project involved a survey with 343 professionals (family dispute resolution practitioners, lawyers and domestic and family violence specialists) who work with separated parents and one-on-one interviews with 11 judicial officers. The study found that for both judicial officers and other family law system professionals, a tension can arise between the punitive aims of the contravention regime and child-focused decision-making.

FRSA members have long expressed their concern that the best interests of the child may be compromised in the parenting orders regime and have advocated for greater inclusion of the child’s voice in decision-making. That this concern is shared across family law professionals may, FRSA hopes, open the way for possible future reform. A key recommendation arising from the study is that the development of parenting orders must better consider the needs and views of children and young people to reduce noncompliance driven by children and young people themselves.

The study also found that there was ‘substantial support among professionals for a greater emphasis on problem-solving and therapeutic approaches to address the underlying causes of non-compliance with parenting orders.’

The other three parts of the project focus involve:

  • Contravention matter court file analysis
  • Online survey of separated parents with parenting orders
  • Analysis of international approaches.

A final report is due in the first half of 2022.

FRSA National Conference 2022 - EARLY BIRD RATES EXTENDED!
early bird extended

The FRSA team has been busily building the National Conference program in the new year and are exciting to release the program in the coming weeks. We have extended our early bird rates to 28 February 2022!

Early Bird Registration Fee until 28 February 2022

Member Rates Non-Member Rates
Complete Conference
Experience (Including dinner)
$995.00 $1,295.00
Conference Only (No dinner) $920.00 $1,220.00

 

Standard Registration Fee From 1 March 2022

Member Rates Non-Member Rates
Complete Conference
Experience (Including dinner)
$1,345.00 $1,645.00
Conference Only (No dinner) $1,270.00 $1,570.00

 

Pre-Conference Workshops

Member Rates Non-Member Rates
Aboriginal & Torres Strait
Islander Workshop
$150.00 $250.00
Family Law Workshop
(All Day) – FRSA Members Only
$150.00 N/A
Communities for Children
Facilitating Partners (CfC FP) Workshop
$150.00 $250.00
Data and evaluation Workshop
(delivered by the Australian Institute of
Family Studies)
$150.00 $250.00

Want to send more than one person? The Conference registration also offers a ‘6 for 5’ promotion for all FRSA Members only. Simply enter the names of 5 members you will register in one transaction and when complete, you’ll receive a link and code in your confirmation email to register your 6th attendee. Available at both Early Bird and Standard Rates. Interested in becoming an FRSA Member? More information here.

Stay up to date by subscribing to our Conference and Forum Updates.

Sponsorship has always been a big part of FRSA’s Conferences and in acknowledgement of this support, we have a range of new packages for our 2022 Conference which we have designed to allow for maximum visibility to showcase the work and activity of your organisation/business. It will enable you to engage, discuss challenges and present solutions to FRSA Conference delegates.

We welcome your support of the Conference and hope that you will take advantage of the opportunities available to you in joining with FRSA as a Conference 2022 sponsor.

If you are interested in a more bespoke package for your organisation, outside what is outlined in our Sponsorship Prospectus, do not hesitate to get in touch with the FRSA team at admin@frsa.org.au or on (02) 6162 1811.

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Plan to reduce violence against women and their children consultation

The Australian Government is seeking feedback on the draft National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. The consultation period has been extended to 25 February 2022. Click here to find out more.

National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse – Advisory Group Model Public Consultation

The National Office for Child Safety, within the Federal Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, is consulting on the proposed model for a National Strategy Advisory Group. The Advisory Group will advise on the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse First Action Plans, which will run for four years.

The National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030, which was launched in October 2021, is a 10-year, whole-of-nation framework recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The National Strategy establishes a coordinated, nationally consistent approach to preventing and better responding to child sexual abuse in all settings.

It  was developed in partnership between the Australian and state and territory governments, and in public consultation.

Submissions to the National Strategy Advisory Group Model consultation are due by Thursday 10 February 2022.

Ambassador of Australia for Women and Girls

On 31 January, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, announced the appointment of Ms Christine Clarke CSC as Australia’s next Ambassador for Women and Girls. As Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Clarke will work to ensure that gender equality, and empowerment of women and girls, is a central focus of Australia’s diplomatic, development, and regional security efforts.

Ms Clarke has previously served overseas as Defence Adviser, Australian High Commission, New Zealand. In Australia she served as Head, Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office, Australian Defence Force, as well as in a number of senior roles in the Royal Australian Navy.

The Ambassador for Women and Girls raises the importance of addressing sexual and gender-based violence, increasing economic opportunities for women, promoting women’s leadership, the critical importance of promoting positive social norms and the rights of girls.

Child safe requirements – Statement of Compliance due 31 March 2022

All DSS grant recipients are required to submit a Statement of Compliance confirming that their organisation and any staff engaging with children as part of their DSS grant agreement, comply with Commonwealth, state and/or territory requirements relating to working with children in the jurisdiction in which the activities are delivered. This includes mandated police checks, working with children checks and working with vulnerable people checks and if relevant, the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

The Statement of Compliance email, with a link to the template, access code information and contact details for assistance, will be sent to DSS grant recipients on 1 March. The completed Statement of Compliance is due by 31 March each year and must be signed by the head of the organisation, CEO or an authorised person in an equivalent position. No evidence of compliance or any attachments are required.

For more information, please visit – Child Safety for DSS funded organisations | Department of Social Services, Australian Government.

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Mission Australia announces appointment of new CEO

Mission Australia has announced the appointment of Sharon Callister as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Sharon has more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector including as CEO of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association Queensland, The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus and The Salvation Army Humanitarian Mission Services.

She has extensive knowledge of managing large service delivery organisations, especially within Australia’s Aged Care sector,  and developing and delivering impactful services to help Australians in need.

She will join Mission Australia on 22 February and take up the role of Chief Executive Officer when James Toomey steps down in March.

“I am so pleased to be passing on the baton to Sharon; she’s a passionate advocate for the people we work alongside, and I know she’ll bring energy and determination to the role,” current CEO James Toomey said.

“I look forward to working with her to ensure Mission Australia has a seamless transition of leadership.” Read more.

Pro Bono Impact 25 Award Nominees
Narelle Clay

Congratulations to the following FRSA Members for being nominated for Pro Bono’s Impact 25 Awards 2022.

  • Southern Youth and Family Services’ CEO, Narelle Clay
  • Mens Outreach Service Aboriginal Corporation’s Team Leader, Kevin Mckenzie
Kevin Mckenize

The Awards celebrate people who embody the values of the social sector as Influencers, Collaborators and Innovators. View the full list of nominees or vote for Narelle and Kevin here.

Anglicare Sydney farewells outgoing CEO
Outgoing CEO Grant Millard

Last week Anglicare Sydney farewelled outgoing CEO Grant Millard, who retired after more than 10 years with the organisation.

Mr Millard, who joined the organisation in 2011, oversaw change at the organisation including the merger of Anglican Retirement Villages and Sydney Anglican Home Mission at his mid-point in July 2016.

“That 10 years has been a remarkable period of growth and change,” Mr Millard said. “I have always believed that a tenure of 10 years would be a good period for the leadership of Anglicare.”

Newly appointed CEO Simon Miller will begin in the role from this month.

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Safer Internet Day 2022

Safer Internet Day is on Tuesday 8 February 2022. Safer Internet Day is a worldwide event that raises awareness about online safety and encourages everyone to help create a better internet.

Click here to register your support or download online safety information and resources to share.

Applications open for $44 million in headspace grants

The Government is investing a further $44 million to increase access and reduce wait times at headspace services for young people aged 12 to 25 years.

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are encouraged to apply for up to $1.8 million each in wait time reduction grants. In addition, grants of up to $940,000 are available for capital and infrastructure improvements to existing headspace services.

Guidelines for grant applications are available on the GrantConnect website. Grant submissions closes 18 March 2022 at 2pm AEST.

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Feb 20

Theraplay Level 1 & MIM – Sydney

February 20, 2023 @ 9:00 am - February 23, 2023 @ 5:00 pm AEDT
Feb 23

HEY WARRIOR!

February 23, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEDT
Mar 13

HEY WARRIOR! – Toowoomba

March 13, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm AEDT

You Are Not Alone: A free, family violence program for women in South-East Melbourne

Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV) invites women impacted by family violence to join an online, 8-week support group, starting on Friday 11 February 2022.

In this group, you’ll have the chance to talk about your experiences, learn about your rights and support options and gain strategies to strengthen resilience and begin to heal.

Express your interest online or call RAV on 5911 5400.

If you have any events you’d like listed on the FRSA Events and Training Calendar, email Communications Officer, Vanessa Lam at communications@frsa.org.au. Please note that posting onto the Events and Training Calendar is reserved for FRSA Members only.

ACT

Administrative Officer | Family & Relationship Service Australia

NSW

Post Separation Specialist | CatholicCare Sydney

NT

Family Dispute Practitioner & Family Law Pathways Project Officer (Full or PT) | Relationships Australia NT

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (Full Time or Part Time) | Relationships Australia NT

VIC

Program Facilitator | Relationships Australia Victoria

2 x Family Violence Pathways Practitioners (Mens) | Relationships Australia Victoria

Administration/Brokerage Officer | Relationships Australia Victoria

Senior Practitioner | Kids First Australia

If  you have any job vacancies you’d like listed on the FRSA Jobs Board, email Communications Officer, Vanessa Lam at communications@frsa.org.au. Please note that posting onto the Jobs Board is reserved for FRSA Members only.

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Impacts of new and emerging assistive technologies for ageing and disabled housing | Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute

This research looks at how smart home assistive technologies (AT) may be best used in both the aged care and disability sectors to reduce the need for support services. It includes an assessment of ease of use, quality-of-life and cost benefit analysis, and contributes to the development of policy options that could facilitate effective adoption of smart home AT in Australia.

10 strategies for improving employment outcomes for people with disability | Brotherhood of St Laurence

What needs to be done to reform policies and practices that aim to increase the participation of people with disability in employment? This report identifies 10 intersecting strategies that could drive systemic change to improve employment outcomes for people with disability in employment.

Amplify: turning up the volume on young people and family violence | Melbourne City Mission

This report outlines the findings of research based on the experiences of young people who are experiencing family violence either in the home or from an intimate partner.

Supporting children’s return to school during COVID-19 | Emerging Minds

This resource offers tips to help both children and parents/carers navigate feelings of anxiety and uncertainty around the return to school.

National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Review: issues paper | Productivity Commission

The review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement will examine how well the Australian, State and Territory Governments have achieved the objectives, outcomes and outputs set out in the Agreement, and the suitability of the Agreement for the future. This issues paper has been released to guide people in preparing a submission.

Calling for help: how crisis lines support Victorians’ mental health | The McKell Institute

In partnership with Lifeline, this report explores the mental health impact of COVID-19 and how crisis lines supported Victorians during the pandemic.

“Never waste a crisis”: Domestic and family violence policy and practice initiatives in response to COVID-19 | ANROWS

This report examines prevention strategies and responses to DFV in Australia during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and up until June 2021.

The national strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence | Government of New Zealand

The purpose of this document is to set out a framework to eliminate family violence and sexual violence, to drive government action in a unified way and harness public support and community action.

Levels and trends in child mortality | UNICEF

This document reports the levels and trends of global child mortality for 2020

Consultations with young people to inform the eSafety Commissioner’s Engagement Strategy for Young People | Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Young people in Australia have clear aspirations and views about the internet and online safety. This research highlights their recommendations and vision for the future. It outlines their expectations of eSafety and how we should engage with them about online issues. The findings will be used to guide the development of eSafety’s online strategy and resources for young people.

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