FRSA eBulletin, No. 17, 2022

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No. 17, 2022 | 16 December 2022

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From FRSA's Executive Director

Whilst I know all eyes are on the Christmas/New Year break – our work is not yet done!

One key task I want to highlight today is the FRSA Conference Call for Abstracts process that we have extended until TUESDAY next week, the 20th of December.  Energy and enthusiasm for the FRSA Conference being held 15-18 May next year, on the Gold Coast is also reflected in the number and calibre of Abstracts we have received thus far – but keep them coming!  We are so proud to host the event that showcases the Family and Relationship Sector’s work in an environment of shared learning and networking.  Make sure you have the date for the conference marked in your calendar.

We have just opened up Early Bird Registrations which will be available until 14 March 2023.

We have also been extremely busy working with the team at the Centre for International Economics on the Cost Benefit Analysis of the Family and Relationship Services sector that we have commissioned them to do.  I will be writing shortly to our members to provide an update on that project before the year is out.

I am disappointed that we do not as yet have details around how the supplementary funding for Community Sector Organisations promised in the October budget will be decided and allocated but I wish to assure you we are at the table on those discussions.   It would appear that AGD’s processes are more advanced than DSS – but not yet at the announcement stage.  We are certainly advocating for ‘sooner rather than later’ announcements knowing full well that how organisations are dealing with the shortfall in funding – given wage and indexation pressures – is variable and certainly extremely stressful.

We know too there are significant natural disaster related stressors on numerous areas and organisations at this time compounding already significant pressures at this time of year – and I extend my thoughts of care, concern and wishes for positive recovery.

To our FRSA members, I wish to extend my thanks on behalf of the 580,000 children, young people and adults you have worked with this year for your care and concern and for the difference you have made in their lives.

Whether you are limping or speeding to the finish line – I hope that your Christmas and New Year is spent enriched with the love and friendship of those you hold near and dear in your life.

For the FRSA National Office, we will be taking a short break over this period with the office closing on Friday, 23 December 2022 and re-opening on 4 January 2023.  Contact details during this period will be available on our website – frsa.org.au.

We look forward to 2023 with energy, enthusiasm and dedication!

Kind regards,
Jackie Brady
FRSA Executive Director

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FRSA National Conference 2023 - Call for Abstracts EXTENDED TO 20 DECEMBER!

Thank you to everyone who has submitted an abstract so far for the FRSA National Conference 2023. FRSA has decided to extend our submission deadline to COB TUESDAY 20 DECEMBER 2022.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to showcase your work reflecting on the conference theme – Services within everyone’s reach: choice, connection, collaboration.

  1. The first 1000 days
    Topics covering the period from preconception to birth, the birth of a child, child health and wellbeing and impact on family relations and transitions into parenting.
  2. Key transition points in the schooling years
    Topics can include school readiness, transitions into and across primary and secondary schools/school years, young people with significant caring responsibilities and transitioning out of school into training, tertiary education or employment.
  3. Partnering and cohabitation
    Topics can include relationship formation, relationship and marriage education and counselling and developing and maintaining respectful and safe relationships.
  4. Relationship breakdown and re-partnering
    Topics can include family law services, FDR, parenting after separation, ensuring the best interests and wellbeing of children are paramount, family/domestic violence, men’s behaviour change programs, and the changing nature of family dynamics experienced during and after separation.
  5. Ageing
    Topics can include grandparents as primary care-giver of children, elder abuse and changing family structures as people stay at home for longer.
  6. Across the lifecourse

FRSA strongly encourages abstracts that focus on services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and other vulnerable groups of children, families and communities.

For more information, or to submit your Abstract, please visit the FRSA National Conference website here.

FRSA National Conference 2023 - EARLY BIRD REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN!

As the sector’s ‘go to’ National, annual event – FRSA will not fail to deliver great speakers, great sessions, great networking and a great venue.

Early Bird Registration Fee* Until 14 March 2023

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

* To be entitled to the early bird registration fee you must have registered and paid by 15 March 2023.

Pre-Conference Workshops – FRSA MEMBERS ONLY

Member Rates
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Workshop $175.00
Family Law Workshop (All Day) $175.00
Communities for Children Facilitating Partners (CfC FP) Workshop $175.00
Australian Institute of Family Studies $175.00
HILDA survey shows impacts of the first pandemic year

The latest report from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey shows how the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Australians.

The HILDA Survey, which is conducted by the Melbourne Institute, is a nationally representative longitudinal household study following the same group of Australians over their lifetimes.

The report shows inequality declined significantly in Australia with the largest fall in the survey’s 20-year history, as governments provided unprecedented emergency income support and other measures to respond to the growing pandemic.

However, just under half of Australians (45 per cent) said the pandemic made their lives worse. Unemployed people, people with disability or mental health concerns, and people who are extroverted were the most likely to feel their lives were much worse because of the pandemic. So too, were Melburnians, who were experiencing protracted lockdowns at the time of the survey.

You can find out more about the HILDA survey here.

DSS support services outside the FaC activity for the holiday season

We know that Christmas and New Year can be an extremely stressful time for our services and for the children, young people and adults they work with. The Department of Social Services has alerted us to a range of financial well-being and support services, outside of the Families and Children Activity, that our members might find useful.  We do acknowledge that some of our members are already providing these services and/or have already established networks linking them into these programs but having a reminder may just help out someone in need at this time of year.

Soaring demand for community services from increased cost of living

A new report has found that community services are facing soaring demand this Christmas due to the cost-of-living crisis, continuous disasters and the ongoing impacts of Covid-19.

The report Helping people in need during a cost-of-living crisis, based on the Australian Community Sector Survey undertaken by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney for ACOSS and the State and Territory Councils of Social Service, and supported by Bendigo Bank, found that only three per cent of the 1,470 organisations surveyed said their main service can always meet demand.

In 2020, when the Coronavirus Supplement was in place, that figure was 19 per cent, before dropping to six per cent in 2021 after the Supplement was withdrawn by the Federal Government.

FRSA’s recent conversations with Members reflects not only this increase in demand but increased complexity in clients’ circumstances. More and more people accessing family and relationship services are also experiencing housing insecurity and financial pressures, along with mental health issues and family violence.

Anglicare Australia launches Jobs Availability Snapshot

Anglicare Australia has released its Jobs Availability Snapshot, which shows that the job market has been locking the same people out of work in spite of historically high unemployment.

The Snapshot measures how many jobs are available for people who don’t have qualifications or work experience. It found that:

  • 15 people across Australia are competing for each entry-level job
  • One in ten don’t have recent experience or qualifications, or they have barriers to work
  • Unemployment is going down, but the number of people with barriers to work has not budged
  • These Australians spend an average of five years looking for work
  • On top of that, 860,000 people are underemployed. They could also be competing for these jobs. Read the full report
Exploring the impact of domestic and family violence on children from culturally and linguistically diverse family backgrounds

On 15 December 2022 the National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds, lead an inaugural roundtable to explore the impact of domestic and family violence on children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) family backgrounds. The round table was held in Logan, Queensland and hosted by not-for-profit Settlement Services International (SSI) and Myriad Kofkin Global.

This was the first in a series of state-based conversations designed to inform the Federal Government’s 10-Year National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children. The insights from this series will culminate in a National Insights Report, which aims to influence optimal outcomes for CALD children and support the implementation of the National Plan’s underpinning five-year Action Plan, as well as identifying other policy levers across government and community sectors.

People with lived experience, members of multicultural communities and experts from across settlement, children and youth, domestic and family violence services, government and academia will meet in this series of closed round table discussions, which will be held in Sydney and Melbourne as well as Logan.

Family violence the greatest cause of demand for specialist homelessness services

While the links between family violence and homelessness are well known, new research shows that family violence is the greatest factor prompting people to seek homelessness support services.

Launch Housing’s Australian Homelessness Monitor, authored by University of New South Wales (City Futures Research Centre) and University of Queensland, found that overall demand for services has increased at twice the rate of population growth.

First Nations Australians and people affected by mental ill health have been the fastest growing cohorts among homelessness service users, up by 23 percent and 20 percent, respectively, while family violence was the single most frequently cited reason for homelessness service assistance.

The research also found that Australia-wide, housing affordability has been one of the fastest growing causes for homelessness to date; from 4 years ago up until 2021-22, the average monthly number of homelessness service users who experience this issue in triggering their need for help has risen by 27%.

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FRSA ParentsNext submission published

FRSA’s submission on ParentsNext to the Inquiry into Workforce Australia Employment Services has just been published on the Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services webpage.

ParentsNext, which was designed to help parents with children under six years to plan and prepare for their future employment, has generated much controversy. It is clear from past inquiries on the program that some participants have had poor – in some cases, traumatising – experiences under the program and these experiences have greatly impacted their wellbeing (and that of their children), their sense of agency and, through payment suspensions, their capacity to provide the basics for their families.

Significant changes to the program are required. However, our main message is “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” To do so would leave potential future participants without key practical and social supports and learning opportunities, and it would leave some parents and some children at risk of harm.

We argue that the elements of the program that enable harm to be caused to participants be addressed: removal of a punitive compliance regime and re-embracing an engagement and support lens, the need for a cultural shift in how we think about ParentsNext participants, and greater attention to who should deliver ParentsNext.

FRSA’s submission is also available on our website.

Attorney-General launches Lighthouse Project Expansion

On 5 December 2022, the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP, addressed the launch of the Lighthouse Project Expansion, which was held at the Australian Maritime Museum, Sydney.

The Lighthouse model is an approach taken by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia to screen for and manage risk using the Family DOORS Triage risk screen via a confidential and secure online platform.

The Lighthouse model was initially piloted in the Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta family law registries, and has now been expanded to include all 15 family law registries for parenting and parenting and financial cases. This includes Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Dandenong, Darwin, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville and Wollongong.

You can read the Attorney-General’s speech here.

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Encircle wins Not-for-Profit Excellence award

Encircle Community Services were recently awarded the SRJ Walker Wayland Award for Not-for-Profit Excellence at the 2022 Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards.

Encircle Chief Executive Officer Chris Staines highlighted that the award was a testament to the passion and persistence of its volunteers, staff and the broader community.

“We have a couple of hundred volunteers, including professionals, older people, younger people and those who just want to do something to give a hand and make a positive difference,” he said.

“A community organsiation can’t exist without its community, and we are very fortunate to have such a great community in Moreton Bay who support us.”

The Awards are presented by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) and recognise the contribution of businesses and individuals to Moreton Bay’s economy. Read more.

Ishar Multicultural Women's Health Service awarded funding to deliver counselling service for culturally and linguistically diverse women

Congratulations to Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Service, who have received a $300,000 grant from the Western Australian Government to deliver a new support and counselling service for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women who are impacted by family, domestic and sexual violence.

The grant will allow for a new trauma informed therapeutic counselling service that is culturally appropriate and that emphasises healing, recovery, and empowerment.

The service will include case management and counselling for clients in person or online, with peer support groups in Mirrabooka and outreach services in Ellenbrook and at metro TAFEs.

Funding of $300,000 is through the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses 2021-2023. Read more.

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Family Matters Petition

One of the key recommendations from the Family Matters Report 2022, released by SNAICC-National Voice for our Children, is the establishment of a National Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children.

A National Commissioner would have the power to highlight and investigate issues that impact children, and help transform the child protection system into one that supports and strengthens families and young people.

Sign their petition to Parliament and share before it closes on January 5, 2023.

National Strategy for Volunteering

Volunteering Australia is leading the development of Australia’s first National Strategy for Volunteering in ten years. The National Strategy will be designed and owned by the volunteering ecosystem and will provide a blueprint for a reimagined future for volunteering in Australia.

This will be Australia’s first National Strategy for Volunteering in ten years. Over the next 12 months, they will be engaging with all members of the volunteering ecosystem to design a National Strategy that is effective, inclusive, and sustainable. Your input is needed to make this project a success.

Read the Draft National Strategy for Volunteering and share your views on the draft strategy by completing the form here.

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Thu 09

Managing Difficult Calls eWorkshop 9-Feb-2023

February 9 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm AEDT
Wed 15

Webinar: Aboriginal Mental Health

February 15 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm AEDT
Mon 20

Theraplay Level 1 & MIM – Sydney

February 20 @ 9:00 am - February 23 @ 5:00 pm AEDT
Wed 22

NEURO-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY TO PRACTICE – Perth

February 22 @ 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm AEDT

TAS

Case Worker – Family Programs | CatholicCare Tasmania

NT

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner | Relationships Australia NT

Counsellor (Family and Relationship Services) | Relationships Australia NT

Manager Counselling – Family and Relationship Services | Relationships Australia NT

VIC

Child Contact Worker | Mallee Family Care

Team Leader Child Contact Services | Mallee Family Care

Clinical Coordinator Family Violence Counselling Child and Adult | Relationships Australia Victoria

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner – Sunshine | Relationships Australia Victoria

Family Consultant | Better Place Australia

QLD

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) – Rockhampton | Relationships Australia Queensland

NSW

Couple and Family Counsellor | Relationships Australia NSW

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner & General Mediator (Caringbah) | Interrelate

If you have any events you’d like listed on the FRSA Events and Training Calendar or 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 FRSA website is reserved for FRSA Members only.

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‘Can’t you girls work this out?’: LGBTQ+ victim-survivors’ experiences of Victoria’s family violence intervention order system | Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

This report examines the experiences of LGBTQ+ family violence victim-survivors with Victoria’s family violence intervention order system.

Mapping the digital gap: Tennant Creek, Barkley region, Northern Territory community outcomes report 2022 | ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society

Based on 44 surveys and 13 interviews with residents and stakeholders, this report outlines the findings from the researchers’ initial 2022 visit, and highlights the current access and use of media, communications and online services and the digital inclusion challenges in Tennant Creek and across the Barkly region.

The voices of LGBTQIA+ young people in NSW 2022 | Advocate for Children and Young People (NSW)

The Advocate for Children and Young People conducted face to face and online consultations with 233 LGBTQIA+ identifying young people over a six month period. This report shares their experiences on what is and is not working well for them, and what changes they would like to see to make their lives better.

State of the disability sector 2022 | National Disability Services

National Disability Services’ State of the disability sector report for 2022 is based on responses from 364 disability service providers who took part in this national, annual sector survey. The report reveals a difficult operating environment for most providers. However, there are some glimmers of hope, with a cautious expectation of positive change.

National Disability Research Partnership: learnings and recommendations | National Disability Research Partnership

This report has recommendations for setting up and running a National Disability Research Partnership (NDRP). It is based on feedback from the disability community and a range of other stakeholders who have contributed during the NDRP establishment phase.

Australian experiences of poverty: risk precarity and uncertainty during COVID-19 | Australian Council of Social Service

This report analyses the benefits and drawbacks of the policy changes that were put in place to address COVID-19 impacts. The report draws on the perspectives of those services supporting people experiencing poverty to examine the escalation of needs and compounded difficulties for people in poverty during these first years of the pandemic.

Young people under youth justice supervision and their interaction with the child protection system 2020–21 | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report presents information on young people under youth justice supervision during 2020–21 who had an interaction with the child protection system in the 5 years between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2021.

How outdated approaches to regulation harm children and young people | Reset Australia, ChildFund Australia

This report argues that Australia’s reliance on co-regulatory frameworks that are currently being developed for children’s online safety could see Australia continue to fail children online. It recommends that the reliance on co-regulation for the technology sector be replaced by the introduction of proper, regulator-drafted regulation.

How to develop a program logic for planning and evaluation | Australian Institute of  Family Studies

This resource has been designed for Communities for Children service providers, but may be used by anyone who is interested in developing a program logic.

Time for respect: Fifth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces | Australia Human Rights Commission

In 2022, the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted the fifth national survey to investigate the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. For the first time, the survey also asked about workers’ views on the actions taken by their employer’s action to address workplace sexual harassment.

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