No. 9, 2022 | 12 July 2022
From FRSA's Executive Director
My thoughts are with all those impacted by devastating floods that once again hit parts of NSW displacing many – not for the first time – from their homes. As outlined below, the ACNC is providing automatic AIS reporting extensions to charities in postcodes affected by the floods. With the floods hitting just as we entered the new financial year, we hope that other regulatory and government agencies will also consider the heavy reporting burdens facing social service organisations – particularly as they are called upon once again to support Australians in a time of such crisis.
The new Federal Government has announced that on 22 July it will host its first meeting of federal, state and territory ministers responsible for issues impacting women, including women’s safety. While the spotlight has been on women’s and children’s safety for some time now it feels as though few inroads have been made – not helped by the pressures of the pandemic on family relationships. FRSA members have certainly anecdotally reported increases in clients presenting with family violence issues over the past two years or so. We highlight a few recent reports on family violence in this edition of the eBulletin that I think point to the need to keep the full spectrum of policy responses to family and domestic violence in clear view. This includes early education of our young people through to ensuring women and children are fully supported to rebuild their lives free of violence.
Last week was NAIDOC week and it was wonderful to see so many FRSA members celebrating the rich histories and achievements of our First Nations peoples (see more below). The theme this year, Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! calls for broad-based support for systemic, structural change. To this end, it is encouraging that the Government has fully committed to implementing in full the Uluru Statement from the Heart, accepting the offer of a genuine partnership. This includes the commitment to a referendum on a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament and establishing a Makarrata Commission with responsibility for truth-telling and treaty.
I take this opportunity to remind friends and members of FRSA that we are recruiting for a project officer to deliver communities of practice for five programs under the Department of Social Services’ Families and Children Activity. Given these CoPs will be run online – we are casting our employment net further afield and are happy to accept applications from across Australia. For more information about this exciting opportunity have a closer look at the PD.
FRSA Executive Director
Communities of Practice – invitation to register your interest
As we reported in the last edition of this eBulletin, FRSA will be delivering online Communities of Practice over 2022-23.
We invite Program Managers and senior practitioners in the five programs below, which are funded under the Department of Social Services’ Families and Children’s Activity, to express your interest in participating:
- Family & Relationship Services (FaRS)
- Specialised Family Violence Services (SFVS)
- Family Mental Health Support Services (FMHSS)
- Child & Parenting Services (CaPS)/Budget Based Funded (BBF)
- Communities for Children Facilitating Partners (CFC FP)
Over the year we will host an online CoP discussion once every two months for each of the five programs. A Cross-cutting programs CoP group will also run for those interested in topics that may cross a number of the above program areas. Three Cross-cutting programs CoP discussions will be held across the year.
For more information about how the CoPs will work and what they will look like, read our information sheet.
To express your interest in participating in a CoP, please follow this link.
These CoP sessions are delivered with the support of the Australian Institute of Family Studies and funded by the Department of Social Services.
If you have any questions about the CoPs or online accessibility issues that may prevent you from putting forward an EOI, please contact Robyn Clough, FRSA on 0419 478 495 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Expressions of interest close COB Friday 22 July 2022.
Closing the gap outcomes data – latest update to dashboard
The Productivity Commission released its latest update to the Closing the Gap Information Repository Dashboard on 30 June 2022, which included a new year of data for three targets under the socioeconomic outcome areas and associated disaggregations.
The Closing the Gap Information Repository comes from the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (the Agreement). The purpose of the repository is to inform reporting on progress in Closing the Gap.
The three outcome areas with new target data are:
- outcome area 3 — children are engaged in high quality, culturally appropriate early childhood education in their early years
- outcome area 4 — children thrive in their early years
- outcome area 11 — young people are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system
SNAICC – National Voice for our Children responded to the data release noting that the latest data on Closing the Gap outcomes shows a mixed result in terms of reaching targets for children and young people.
SNAICC observed that “two of three targets are on track, but the number of children starting formal schooling years assessed as being developmentally on track has declined alarmingly.”
The Productivity Commission’s release of the second Closing the Gap Annual Data Compilation Report is anticipated by end July 2022.
ANROWS report released – “It depends on what the definition of domestic violence is”
ANROWS recently released its report – “It depends on what the definition of domestic violence is”: how young Australians conceptualise domestic violence and abuse.
This study unpacked how young people define and make sense of domestic violence. In particular, the study examined how young people distinguish domestic violence from other unhealthy relationship behaviours, how common they perceive domestic violence to be and their understanding of the gendered nature of domestic violence.
The study was initiated following the release of the 2017 National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS), which found that although young people have a good overall understanding of domestic violence, there were also some “areas of concern”, including young people’s understandings of:
- the non-physical forms of domestic violence, such as financial and technology-facilitated abuse
- the high prevalence of violence against women in the community
- the gendered nature of domestic violence.
The ANROWS research found that young people actually have “a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of domestic violence and abuse” and argued that this should be built on “to inform relevant, consistent and effective education, policy and primary prevention initiatives aimed at preventing and reducing violence against women.”
Anglicare Australia launches a twenty-year roadmap for affordable housing
Anglicare Australia has launched Homes for All, a twenty-year roadmap for affordable housing. The Roadmap offers proposals to make renting more secure and more affordable and calls for major reform of tax and policy settings as well as outlining strategies to end the undersupply of affordable housing.
“A person on JobSeeker, the Disability Support Pension, or Youth Allowance can afford 0% of rentals. An Age Pensioner can afford less than 1%. These numbers have been at rock bottom for the past ten years,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.
“This new Federal Government has a chance to stop this crisis from getting even worse – and to take action to make housing more affordable.”
New report released – The Choice violence or poverty
A new report has been released that outlines the link between single parenting by women and domestic violence. The Choice violence or poverty: A report into domestic violence and its consequences in Australia today, was authored by researcher Dr Anne Summers with the support of a Paul Ramsay Foundation Fellowship.
The report is based on previously unpublished customised data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. That 2016 data shows that:
- 185,700 women with children aged under 18 were living as single mothers after leaving violent relationships. They represent 60 per cent of all single mothers, a far higher rate of violence than for any other group of Australian women. (The average rate is 1 in 6 women, or 17.3 per cent).
- 67 per cent of these now single mothers had children in their care at the time of the violence and 88,000 women said their children saw or heard the violence.
- Although 60 per cent of the women who left were employed, their earnings were insufficient to support their families and 50 per cent of them relied on government payments as their main source of income.
- 48 per cent of these single mothers’ income was in the lowest quintile, meaning they earned $460 or less a week in household income.
- many of these women could not pay their bills, heat their houses or register their cars. More than 17,000 women went without meals.
On Thursday 7 July, the ABC show, Q&A, featured a conversation on the report findings with the author Anne Summers, survivors, advocates and experts.
New online FDR Register released
The Attorney-General’s Department released its new online Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Register on 1 July 2022, which enables people to find accredited family dispute resolution practitioners.
The Practitioner Registration team at the Department will be onboarding the 2,000+ FDR practitioners over the coming weeks/months, with a focus on populating the search results as quickly as possible. Those practitioners who provide FDR services for government-funded organisations will be encouraged to consent to have their names published so clients can verify that they are accredited. This will be an opt in arrangement at this stage. The Department has advised it will be reaching out to individual organisations to ask them to help their staff with the onboarding process which will require each practitioner to upload evidence towards their engagement to provide FDR services on behalf of the organisation. The Department has articulated its commitment to working with organisations in relation to the exact format this information will entail.
To support practitioners, the Department has updated four fact sheets that relate to accreditation and ongoing obligations to remain accredited. These can be found on the Department’s ‘Becoming an FDR practitioner’ and ‘Information for FDR practitioners’ webpages.
There are a range of other Fact Sheets available regarding the Register. We have struck up a conversation with the Department about these where FRSA feels they do not adequately reflect the fact the Register is in the process of being built and populated – meaning that not all FDRPs will be visible in the register for some time to come. If the search does not return an individual – it does not, at this stage, necessarily mean they are not accredited.
Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers – Submissions published
The Attorney-General’s Department recently published submissions to its consultation on Improving the competency and accountability of family report writers on its website.
The consultation ran from 22 October 2021 to 17 December 2021. In total, 96 submissions were received by the department, with 78 submissions published.
FRSA has supported strengthening the competencies and accountability of family report writers in a series of submissions to government and parliamentary inquiries over the past five or more years. We are pleased to see the Government progressing this issue. You can read our submission here.
ACNC announces reporting extension for charities impacted by floods
Following recent floods in parts of New South Wales, now declared a disaster zone, the ACNC is granting affected charities an automatic extension on their annual (AIS) reporting deadlines.
National Redress Scheme – additional funding for support services
Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse will get more assistance to access the National Redress Scheme, effective 1 July 2022 to end 2023-24.
Applicants of the Scheme have access to free, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support to help them understand the Redress Scheme, work through the application process and access the other community supports that they need.
The expansion of Redress Support Services will improve support available to people with disability, First Nations people, and those within diverse communities.
The successful applicants include 28 organisations that are existing Redress Support Services who will continue or expand their work. Fifteen new organisations commenced delivering Redress Support Services from 1 July 2022, including at least one new provider in each state and territory.
Meeting of federal, state and territory ministers responsible for women’s safety
The Albanese Government will host its first face-to-face meeting of federal, state and territory ministers to discuss gender equality, women’s economic security and women’s safety. The meeting will be held in Adelaide on 22 July, hosted by the Minister for Women Katy Gallagher and minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth.
The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 will be discussed, along with a Commitment to a standalone National Plan for First Nations women.
Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! I - NAIDOC Week 2022
Last week was NAIDOC week, providing an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the oldest continuing cultures on the planet.
This year’s theme was Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! It encourages us all to continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and support and secure institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative reforms.
See how FRSA member celebrated the week:
- Centacare Catholic Country SA had a stall at the Whyalla NAIDOC Community Day.
- YMCA WA’s Child and Parent Centre supported a peaceful march led by local primary students and held a a variety of fun activities during the NAIDOC week, including painting and designing their own NAIDOC t-shirts, craft activities and traditional recipes from the Torres Strait Islander community.
- The Lifeline Darling Downs & South West QLD team participated in the Toowoomba NAIDOC march and took part in the Toowoomba NAIDOC festival on 4 July.
- Mallee Family Care staff had a stall a local community NAIDOC Week celebrations on 4 July.
- Centacare NQ took part in the Townsville NAIDOC march and had a stall at the Deadly Day Out event on 8 July, where they offered rock painting.
- Anglicare Southern Queensland’s seniors in Townsville learnt more about Australia’s First Nations peoples via history, trivia, and artwork. The Anglicare teams also shared a video asking Cultural Capability Facilitator, Howie Vandyke what NAIDOC Week means to him:
- Windermere Child and Family Services’ Family Day Care educators did some leaf paintings with the children in honour of NAIDOC week.
- CatholicCare Victoria’s Geelong Victims Assistance Program team went to Wurdi Youang at You Yangs Regional Park, and climbed Flinders Peak.
- Centrecare Inc had a stall at the NAIDOC Perth Opening Ceremony.
- ac.care staff joined the Murray bridge walk and held free screenings of the film Why Me?
- Centacare Catholic Family Services marched for NAIDOC Week alongside the southern community and their foster care team participated in the Family Fun Day at Noarlunga Centre.
- Zoe Support Australia have been celebrating NAIDOC Week through learning and play in their Family Day Care program.
- Interrelate staff across NSW celebrated NAIDOC Week and First Nations culture with community events, movie nights, and Youth activities.
- Uniting Country SA held NAIDOC celebrations at the open day of the new Connected Beginnings Aboriginal Hub in Port Augusta and hosted a NAIDOC mini ball for children.
- Baptist Care shared a video of Leigh Parker’s, Case manager, Youth Accommodation, feelings about getting home to country.
- Uniting Communities created videos on NAIDOC Week’s theme and asked Jardwadjali, Gunditjmara, Wotjobulak woman, Kveta Vlotman what NAIDOC Week mean to her? (Watch below)
New Centacare Family Services CEO
Centacare Family Services Geraldton has announced David Power as it’s new CEO. David started with the organisation as the General Manager Administration and had been Acting CEO since the departure of Perlin Simon.
FRSA congratulates David on the new role and looks forward to working with him in the future.
Future-proofing Safety: COVID-19 and Family Violence in Victoria Sector Survey
The Australian Institute of Family Studies has set up a survey to gather information from Victorian practitioners working in family violence and related services. The Institute wants to better understand practitioner views on how client experiences of family violence changed during COVID-19 and how services adapted to meet needs.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s Children’s Day is coming up on 4 August 2022. It’s a day to celebrate the strengths and culture of children. This year’s theme is ‘My Dreaming, My Future’.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are born into stories of their family, culture, and Country. They carry with them the songlines of their ancestors and culture, passed down by generations. Their Dreaming is part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s history, while their futures are their own to shape.
This Children’s Day, children are being asked what Dreaming means to them, learning how they interpret this in their lives and identity, and hearing what their aspirations are for the future.
Get involved, register your Children’s Day event and download resources on the website.
Caring Records: Understanding the barriers to child-centred recordkeeping in child protection
Child protection and family support practitioners are invited to participate in a study run by Monash University and the University of South Australia to understand the barriers to child-centred case recording in child protection contexts.
This study aims to gain a better understanding of the gaps between the promotion of child-centred approaches to recordkeeping and practice. To do this, they are looking to explore current case recording and other recordkeeping practices, with a particular focus on how the cultures and practices of case recording and other recordkeeping are formed and informed.
2023 Young Carer Bursary program
Applications for Carer’s Australia’s Young Carer Bursary Program 2023 is set to open on 19 July 2022. The program supports eligible young carers to continue their education by offering bursaries of $3000 a year to assist with their educational needs. Young Carers are at greater risk of developing physical and mental health issues; are more likely to experience social isolation and often have limited access to opportunities and experiences compared to their peers.
Visit www.youngcarersnetwork.com.au for more information about the bursary.
Project Officer | Family & Relationship Services Australia
FRSA is looking for a part time Project Officer to help deliver a 12-month pilot of Community of Practice (CoP) sessions for providers delivering family and relationship services under the Department of Social Services’ Families and Children Activity. The pilot will run from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. The Project Officer will coordinate and deliver CoP online discussions with service providers delivering family and relationship services under the Department of Social Services’ Families and Children Activity.
Applications close Friday 15 July 2022. Applications must include a covering letter and address the selection criteria. For more information please contact: Jackie Brady or Robyn Clough @ FRSA on 02 6162 1811 or via email – email@example.com
Manager Counselling – Family and Relationship Services | Relationships Australia NT
Counsellor (Family and Relationship Services) | Relationships Australia NT
Assistant Manager | Relationships Australia Victoria
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that posting onto the FRSA website is reserved for FRSA Members only.
The shadow pandemic: three reforms for the post-pandemic mental healthcare system | Centre for Independent Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching consequences across the globe, not least being a substantial increase in mental health issues across diverse population groups. Australian governments at both federal and state level are cognisant of the magnitude of the problem. This report argues that there are critical operational gaps that must be addressed to ensure any strategy for managing the situation is comprehensive, long-term, and forward-thinking.
Kinship care | Victorian Auditor-General’s Office
This audit was conducted to establish if the Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is supporting timely, stable and quality placements for children and young people through the new kinship care model.
Housing assistance in Australia | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
In 2020–21, around 790,000 Australians lived in social housing in over 440,000 dwellings across the country. The majority (68%) of social housing dwellings were public housing stock and Community Housing (25%). Commonwealth Rent Assistance was provided to just under 1.5 million income units at the end of June 2021.
People with disability in Australia 2022| Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
This annual publication brings together information from a range of national data sources to contribute to a greater understanding of disability in Australia. The 2021–22 update expands the report to include new reporting of data disaggregated by age group, disability group and remoteness.
Blueprint to close Australia’s digital divide | Good Things Foundation Australia
1 in 4 Australians do not have the essential digital skills or affordable access to digital devices they need to keep up in today’s society. This can have a huge impact on a person’s life — from poorer health outcomes and employment prospects, to increased social isolation and risk of exacerbating existing poverty and inequality.
Good Things Foundation has established a Blueprint which sets out key recommendations and priorities to ensure all Australians are digitally included.
Better, Bigger, Stronger | Anglicare Tasmania
This report shares findings from a study of unaccompanied homeless children and young people on their mental health issues, coping strategies and use of school-based community services.
AIFS 2022 Conference proceedings | Australian Institute of Family Studies
The AIFS 2022 Conference speaker presentation and e-poster portal showcases all presentations in one area.
Managing as a minister: how personal style and gender norms affect leadership in government | Institute for Government
This guest paper reveals patterns in ministerial leadership styles that have profound impacts on the relationship between ministers and civil servants. The paper identifies two distinct styles of ministerial management and leadership of civil servants – and finds evidence that male and female ministers adopt different approaches.
Translated elder abuse resources | Australian Human Rights Commission
Posters and bookmarks are now available in 20 different languages to publicise the National Elder Abuse phone line (1800 353 374) and to boost public understanding of the signs of elder abuse.
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