What’s New at ACWA: December 2022

Welcome to our last ‘What's New at ACWA’ for 2022.

We hope you enjoy our December update, which includes an important announcement about our CEO, a recap on recent Collaborative Forums and information about the next one in the series coming up on 14 February 2023, as well as training and event news for the new year!

But first, let us start by wishing you all...

ACWA extends our warmest wishes to you for a joyful festive season with your loved ones. We thank you for your support throughout 2022, and look forward to working with you again in 2023.

ACWA will close at 12 noon on Friday, 23rd December and open again on Monday, 9th January.

New Children's Guardian announced

On 9 December, the Government has issued a press release relating to the appointment of Steve Kinmond, current ACWA CEO, as NSW Children’s Guardian. ACWA's Board Chair, Mr Nigel Lindsay, issued the following statement to ACWA Members:

"I am writing to inform you with some sadness that Steve Kinmond has tendered his resignation as CEO of ACWA—with his last day being the 13th January. For the last four years Steve’s leadership of ACWA, and indeed the wider sector, has been exceptional. As Board Chair for most of that time, I have valued Steve’s unwavering passion to improve our sector and the extraordinary lengths he will go to in the pursuit of real change. ACWA has developed significantly under Steve’s leadership and he will be missed. In announcing his resignation Steve has offered the following:

“I regard my work with ACWA over the past 4 years as one of the highlights of my career, and it is with sadness that I am leaving ACWA to take on this new role. I want to particularly acknowledge the fantastic support provided to me by the ACWA Board, and many leaders across our non-government sector, during the term of my appointment. This support has also been complemented by the privilege of working with many outstanding leaders from our sector on critically important issues. I also want to acknowledge the great work of my ACWA staff and key contractors. So please accept my heartfelt thanks for your wonderful support and leadership, and I very much look forward to working with you in the future.”

Thankfully, Steve is not lost to our sector, and has been appointed to the integral role of Children’s Guardian. On behalf of the Board, and all at ACWA, I recognise and thank Steve for his time at ACWA and congratulate him on his new appointment."

Collaborative Forum:

Recap—11 November recap
Next forum—14 February 2023

On 11 November ACWA came together with AbSec NSW and DCJ to host the first in a series of collaborative forums for senior executives in the sector. The purpose of the forums is to settle the major reform issues that we need to address collaboratively, as part of ensuring that we deliver on the intended outcomes of the PSP and related service system transformation, and how we will go about working together to achieve these outcomes.

This forum series commenced in November with an event that explored next steps in the capture and operationalisation of critical data to improve PSP outcomes, and initiatives relating to Aboriginal children and families, including an update on, and consideration of optimal support for, the implementation of the Family is Culture Report. A summary report on the outcomes and actions from the forum has been sent to all attendees and PSP providers but if you would like to obtain a copy, please email sharon@acwa.asn.au

On Tuesday 6th December, senior sector leaders came together once again at a forum convened by DCJ to begin a practical conversation on the critical topic of 'Recruiting carers for children and young people with high needs'. In order to ensure that we achieve progress in this space, key challenges, opportunities and solutions identified in relation to this topic will be workshopped in more detail at a further forum scheduled for 14 February 2023 (venue details forthcoming).

As the event will be action oriented, we strongly encourage principal officers and senior agency executives with decision-making capability to attend in person. To ensure maximum participation, we ask that you please set aside this date and share it with your executive team at your earliest opportunity. The venue location will be in the Sydney CBD.

Please contact Julianna Demetrius if you need any further information.
Email: julianna@acwa.asn.au
Mobile: 0407 465 218

CCWT training update

Face to face training is back!

Did you know that CCWT has returned to face to face training? CCWT can bring the training to you, getting your team together for face to face training is a great way to bring your team together and network after the last two years of distance. Please contact us at ccwt@ccwt.edu.au to make enquiries for 2023!

CCWT Calendar

CCWT is continuing to run our Calendar program online due to the positive feedback we received last year on the value of being able to access training from your own home, however, as mentioned above, we are also pleased to be able to bring back some face to face training into the mix, particularly as we move into the new year.

Keep checking our website and if the course you want is not there, add your name to the waiting list and when we have sufficient numbers we will be in contact with you.

New courses in JanFeb 2023 include:

Interviewing Children in the Context of Allegations of Reportable Conduct or Professional Misconduct against Employees
February 14–16 (face to face)

Shared Lives Training Skills
February 15–17 (online)

Other news, reading & resources

Child Abuse Prevention Service 'short bite' e-learning programs

CAPS have released ‘Short bite’ focus sessions on key child protection topics including child sexual abuse, neglect, and domestic and family violence. These courses have been designed both for the general population and people who may have contact with children in their work.

Each module steps through the content, and has examples, case studies, extra reading and resources.  All e-learning modules include a knowledge quiz and achievement certificate provided. They are ideal for organisations who don’t have the funding for full “Identify and Respond” training, or for those who need an e-learning solution for casual or other staff or volunteers.

Click here for more information on each of these modules.
Click here to access the training.

Experienced practitioner sought for temporary OOHC agency onboarding role

An ACWA member agency that provides OOHC services is looking for an experienced practitioner who may be able to provide supervision, training and support to a largely new team of case managers and carer support officers, to support a positive onboarding experience.

Ideally, the agency is seeking someone that could come in once a week (or temporarily more) for about 12 weeks, to provide back-to-back individual supervision, case reflections/guidance and potentially work planning with the team on a sub-contracted basis, as well as possibly providing group supervision and group training on the practice standards, the sector as a whole, and general training on case management of children, young people and families in Foster Care.

If you have the skills, practice experience and time to offer something like this, please contact ACWA via sharon@acwa.asn.au and we will connect you up with the agency.

Emerging Minds Podcast

You might be interested in this podcast from emerging minds. A useful resource for reunification. The speaker is Felicity Kime who is President of FISH, a regular partner with LWB and increasingly working with other organisations to enable us all to learn from lived experience. Felicity has lived experience of the care system as a child, of child removal and reunification. Please share far and wide including with families you are working with.

Learning how to parent when you weren’t parented well yourself

2023 National FGC Forum — Family Conferencing

Tuesday, 21 February at 9:00am
Wednesday, 22 February at 9:00am

In The Pursuit of Best Practice Family Group Conferencing & Aboriginal Family Connections provides an opportunity to engage families in creating & strengthening partnerships which have a common focus to help children grow and thrive.

The Forum will focus on the benefits and challenges for engaging families in the FGC process and explore strategies to improve outcomes for families.

The Forum will be followed by a 2nd day with a series of Master Classes delivered by Professionals whom work within the FGC area to further enhance practice knowledge and experience of Practitioners.

What THE NATIONAL FGC Forum offers the Delegates…

  • Speakers specialising in providing Family Group Conferencing and Family Finding
  • Families giving personal assessment of their real-life FGC experience
  • Master Classes targeting four key areas of practice to build on existing skills
  • A focus on best practice to achieve improved real-world outcomes for our kids in care, our families and for our communities

Bankstown Sports Club
8 Greenfield Parade
Bankstown New South Wales 2200

$350 per day or $650 for both days

Find out more and register here

Australian Association of Social Workers—New legal service for members

AASW have partnered with Australia’s leading social justice law firm, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, to launch a free legal consultation service for all our members and their families covering a range of different legal issues our members currently face. The collaboration agreement will provide AASW members and their families with a “one-stop shop” for legal-related enquiries.

This is an exciting initiative that adds value to your AASW membership. There are many situations where social workers need specialised legal advice, such as assistance with court matters, obtaining consent, mandatory reporting and matters relating to professional conduct. You can access these services on our website, where our Ethics Consult team will triage your enquiry.

The areas Maurice Blackburn can assist with include, but are not limited to:

  • Court matters
  • Consent
  • Mandatory reporting
  • Complaints
  • Personal injury.

If you need legal help, you can receive a complimentary 30-minute first consultation with a Maurice Blackburn lawyer where the query is within Maurice Blackburn’s area of expertise*, or a referral to a 30-minute consultation with another law firm where possible if it’s outside Maurice Blackburn’s expertise.

*with the exception of employment law where a fee for the first consultation applies.

A series of fact sheets and webinars for social workers will be delivered over the coming months on a range of relevant legal topics. They will be free for members. We will publish them on our website and in the AASW Insider newsletter for members to register and attend when they are available.

Find out more here

Events and Resources

All of the below can be found on our Sector Clearinghouse webpage, but please check out a few highlights for your information:

2023 Events for your calendar

February 21-222023 National Family Group Conferencing Forum

Resources, Research & Reports
For recently released resources and new research please visit our Sector Clearinghouse page.