What’s New at ACWA: February 2023

Welcome to our first ‘What's New at ACWA’ for 2023!

We hope you enjoy our New Year update, which includes a farewell and thank you message to former ACWA CEO, Steve Kinmond, who was recently appointed to the position of NSW Children's Guardian, information about some changes to the next meeting in the Collaborative Forum series, taking place on 14 February 2023, as well as training and event news!

Farewell & Congratulations Steve Kinmond, ACWA CEO

As announced in our last news update of 2022, change is afoot at ACWA. On 9 December, the Government issued a press release announcing the appointment of Steve Kinmond, ACWA CEO, as the next NSW Children’s Guardian. ACWA staff and board members wish to congratulate Steve, who has since left ACWA to take up the appointment, and who we strongly believe is a fantastic choice for the role given his extensive experience in child-related oversight. Thankfully, Steve is not lost to our sector and will continue to take a keen interest in issues being pursued by ACWA which are aimed at improving the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in NSW.

Welcome to ACWA's Interim CEO

The ACWA Board is also pleased to announce the appointment of Maree Walk as our Interim CEO while the recruitment process for ACWA’s new CEO is underway.

Maree has over thirty years’ experience in the human services area from direct service delivery to Chief Executive and Deputy Secretary in the NSW government. She has NGO executive experience leading Benevolent Society for eleven years and has served on peak bodies such as Families Australia, CAFWA and GoodStart’s Expert Advisory Group, as well as being a former ACWA Board Director.

As Director of her own consultancy, ‘Story Road’, Maree advises, coaches and mentors NGO CEs; facilitates peer-support and professional development with Executive Leaders’ Groups; undertakes projects and trains Australian and State Public Sector Emerging Leaders.

While acting in the CEO role, Maree will work in close partnership with Linda Watson, Director CCWT, and Julianna Demetrius, Lead Consultant (Sector Development) to ensure a smooth transition period for ACWA. The ACWA Board believes this is a strong interim leadership arrangement that will maintain ACWA's positive direction until the arrival of the new CEO.

The ACWA Board has commenced the implementation of a recruitment strategy to identify the right person for the role of ACWA CEO. If you would like to enquire about this opportunity, please contact Maree Walk at ceo@acwa.asn.au.

We thank you for your ongoing support of ACWA and look forward to welcoming a new CEO in the near future and building on the great collaborative work that has been pursued under Steve's leadership.

Changes to upcoming forum — 14 February 2023

As you may already be aware, DCJ recently circulated advice stating that in response to feedback from a range of stakeholders, DCJ, ACWA and AbSec have decided to change the focus of the collaborative event scheduled for the 14th February 2023.

This decision was made in response to strong feedback from the sector that:

  • future forums must be more action focussed, informed by updates on progress made; with information provided ahead of the event to better inform decision-making; and allowing sufficient time for developing solutions to complex problems, and
  • prioritising the work to deliver on greater visibility of PSP outcomes and data, given this information is closely linked to our joint collaboration in a range of policy areas.

The forum on the 14th February 2023 will be a 90minute online workshop focussed on settling the practical governance arrangements for taking forward the PSP data work resulting from the November forum and the joint commitments from the December forum.

This will involve discussing the formation of an overarching PSP advisory committee and settling the leaders and members of data working groups in line with the outcomes from the November forum (see attached forum outcomes report). We invite senior sector leaders to join this workshop prepared to nominate for roles in the governance groups.

Ahead of the workshop, DCJ will release a document which maps current data and what is shared with providers against the PSP Data Roadmap. This document will make clear the frequency and how the information is shared. A progress update will be given on the data currently being collected and reported.

The workshop will also explore what preparatory work and information is needed to enable us to meaningfully progress the December commitments (see attached outcomes/commitments email), before we gather at a face-to-face solution-focussed forum on a date to be set post-election. We will cover the following items:

  • a progress update will be given against the commitments made following the 6 December forum and the critical next steps in taking forward this work
  • a discussion on the development of a strategy to phase out the use of unaccredited providers and ACAs, including identifying risk of placement breakdown.

For registration information please email sharon@acwa.asn.au

Information Security Forum for ACWA Members

The security of our information systems has been under an increased level of public scrutiny lately and there have been breaches of privacy in not-for-profit organisations, adding an extra layer of stress for our clients.

NGO providers are invited to a FREE online Information Security Forum with the DCJ Capability and Practice team on March 21st from 2.30–4pm

During the presentation you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the cyber security landscape
  • Obtain knowledge of simple strategies to implement that increase individual worker and organisational cyber security
  • Be provided with some useful cyber security resources

This forum will also feature a couple of guest speakers who will provide you with further strategies and resources to enhance your information security response.

To register, email the DCJ Capability and Practice mailbox at least 7 days prior to the webinar. You will be sent an invitation by MS teams to your email address as soon as you register you interest to attend.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Visit ACWA CCWT at the Upcoming NFPP Conference

The Not-for-Profit People Conference is Australia's largest event focused on how to attract, manage, train and retain the best people in the NFP Sector and is being held on Monday 20 February to Tuesday 21 February at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

ACWA is attending and will be one of 19 conference exhibitors, promoting CCWT online learning, in house training opportunities and RTO Qualifications, which can be completed online.

It will be a great opportunity to promote CCWT to many new clients from Victoria and other states.

To find out more about the conference, click here.

CCWT training update

Face to face training is back!

Did you know that CCWT has returned to face to face training? Visit us at our new premises in the Sydney CBD, or CCWT can bring the training to you! If your staff are still working remotely, face to face training is a great way to bring your team together, share ideas and network. Please contact us at ccwt@ccwt.edu.au to make enquiries for 2023!

CCWT Calendar

While CCWT continues to run some of its Calendar program online, we are also pleased to be able to bring back the majority of courses as face to face training.

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 FebMar 2023 include:

Effective Casework and Case Management
February 28 & March 1 (face to face)

Safe Home Visiting
March 1 (online)

Challenging Behaviours in Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
March 6 (face to face)

Accidental Counsellor
March 7 & 8 (face to face)

Clinical Supervision: Models and Methods
March 13 (face to face)

Vicarious Trauma
March 15 (online)

Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change
March 15 & 16 (face to face)

Art and Play Therapy with Children
March 20 (online)

Applying a Trauma Informed Approach
March 21 (face to face)

Professional Supervision: How and Why?
March 21 & 28 (online)

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
March 27 (face to face)

Co-occurring Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Disorders (formerly Double Whammy)
March 29 & 30 (face to face)

Domestic and Family Violence: Understanding the Impact on Children
March 30 (online)

Other news, reading & resources

Have your say on the Early Years Strategy

The Australian Government, through the Department of Social Services (DSS) supported by the National Office and a range of other relevant departments, is seeking feedback on the development of an Early Years Strategy (the Strategy) to shape its vision for the future of Australia’s children and their families.

The Strategy will help the Commonwealth create a more integrated, holistic approach to the early years and better support the education, wellbeing and development of Australia’s children. It will seek to support improving coordination between Commonwealth programs, funding and frameworks impacting early childhood development.

Feedback is now being sought from a range of stakeholders — including parents, expectant parents, grandparents, carers and other family members, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse community members, people living in rural and remote areas, and people from the LGBTQIA+ communities.

To have your say, you can make a submission or take the survey:

Families Australia welcomes the release of the First Action Plans 2023–2026

…to put into effect Safe and Supported: The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021–2031.

“Supporting children, young people and families to thrive, so all children and young people are kept safe and out of the care and protection systems, is vital. For them, and for the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

“The safety and wellbeing of our children should be Australia’s most compelling national priority. Yet, despite a decade of concerted effort to advance child safety, thousands of Australian children remain subject to abuse, violence and neglect” said Jamie Crosby, CEO Families Australia and Convenor of the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing. Download a full copy of the press release here.

Click here to download a copy of the Safe and Supported: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Action Plan 2023–2026.

Click here to download a copy of the Safe and Supported: First Action Plan 2023–2026.

Karitane Turns 100!

This year, Karitane celebrates its Centenary!

Karitane is reflecting on an impactful year in 2022, where they supported over 154,500 lives, and look forward to continuing to provide trusted parenting support to families across Australia and leading the child and family health space through their evidence-based research and training.

Click here to read more about Karitane's latest updates, upcoming events and exciting professional development opportunities, training and workshops.

Australian Childhood Foundation — Trauma Professionals Online Learning Community

The Australian Childhood Foundation invites child wellbeing professionals to become a member of its online Trauma Professionals Online Learning Community — an exclusive and unique forum to deepen your practice and connections further.

Continue your learning and networking in the online platform and enhance your professional development for 2023. The platform is easy to use and you’ll have access to all of the recordings from the 2022 International Childhood Trauma Conference alongside all past conferences, webinars and masterclasses.

The Trauma Professionals Online Learning Community is currently FREE for the first month. If you'd like to join, click here.

2023 National FGC Forum — In the Pursuit of Best Practice

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

Family Group Conferencing & Aboriginal Family Connections provide an opportunity to engage families in creating & strengthening partnerships which have a common focus to help children grow and thrive.

This 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 who 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

Australia's Psychological Health and Safety Regulations

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a primary duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, both the physical and psychological health and safety of their workers.

Previously, the management of psychosocial risks has been unregulated in Australian workplaces. However, with the rising frequency and costs of psychological injuries, and after multiple WHS legislation reviews, State and Territory Ministers have committed to introducing regulations across Australia to elevate psychological health and safety to the same level as physical health and safety.

These new regulations recognise that hazards that pose a risk to psychological health and safety (psychosocial hazards) are just as harmful to workers as physical hazards are. They will also provide clearer guidance to employers on their obligations to better protect workers from mental illness and injury.

In June 2022, SafeWork Australia amended the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations to include the management of psychosocial risks. Later in July, they released a Code of Practice on managing psychosocial hazards at work, which provides practical guidance on how to identify and manage psychosocial risks and achieve the standards required under the regulations. It is now up to the individual states and territories to adopt these changes into their WHS legislation.

On October 1, 2022, NSW became the first state to adopt new WHS regulations, which require businesses to implement control measures to manage psychosocial risks. Queensland have also announced their commitment to adopt the same regulations on 1 April 2023.

What will the new regulations mean for you?

As an employer you will be required to manage psychosocial hazards in your workplace, the same as you currently must do for physical hazards. To do this you will need to follow a systematic approach, in consultation with staff, to identify psychosocial hazards, assess and prioritise the risks, develop and implements control measures and regularly review the effectiveness of these controls.

Read more about what you will need to do as employer, here.

Events and Resources

All of the below can be found on our Sector Clearinghouse webpage, but please check out a few 2023 event highlights for your information:

February 21-222023 National Family Group Conferencing Forum

September 5-7: SNAICC Conference 2023 | Join the mailing list

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