What’s new in Queensland Child Protection?

What’s new in Queensland Child Protection?

26 September 2016
What’s new in Queensland Child Protection?

Kylie Phipps from the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, provides an update on practice reforms in Queensland.

Since the 2013 release of the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry final report, Taking responsibility: a roadmap for Queensland child protection, we have been working in partnership with our government and non-government partners to plan, design and deliver a range of reforms that will collectively build a new child protection and family support system.

An important element of the system reform has been the development and implementation of our Strengthening Families, Protecting Children framework for practice. The framework is a strengths based and safety oriented model for tertiary child protection services. At its core is a commitment to relationship building, partnerships, cultural integrity and collaborative decision making. 

The framework documents a set of values, principles, knowledge and skills that are helping us to develop a shared language across child protection practice in Queensland. It also provides staff with a suite of practice tools that helps bring the framework to life in our day-to-day work. These tools support staff to engage with children and their families, find out what is important to them and to collaborate with them in assessment, planning and decision making. 

The framework for practice was launched in 2015 alongside two-day foundational training for 2816 workers. Of the participants, 68% were Child Safety Staff and 32% were from our sector partner agencies. Regular framework training has continued, and we have offered additional practice workshops for staff and partners focused on engaging fathers and responding to domestic and family violence.  

A year on from implementation we’re still wearing our “L” plates, but we’re definitely making progress in relation to changing our practice and our organisational culture. We recently engaged Child Safety staff in a workplace reflection process to see what difference they feel the implementation of the framework is making to their practice and the leadership and management of the organisation. Some representative comments from this process included: 

“I enjoy using the tools with families. It feels like my work has a clearer purpose now and that I am working with children and families, not just having a conversation.  I can see the difference it is making for families.”

"It’s made me accountable and responsible for explaining to families what is happening”

“Staff in my team are talking with each other more. They are sharing their experiences and reflecting on their work together.” 

A full outline of our reform activities to date can be found at the Supporting Families, Changing Futures website. For more information contact Kylie Phipps at PLUmailbox@communities.qld.gov.au

Supporting families, changing futures

Feature image is by Lennart TangeCC BY-NC 2.0

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Authors

Kylie Phipps

Kylie Phipps is Executive Director, Child and Family Practice and Service Improvement within the Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Community Services. Since 2014 Kylie has undertaken the key leadership role in developing and implementing the Strengthening Families Protecting Children Framework for Practice across Queensland.

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