28 March 2017 Statute of Limitations in Child Sex Abuse Matters

Chair Steve Herd Partner from Murphy Schmidt Solicitors facilitates a discussion with Dr Ben Mathews (Professor, School of Law, Queensland University of Technology) and Warren Strange (Knowmore Legal Service) about recent legislative amendments that remove time limits for the prosecution of sexual offenses as a result of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse.

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26 June 2017 The Challenges, Barriers and Benefits of Information Sharing in Child Protection

Sue Diggles Memorial Practice Paper funded by Brisbane Catholic Education Office

Each inquiry, each tragic child death leads to calls for better information sharing between professionals working with children, young people and families experiencing abuse, neglect and violence. Effective information sharing should ensure that all professionals making risk assessments have the information they need to make robust, accountable and evidence based decisions. Information sharing is critical for all professionals involved in child protection decision making.  For reasons of safety, the wellbeing of children and young people and to support understanding and participation in the decisions that are being made. What challenges make this difficult? What strategies can we as professionals use to do it better? The QFCC’s When a child is missing report highlights what is at stake and the subsequent Information Sharing-Myth busting guide is an attempt to explain to professionals that sometimes what they perceive as a barrier to sharing information is actually a myth.

This Practice Paper chaired by Principal Commissioner Cheryl Vardon QFCC hears from:

  • Graham Kraak (A/Director Strategic Policy and Legislation Practice Queensland Health) about the issues impacting on a large government agency like Queensland Health,

  • Catherine Moynihan (Official Solicitor and Director of Legal Services/Investigations) about the importance of sharing information with children, young people, their parents and their family,

  • Judge Kevin Lapthorn (Federal Circuit Court of Australia) about how information sharing impacts on juridical decision making.

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28 November 2017 Domestic and Family Violence-Holding Perpetrators Accountable

In Queensland there are almost 70,000 reported incidents of domestic and family violence each year and around fifty-percent of the families working with Child Safety have domestic and family violence as an indicator of harm to children. How legal and child protection practitioners conceptualise violence accountability and the capacity of survivors to protect themselves and their children significantly influences Children’s Court processes and safety planning. 

The Safe & Together model, developed by US expert David Mandel, has been adopted by Child Safety in Queensland and is assisting assessment and case planning approaches.  Changes in expectations of perpetrators as promoted by the Safe & Together model will test and change approaches for all practitioners.

This Practice Paper chaired by Natalie Siegel-Brown, Public Guardian from the Office of the Public Guardian and hears from presenters:

  • Zoe Rathus (Senior Lecturer, Griffith University Law School) about the child protection and family court interface, how behaviours of survivors and perpetrators can be misunderstood and how the system continues to “mother blame”,
  • Stephen Lock (Principal Program Officer Walking with Dads Child Safety Programs) about the David Mandel Safe and Together model for working with perpetrators and their families which offers a new way of conceptualising violence accountability and impacts of domestic and family violence on survivors including children and how it is used in the Walking with Dads Project.

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