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Symposium Program

Eventbrite - Keeping Children Safe, Together | A Child Protection Symposium

Keeping Children Safe, Together | A Child Protection Symposium
William Magarey Rooms, Adelaide Oval
Tuesday 8 December 2015

8am - Registration
8.45am - Welcome and introductions

9.15am - Official Opening Address

Minister for Education and Child Development, the Hon Susan Close MP

9.30am - Keynote Address - Child Protection is Everyone’s Business

Download Prof Fiona Arney's presentation here

Professor Arney’s keynote presentation will focus on the complex social issues that contribute to child abuse and neglect, including drug and alcohol, mental health, homelessness, poverty and the intergenerational legacy of colonisation on Aboriginal people. The presentation will address the questions: What have we done so far? Why isn’t it working? What could be done instead?

Presented by:
Professor Fiona Arney, Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection

10.15am - The Economics of Child Protection

Download Prof Leonie Segal's presentation here

The layering of early life adversities, including child abuse and neglect, increases the risk of poor health, economic and social outcomes. This presentation will explore through the lens of economics the options for addressing this cumulative intergenerational vulnerability, reflecting an understanding of the source of the problem and options across developmental stages, across portfolios and programs. It will also cover the downstream costs of serious childhood adversity, underpinning the urgency of better supporting vulnerable families to create a more nurturing environment for their children. The cost of failure in personal, community and budget terms is simply too high.

Presented by:
Professor Leonie Segal, Chair, Health Economics & Social Policy, University of South Australia

11.00am - Morning Tea

11.30am - Child protection is Everyone’s Business: The Importance of Sharing Responsibility

Download Prof Marie Connolly's presentation here

Family support services are at an important crossroads. Families are looking after their children in challenging times, yet service provision across the informal care network is beyond the capacity of most direct service agencies.  Indeed, no matter how well formal programs are delivered, they often have little resonance with the needs and hopes of the children and families for whom they are intended. This presentation will look at some of the opportunities we have to share responsibility for child protection by facilitating supportive connections before crises arrive, and harnessing the strengths of community and family networks to support our most vulnerable children.   

Presented by:
Professor Marie Connolly, Head of Social Work, University of Melbourne

12.15pm - The Impact on the Child

Presented by:
Tamara Barrow
Pam Simmons, Guardian for Children and Young People SA - Download Pam Simmons' presentation here
Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner - Download Megan Mitchell's presentation here

This session will carefully consider the experiences of children who come in contact with the child protection system from multiple perspectives, including first hand/ lived experience.  In a recent Office of the Guardian consultation with children and young people who have firsthand experience of child protection intervention and out of home care, there was strong support for adults taking prompt action to prevent harm to children, for supporting families but acting decisively, and for respecting what children say about their situation. It is difficult though to carry this out when you are just one part of a complex system and most decisions are contested. 

The session will explore the roles we can have in the promotion and implementation of the human rights of vulnerable children as part of our work or community life. It will draw links between child rights awareness, inclusive environments and the capacity of children to become agents in their own protection.

1.15pm - Lunch

2.00pm - Building a Healing Agenda for SA's Children - Healing Intergenerational Trauma: Creating Strong Indigenous Responses

Presented by:
Rosemary Wanganeen, Australian Institute for Loss and Grief - Download Rosemary Wanganeen's presentation here
Lisa Hillan, Healing Foundation - Download Lisa Hillan's presentation here
Frank Hytten, SNAICC

This session will be a panel presentation that will assist us to understand how Intergenerational trauma is impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It will outline how healing is able to create the solutions based on cultural knowledge that are driving change for Indigenous children and their families and highlight the policies and practices that support this.  It will include expertise from across South Australia including the lived experience of our elders and draw on the national perspectives of the Healing Foundation and SNAICC to support our learnings.

2.50pm - International Keynote Address - Child protection reforms – why we need to be careful what we wish for

Download Helen Buckley's presentation here

Dr. Helen Buckley will provide expert advice on how the South Australian social services sector should work together to ensure the implementation of recommendations following the Royal Commission into Child Protection Systems in 2016.

Dr. Buckley will draw learnings from reforms in the US, the UK and Australia to provide intelligence for policy makers and change leaders. The keynote presentation will reflect on contemporary settings where the bureaucratisation of Child Protection has curtailed the capacity of practitioners and managers to exercise professional discretion, remain child centred and react constructively to system failures. Buckley will focus on the need for child mindedness in services orientated to adults and how we can gain more cohesion for services such as mental health, domestic violence and/or substance misuse where adult clients are also parents. The presentation will highlight the important role of non-government organisations in engaging families.

Presented by:
Dr Helen Buckley, Associate Professor, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin

3.35pm - Afternoon Tea

3.55pm - Q&A Panel Session

Facilitated by:
Helen Connolly, Chair, SACOSS

Albert Barelds, Executive Officer, CAFWA-SA
Tony Harrison, Chief Executive, Department for Education and Child Development
Dr Helen Buckley, Associate Professor, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin
Frank Hytten, CEO, SNAICC

4.50pm - Closing remarks

Jane Longbottom, Chair, CAFWA-SA
Etienne Scheepers, Deputy Chief Executive, Office for Child Safety, DECD

5.00pm - Close of Official Proceedings