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One Chance at Childhood Every Child Deserves the Best Start.

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Presentation on theme: "One Chance at Childhood Every Child Deserves the Best Start."— Presentation transcript:

1 One Chance at Childhood Every Child Deserves the Best Start

2 One Chance at Childhood OVERVIEW – ONE CHANCE AT CHILDHOOD (OCC) The aim of the One Chance at Childhood program (OCC) is to enhance safety, wellbeing and permanency outcomes for babies and toddlers under 4 years subject to child protection orders. By permanency we mean: a child is reunified with their parents without a child protection order a long-term out-of-home care living arrangement is secured for the child with suitable other people, eg carers or family members and with the support of a child protection order the child is adopted eg by their carers or another suitable person The OCC program provides a model for the employment of additional staff to provide advice, support and consultation to frontline DChS staff working with high risk families with babies and toddlers.

3 One Chance at Childhood Overview continued: The focus areas covered by this program include: Enhanced permanency planning for children including reunification Early childhood – requires specialist knowledge and skills Developing the capacity of frontline DChS staff to meet legislative, policy and procedural requirements that improve outcomes for children under 4 years Promote the engagement of staff with children and families Promote partnerships with specialist services for children aged under 4 years Support quality child protection practice by developing and building on the skills of staff

4 One Chance at Childhood CURRENT TARGET GROUP: Priority has been given to: children for whom reunification with their family is planned within the next 3 months – will this be safe for the children? babies and toddlers on their second or subsequent short term child protection order – what is the best long term option for these children? any baby or toddler subject to a long term child protection order granting guardianship to the chief executive – is there someone in this child’s community who could be their guardian?

5 One Chance at Childhood OCC TEAMS: 31 specialist positions created which are based in DChS zones across the state Breakdown of the number of positions per zone varies but all zones have: Early Childhood Program Coordinator Early Childhood Reunification Officers Permanency Planning Officers

6 One Chance at Childhood Case1: Meeting cultural needs of children through collaborative partnerships Logan and Brisbane West Zone - George Purpose of referral – to identify the best long term placement for George Exploration of kin and possible kinship placement with the assistance of the Recognised Entity – the key agency relating to the protection and care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children Permanency panel – a collaborative decision making process Outcome - establishing and nurturing George’s relationship with his maternal family

7 One Chance at Childhood Case 2: Developing skills of frontline staff to meet the needs of babies and toddlers Brisbane South and Gold Coast Zone - Sally, Tom and Sarah Purpose of referral – review decision to reunify children with their father within the next 6 months Extensive child protection history in NSW and Qld - physical harm, exposure to domestic violence, parental drug and alcohol misuse Reunification plan developed for Sally with her father Role and outcome of the Permanency Panel meeting Outcomes for the children and family Outcomes and benefits for staff working with the OCC team

8 One Chance at Childhood OCC Key Messages Babies and young children are one of the most vulnerable groups in our communities When children are taken into care, intensive work is necessary to safely return children home in a timely manner When children can’t return home, they have a right to an alternative long term care option that best meets their particular needs

9 One Chance at Childhood OCC Key Messages Quality child protection practice and good outcomes for children and their families can be achieved through: meaningful engagement with those children and families using participative planning collaborative partnerships with other services specialised skills and knowledge Improving the practice skills and knowledge of frontline DChS staff for this age group will have benefit for work with other children and families

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