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South Coast Child Wellbeing Network Conference 

11 September 2018

The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong Street Kiama.

Cost is $90.00


There are two sessions for workshops and 4 sessions in each.

Participants are asked to choose which workshops they wish to attend in the booking form.


Key Note Speaker


Associate Professor 
Kym Macfarlane




PhD (QUT), BEd (QUT) Dip.Teach (Early Childhood) (BKTC)
Research Chair The Salvation Army/Griffith University Knowledge Partnership
School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University, Logan Campus


Making Magic Happen: Working in soft entry early intervention and prevention programs


Kym Macfarlane has worked in the early childhood sector for many years. She has experience as an early childhood teacher and in higher education in the field of Child and Family Studies in Human Services. She has extensive experience in working and researching practice issues with children 0-18 years and their families.  Kym demonstrates a strong understanding of practice related issues in the disciplines of human services and education and has a particular interest in soft entry early intervention and prevention, universal service delivery and strengths-based practice. Her PhD research entitled “An analysis of parent engagement in contemporary Queensland schooling” particularly relates to the notions of community engagement and disengagement in schooling and the issues for parents that result from this engagement and disengagement in contemporary contexts.

 

SESSION 1 - Choose one workshop from the four listed below.


Workshop 1

Circles of Change Revisited

Presented by

Kym Macfarlane



Circles of Change Revisited outlines a process of guided conversations, which use learning circles and a specific model of critical reflection to engage staff in a process of critical thinking. The approach can be used to establish learning communities and encourage staff of reflect on and improve their practice in ways that nurture them and thus improve retention in the workforce. The approach encourages staff to link reflection to everyday practice in order to benefit their performance and improve outcomes for children and families.


Workshop 2

Playgroups in 2018 - Innovative approaches to engage and empower families through play 

Presented by

Karen van Woudenberg, Maria Bifulco, Sarah Shadieh, Angela Quigley 



Playgroup NSW will present three playgroup models ranging from Intergenerational Playgroups, Trauma Informed playgroups for families with a refugee experience, PlayConnect Playgroups for children with Autism and type behaviours. In this workshop you will gain insight into playgroups and the benefits to children and families. Showcasing examples of community driven playgroups and the journey from highly supported to self-managed. Hear from the volunteers and staff that have developed a number of specific playgroup programs to meet the needs of the community and created innovative approaches using family collaboration. 

Engage in an interactive sensory play experience that can be used to support child and parent. Learn how these play experiences impact the developing brain of a child and can help repair the impact of trauma, soothe a child with autism and even create a sense of calm for an anxious parent. 

Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the play experience in a playgroup setting and receive tools to encourage innovation through family collaboration.  


Workshop 3

Strong Children, Strong Families; Building protective factors for children, families and educators in Early Childhood Education and Care

Presented by

Toni Latham, Emma Flowers, Joanne Mavrigiannakis, Taren Parth



For children experiencing disadvantage, quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) services play an important role in not only enhancing children’s developmental outcomes but also in protecting and fostering wellbeing. In addition to the benefits for children, ECEC services can also be a valuable source of support for families. There is evidence to suggest ECEC services that facilitate parent partnerships can act as a barrier for ongoing abuse and neglect.  However, attendance at ECEC doesn’t reduce children’s exposure to risk and vulnerability, unless it applies distinct strategies that aim to increase protective factors in families.  As a model of operation, family centred practice (FCP) has emerged as an avenue to achieve this. 

This presentation reports on the finding of a practice-based research study into the implementation of FCP principles within the ECEC context. A mixed method, multiple case study design, incorporating elements of ethnography was used for this study. The presentation will feature a practical demonstration of the professional development program whilst giving illustrative descriptions of the benefits to children families and educators.  Participants from the study will provide practical strategies for successfully engaging with vulnerable families whilst sharing professional insights.  A plan to sustain FCP will also be discussed.


Workshop 4

Nabu – Centering culture in the engagement process 

Presented by

Kimberly Chiswell and Amelia Harrison


Kimberly Chiswell is a Social Worker who has worked in the child protection field for 17 years. She is also a proud mother of two and is passionate about providing social justice informed therapies to individuals and families with in a culturally responsive context. Currently, she  supervises the Healing Program team and offers therapy as a Accredited mental health social worker at Waminda. 

Amelia Harrison is the Team Leader for Nabu, Waminda's Family Preservation and Restoration team.  She has extensive experience in working with families at risk in the Shoalhaven and is a qualified Counsellor. She is a proud mother of two and is passionate about working collaboratively with families so that the children are safe and the family is empowered.  Amelia is particularly skilled at coordinating a team approach, including cultural mentors, to family support families that FACS describe as high risk.

Amelia and Kimberly will provide a history of the development of the Nabu model and the successful outcomes. They will illustrate how Waminda's model of care informs the case work and therapeutic approach. Then they will discuss Waminda's trial with the FFT-CW model and learnings about what it truly means to be family centred, reflective, accountable to the community and how to work with families in a culturally responsive way.




SESSION 2 - Choose one workshop from the four listed below.


Workshop 1

IACC Child and Family Practitioner Project; A Collaborative Approach Improving Child and Family Engagement and Wellbeing

Presented by

Janine Molyneux



This workshop will provide an overview of the Child and Family Practitioner Project at Clipper Road Children’s Centre East Nowra, an innovation of IACC in recognition of the community in which the service is situated. Research indicates children from vulnerable circumstance benefit from access to high quality early learning programs but the big challenge is how to support ongoing enrolment in Early Childhood services for families from socially disadvantage backgrounds and what  knowledge do Educators need to support the inclusion of vulnerable children into their programs? 


 This project is evidence based, utilising attachment and trauma informed practices and has been successful in engaging and improving outcomes for children and families by streamlining enrolments for vulnerable families and external agencies wanting to enrol children, by utilising a Child and Family Practitioner model. 


The presentation will be interactive and feature a detailed description of the Child and Family Practitioner model including specific practice examples that increase and strengthen protective factors in the lives of children and families, using the Team Around the Child Approach.  Other resources to enhance children’s self regulation will also be incorporated. A plan to sustain practice in the future will also be discussed. 


Workshop 2

Holistic circus skills for engagement of children and families

Presented by

Honora Jenkins and Lillian Rodrigues-Pang 


Learn practical and ready to use circus techniques to engage children and families and have the added bonus of enlivening a space. Colourful scarves, hoops, juggling tools draw people in and real conversations can be had when all are sharing the experience of using circus equipment and learning new skills. Circus can be used creatively as an inclusive way to collaborate with children and their families regardless of age, background or ability. 


In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • use basic circus equipment to engage families and children
  • strategies to assist you make your engagement more colourful and exciting and non-prescriptive
  • information on how to access and create free and low-cost resources that will assist you with your engagement



Workshop 3

Coming together to get kids on track in time: A systemic approach to early intervention

Presented by


Praveena Rajeswaran, Gareth Quinlan, Margaret Berrigan


Play-based therapeutic techniques have been widely recognised as a flexible and widely applicable treatment for children’s behavioural and emotional issues (Bratton, Ray, Rhine & Jones, 2005). Research suggests that actively engaging and involving systems and families within this process further amplifies the positive effects of the modality (Bratton et al., 2005). Systemically applied play-based techniques are utilised by the Got It! Program, a school-based, early intervention mental health initiative targeting K-2 children. Through engagement, consultation and collaboration with schools, families and local services, the Got It! program is a holistic and collaborative model for activating and linking school and family systems in support of the child. Got It! staff facilitate systemic, experiential group work to targeted children and families, as well as intensive parent-child dyadic work. Schools accepted into the Got It! Program also receive training packages for Stage 1 teachers consistent with play-based methods and emotion coaching strategies.

The Got It! Team will discuss the evidence base for the play-based learning and therapy, and provide practical resources to facilitate play-based activities and parent-child dyadic techniques with clients. Interactive role plays will be utilised throughout the presentation with practical examples of using dyadic work to enhance emotional connection and communication when working with families.


Workshop 4

SUPPS - a Drug and Alcohol service for pregnant women and their families

Presented by

Sarah Seddon and Veronica Riordan


Pregnancy is a time of change and for many women this is period of time when they are motivated to address substance use issues .For women residing in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, the Drug and Alcohol Service provides a designated service known as the Substance Use in Pregnancy and Parenting Service (SUPPS).SUPPS aims to assist women in addressing their substance use ,and the associated complexities, during pregnancy and into the post natal period. SUPPS Clinicians work in collaboration with the woman, her family and service partners to maintain the family unit when possible and when this is not possible to support the parents to address the concerns which can then lead to reunification.

Through the use of a PowerPoint presentation, case study and Question and Answer, SUPPS clinicians will provide a detailed account of the service and how it aims to work in partnership with the mother-to-be and a range of services to maintain the family unit.



Booking form

Please choose one workshop from session 1 and one workshop from session 2.  There is an option to choose a second preference as well.  Completing this form does not guarantee a place in your chosen workshop. Workshop choices will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Once the allocation is exhausted we will then endeavour to provide you with your second preference.

* Required














Circles of Change Revisited
Playgroups in 2018 - Innovative approaches to engage and empower families through play
Strong Children - Strong Families; Building protective factors for children families and educators in Early Childhood Education and Care
Nabu – Centering culture in the engagement process

Circles of Change Revisited
Playgroups in 2018 - Innovative approaches to engage and empower families through play
Strong Children Strong Families; Building protective factors for children families and educators in Early Childhood Education and Care
Nabu – Centering culture in the engagement process

IACC Child and Family Practitioner Project; A Collaborative Approach Improving Child and Family Engagement and Wellbeing
Holistic circus skills for engagement of children and families
Coming together to get kids on track in time: A systemic approach to early intervention
SUPPS - a Drug and Alcohol service for pregnant women and their families

IACC Child and Family Practitioner Project; A Collaborative Approach Improving Child and Family Engagement and Wellbeing
Holistic circus skills for engagement of children and families
Coming together to get kids on track in time: A systemic approach to early intervention
SUPPS - a Drug and Alcohol service for pregnant women and their families