Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity Building Bridges is an award-winning initiative supporting practitioners to learn and practice new skills in child and family sensitive practice.
The initiative consisted of two related streams of activity:
- Building capacity: Enhancing the knowledge and skills of practitioners in child and family and adult-focused services to support parents to meet the immediate needs of children in their care.
- Building bridges: Strengthening collaboration between adult-focused and child and family-focused services to change the way clients with multiple needs experience the service system.
BCBB - an award-winning initiative
Parents involved with child protection services commonly present with problems of substance misuse, mental illness and experiences of domestic violence. These are key risk factors of child abuse and neglect. Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity Building Bridges was a large-scale, award-winning initiative that partnered with Communities for Children in twelve locations around Australia.
The 'broad aim' of the initiative is to ensure there is 'no wrong door' when vulnerable families seek assistance. We want parents and their children to receive the support they need regardless of how they become known to formal services and supports.
Throughout this initiative the consistent message from service providers, supervisors and managers from both adult-focused services and child and family-focused services was that translating research and concepts into practical application to support parents to meet the needs of their children is difficult. High quality workforce development is essential to achieve this.
While workforce development is a necessary condition, it is not a sufficient condition for systematic change. In order to embed Child Aware practice, there are three levels to address:
- the policy environment and funding conditions;
- the organisaitonal context; and
- the practitioner values, knowledge and skills.
The National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children provides a blueprint for building the capacity of universal and targeted child and family services and adult specialist sectors, to deliver child and family sensitive services. The Centre's training for practitioners builds the bridges between these services and sectors, reduces risk factors for child abuse and neglect, and enhances protective factors.
The Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) is a national research centre. It’s driven by social justice, sustainability and innovation in pursuit of its mission: ‘Preventing and responding effectively to child abuse and neglect are our highest priority’.
In 2010, with a grant from the then Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, ACCP developed and delivered Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity Building Bridges (BCBB) over three years as a key initiative supporting the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020: Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business.
View Stories of Impact (PDF, 2.61MB)
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Workshop & Workplace Support
Practitioners who enrolled in our child and family sensitive workshops learned and practiced skills in:
- introducing parenting issues in a way that is easy and non-threatening
- identifying services and supports that parents and their children may need
- providing information and making active referrals to specialist services and programs
Participants were supported to practice their new knowledge and skills with work-based learning activities (e.g. ideas for engaging an adult on a parenting issue and identifying the needs of children). Work-based learning activities also contributed to training accreditation. Training participants have access to BCBB practice coaches who deliver follow-up support after the workshops back in the work-place.
Organisations that enrolled their staff in training were given access to BCBB coaching to help them assess and make any necessary changes to the work environment to support the implementation of practice change.
If you or your organisation is interested in finding out more about our current workshops and workplace support, please contact Christine Gibson, Project Manager: (08) 8302 2981.
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Child and family sensitive practice
Child and family sensitive practice is practice in traditionally adult-focused services (including collaborative practice between adult services and child and family services), which is supportive of parents in their parenting role and attends to the needs of children.
Child and family sensitive practice is provided in the context of service provision where the primary role of the practitioner is to treat or respond to a presenting adult problem. Child and family sensitive practice is different from – and does not replace the need for – children’s, parenting and family support practitioners and services.
Having an understanding of an adult’s parental responsibility and the needs of their children can be enormously valuable for practitioners working in adult-focused services.
Parenting is enormously significant as both a motivator for change and a major stressor. Exploring parenting issues with an adult you are working with can enhance both the service and support you offer them in a number of ways. These may include:
- an increase in motivation to access help
- a more open and honest relationship between you and the person you are supporting
- an increase in their sense of hope that change is possible
- an increase in focus on the reasons for seeking help
Exploring parenting issues will also benefit children in the care of the adults you are working with. Benefits here include:
- early identification of problems
- earlier linking of families into family support services that will build on their strengths and help them to deal with problems they are facing
- diversion of families from the child protection system via use of early intervention and preventative strategies
'Child Aware Supervision' - eLearning course, Support your staff to support kids and families. The Child Aware Supervision elearning course provides training for supervisors in strategies that promote child and family -sensitive practices in their service. To learn more please follow these links:
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