Penda App

Women’s Legal Service Queensland with funding from Financial Literacy Australia have developed Penda, a national free app that combines financial tips, safety, and legal information and referrals for women who have experienced domestic and family violence. Follow the link for more information or to download app.

Helping child protection systems to prevent and respond to protection related risks

The Child Family Community Australia information exchange at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has released Developments to strengthen systems for child protection across Australia. The report documents recent system changes in states and territories and makes comparisons in terms of child protection system principles, goals and components, particularly in relation to the over-representation of Aboriginal children and families in all areas of the statutory child protection system.

Considerable changes to systems for protecting children are planned or underway right across Australia. These are being designed and implemented mainly in response to shortcomings identified in independent reviews. They aim to reduce the number of children involved in statutory child protection and out-of-home care (OOHC) and achieve greater permanence and improved outcomes for children who enter OOHC. Addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal children and families in all areas of the statutory child protection system, particularly the high number of Aboriginal children entering OOHC, is an area of particular focus for reform.

To read the report, follow this link.

Same Sex Marriage: Time to Stick to the Facts

In light of the Yes vote, the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) is calling for the legislation to be based on robust evidence, and for the coming debates to consider the impact of hurtful language on the well-being of young Australians.

“The marriage equality debate has been hard fought. Some of the facts have been ignored, especially in relation to the welfare of children raised by same sex parents, and this in itself has hurt young Australians,” ARACY CEO Stephen Bartos said.

ARACY members the Centre for Community Child Health and the Parenting Research Centre contributed to a study entitled The Kids are OK: it is Discrimination Not Same-Sex Parents that Harms Children which provides evidence on how kids with same-sex parents fare, and what impact the current debate is having upon them.

In short, the study finds:

  • Adolescents raised in same-sex parented families do as well as other children across a range of health and well-being measures and
  • Children and adolescents with same-sex parents are negatively affected when their families experience homophobia or discrimination.

As an indication of how the debate has impacted young people, the youth service ‘ReachOut’ reported a 40 per cent hike in young people seeking advice or help relating to LGBTI questions since the postal vote began.”

According to Latrobe University, LGBTI young people report high levels of verbal abuse (61 per cent), physical abuse (18 per cent) and other types of homophobia (9 per cent), including cyberbullying, graffiti, social exclusion and humiliation.

ARACY urges Australian politicians to stick to the facts and engage constructively about the best way to implement marriage equality.

NT Royal Commission tables its final report

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory has tabled its final report revealing systemic and shocking failures. The closure of the current Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, a new Children’s Court, implementation of an early intervention family support program, and a Commission for Children and Young People are key elements of a comprehensive reform program aimed at restoring the failed detention and child protection systems in the Northern Territory.

To read the report, follow this link.

A place to call home: Housing and its influence on health

More than 100 000 people in Australia are homeless, and many more are in insecure or inadequate housing arrangements. Housing stress is inextricably linked to poverty.

At a recent event convened by Australian Health Promotion Association New South Wales branch to coincide with Anti Poverty Week, the speakers discussed three different aspects of the way housing is powerfully linked to health. Follow the link to read more.

Human Rights Workbook For Young Women And Girls With Disability

WWDA Youth Network has created the Human Rights Workbook to help young women and girls with a disability learn about their human rights. If you are a women or girl with a disability and would like to learn more about your human rights and how they can be used to achieve change in your life or the lives of other women and girls with a disability, this workbook is for you. Click here to view workbook.