Education sectors and Child Safety came together for the first time with a focus on improving educational outcomes for students in care, and developing practices and relationships that support the child’s present and future.
Cairns Catholic Education, Department of Education and the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women will collaboratively present #Better Together for Brighter Futures – a conference held May 24 at Brothers Leagues Club.
The 130 attendees comprised of team leaders and managers from Child Safety, guidance officers and senior guidance officers from Department of Education, and counsellors and student wellbeing team members from Cairns Catholic Education.
BOOST is a collaborative steering group established to gather and analyse baseline data and scan existing research and evidence relating to systemic and practice issues impacting on educational outcomes for students in out of home care. A good education is the key to better outcomes for children, especially those in out of home care. One of the main purposes of BOOST was working towards building better relationships between Child Safety and the Education sectors.
BOOST also accepts referrals from Child Safety or the Education sectors. The BOOST referral process is a cross-departmental initiative in Far North Queensland that recognises that the needs of students in out of home care are best met through an integrated approach. Student are only referred when all attempts of collaboration between Child Safety and the education sector have been exhausted. Discussion at BOOST is aimed at identifying possible ways forward in maintaining a child’s enrolment and/or accessing additional supports.
The #Better Together for Brighter Futures education forum was born out of the recognition via the BOOST work that while Child Safety and the education sectors have shared clients (students), there were highlighted issues regarding each organisation’s understanding of how and what each service does, can do, and have done, in working towards the best interest of the child.
The main aim is to foster and develop more collaborative working relationships between staff and develop concrete actions for maintaining the connection and collaboration at the end of the day.