27 June 2019

This week a number of Life Without Barriers staff were in Brisbane to attend the National Child Protection Conference.

The conference brings together policymakers, researchers, service administrators and practitioners from a number of organisations across the country to discuss the current state of child protection in Australia.

Over 300 people attended over the two days and a number of Life Without Barriers staff presented at the conference on various topics, demonstrating our position as thought leaders in the area of child protection.

Mary McKinnon, Executive Director Practice & Quality presented on the topic ‘The sum is greater than its parts – integrating multiple innovations into a congruent whole’. She spoke about how over the last five years, Life Without Barriers has integrated many practice initiatives with a focus on the things that make the biggest difference to the lives of children and young people in care as well as their families and communities.

Image: Mary McKinnon - Life Without Barriers Executive Director of Practice and Quality.

Practice Partner Belinda Mayfield presented about Life Without Barriers as an evidence-informed organisation. Her presentation explored the challenges involved including: time constraints, accessibility of the research literature and the issue of the transferability of research findings conducted overseas to Australia, particularly our cultural context.

Practice Advisor Chris Skinner showcased the innovative Mockingbird Family model during a workshop. This prompted a lot of discussion and questions amongst the group, and Chris answered questions about some of the challenges encountered during implementation.

Safeguarding Lead Melinda Clarke spoke about We Put Children first with a presentation titled ‘Preventing and responding to child sexual abuse: a multi-faceted approach’. She spoke about The SAFE Book Series which is being provided to children aged 2 – 10 years in out-of-home care across Australia.

Dr James Anglin, who will shortly commence a research project with our NT team, delivered a keynote speech on understanding and responding to pain and pain-based behaviour with young people in and from care.

“Some aspects of pain trauma and healing are universal but how they play out across cultures is something that I am learning.” - Dr James Anglin

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