New online learning courses aim to transform lives of WA’s most traumatised children
A leading initiative focused on the development of new high quality therapeutic responses to child abuse and neglect, and designed for the West Australian (WA) service context and client populations, aims to transform the lives of children who have experienced child abuse and neglect by supporting frontline practitioners to deliver world-leading responses to abuse-related trauma.
The Pursuit of Excellence in Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect WA, is a partnership between the Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP), University of South Australia and Parkerville Children and Youth Care, and is supported by Lotterywest.
A major focus of the Pursuit of Excellence is supporting the development of the state’s workforce through providing high quality workforce development, including overcoming existing workforce development barriers.
The Royal Commission into Institutional responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended service capacity in treating abuse-related trauma be increased, particularly for children, with Professor Leah Bromfield, Co-Director of the ACCP and former Professorial Fellow to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse saying “one of the most powerful ways to transform the lives of children affected by abuse and neglect is to support frontline practitioners to ensure they have the tools and information they need to effectively respond to children and their families.”
The new tertiary accredited online series of three Professional Certificate courses has been developed by specialist clinical trauma clinicians and research experts across key identified areas of need.
The first course provides foundational knowledge around child abuse, neglect and trauma, the second is focused on trauma specific assessment and responses, and the third supports the development of practitioner therapeutic skills in responding to childhood trauma.
Professor Bromfield hopes that by offering high quality affordable workforce development, through a tertiary certified interactive online teaching approach, will help overcome some of the key barriers and challenges facing WA frontline practitioners from accessing professional development.
“Participants will have the ability to engage and progress through the majority of the course materials at their convenience, overcoming the challenges of integrating learning with work commitments. The state- of-the-art Learn Online platform will provide a high quality learning experience for practitioners regardless of where they live,” she added.
“The approach is designed to enhance the skills of the existing workforce and integrates work-based learning as well as a virtual community of practice in which practitioners can discuss and troubleshoot the real world application of their learning with peers, facilitated and supported by experienced trauma clinicians.”
As a result of the support offered by Lotterywest, an initial 60 scholarships are being provided for an Inaugural cohort of WA practitioners in government or government-funded programs whose roles include the provision of counselling for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
Priority will be given to practitioners working with children who have experienced sexual abuse. The courses are also available on a fee for service basis, with the first cohort recently commencing in late February 2021.
“The high-quality workforce development offerings respond to the needs of frontline practitioners across the state, and will aid the recovery of children who have experienced abuse or neglect,” Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk said.
For further information regarding the Pursuit of Excellence in Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect and the suite of Professional Certificates and Inaugural Scholarship opportunities, enquiries can be directed to [email protected]