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July 13, 2018

QUEENSLAND’S CHILD PROTECTION LEGISLATION

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women have released an overview of the Child Protection Reform Amendment Act 2017, which includes a number of significant changes to the child protection system in Queensland. Some of the legislative changes include a shift in how the Department supports the connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people with their family, community and culture. Alongside this shift is a new principle to recognise the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to self-determination. The Amendment Act also broadens the existing role of 'recognised entities' to include independent people and organisations chosen by families for cultural advice to facilitate meaningful participation in decision making. Another change relates to permanency planning in response to growing research into stability and other factors that contribute to positive outcomes for children and young people. With the objective of providing long-term stable care, the new permanency principles will include reunification as the first preference with alternative goals in the event that reunification is not possible. A contemporary information sharing framework will also be introduced under the Act to support better coordination of services. The Department will be implementing the changes in a staged approach with changes coming into effect throughout 2018.


Download "Queensland's child protection legislation - Meeting the current and future needs of children and young people, their families and communities" (390KB PDF)

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July 13, 2018

KETAMINE AS TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION

Wired magazine recently published an article titled "Ketamine stirs up hope - and controversy - as a depression drug." The hope surrounding ketamine is based on its rapid response rate, with the antidepressant effect occurring almost immediately after the drug is administered. A number of research articles have demonstrated improvement in mood following the use of ketamine in a clinical setting, however there is ongoing debate about the best ways to optimise outcomes and minimise risks. There have been some human trials of ketamine for depression, however the remain a number of unknowns such as the optimum dose, and the potential for side-effects or unintended outcomes. Research in chronic recreational ketamine users has shown brain lesions, persistent hallucinations, and inflammation of the bladder which in extreme cases has resulted in the removal of the bladder. Whilst the research into ketamine remains in its infancy, private clinics are offering ketamine treatment, leading to concerns that the treatment is running ahead of the research.

Go to "Ketamine stirs up hope - and controversy - as a depression drug"

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July 13, 2018

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS CRITICAL RESPONSE SERVICE

The National Indigenous Critical Response Service has been funded by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to provide a critical response to support individuals, families and communities affected by suicide or other trauma that is culturally responsive to their needs.  Critical Response Support Advocates can be invited by families to advocate on their behalf to ensure they are able to access the supports they need in their time of grief. The service also works to strengthen community capacity by coordinating and responding to family and community needs when a suicide or other traumatic event occurs in communities.  They also work with communities to prevent suicide, by addressing some of the local factors that can contribute to suicide.

To contact a Critical Response Support Advocate call 1800 805 801 24 hours, 7 days a week or visit their website for more information.

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July 13, 2018

HEALTH SERVICE RESPONSES TO YOUNG PEOPLE AFFECTED BY TRAUMA

A new report co-authored by Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and Phoenix Australia, the Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health has been released titled "Trauma and young people: moving towards trauma-informed services and systems".  The document provides an overview of current treatment approaches and highlights the need for more reforms and focus on this area of practice. The report identifies that young people have high rates of trauma experiences; up to two out of three young people have been exposed to a traumatic event by the age of 16. The report discusses the importance of trauma informed care and considers ways of improving the capacity of workers to respond to trauma. The report has several recommendations including development of a national policy response for trauma, to increase the number of mental health and human service professionals who are trained in understanding and responding to trauma and the development of consistent trauma-informed curriculum within relevant tertiary courses.

 

Go to "Trauma and Young People: Moving towards trauma-informed services and systems"

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July 5, 2018

QUEENSLAND CORONER’S FINDINGS OF INQUEST INTO PRESCRIPTION OPIOID DEATHS

The Coroners Court of Queensland recently published the findings of inquest into four prescription opioid deaths. The inquest considered the four deaths to be representative of a larger trend of increasing prescription opioid deaths in Queensland and elsewhere in Australia.  The Coroner made a number of recommendations, many relating to the monitoring of prescription opioid use by prescribers like GPs or hospitals. The inquest also considered various measures to prevent "doctor shopping" and the inappropriate prescribing of opioids. The Coroner recommended the implementation of a real-time prescription monitoring system that would allow doctors and other health professionals to determine if a person was accessing other prescription opioids.  There were a range of other recommendations including educating GPs, restricting the promotion of opioids to doctors, and pharmacists to consider strategies such as staged supply of prescription opioids where appropriate.

Download the Coroners Court of Queensland Findings of Inquest (675KB PDF)

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July 5, 2018

NAIDOC WEEK 2018 “BECAUSE OF HER, WE CAN!”

NAIDOC Week 2018 celebrations will be held nationally from Sunday 8 July through to Sunday 15 July, with this year's theme being "Because of Her, We Can!" The theme acknowledges the significant roles Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have played - and continue to play - in the community. NAIDOC week is a great opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to show your support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, with events happening all over the state.

The find out more about NAIDOC week including to find local events happening in your community, visit the NAIDOC website.

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July 5, 2018

QUEENSLAND MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT OF OPIOID DEPENDENCE: CLINICAL GUIDELINES 2018

Queensland Health have released the "Queensland Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence: Clinical Guidelines 2018." These guidelines represent a revision of Queensland opioid treatment with the term 'medication-assisted treatment of opioid dependence' (MATOD) being used to signify a more encompassing approach that includes the use of medication and psychosocial support in combination. The 2018 guidelines include an expanded section covering poly-substance use with the addition of nicotine, cannabis and benzodiazepines, quick reference guides and the inclusion of opioid treatment program (OTP) clinic case reviews. Also updated are the psychosocial support options and the guidelines around opioid treatment for clients under the age of 18.

Download the "Queensland Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence: Clinical Guidelines 2018" (2.3MB PDF)

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July 5, 2018

PODSOCS: PODCASTS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS

Podsocs is a podcast initiative of the School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University.  It includes a wide range of podcasts on topics that would be of interest to Dovetail subscribers. This includes latest research, along with sometimes controversial perspectives on social phenomena.  Some of the topics covered include "Domestic violence in child welfare", "Talking about suicide", and "Finding Aboriginal Identity."

 

Go to the "Podsocs" website to find out more.

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June 29, 2018

HOW DO SOLVENTS AFFECT BRAIN HEALTH?

A recent article by The Conversation titled "Why solvents can affect brian health even at low levels of exposure" explores the impact of solvent use on brain health in an occupational setting. While this research is not in relation to young people's misuse of inhalants (and therefore cannot be directly transferable), we can learn from the effects and health risks of solvent use in different settings.The article explores a recent study from New Zealand of workers exposed to solvents in the workplace. It was found that collision repair workers who were exposed to solvents were more likely to report symptoms than construction workers (who were not exposed to solvents) in areas of neurological symptoms, mood and memory and concentration problems. The collision repair workers also scored lower than the construction workers in tests which aimed to measure attention, concentration, problem solving and reaction times.

Go to "Why solvents can affect brain health even at low levels of exposure"

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June 29, 2018

A NEW REPORT ABOUT THE HEALTH OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet have just published their annual report documenting and describing the key issues regarding the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  The information in this report is sourced from a variety of publications in order to provide a comprehensive up to date summary for consideration. The 2017 Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Status details a number of important health indicators, including information on the use of alcohol and other drugs.  Regarding tobacco use, 39% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported they were current smokers in a 2015 study, this was 2.8 times higher compared to non-Indigenous people.  In 2016, a study found there was a decline in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 years and over who had exceeded the alcohol guidelines for lifetime alcohol risk. In relation to illicit drug use, a 2015 study found that 73% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and older reported they had not used illicit substances in the last 12 months.

The full report is available on the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website, as well as a series of free downloadable facts, tables and figures.


Go to the Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status 2017

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