Over the summer of 2018/2019 we had the first cohort of students from community controlled organisations enrol into a brand new course developed from a QATSICPP initiative and formalised via Griffith University. This course focussed on an in depth look at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Practice Standards developed by QATSICPP along with supportive and complimentary content around such things as the history of child protection, the child protection placement principle, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander family and child rearing practices, trauma informed practice and self care.
This course was developed with the strong support of the First Peoples Health Unit at Griffith University and run through the School of Social Work and Human Services at Griffith University. This was a pilot course, to see how the process of collaboration and partnership would work out between QATSICPP and a major Australian university and to see what the student experience would be like. Being a first time project it is not always easy to know how things will work out and how the course will be received.
The great news is, after all was said and done, the course was a great success for all concerned. We had 17 peoples start the course and 15 people complete it successfully. This was an amazing result given the range of challenges that had to be met. For some students this was their first university level course. Given that it is a post graduate level course that is certainly a challenge and it was fantastic to see students gain in confidence and success as they progressed through the study trimester. Aside from personal challenges there was a major natural disaster event in the form of cyclone Alma and major flooding throughout northern Queensland where a majority of students were located. Nevertheless everyone managed to get it on with it and get it done.
A highlight of the course was the week-long residential held at South Bank in Brisbane. This was an opportunity for students to get together from across the state, to study together, to share their experience and knowledge and to complete group assessment work. The week was a great success and a huge thanks must be extended to Professor Roianne West and her dedicated team from the Griffith First Peoples Health Unit. Without the support of the First Peoples Health Unit the residential could not have happened. We are already thinking about how deadly we can make the next one! Here’s some comments from students about their experience:
“I liked the uniqueness of the course and how the course content was tailored to my current work. I am particularly happy that there is provision for my continued learning with the other courses in Human Services as I wouldn’t have done uni studies if I didn’t do the first course and to get formal qualifications has been a long time dream for me.”
“I welcome the opportunity, I value the incredible support from the First Peoples Health Group, the lecturers and staff. The course was subject specific which is applicable in my line of work; it is clear and manageable throughout its duration. The mixed learning feedback both online and on campus was timely and beneficial and I would strongly encouraged others to enrol in this course.”
“The course was designed to provide flexibility in learning. The Trauma Informed Practice and Self Care components of the course were of particular interest to me as I believe that most of the clients we deal with are experiencing intergenerational conflicts due to historical removal of children.”
Based on the success of the pilot, the course will run again in Trimester 3 at Griffith University. Whilst this course can be taken as a stand-alone, single course option it is strongly recommended that people enrol into the Post Graduate Certificate in Human Services which has a total of four courses. It can all be completed via online study and as a part time of full time option. To find out more about this course and the Graduate Certificate in Human Services you can get in touch via email with Naomi Gill at the School of Social Work and Human Services: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact staff at QATSICPP.
Article provided by Glenn Woods, Lecturer, School of Human Services and Social Work, Griffith University.