Employees: Jeff Buckley – Principal Consultant, Cameron Francis – Social Worker, Leigh Beresford – Clinical Nurse, Ben Dougherty – Project Officer
Focus areas: The youth alcohol and drug sector in Queensland
Dovetail supports youth alcohol and drug services in Queensland to better respond to the needs of young people aged 12-25 years. We promote collaboration, shared unity and networking across the state.
The Dovetail Websiteincludes latest information, resources, tools and examples of good practice in youth and alcohol and drug work from Australia and across the world.
The Dovetail Magazine is a quarterly online and print publication where workers can share their learnings, stories and perspectives with the rest of the sector.
Dovetail offers Professional Development Mini-Grants to contribute towards the costs of up-skilling staff from Queensland in youth and alcohol and drug practice.
Dovetail partners with communities across Queensland to deliver free Professional Development Forums designed to address youth and alcohol and drug issues relevant to that area.
Dovetail is developing a Service Practice Improvement Toolkit containing Good Practice Guides designed specifically for frontline youth and alcohol and drug work (due for release in 2012)
Dovetail offers general support and assistance to workers and services across Queensland in youth and alcohol and drug practice and policy
Dovetail was established in 2009 by a Consortium of government and non-government agencies who received funding from Queensland Health to establish a state-wide youth alcohol and drug sector development unit. We support and resource frontline services across Queensland, including 10 organisations who simultaneously received Queensland Health funding to employ dedicated Youth AOD Workers.
As a fairly new project our major challenge is getting ourselves known and recognised across the state (particularly given the tyranny of distance in Queensland) and ensuring that we provide the right type of support and assistance in the right areas. We knew from the outset that there is no one-size-fits-all approach so we have taken the time and pace to develop good relationships and trust with the sector.
There are also lots of differing opinions, approaches and politics within the youth AOD sector – which is great – but it requires us to retain total neutrality and non-bias in our work dealings to ensure that all services feel encouraged and supported, and that the health and wellbeing of young people remains at the heart of what we do.
Dovetail is a 3-year trial project funded until June 2012 - so we are gearing up for a solid final stretch of program delivery accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation process. This evaluation will be used to inform what Dovetail should look like into the future and where to best focus its resources.
Top of the list is the development of a Service Practice Improvement Toolkit in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology. When completed, the toolkit will contain a series of Good Practice Guides alongside practical checklists, instruments, templates, resources and other handy items.
We are also gearing up to deliver tailored training forums across the state in partnership with local communities and other programs across both government and community that have a state-wide training and development focus.
And then there’s our bread and butter, which is compiling and producing our quarterly magazine, keeping the website updated and distributing Professional Development Mini-Grants to workers across the state.
Anyone who has been at the helm of setting up a new program or organisation will know how much time and effort is required in those first years – from the big things like developing funding contracts and MOUs, all the way down to sorting desks, phones and even preferred fonts and letterheads, set-up takes so much time! So simply getting the Dovetail program up-and-running and then rolling it across the state has been a big achievement. Being able to produce a colourful, varied and user-friendly magazine and website which is full of contributions from workers and services in the sector has also been really useful in getting Dovetail known across the state.
If anyone wants to know more about Dovetail please check out our website at www.dovetail.org.au or call us on (07) 3837 5621.
You Me Unity reports on a forum organised by the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern and supported by Reconciliation Australia that brought together 76 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for four days, representing all Australian states and territories. Original article
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Acting Ombudsman Alison Larkins confirmed she was satisfied that the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) had, during the past six months, acted on recommendations to address matters of concern. Original article
Generation Next provides information for those working with young people to help them recognise the signs of different eating disorders. Original article
Recent research in the US shows that the effectiveness of 29 school-based programs designed to improve children’s emotional health didn't always lead to improved outcomes at home or away from school. Original article