About Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter
We call ourselves FISH for short. We began in 2014 when a group of people in Newcastle who work with families realised that many children in out-of-home care do not have the opportunity to have good relationships with their families.
We know there are lots of ways that parents and families can be more included in child protection and out-of-home care systems and the lives of their children in care – we call this “Family Inclusion”.
In 2014 the original group organised a practice forum for parents, carers and practitioners and anyone interested in family inclusion. About 60 people attended and decided to keep working together to see what else we could do to improve things for children in care and their families.
We also support and partner in research about parents and families in CP and OOHC
We conducted research that explored the views of parents in the Hunter, asking what they think of the care and protection system and how it works. We completed individual interviews and focus group sessions with the parent participants. We partnered in research that looked at what practitioners, carers, workers, parents and families think about family inclusive practice, and another research project looked at at experiences of parent peer workers in support and advocacy.
A little more about us…
In 2015 we organised a practice and research forum and asked researchers and parents to talk to us about what they had found and learned. We asked people to come up with more ideas to help improve things for children and their families.
FISH members speak at conferences and meetings. We aim to attend conferences where we can spread the word about the importance of family inclusion.
We develop and run workshops for carers, workers, parents and family. Our parent workshops were a new edition in 2021. It is great to see parents with lived experience facilitating workshops for other parents and passing on their knowledge and success stories.
We have Facebook and Instagram pages with news, ideas and information for parents and agencies to improve relationships, support children and improve family inclusion.
Anyone can message our peer support workers via Facebook and they can reply or call you.