Felicity, President. With experience of having my own three children taken into care, I understand the struggle parents go through when dealing with the child protection system. I turned my life around, improved my relationships with my children and have had two of my children restored to my care. I am dedicated to helping other parents understand child protection and hope to link them with information to make the process easier.
Casey, Committee member. I am a mother of five boys and one girl and I have one grandson. I completed a Certificate 3 in Community Services several years ago. I experienced homelessness for five years after four of my children were removed and I am now in safe housing. Since then I have met my daughter for the first time in six years and I’m working to reconnect with my boys. I love learning and being involved in community activities and hope to do more studies soon. I see my education as well as my lived experience of various systems as a great opportunity to effect needed change in the sector. FISH has assisted me along the way and I believe they are a much-needed link that is currently missing in the system.
Jessica, Secretary. I am a social worker and researcher with a lot of experience in child protection and out-of-home care. I am also a mum to two young men, aged 18 and 20. They were both primary school aged boys when I began working with other social workers and with parents with lived experience to form FISH in 2014. We were increasingly distressed about the way parents and families were treated and how damaging this was for them and their children. We felt parents and families needed to organise together to make change and to address the underlying causes of child removal. As time has passed I have become even more committed to supporting parent and family leadership in the child welfare system here and around the world.
Natasha, Committee member. I am a mother of six children. I have experience in the child protection system. Two of my children were restored to my care and I am seeking restoration of my older daughter. I am almost five years clean and sober. I am extremely proud of myself, my family and my culture. I identify as a proud Kamilaroi woman. My children are my life. I am a very active person with a strong passion for the gym, exploring the beach and bushwalks with my family. I want to be a part of helping other families to feel supported in their journey within the child protection system.
Sylvia, Committee member. I have worked in child protection with the Department of Communities and Justice for several years, primarily with families in the early stages of their experience with the system and conducting safety and risk assessments for children and young people. I enjoy working collaboratively with families and other agencies to ensure kids and families have the support they need for kids to be safe and at home with their parents or carers and when they are restored to their parents’ care.
Catherine, Committee member. I am a mother of four children, a grandmother of eight and I am a student. I am a keen advocate for mothers and for grandparents raising grandchildren when parents need them. Kinship and foster carers should play an active role in supporting parents in their work towards having their children returned home. I think FISH is critical in this work and I am excited to be part of promoting the importance of child-parent-carer relationships.
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