With experience of having my own three children being 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.
Angie, Vice President
I work with FISH in the design and delivery of parent and worker co facilitated workshops aimed at increasing staff and carer knowledge and skill in family inclusion. My FISH colleagues and I directly challenge conventional ways that workers and carers do things in child welfare. I am the mother of four children who have recently been returned to the full time care of me and my partner, after a long struggle. My experiences with both kinship and foster care give me a unique insight to the child welfare system and how to make it better for children, families and communities.
Rachel, Committee member
I am a mother of six children who has experienced the child protection system first hand. I have been through the system and had all my children returned to my sole care. Throughout the process, I have seen how isolating and hard the struggle is for parents trying to better themselves and understand the reasons for the removal and how to fix them. It has become my passion to help other parents through this journey and achieve better outcomes for parents and children.
Shantelle, Committee member
In 2016, my two young daughters were removed after being in a domestic violence relationship. I was isolated and had experienced trauma, not only from the situation I had been in, but also from the child protection system and its processes. I had sought support for my children to remain safely in my care, but found that I had no support and no voice. Advocacy changed the outcome for my youngest daughter who was restored to my care in early 2019. I am passionate about working towards improving the child protection system to have a greater restorative focus and increasing the support for families to be included in their children’s lives.
Tammy, Committee member
My passion for family inclusion comes from my personal experience of the child protection system and an awareness of the importance of family connections to a child. As someone who was in the child protection system myself, I understand that not having a relationship with my own family was detrimental to me. dealing with the child protection system as a child and as a parent was a nightmare and I am committed to helping to make the system better for others. The stigma around having my child removed stays with me, and people still judge me despite changing my life for my two children.
I am a Social Worker who has worked in child protection, foster care, and family support for 17 years. I have seen first-hand the importance of family relationships and connections for children who experience Out of Home Care and how important these are for helping a child develop a healthy sense of belonging, identity and self-esteem. Children and young people who enter care need to feel loved and connected to their family. It is only through meeting this deep psychological need that children can grow up to have meaningful relationships in their own lives.
I am a social worker. I am committed to the FISH focus on building better relationships with parents and families of children and young people in care. Children have a right to know and be involved with their parents and families, with their safety considered. It is fundamental to their identity, both now and in the future. Family inclusion does not mean parents should be in their children’s lives without careful thought. Family inclusive practice is meaningful and proactive – and is more than family visits (legally referred to as ‘contact’).
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