Posted 26-07-2023
Leanne's Gift

FINseq is humbled and honoured to share Leanne's Gift on our website. You can find it here now.

Please note: changes to legislation, policies, and programs are non-stop. As such, these resources are unlikely to remain accurate on every detail. In general, however, they will help. FIN will endeavour to update material when we have capacity. PLEASE send suggested changes to

Parents on a Mission Parents' Guide 2022

This incredible resource shares Leanne's advice, knowledge, and support from over 14 years of lived experience of getting through the child protection system in Queensland. Chapters include:

"My children have been removed"

"Your relationship with the Department"

"Caring for your children"

"Going to court"

"Dealing with family and friends"

"Common vocabulary used throughout your case"

Leanne's Gift digital pack for parents

This resource includes some information (downloads) to support you, from information on domestic violence to a legal aid application form, social assessment, and more.

Leanne's Gift digital pack for kids

This resources includes some information (downloads) to support your children through the process, including information for different age groups.

Posted 26-07-2023
Imagine If - Global Day of Parents 2023

"Imagine if the support families received was practical, adaptable, tailored, safe, and early". This UN Global Day of Parents, Parents talked of "Being seen and heard...Not just being looked at as a statistic or another parent with a child in the system. But as a voice that matters, a voice that is wanting the best for their children and most importantly, know what’s best for our children". This is just one quote from the many parents and workers who came together today to start the "imagining". The hope was strong! We can do this!

Posted 13-04-2023
Sunset Review of Child Protection Regulation - Submission

Family Inclusion Network Southeast QLD submission for Sunset Review of Child Protection Regulation 2011 (the Regulation).

FIN believes the Regulation should be updated in line with the Human Rights Act 2019 and the principles under the Act. We suggest that the agreement to provide care for a child removed from their parents should also include the parents and family as a party to the agreement, and that their views, wishes, and goals regarding reunification be included as a term of the agreement.

FIN also suggests that the Regulation should reflect information that aligns with the standards of care outlined in the Act. The parents in FIN have provided feedback about how the Regulation, in its current form, impacts their access to information about where their child is living and in whose care they are placed.

FIN was consulted about the sunset review in March 2023.

Full text: Sunset Review of Child Protection Regulation 2011 Submission

Posted 12-01-2023
Parents' Views on Child Safety Complaints Process

Over the years, dissatisfaction with the Child Safety complaint process has been a consistent theme when parents have engaged with FIN.

FIN understands that changes to the Child Safety complaints system were introduced in 2020/2021 as a result of the Queensland Ombudsman’s - Management of child safety complaints – second report (March 2020). This report followed an earlier Ombudsman investigation into the then Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services’ management of Child Safety complaints (2016).

The Ombudsman stated, “the department’s complaints management system is crucial to ensuring any clients’ concerns with the actions and decisions of the department in administering Queensland’s child protection system can be raised and rectified appropriately” (2020).

In June 2020, FIN was consulted on intended changes to the complaints system.

Full text: Parents Views on Child Safety Complaints Process

Posted 08-12-2022
Submission to the Disability Royal Commission

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

‘We should not be punished for having a disability.’ Recommendations for reforms to Child Protection, Family Services and Disability Systems from Parents with a Disability

A submission to the Disability Royal Commission (DRC) from Family Inclusion Network Australia (FINA) with input from Positive Powerful Parents (PPP) Self Advocacy Group

Dr Kate Fitt

Dr Christina David

RMIT University

December 2022

Full text: Fitt David FINA PPP DRC Report

Posted 14-07-2022
Charting the Course – Global Day of Parents 2022

Families are the fundamental unit of society, and parents are charting the course towards their inclusion and rights in the child protection system.

This forum was held in person at the Queensland Multicultural Centre, and an online recording is available here.

Posted 06-06-2022
Charter of Rights for Parents involved with the child protection system in Queensland

If you are a parent who becomes involved with the Department, you have rights. The Charter of Rights for Parents sets out the rights of parents involved with the child protection system in Queensland. The Charter was developed in a partnership between the Family Inclusion Networks (FIN) of Queensland, the Queensland Parents’ Advisory Committee (the QPAC) and the Department.

Posted 01-01-2022
Equal | Chance Newsletter

Equal | Chance is written by and with parents and families with experience in the Queensland child protection system.

Edition 31 | August 2023

Edition 30 | Global Day of Parents 2023

Edition 29 | Heroes of Hope

Edition 28 | Grappling with 2 systems - Child Protection + Domestic Violence Prevention

Edition 27 | 🎄 December 🎄 2022

Edition 26 | 🎃 October 🎃 2022

Edition 25 | Speaking up ... strengthening up ...

Edition 24 | Charter of Rights for Parents

Edition 23 | Basic human rights baby!!

Edition 22 | Is my child ok?

Edition 21 | You are stronger than you think you are.

Edition 20 | Listen to me when I say “right now is not a good time”.

Edition 19 | You have power, even in powerless situations.

Edition 18 | You will always know more about your child than the experts.

Edition 17 | Pain, yes... but there are gains too!

Edition 16 | I was no longer alone... becoming a parent leader. National Redress Scheme. Parent get togethers.

Edition 15 | You do enough. You have enough. You are enough.

Edition 14 | An open letter to parents. Parents meet with Qld Foster and Kinship Care (QFKC). Top 5 tips in an investigation.

Edition 13 | Parents call for compassion, understanding and communication. No new legislation! Yet...

Edition 12 | Celebrating the UN's Global Day of Parents 2020.

Edition 11 | Parents' experience through COVID-19 survey. Parent Morning Teas and Queensland easing restrictions. Wisdom and tips from other parents, and more.

Edition 10 | Parent Committee members connect virtually. Continued systems advocacy. Director-General's message to parents, and more.

Edition 9 | Farewell to an outgoing Director-General Michael Hogan. Parents at Families Australia Meeting, and more.

Edition 8 | Advice for Christmas, Easter and Birthdays. Parent Advice: Building relationships with Foster Carers, and more.

Edition 7 | Inaugural meeting of the Queensland Parent Advisory Committee (QPAC).

Edition 6 | Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) member lends their voice to Anti-Poverty week – Raise the Rate forum. Parents awarded and acknowledged for their advocacy work at the PeakCare AGM.

Edition 5 | Families Australia invited parents to join group discussions with national and state government, NGO’s and academics on key policy areas to strengthen Australian families.

Edition 4 | Parents join other industry leaders at the Queensland Child Protection Annual Awards Ceremony in the opening of Child Protection Week. Lived experiences were shared in the Child Protection Act review and review of the Foster and Kinship Training and Assessments.

Edition 3 | Parents feature in the Department of Child Safety’s 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan and a commitment to including parents voices in the Supporting Families Changing Futures strategy. Parents also work with Legal Aid Qld to share their court experiences the upcoming Separate Representative training.

Edition 2 | Nine brave and powerful parents spoke at the National Child Protection Conference. PLTI Alumni shared their experience and were joined by parents with a Child Protection experience.

Edition 1 | On 4 June 2019, over 200 people attended the 2019 Global Day of Parents forum. The keynote speaker, David Tobis shared with us his experiences of how parents and their allies changed New York City's child welfare system. 50,000 children in care, reduced to 9,000 – and still holding.

Posted 01-07-2021
Green Shoots – Global Day of Parents 2021

Green Shoots – Parents across Australia are growing change in the child protection system. Watch the Global Day of Parents 60 minute panel discussion.

Hear how parents’ lived experiences, tenacity and teamwork have produced green shoots of inclusion within the child protection system.


  • The Hon. Leanne Linard MP, Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
  • Felicity Kime, Peer Parent, and President and cofounder of FISH (Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter)
  • Leanne Claussen, Parent Leader, and CEO, Parents on a Mission
  • Maddie Henaway, Parent Advocate, Family Inclusion Network of South-east Qld
  • Renna Gayde, Family Partner, Family Inclusion Network of WA
  • Sharlene McDonald, Family Partner, Family Inclusion Network of WA
  • Debbie Henderson, Executive Officer, Family Inclusion Network of WA
  • Jessica Cocks, Author, Peer Parent and Family Advocacy in Child Protection, Churchill Fellow 2016,Practice Lead, Life Without Barriers
Posted 10-08-2020
FIN’s comment - on the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

On 3 August 2020 FIN Southeast Queensland made a Submission to a Queensland Parliamentary Committee - who were looking into yet another Bill proposing changes to the Child Protection Act (1999). It is FIN's hope that a more balanced system will emerge from this proposal.

In summary FIN’s comments are:

  • The Amendment as drafted – which foregrounds adoption – must not proceed. That instead, the strong evidence base that already exists should be used to deliver a broad and flexible range of options – like respite for parents or joint guardianship - to achieve relational, physical, and legal permanency;
  • If amendments are made to the Child Protection Act (1999), let’s instead amend Section 59 so that - if the court was not satisfied the Department had “taken all reasonable efforts to provide support services to the child and family” then it could refuse to make the child protection order;
  • We must ensure parents have a right to legal representation, embed this in the legislation, and expand the Legal Aid funding pool to meet this need;
  • The prescriptive two-year timeframe for ‘permanency’ should serve as a guide only, not be a fixed timeframe;
  • The Act should also be amended so that biological parents are afforded their right to apply to have a Permanent Care Order revoked;
  • It is not okay that the amendments risk the creation of yet further over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people in the child protection system, including in out-of-home care; and
  • It is not okay that the amendments do not seek the views of children and young people themselves. This is especially critical in permanent decisions such as adoption.

Read our Submission here.