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.

Posted 12-06-2020
Shared Strength - Global Day of Parents 2020 Virtual Forum
Shared Strength – there has never been more cause to celebrate parents than in 2020” Hear how the shared strength, insight, creativity, and humour of parents is changing practice in Queensland.
  • Jo (Panel Host) – Member, Resound Voices of Experience
  • Sloane – Member, Queensland Parent Advisory Committee
  • Lila – Member, Queensland Parent Advisory Committee
  • Kylie – Executive Director, Child and Family Practice, Department Child Safety, Youth and Women
  • Leah – Member, Queensland Parent Advisory Committee

With a video message from The Hon Di Farmer, MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, with Deidre Mulkerin, Director-General, Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.

Posted 17-04-2020
Parents with child protection experience's response to COVID-19

This paper shares the voices and perspectives of parents with child protection experience during this challenging time responding to COVID-19.

Posted 20-12-2019
Equal | Chance Newsletter

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

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 06-12-2019
Shared Strength: Parents taking their place at the table

After more than ten years of advocacy, the Family Inclusion Network (FIN) South East Queensland has delivered on the Hon. Minister Di Farmer’s desire to hear directly from parents.

The ‘Shared Strength’ document summarises the advocacy journey, and features some parents’ answers to the question “What is the most important feedback about the child protection system that you would like to give?”. Deeper detail, in fact dozens of pages of direct quotes from parents are available in the full transcript of parents voices 2018-19.

‘Shared Strength’ also commemorates the significant commitment - in 2019 - to a permanent Queensland Parent Advisory Committee of parents, the Minister, and Department of Child Safety.

Posted 22-10-2019
Submission on the Rethinking rights and regulation - July 2019

Submission on the Rethinking rights and regulation: towards a stronger framework for protecting children and supporting families discussion paper.

The Family Inclusion Network welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women as part of the reforms made under the Supporting Families Changing Futures initiative.

Posted 01-10-2019
Mom knows best: the new role of parents in children’s social welfare

Can parent advocates change the way we view social services?

David Tobis, Senior Partner - Maestral International

An article detailing the impact of poverty on parents' ability to care for children leading to child removal, the importance of listening to parents in policy change, and the work of parent advocates in New York City, Finland, London and Queensland.

Posted 13-02-2019
Parent Engagement Strategy – 2018-19

In late 2018 and early 2019, Family Inclusion Network (FIN) invited parents to small forums to discuss developing a permanent mechanism to engage with the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.

This document is the starting point which lead to publishing Shared Strength: Parents taking their place at the table

On 1 June 2018, the Honourable Di Farmer MP, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women, and Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence made an Australian-first announcement: "We are committed to working with parents in developing the policies for this department..."

Posted 13-12-2018
The Parent Leadership Training Institute Brisbane - Graduates of 2018

The 2018 Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) graduates book gives an outline of classes completed during the training and celebrates the parent projects presented during the second PLTI program in Brisbane.

Since completing Parent Leadership Training, these parents continue on their leadership journeys and continue to influence change in their families and communities.

Feel free to contact us if you have an interest in any of the projects listed or if you would like to mentor emerging parent leaders in future classes.

Posted 20-11-2018
Positive Powerful Parents - Hand In Hand Parent Meeting Report

This report has been written for DHHS workers, NDIS workers, families, health workers, disability workers, advocates and anyone interested in the rights of parents with an intellectual disability.

"This report shares our stories so that people know what is happening to parents with intellectual disability. It is a true reflection of parents’ lived experiences. We want the community to know that parents with an intellectual disability can be good parents when they have the support they need."

"When parents with intellectual disability come together we help each other and we try to change the way child protection sees us."