Advocacy

Individual Advocacy

Fin WA Advocates are experienced professionals who provide one-to-one support and information to parents and families who are involved with child protection.  Fin WA is committed to helping families navigate the child protection system so they can participate with more information, knowledge and confidence.

We hope that our work with parents will lead to more effective communication between parents and departmental workers, and assist parents to be hopeful, child focused and maintain meaningful connection with their children.

Fin WA Advocates can attend meetings with parents including:

  • Pre-birth meetings
  • Signs of Safety review and planning meetings (may be called Stability and Connection meetings)
  • Child Protection Mediation Style Conferences
  • Care Plan meetings or reviews
  • Perth Children’s Court (for Protection and Care matters)

Fin WA Advocates can also:

  • support parents prior to, during and after any of the meetings mentioned above
  • help parents to prepare for meetings
  • provide parents with telephone information, advocacy and support
  • help parents to understand what the Department and the Court are concerned about and what you can do to address these concerns
  • help parents develop a safety plan and a safety network
  • provide assistance regarding contact with your child while they are in care
  • assistance with writing a Responding Affidavit
  • provide referral to appropriate community support including legal services
  • linking parents with others who have experience with the child protection system
  •  help to make a complaint or seek a review of a care plan
  • help parents to feel hear and understood

Due to the high level of demand on our service, there may be times when Fin WA Advocates provide information and support over the phone, including directing families to the information on our website, and other appropriate services.  We may also be able to link you with a Family Partner (Peer Worker).

Fin WA Advocates usually work closely with a family for a period of 3 months.  During this time they work together to identify the most important and purposeful elements of the child protection system that can be addressed together.

Systemic Advocacy

Fin WA has a community and systems advocacy focus.  As part of Fin WA’s work in systemic advocacy, we work with parents, families and stakeholder groups to inform decision makers about the need for respectful inclusion for families at all points in the child protection system; from prevention and early intervention to out of home care.

Around 80% of substantiated child harm in Australia is concerned with psychological harm or neglect.  These are associated with family violence, poverty, homelessness, parental ill health, and other social and public health issues.  They are rarely the result of parental deficits alone.

Recognising this context, Fin WA seeks to address the structural barriers that impact families coming to the attention of child protection interventions.   As part of Fin WA’s  systemic advocacy approach, we work with parents, families and stakeholder groups to inform decision makers about the need for respectful inclusion for families at all points in the child protection system; from prevention and early intervention to out of home care.

It is increasingly recognised that families need to participate in child protection practice and processes if intervention to keep children safe is to succeed. Peer advocacy and parent leadership is emerging internationally as a practice and policy strategy that addresses power imbalances and underlying causes while also improving the relational focus in child protection agencies.

Some of the ways we utilise the lived experience voice to inform and influence system change include:

  • Participation in departmental and cross sector forums and working groups
  • Participation in new and emerging research on the child protection system
  • Seeking funding opportunities to further the lived experience voice in service design eg peer support
  • Undertaking consultations or contributing to submissions to departmental, government or other inquiries.

Fin WA has a community and systems advocacy focus.  As part of Fin WA’s work in systemic advocacy, we work with parents, families and stakeholder groups to inform decision makers about the need for respectful inclusion for families at all points in the child protection system; from prevention and early intervention to out of home care.

Around 80% of substantiated child harm in Australia is concerned with psychological harm or neglect.  These are associated with family violence, poverty, homelessness, parental ill health, and other social and public health issues.  They are rarely the result of parental deficits alone.

Recognising this context, Fin WA seeks to address the structural barriers that impact families coming to the attention of child protection interventions. 

As part of Fin WA’s  systemic advocacy approach, we work with parents, families and stakeholder groups to inform decision makers about the need for respectful inclusion for families at all points in the child protection system; from prevention and early intervention to out of home care.

It is increasingly recognised that families need to participate in child protection practice and processes if intervention to keep children safe is to succeed. Peer advocacy and parent leadership is emerging internationally as a practice and policy strategy that addresses power imbalances and underlying causes while also improving the relational focus in child protection agencies.

Some of the ways we utilise the lived experience voice to inform and influence system change include:

  • Participation in departmental and cross sector forums and working groups
  • Participation in new and emerging research on the child protection system
  • Seeking funding opportunities to further the lived experience voice in service design eg peer support
  • Undertaking consultations or contributing to submissions to departmental, government or other inquiries.
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