We do this through a relational approach, and a model of advocacy that focuses on empowerment, social justice and relational permanency. We believe great value can be gained from reciprocal learning, trust and respect between birth parents, families and staff.
Fin WA aims to achieve this by:
Enhancing the role of parents and families within the child protection system in a way which acknowledges the intrinsic value of parents and families.
Being a viable, sustainable and effective organisation that provides best practice services.
Empowering parents and families to participate meaningfully in the child protection system
Fostering a collaborative and inclusive child protection system.
Fin WA recognises that it may be necessary for some children to be placed in out of home care; however, parents and families will always be key stakeholders in children’s lives. Principally parents and families must be involved in respectful decision-making processes that affect them and their children.
Fin WA acknowledges the trauma, grief and loss experienced by a parent when a child is removed, or is at risk of being removed to out of home care by child protection authorities. As such we aim to provide empathetic and sensitive assistance to parents and family members to enable them to develop effective working relationships with the Department. We believe this approach results in better outcomes for children, parents and families.
Our services aim to assist parents and family members to establish, and work toward, achievable goals that will bring about personal growth and change. Fin WA works professionally in a non-adversarial manner. We respect all parties and seek resolution via mediation, often in highly conflictual circumstances. Fin WA services include support, advice, information, advocacy and referral to specialised and suitable service providers.
A key role of Fin WA is to ensure the respectful inclusion of parents in the decision making processes of the child protection system. An important element of the work is to inform families of their right to fair and just procedures and to encourage and assist in developing respectful relationships between families and statutory authorities.
In our work we make every effort to assist families and child protection authorities to work together to make effective and valuable decisions for the children and the family.
Research shows that parents who do not receive support and information at the time of, or immediately following, statutory intervention with child protection are likely to struggle to remain engaged with child protection and other services. The intent of child protection might be to assist parents to address issues such as drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, mental health concerns, disability, homelessness, isolation, incarceration and parenting skills, however if a parent is unable to engage with child protection services then progress is unlikely to occur. Fin WA believes that responding to parents with empathy and kindness results in increased parental engagement which creates hope and the possibility of change.