“BUILDING SOLID FAMILIES”
From 1 November 2018, the new Family Participation Program (FPP) commenced throughout Queensland replacing the Recognised Entity (RE) role. The South East Queensland Family Participation Program is delivered by Kalwun, ATSICHS Brisbane and Mununjali within their allocated areas, with Kalwun covering the Gold Coast area. The common goal of the service is to empower families to participate in decisions about their children at multiple points over the period of their engagement with the child protection system.
Kalwun FPP commenced on 1 of November 2018 and has an existing team of four; 2 x FPP Convenor’s and 2 x FPP Practitioner’s. We have been fortunate to sustain a team of experienced Child Protection workers (previous RE workers) and have a balance of 2 x females and 2 x males. To date we have successfully worked with 12 families. We have found the transition for the families under the new FPP program to be more welcoming, accepted, inclusive and with ownership being embraced.
A key contributing factor to the success of the FPP is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Family Led Decision Making process, which is empowering our families to they have a voice, with a cultural emphasis on practice delivery (to our families) in a culturally safe way and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners in partnership with them.
The FPP support the primary principle that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the right to self-determination and the right to quality services based on the implementation of the five (5) elements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.
- Prevention – that a child has the right to be brought up within the child’s own family and community.
- Participation – that a child and the child’s parents and family members have the right to participate in an administrative or judicial process for making a significant decision about a child.
- Partnership – that Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander peoples have the right to participate in significant decisions under the Child Protection Act 1999 about Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children, including the design and delivery of programs and services.
- Placement – that if a child is to be placed in care, the child has a right to be placed with a member of the child’s family group.
- Connection – that a child has a right to be supported to develop and maintain a connection with the child’s family, community, culture, traditions and language.
This service is a resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and works independently of the Department of Child Safety.
The FPP work together with parents, families and children to independently facilitate an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Led Decision Making (ATSIFLDM) process. ATSIFLDM is a process that gives authority to parents, families and children to work together to solve problems and lead decision making in a culturally safe space. This approach provides an opportunity to keep children safe in a way that optimises families’ participation and confidence in the process, while meeting any statutory requirements.
The aim of the program is to take a strength-based approach that is solution focussed and engages the family in providing a safe environment for the child. A relationship that seeks to understand and invites responsibility and resilience rather than blame. A strength-based approach that acknowledges the positive aspects of the family and looks for exceptions to identified concerns. The goals of the intervention are developed with the immediate and extended family and other key identified persons. The ATSIFLDM process facilitates shared decision-making involving children, young people, parents and families to develop family-based solutions that provide for the safe care and connection of children; “VOICE and CHOICE”.
Kalwun FPP endeavour to make a difference for our families under the umbrella of this new program by strengthening the “VOICE and CHOICE” of our families and ultimately building SOLID FAMILIES.
Photo of the FPP team; from left to right; Vanessa Summers – CFSS General Manager, John Lui – FPP Practioner, Tanya Blackhall – FPP Convenor, Leiarna Dooley – Service Manager. Unfortunately, we have two team members that are absent.