Learning from the experiences of parents with children in care

Learning from the experiences of parents with children in care

Teegan Bain, Jessica Cocks, Felicity Kime and Lynette Stoker

This webinar explored the experiences of parents with children in care and outlined emerging family inclusive practice strategies.

Learning from the experiences of parents with children in care

This webinar was held on 23 August 2017.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page.

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

“Kids need their parents in their lives – one way or the other.”

The perspectives of parents with children in care are important to children, though are missing from the policy and practice discourse on child welfare in Australia. This webinar presented findings from recent qualitative research that explored parents’ views and experiences of the child protection and out of home care systems. Parents in the study described an ongoing interest in their children’s wellbeing and an enduring parental identity, though they also frequently experienced practice that excluded them from their children’s lives.

This webinar aimed to give participants an appreciation of parent perspectives, and practical strategies for family inclusion in the interests of children. The work of a parent and worker alliance in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales was also discussed.

Feature image by Tanja Heffner, CC0 1.0.

About the presenters

Teegan Bain

Teegan Bain is a co-founder of Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter Inc (FISH) - a parent and worker collaboration to promote family inclusion in child welfare. She is the mother of five children, including one child in long term care. She is a regular speaker and group facilitator on the topic of family inclusion and its importance to children. Teegan is the first parent peer worker to be employed by an out-of-home care agency in Australia – Life Without Barriers. She is a strong advocate for parents to have a voice within the system and to help them navigate ways to maintain relationships with their children. 

Jessica Cocks

Jessica Cocks is a social worker and researcher with over 25 years’ experience in child and family practice including out of home care. She is the national practice lead for children, young people and families at Life Without Barriers and has a particular interest in practice and research that is inclusive of families. She has recently been awarded a 2016 Churchill Fellowship to research family inclusion in child welfare in the USA, Canada, Norway and the UK. Jessica is a co-founder of FISH.

Felicity Kime

Felicity Kime is a co-founder of FISH and was a consultant with the research team. She is the mother of four children including two daughters now restored to her care, a son who was never removed and one son who remains in long term care. Felicity’s experience has given her a profound understanding of the struggles parents experience when dealing with the child protection system. Felicity is a regular speaker and facilitator with groups and at events on the topic of family inclusion and is dedicated to systemic change in the interests of children.

Lynette Stoker

Lynette Stoker is a social worker and academic with over 25 years’ experience in child and family practice, including out-of-home care. She is a lecturer at the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle. Lynette is also a co-founder of FISH and, along with other FISH members, has undertaken a range of projects to build and promote family inclusive practice. Lynette is particularly interested in ensuring children’s voices are central and in creating change to enable greater participation by children, including better relationships with parents and family