Karen Menzies (Lecturer Wollutuka Institute Uni Newcastle) Vice Chair Winangay Resources Inc. A Wonnnarua woman from the Hunter Valley NSW Karen was the social worker on the Bringing Them Home report and has over 30 years experience working in OOHC and Child Protection.
Winangay resources have developed a range of ground breaking visual resources which have delivered a seismic shift in the way workers and organisations engage with Aboriginal, CALD and mainstream clients. These resources acknowledge the high levels of trauma experienced by individuals accessing health and community services, especially marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
While the workshop content is founded on theory and research, it is delivered in practical and interactive ways allowing participants to road test the latest resources. It incorporates stories and feedback from pilots and case studies from implementation in mainstream, Aboriginal and CALD contexts. It will discuss the outcomes achieved in empowering and enabling marginalised families and communities that led to them engaging with Child Protection services in new stronger ways and in many children returning to kin and culture. These empowering respectful and strength based approaches are enabling kids and families to heal, grow and flourish providing strong foundations for their future.
The KiDS SAY cards put children’s voices, their strengths, hopes and concerns front and centre in decision making and empower children and workers alike. The expanded KiDS SAY cards focus on children and young peoples’ strengths and safety. They provide the means by which KiDs strengths, hopes needs and concerns can shape their services, support and outcomes. They provide a clear direction for practice, in relation to safety, permanency, and cultural safety.
Child Protection Inquiries over the last 40 years have stressed the importance of listening to kids (Arney 2016). When children are provided with opportunities to have their say and participate in decision making the outcomes for kids are better with: more stability; a greater chance of securing permanency better maintenance of connections; and developing a strong cultural identity (Bamblett 2012, Blacklock et al.2015). Embedding participatory practices provides choice and control that contributes to the building of child safe organisations and environments and empowers children and young people so they can flourish and take their place in the wider community.
Winangay Resources Inc. have developed resources to assist workers and carers in working with families and children. The resources have been recommended at the highest level by governments, academics, Elders, aboriginal workers and the Healing Foundation. The display provides information and examples of the various resources Winangay Resources has produced.