Lauren Graham

BIOGRAPHY

Lauren Graham is a Team Leader at Family Support Service, Newcastle NSW. Providing services to families and their children who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Our mission is supporting the well-being of children in their families. As a narrative therapist, Lauren has a particular interest in facilitating alternate accounts of parent identities whose lives have been affected by child protection intervention.

ABSTRACT

This workshop will explore how genuine partnership and inclusion of parents and family in child protection and out of home care practice can positively contribute to achieving the current goals of the third action plan for the National Framework: “Protecting Children is Everybody’s Business”.

We will examine each of the 3 strategies from the perspective of parents with lived experience of child removal. Using workshop based activities that draw on the expertise of parents and family as well as from research we will identify family inclusive actions and achievable changes that will promote these policy outcomes. Strategies will be generated that rely on family inclusion, partnership and participation with parents and family with children impacted by child protection investigations and /or child removal and placement in out of home care. The workshop will reference Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter Inc (FISH), a partnership and collaboration of parents, agencies and child protection practitioners in the Hunter Valley of NSW. Facilitators /presenters include parents with lived experience of child removal and out of home care placement and workers from child welfare agencies. We will also draw on recent local research with parents conducted in collaboration with FISH, Life Without Barriers and the University of Newcastle. We will discuss how family inclusion is a key part of early intervention and supporting children in the first 1000 days, improving outcomes for children in OOHC and increasing the safety and responsiveness of organisations who care for children and their families.

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