Norma Williams

Biography

Norma Williams is a Program Manager with Uniting Care QLD and a senior family dispute resolution practitioner. She has a broad social science background spanning over 30 years with experience in child development and care, conflict and dispute resolution, education and training and service delivery. Norma has presented at national and international conferences during her career. Norma’s work in recent years has focussed on action research and program development around child inclusion and active participation. The premise of this work is honouring articles 12,13,18,19 and 36 of UN Convention on Rights of the Child.

Abstract

Twenty six years since Australia became a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and ten years since introducing reforms in family law and related services, the absence of child/young person active participation in matters and decisions affecting them still persists. This requires structural change in service delivery and practice in recognition of the human rights of children and young people as prescribed in the UN Convention.

What are the barriers limiting seamless pathways for children and young people in having equal opportunity to participate and have a say in matters directly affecting them, in the family law system and child and family services?
What are unresolved perceptions and concerns about involving children and young people.
What beliefs influence individual and collective professional practice about children’s capacity for participation and contribution and what informs us?
What action do we need to and can we take to effect significant change structural and cultural change?

Facing such questions and leading through learning activity towards cultural change and procedural reforms within the operation of FRC Logan during 2014 and 2016, has had the direct result of increasing participation of children and young people in Family Relationship Centre activities by 450% since 2013. All children over 5 now have the opportunity to participate and have their views considered.

We invite practitioners to identify and explore such or similar questions they see as current barriers and formulate paradigm shifts that will influence change action and have collective impact.

Share this page