Lindsey Fidler

Biography

Lindsey Fidler has over 20 years’ UK and Australian experience in social research and advocating for changes in policy and programs for disadvantaged communities. She has worked within the community, government and higher education sectors. Her work has influenced UK policies for students’ welfare benefits, finance and housing standards, and London residents’ education and employment opportunities; recognition for which she attended the Queen’s Garden Party. At SARC she is advocating for family-inclusive Tasmanian Child Safety reforms.

Abstract

This session outlines the Social Action and Research Centre’s research, policy development and advocacy, which is contributing towards the redesign of Tasmania’s Child Safety System.

SARC’s work unpacks some of the concepts embedded in national and state child protection frameworks, to inform, and to advocate on, what a local response should look like. This session will explore how our work is shaping what legal, policy, practice and program frameworks need to contain to ensure family preservation and restoration work keeps children and young people out of out-of-home care (OOHC); and how we might move stability and permanence for children and young people beyond a legal definition into a feeling of emotional safety, stability and permanence, whatever their care goal is.

Participants will explore the processes we use to influence policy design and development, including ensuring that the voices of families involved with the child safety system are at the centre of identifying issues, scoping recommendations and communicating findings. Participants will be encouraged to explore processes and roles across jurisdictions.

SARC’s research and advocacy focuses on addressing structural challenges to child safety, drawing on the latest international thinking. It offers insights into what kind of family support can promote preservation and restoration in a way that breaks the cycles of vulnerability, addiction, poverty, disengagement and failure which often characterize the families who place their children at risk. It also offers approaches to creating felt security, a sense of belonging and permanency for children in OOHC, whatever their care outcome.

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