PARENT PEER SUPPORT PROJECT
FISH has been involved in past research that has revealed that parents in contact with the child protection system have found it very difficult to participate in legal processes. In 2017, Jessica Cocks, FISH president, undertook a Churchill Fellowship to research peer support and parent leadership in child welfare. Jessica found that peer support including peer support partly delivered in court, has made a substantial difference to parent and family engagement and participation. The Parent Peer Support Project, designed in consultation with parent and practitioner members of FISH, is based on Jessica’s research and draws upon international literature about peer support in child welfare. The trial project is due to commence in Broadmeadow Children’s Court in August 2019 ending in January 2020.
The aim of the project is to achieve better outcomes for children following removal from their families due to child protection concerns. FISH believe it is crucial to support parents/families to engage with services and legal processes. Parents views about the support they receive from this project has the potential to inform new models of peer support that promote parental engagement,
Parent Partners are parents who have had their own experiences in the child welfare system. They are members of the project team. They provide peer-support and co-facilitate workshops for the parents participating in the project. Recruitment is currently underway for potential parent partners. See details below.