The experience of trauma upon children and parents when children are removed from the family home is well documented. The impact is deep and often long lasting on both children and parents especially if comprehensive supports are not put in place. Parents need to be supported to overcome the difficulties that may have led to the children going into care. Experience and research tells us that when parents are treated with respect and dignity, are included in the processes of assessment, decision making and planning and they feel their workers have genuine regard and concern for them, they are more inclined to feel hopeful of overcoming their personal issues and hopefully be reunited with their children.
The benefit to children to see their parents manage their difficulties and to resume some level of care of them (even if not full time care) is enormously beneficial as it provides the children with a role model of someone who has overcome many challenges and they are able to maintain and develop their relationship with them. This will ultimately build on the child’s wellbeing to have a positive relationship with their parent.
Statutory involvement is complex, overwhelming and frightening for parents and families. Due to the statutory role of child protection workers the relationship between parents and workers is often fraught with fear, anger, mistrust and resistance. This tension that exists can become destructive to working toward the best outcomes for children and it is Fin WA’s role to help parents and workers engage in respectful working relationships.