For too long, consultations, meetings and Government reform forums, concerning different parts of the Child Protection system, have been underrepresented by Parents of kids in care.
As a representative of Parents on a Mission, I go to these events, to bring the voice of lived experience to the table. Most of the professionals in attendance have never heard how their decision making affects us. They are stunned when one or more of us turns up and identifies ourselves as Parents of kids in care.
We are faceless, nameless, we are statistics on a PowerPoint. We have always shied away from being known. Who wants people to know that we have had our kids taken from us?
But, what if we thought about this differently. We are all just Parents who needed some help. We have made mistakes, yes, but that doesn't mean that we have to hide away. We can rise above this and walk into a room full of people who help make the decisions and tell them what it's like on the other side of this.
This is hard and, from experience, can be daunting, but could you do this, if it meant that these people finally see things through your eyes? What if this changed everything? What if, after hearing what you have experienced, it changes someone's perspective? What if that person walks away and shares that new perspective?
Change happens slowly, one person at a time but change does happen. I've seen it with my own eyes. I can't really put into words how it feels to be listened to; to be able to have complete silence as you tell people what it's like to not have your children with you, to feel disempowered through all stages of the process, to feel powerless and vulnerable but still expected to parent and do all that is expected of you.
The Child Protection system has it's problems and we need to be a part of the solution. Most Parents are worried that this could affect their case. For me, it's had the opposite effect; Departmental workers are surprised but also gain respect and a slightly altered view, of Parents willing to put themselves out there.
The POAM Parent Voice Representative Action Group is being established to bring Parents together that want to use their voice of lived experience to tell the other side of the story. We want to stand united, to show a united group of Parents, who want to challenge the norm, challenge the stereotype of who we are and bring workable solutions to the table.
Do you want to join me? I can help you to get past those concerns you have, I can share my passion for Parents creating change, I can help empower you!
Be a part of the changes you want to see, find your voice and share your experience with others today!
To be a part of the Parents on a Mission Parent Voice Representative Action Group sign up here:
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Parents on a Mission acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of our great nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where I live, learn and work. I pay my respects to ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging. Parents on a Mission is committed to honouring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land and seas and their rich contribution to our multicultural society. Parents on a Mission will endeavour to capture the unique voice of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples and empower them on their journeys.
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