Ian & Shirley Norman Foundation partner with Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter (FISH)

About FISH

FISH (Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter) is a registered charity that began in 2014 when a group of people in Newcastle realised that many children in out-of-home care do not have the opportunity to have good relationships with their families. In 2020, FISH embarked on a service expansion. Their core services include individual and group support, advocacy, community engagement, community education, and sector research and submissions.

Importantly, most of the Peer Support Workers at FISH are parents with lived experience of the removal of their children. Peer Support Workers aim to support, educate, and empower parents whose children have been removed and placed in care. They support the parent to stay connected with their child so that the parent/child bond is not lost and there is a possibility to reunite as a family, where appropriate. The FISH Support Workers have successfully navigated the child protection system themselves and use their experiences to help others. They are trained and supervised and do a combination of paid and voluntary work.

The objectives of FISH are:

To promote and advocate for the respectful inclusion of families in out-of-home care and child protection systems and practice;

To amplify the voices of parents, family, and children in discussions about child protection and out of home care;

To identify and make visible family inclusive practice when it happens to generate learning and change in the broader system;

To actively partner with, and learn from, the lived experiences of families and children. Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter will model collaboration and partnership between practice, research, parents, family, and children in the Hunter Valley;

To question conventional thinking, concepts, and ways of working which may be counter to family inclusiveness and to improving children’s outcomes through family inclusion; and

To generate solutions and strategies for better practice.

“I wanted to thank you again for the Foundation’s support of FISH. People are over the moon about it. While I didn’t know your parents Tracy, I think they would be proud of what you and the Foundation are achieving. As someone said to me when expressing their joy at the Foundation’s support for FISH, “The future belongs to those with vision who are prepared to relinquish old power paradigms and make good trouble.” Here’s to us continuing to make good trouble!”Gillian Calvert - Director

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Ian & Shirley Norman Foundation ABN 65879884450  |   Registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

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