At first it was difficult to know where to place our bright, articulate young voices. After some serious thought, the answer seemed obvious. We should hear our young voices first! In everything we do, in everything we hope to achieve, our children are our priority. This is their future that we are building, their lives we wish to build up. We are overjoyed that they have bravely shared their views and experiences with us.
Our four young voices this issue range include three teen girls and a younger boy. These fantastic youth demonstrate that children are far more articulate and have a far better understanding than that which they are often given credit.
Advice and experiences of Parents
Parents and Grandparents who have involvement by local authorities frequently express how deeply frustrated they are and how much it hurts to feel so powerless in their own families. An important aspect of advocacy is listening. It makes an enormous difference to feel heard, to be acknowledged, and it is vital that we listen to those who have experience or ‘being done’ to by the child protection system. We need better understand and work together to make much needed change to ‘working with’.
Corporate parents need to work with and listen to biological families as equals. There is no substitute for a child to their family. Children need their families.Sometimes parents need support to do their best by their children.
The first step in supporting a family is helping them to be heard. The first step in building a working relationship and the only way to develop trust and respect is through communication.
In the child protection and social work world, professionals rarely receive a great deal of praise. Which is truly unfortunate given the tremendously difficult jobs they do day in and day out. PAR is dedicated to parent advocacy and rights. It simply could not exist with out the brave, dedicated and caring professionals that give endlessly of themselves.
In this issue, we have the advice and support of a Social Worker, a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Social Work, and Birthlink.
It is incredibly important that parents and professionals work together in the best interests of children, but it is immensely difficult in many situations. Often information and understanding is key, and this can only happen with good communication. The professionals in the following articles will share their experience and knowledge in an easy to understand way about topics which are important to parents.
We welcome advice and contributions from all professionals involved with families and child protection please email: [email protected].
From the PAR Conference
On the 3rd of November, PAR held a conference in Edinburgh. The collective voices of mothers, fathers and grandparents who have had local authority involvement were shared. Professionals from Social Work, SCRA, Universities, the Care commissioner, and from abroad came together to discuss and work towards parent advocacy.View this issue