Voice of Parents: A Model for Inclusion

About the Voice of Parents project

The Voice of Parents project is a two-year project led by the Centre, supported by Gandel Philanthropy and Equity Trustees – The Arthur Gordon Oldham Charitable Trust.

As an ever-increasing number of Victorian parents are engaged with the Child and Family Services System, and the impacts of COVID-19 set to create even more pressure, hearing parents’ voice and embedding a model for parents’ participation is critical to improving outcomes for families and enabling children to thrive.

The Voice of Parents project will develop a framework for parent voices to be heard through a Charter of Parental Participation, an agreed principles that can be applied across organisations and programs in the child and family services sector, and a Parent Participation Model (with a practical tool kit of resources). These resources will be used by government and the child and family services sector across Victoria for the inclusion of parents’ voice in their work. 

Benefits

The Voice of Parents  continues the Centre’s commitment to promoting client voice and learning from those with lived experience to achieve better outcomes for children and support parents in their critical role in their child’s life.

Anticipated benefits of the project include:

  • Parents will be provided with opportunity for their voice to be heard and for greater awareness of their experience in the critical touch points in the child and family system.  This will inform the development of a systemic approach to parental participation through resources such as the Parent Participation Toolkit and the Charter of Parental Participation created through the project.
  • The project will develop a model and supporting resources to establish and embed parent participation in organisations in the child and family services sector. This will enable organisations to effectively design and deliver services that best meet the needs of children and families experiencing vulnerability who are accessing their services.
  • The project will drive sector collaboration in bringing together a broad range of stakeholders in the design of an effective model and encouragement of implementation.
  • The project will develop an evidence base of international and national participatory programs that will build on the limited existing knowledge of parental participation

Get involved

Help us explore the opportunities and challenges involved for organisations in embedding a systematised approach to parental engagement and participation by taking our survey.

This survey is seeking your views on how parents are currently engaged, what works, and what barriers exist. If you work with parents who have child protection contact in Victoria, we’re keen to hear from you!

In order to develop a sustainable, effective, practical model, the Voice of Parents project requires support and input from all the child and family welfare sector, including adjacent sectors such as legal and health. Opportunities including surveys, workshops, and individual consultations will be critical.

Should you be interested in how you can support our work and/or opportunities to participate, please email Danielle Walt at danielle.walt@cfecfw.asn.au

project Publications

The Voice of Parents is committed to ensuring that relevant research on parental participation is available, to address the limitations of existing knowledge on parental participation. 

Literature Review on Participation Frameworks

This review, undertaken in partnership with the University of Melbourne, sought to identify key strategies for effective parent participation whilst understanding the barriers that impact, and in effect, compromise meaningful engagement with services.

Overview of Compliance Frameworks

The Victorian Government has several frameworks that support organisations in their consideration and implementation of a client participation process. This document explains how these government frameworks support organisations in embedding the client voice in practice, as well the opportunities and challenges in these frameworks for participatory processes.

Further resources

Contact

If you would like to learn more about the Voice of Parents project or have a query relating to any of the information above, please contact Danielle Walt at danielle.walt@cfecfw.asn.au.

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