EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Supporting family reunification in child protection
There is substantial evidence that the Victorian child protection system (VCPS) is failing vulnerable families, particularly with family reunification following the removal of children to out-of-home care. This project will undertake a statewide study of the experiences of families seeking reunification within the VCPS.
Child protection clients are especially vulnerable, with a majority of clients being victims and survivors of family violence and experiencing severe social and economic disadvantage. Despite having access to legal representation, these women struggle to obtain the supports they need to address protective concerns identified by child protection and ensure their own safety.
The project aims to:
- generate new insights into the barriers and enablers to reunification of mothers and children removed from parental care due to protective concerns
- build understanding of current policy and practice issues related to permanency and reunification in the VCPS.
The project will use qualitative methods, including interviews with affected parents and focus groups with community legal centre lawyers who represent clients seeking reunification with their children.