We are currently in the process of confirming the final line-up of presentations for the Signs of Safety Gathering in Kansas City, but we’re excited to share with you this sneak preview of a confirmed presentation by Pippa Lane and Dennis Taylor from Perth, Western Australia.
Chris is a 12-year-old Aboriginal boy who was placed in the care of the Western Australian Department of Communities in August 2008, and is currently living with a general foster carer.
Since 2009, Chris had no face-to-face contact with his father and always had a yearning to know more about him. He had also not had any contact with his mother for 3 years, and wanted to know why he didn’t see his family. The sudden death of his dad in late 2015 triggered a range of emotions for Chris about his place with both his maternal and paternal family, and within his culture.
Chris’s confusion and ongoing questions about his family motivated and challenged his worker and her colleagues to come up with a plan to engage the important people in his life. Time was spent yarning (talking and exchanging stories) with Chris’s extended family to cross-reference information available to the Department about the paternal family (particularly his father) and capture their perspective.
Pippa Lane (Senior Child Protection Worker) and Dennis Taylor (Aboriginal Practice Leader) pictured above, will talk about how they used the Words and Pictures tool to create an explanation for Chris and how this aided his understanding of mental health issues, his father’s untimely death, and the reintroduction to his paternal family.
Pippa and Dennis are strong proponents for not just recognising, but acting upon the need for a connection with family and culture for children who are in care. They will demonstrate how the Words and Pictures tool can be a highly flexible one — a key that opens many doors.
We hope you can join us at the Gathering to hear the details of this exemplary work, and much more like it. More information about the Gathering, including registration details, can be found on the event page.