(QldGovSpin) Helping children in care shape their identity

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 21/09/2004 - 03:48

Research aimed at developing culturally appropriate tools to help children in foster care maintain links with their heritage and identity was presented at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) 15th International Congress in Brisbane today.

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Child Safety, Mike Reynolds
childsafety@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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20/09/04

The study by Michelle Moss of the Queensland Department of Child Safety, uses art therapy to determine what identity means to children in care.

"My research is focussed on the child's concept of identity, rather than assumptions made by adults about how children in foster care maintain links with their cultural heritage and develop their identity away from their natural families," Ms Moss said.

"I hope this research will enable us to develop culturally appropriate tools for children and training for practitioners aimed at helping children stay connected with their cultural heritage," she said.

The Indigenous Child Placement Principle ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people who require alternative placements are placed within their own communities or language groups to retain cultural identity and sense of belonging.

Minister for Child Safety, Mike Reynolds, said he was delighted that so many staff from the Department of Child Safety had been invited to deliver presentations at the prestigious international Congress.

"Being invited to share our local research findings with an international delegation of child protection experts reinforces the high standard and quality of research being conducted by child protection professionals in Queensland," Mr Reynolds said.

"The research projects and trials we are conducting throughout the State are aimed at providing enhanced support to vulnerable children and young people and their families," he said.

"What we learn from this Congress will inform our practice standards and service delivery models in the future."

Officers from the Department of Child Safety, including the Minister will make a total of seven presentations during the Congress, which runs from 19 - 22 September at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For more information about the 15th International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect hosted by ISPCAN, log on to www.congress2004.com.

Media enquiries:
Karla Steen 0407 582 041 or
Mike Holliday 3006 4029

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