Background on the resource guide
The resources are arranged under the recommendations of the report entitled, Culture Matters (2010) which discusses the findings of work completed by PeakCare and ECCQ with the support of the Multicultural Child Protection Working Group (MCPWG). The results of the study attest that areas within the service system need improvement and support to better intervene with families and children in a culturally sensitive manner.
The eight recommendations were based on findings from the study with CALD families and workers who had been in contact with the tertiary sector of child safety services in Queensland. The recommendations indicate that there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a service system which is responsive to the well being and safety needs of children and their families using a culturally sensitive framework.
The eight recommendations
That information regarding Queensland’s child protection legislation, child protection system, and child and family services be provided to culturally diverse communities through:
- providing accurate information to community leaders, elders and organizations for dissemination
- culturally-based media such as radio stations and newspapers
- TAFE and other educational institutions via ‘English as a Second Language’ courses
That training for the child protection workforce incorporate:
- learning about the migration and settlement process for immigrant families, including how migration can affect parenting practices, and how to support families during this process
- understanding of the complexities of language and how to minimize barriers to effective cross-cultural communication
- identification and exploration of one’s own culture, ethno-centric racism, oppression and human rights within child protection practice
- cultural curiosity, not cultural stigmas and stereotypes
- exploration of inter-generational difficulties encountered by migrant families and provide methods to support both parents and children through these conflicts
- how to conduct cultural assessments which allow for examination of the intentions and rationale behind parents’ behaviours.
That services be provided to migrant families through:
- on-going culturally appropriate family support and settlement services
- parenting classes which are respectful of cultural differences and teach alternative parenting and disciplinary methods deemed acceptable in Australia
- employing cultural support workers who have an understanding of the child protection system and who may be consulted with by both child protection workers and families in the community
That the entire child protection system consists of a streamlined approach wherein families are supported and engaged throughout.
That all barriers to engaging interpreters are removed.
That both parents and children are made aware of:
- their rights and responsibilities in Australia as children or adults
- the complaints process they may pursue in order to address discriminatory practices
That more effort be made to diversify the child protection workforce through:
- investigation into the obstacles facing people from various ethnic groups looking to work in the child protection system and identification of ways to reduce these
- investigation into the obstacles faced by various ethnic families to become carers.
That there be more investment into increasing the evidence base through:
- mandatory data collection regarding the ethnic and cultural identification of clients
- research with CALD families who have had involvement with child protection services to gain further understanding of their experiences and to inform practice standards.