Reassuring a mother at a critical time

Reassuring a mother at a critical time

Monday, 8 July 2019

Our Independent Family Advocacy and Support (IFAS) is a three-year pilot service, providing non-legal advocacy to families engaged with the child protection system, focusing on matters before they go to court.

Commencing in October 2018, IFAS focuses particularly on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and parents who have an intellectual disability.

Dina's story – IFAS providing timely support  

One of our IFAS advocates received a distressed call from Dina (not her real name), a mother of two children. Dina is an Aboriginal woman. She was at a larger regional hospital after having been directed there for specialist assistance in relation to her newborn baby. While at the hospital, she was informed by hospital staff that she had been reported to child protection as her newborn baby had presented with bruising. Dina herself had experience in the youth justice system and was very worried about child protection involvement.  

Our IFAS advocate ascertained from Dina, that her newborn baby had a disorder that caused bruising easily and at times, bleeding from the mouth. The baby had been to a range of professionals in the mother’s hometown for this condition.

Our IFAS advocate was able to explain the mandatory reporting protocols of the hospital to the mother. The IFAS advocate then assisted Dina to get in contact with the relevant professionals in her hometown to prepare them to receive a call from child protection. The professionals were fully supportive of the mother. The IFAS advocate was able to relay this to the mother and reassure her of their support.

Dina, through her local Aboriginal cooperative, later let the IFAS advocate know that she was now linked to them and she was feeling in control and satisfied with the situation. The mother told our IFAS advocate she was ‘thankful for quick and clear action.’

More information

Read about our Independent Family Advocacy and Support (IFAS) service. For more details on the service, contact IFAS Manager Helen Makregiorgos at helen.makregiorgos@vla.vic.gov.au or (03) 9093 3711 or Senior Advocate Robyn Buchanan at robyn.buchanan@vla.vic.gov.au or (03) 9280 3830.

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