PSP Pathways to Permanency: A Spotlight on Restoration Part 4 of 5
Practice in action: practice example workshop
Jacqueline Gissane and Fiona Jones (Wandiyali Aboriginal community and children’s services)
Anita Ings and Mel Courtney – Uniting Newpin (Child Restoration)
Restoration in action – this session will highlight stories of the challenges and rewards of restoration practice
Fiona Jones and Jacqueline Gissane
Fiona Jones is Wandiyali’s Permanency Support Program Out of Home Care Assistant Operations Manager and Jacqui Gissane manages Wandiyali’s Family Preservation and Restoration team. Both share a passion for working with children and young people and their families, as well as developing and empowering Caseworkers to support children, their families and carers to achieve the best possible outcomes. This includes the critical importance of keeping children and young people connected to family, culture and community. Wandiyali is a Newcastle-based Indigenous community organisation with services throughout Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Hunter Region and Port Stephens. The aim of Wandiyali and its services is to ‘Keep our Culture Strong’ by focusing on children, families, strength, culture and community.
Anita is the Coordinator of Uniting Newpin Doonside, a restoration program. Anita holds the fundamental belief that children need to grow up within a safe and caring family and the family, if possible, should be their own family. Anita’s original background was working with people and children, of varying abilities, as a Registered Nurse. Anita went on to work in Community Services and Uniting Out of Home Care from a front-line worker to management level. Anita, 11 years ago, realised that the knowledge and skills she had developed over time together with her fundamental belief was an amazing fit for Newpin. Newpin has given her the opportunity to support parents, to make the life changes needed, so their children are able to safely return to their care.
Mel is the Operations Lead for the Uniting Newpin Program in NSW. The Newpin program is a Department of Communities and Justice funded 18 month therapeutic restoration program that supports and empowers families to break the cycle of child neglect and abuse and provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. There are six centres in NSW including Lambton, Wyong, Bidwill, Doonside, Ingleburn and Port Kembla. Mel came to Uniting in 2021 after 19 years with Department of Communities and Justice where she held various roles including Caseworker, Court Liaison Officer, Manager Casework (CP, Brighter Futures, Intake, Restoration, Joint Child Protection Response Program), A/Manager Client Services (Joint Child Protection Response Program, Manager Client Services Quality and Continuous Improvement. When Mel left DCJ, she was Manager Client Services in the Hunter District responsible for running Community Service Centres leading a variety of Child Protection Teams undertaking child protection, out-of-home care, restoration and Court Liaison service delivery.