The FIN Australia Inc. constitution states that each state or territory has two voting representatives.  The branch of each FIN does not have to be incorporated but must be aligned with the aims and objectives of the association. In principle where possible it is envisaged that one of these representatives would be a consumer voice e.g. a parent who has had involvement with statutory authorities.

State & Territory Family Inclusion Networks:

Western Australia

Representatives:

Debbie Henderson (Chairperson FIN A) is a qualified social worker and is the Executive Officer of the Family Inclusion Network of Western Australia Inc. (Fin WA).  Debbie has worked in varied aspects of  the community service sector for many years including vulnerable families coming to the attention of child protection interventions.  After graduation in 2007 she worked predominantly in community development with Anglicare WA - here Debbie began working with parents whose children had been removed from their care and placed into the out of home care system.  

Anglicare WA was the initial umbrella organisation for what became Fin WA and Debbie was appointed the inaugural EO when Fin WA received funding to establish a service to provide advocacy and support to parents and family members who become involved in the child protection system.  

Debbie leads a small but dedicated and committed team, building bridges between child protection authorities and families.  Debbie is also a board member of the Society of Professional Social Workers in WA and the Children's, Youth and Families Agencies Association in WA (CYFAA).

Karen Crossley  is a parent who had her three daughters taken away from her about 12 years ago by the Department of Child Protection.  Since then Karen has been actively seeking sources of support and help for families who have children in state care. Karen knows and understands the grief, trauma and pressures that families of children in state care undergo.  Karen is committed to working towards an Australian future where families have access to free or low cost crisis counselling as well as support from organisations that are committed to equipping and empowering parents to have respectful and key roles in the child protection system. Karen has played a key role in the formation and management of Fin WA and would love to see FINA member organisations eventually become funded to work in ways that will support families.  Karen also wants to see greater funding for access to legal representation in respective children's courts throughout Australia. Ultimately Karen’s vision is to see a Fin WA support/advocate worker full time in each district office in WA, as well as dedicated workers for Aboriginal families, the CaLD community and families who have children with disabilities. 

Queensland (Townsville)

Representative:

Ros Thorpe is a Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Community Welfare, James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. Ros was a member of the small group which developed the Family Inclusion Network in Queensland in 2005, and the name and acronym, FIN, was Ros’ idea – based on The Family Rights Group in the UK (but modified to reflect the Australian emphasis on ‘inclusion’) and adopting the concept of network from CLAN (Care Leavers Australia Network).  Ros is president of the Family Inclusion Network Queensland (Townsville) Inc. which had its origins in 2008 and has grown significantly since 2010 when Ros retired from her position as Professor of Social Work at James Cook University.  Ros has had a career long research and practice interest in supporting families and children caught up in child protection systems, following her PhD research in the UK in the early 1970s.

Queensland (South East)

Representative:

Susie Edwards 

 

New South Wales

Representative:

Dr Frank Ainsworth is the Senior Principal Research Fellow (adjunct), at James Cook University, School of Social Work and Human Services, Townsville Campus, Queensland.  He is well known nationally and internationally through his many publications that address child welfare issues.  Frank lives in Sydney and is also a Guardian ad Litem in the NSW Children's Court.

 

Victoria

Representatives:

Denise Smith is a Family Group Worker at St Luke’s Anglicare in Maryborough, Victoria.  Denise provides group work programs to parents, including teen parents and parents with children in care.

 

South Australia

Currently no representation

 

Australian Capital Territory

Currently no representation

 

Tasmania

Currently no representation

 

Northern Territory

Currently no representation