The Reily foundation is established with the sole purpose of providing a voice for children and their parents when they are not being heard.
Too often children will disclose abuse perpetrated against them, and too often they are not heard nor believed. Often children will tell the non-abusive parent about the abuse and the parent will relay the child’s story to authorities who regretfully will not believe the parent. This inaction by those entrusted to protect children, governments and non-government’s alike, places children at further risk and possibly death.
For those of us who work in the area of child protection we hear far too many stories where children have disclosed to the police and other authorities that they are being abused but have been told that because of a child’s age they are not a credible witness, or the story is inconsistent.
The Reily foundation also understands that children need to be removed from abusive parents. The Foundations primary function is to better understand how we may be able to work with at risk families so that children can remain with those families in a safe protective environment. We believe, when possible, children remaining with their biological family provides the best outcomes. Most parents who have had their children removed recognise the factors which caused the removal. They often lack faith in the system which removed their children. The foundations role is to find pathways for the parents to parent differently and to have their children returned to them.
The Reily Foundation will uphold the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every child, where possible, should have the opportunity to live with their biological family.
Any person who experiences the child protection system for the first time finds it difficult to navigate through a world of emotion and confusion. We will provide advocacy services for parents so that parents can adequately address departmental concerns. This will entail discussing the concerns of the Department and ensuring that the parent is addressing those concerns. We will attend meetings with child protection services so that the views of parents can be appropriately articulated. Parents who encounter the child protection system are usually the most vulnerable people in our community it is therefore important that they understand their human rights. It is imperative that the rights of the children who have been removed are also upheld.
Counselling and Therapeutic Services
Professional therapeutic services will be provided. In order to address many of the concerns identified by Child Protection Services counselling is often a requirement. Social work and psychological services will be available for parents and children. These services will be tailor-made so that they comply with CPS requirements. They will address mental health, sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse and parenting issues. Professional reports will also be prepared to further assist in assessments and court proceedings. There has always been a strong demand for parenting capacity assessments external to those provided by CPS. We will provide professionals with experience in this area for the purpose of these assessments.
We will provide solicitors who are familiar with the youth court and the family court. As legal aid is being further squeezed it is our goal to fund legal fees when legal aid is no longer available. Under all circumstances it is our goal to provide legal services which meet the specific needs of parents and children. We believe that no person should be left without legal representation because they are unable to afford it.
Most parents who encounter the child protection system or the family law court are required to undergo training in specific areas relating to departmental or family court concerns. We will be providing courses that address parenting issues, domestic violence, anger management, conflict resolution and drug and alcohol use.