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In the spotlight with Bernadette Burns

by PeakCare Qld on 25th September 2014

Home -> Articles -> 2014 -> September -> In the spotlight with Bernadette Burns

How did you initially become involved in the child protection sector?

“I became involved in the Child protection sector in Northern Ireland as the Director of an adoption agency. After Immigrating to Australia in 2009 I commenced working with Spiritus (Anglicare) and from there I moved to United Synergies for a brief period. I then returned to Anglicare initially in the Enhanced program.”

What motivates or inspires you in working with or on behalf of children, young people and/or families?

“I believe that every child deserves a chance to succeed in life no matter what their life experience has been in the past. With support they can learn to believe in themselves and look forward to tomorrow.”

What is your greatest achievement working with vulnerable children and families?

“To date my greatest achievement is to witness a young person start planning for their future, thus having developed a sense of what they have to give to the world.”

Do you think things are improving for vulnerable children and families in Queensland?

“I believe that we are entering an exciting phase in the Child protection sector after the release of the recommendations from the Camody report. However I have concerns around the push for Kinship placements and reunification and that these factors may become key performance indicators for Child Safety Service Centres.

“Children need to remain connected to family and develop a sense of belonging. However there needs to be a realisation that not all family’s ‘work’.”

What do you think are the greatest challenges that we face in the future in improving outcomes for children, young people and/or families?

“I believe that one of the greatest challenges for the child protection sector is remembering that the child should be at the forefront of case planning. There are a lot of economic and political factors that influence the ‘best care’ of the child.

“My other concern is that there seems to be a deficit of support around mental health issues for young people in care.”