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Let's Talk Kinship

by PeakCare Qld on 21st October 2014

Home -> Articles -> 2014 -> October -> Let's Talk Kinship

This book is a must read for all Welfare Professionals choosing to practice within Australia. The book is based on Dr Fejo-Kings Phd research with the Larrikia and Warumungu people of the Northern Territory. The book provides information about the Aboriginal Kinship System making the connection for welfare practitioners between the kinship system and education theory, literature, research and practice.

As Kinship Care has gained a significant level of growth and interest within the child welfare sector, its use is confined to the notion of family, extended family and community whereby the link between is predominantly thought about only in the context of care options for a child. Dr Fejo-King shares how the Kinship System is so much more influential, applicable and most importantly different to kinship care as in the notion of a placement only. This is essential knowledge for all welfare practitioners working within an Australian context as it provides a unique contribution of the Australian knowledge base which influences practice.

The entire book is simply excellent, however to narrow down the top five highlights of this book:

  1. It provides an understanding of an Aboriginal Kinship System within Australia, both past and present.
  2. The Pendulum of Practice - a self analysis tool whereby the pendulum represents the practitioner as they swing in both directions dependant on the context of practice and cultural navigation skills.
  3. Indigenism and Indigenist Theories: the emerging theories incorporated within Indigenous knowledge systems and emerging research. These theories value the Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing.
  4. Moral Compass tool: This tool is identified as an important part of the process of preparing to work with Aboriginal Australians through education, research or direct practice. The authors compass included motivation, ethics/morals, spirituality, and accountability/outcomes.
  5. Reading the contributions of numerous Larrakia and Warumungu people discussing their story in relation to the kinship system, uncovering culture, how the kinship system crosses borders, loss of language, knowledge, identity and other topics.

This book is a real gift to all welfare practitioners.

Review by Annaley Clarke