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View from the Frontline with Alison Ingram

by PeakCare Qld on 21st August 2014

Home -> Articles -> 2014 -> August -> View from the Frontline with Alison Ingram

An Interview with Alison Ingram

What is your current position/role?

I am currently Child and Youth Practice Lead withAnglicare Southern Queensland. I love this job – I’m passionate about child protection and in this role I’m able to support and mentor our staff to provide great care for children, young people, parents, carers and one another.

"For the past three yearsAnglicare Southern Queensland(ASQ)has worked closely with Martha Holden (Cornell University) and Diana Boswell (Therapeutic Welfare Interventions) to implement the CARE framework across our Child and Youth programs.

"This has been an exciting project to be a part of and to lead for ASQ. We are seeing some wonderful outcomes for children, parents and teams as we work to embed this therapeutic framework."

How long have you worked within the child protection system? In what kinds of positions or roles have you previously worked.

"I’ve worked in child protection for twenty years and I’ve been fortunate for this career to evolve at Anglicare Southern Queensland. I’ve worked in many roles in residential care and foster and kinship care. I’ve worked in a Quality Advisor role for about six years and in this position I was able to work with ASQ’sdisability, mental health, counselling, youth and homelessness services.

"In the past it has been a privilege and honour to receive awards from Foster Care Queensland and a personal hero of mine, Professor Dorothy Scott."

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

"I have beautiful memories of my childhood and I hope that our carers and staff can help the children we work with experience childhoods of fun, learning, connection and love, and that we can teach and support parents to do this for their children themselves.

"My family is learning about some early experiences of my maternal grandfather and in some ways I’m hoping that the work I do today is helping to right the wrongs that he experienced as a part of the stolen generation."

Do you think outcomes will improve for children, young people and families in Queensland as we commence implementing reforms recommended by the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry?

"Sustaining hope for a better future is a core strength needed for resilience and longevity in child protection. This is the third inquiry I’ve been a part of and each time things change. We might do it differently with hindsight but at the time we do it with good intentions. This time I’m hopeful we will see an increase in services and supports for parents and also for our care leavers. Already we are seeing some positive shifts with greater flexibility with funding and contract structures that are enabling us to work more responsively and innovatively with children, carers and families."

What do you think are the greatest challenges that we face in the future in implementing these reforms well?

"Child protection is complex work and at the centre of this work are children and young people who have experienced trauma, abuse and neglect. Helping children heal from traumas and have the best possible chance for future success is not any one person’s role – it is shared by parents, carers. Departmental staff, NGO staff and a range of specialists and therapists. This is complex work and I think itrequires putting aside personal egos, political agendas past grievances to truly engage in genuine conversation about the best interests of children."