The Voice of Parents – A Model for Inclusion in the Child and Family Services System

Location: Melbourne, VIC

Duration: 3 months

Please note: This internship is open for both domestic and international student applications

About The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre) ( is the peak body for the Child and Family Services in Victoria. The Centre represents over 150 community service organisations, students and individuals working across the continuum of child and family’s services – from early intervention to the provision of out-of-home care. The Centre advocates for the rights of children to be heard, to be safe, to access education and to remain connected to family, community and culture.

What’s in it for You? 

The primary purpose of the APR program is for the intern to gain relevant professional training and skills within the workplace. The opportunities and experience that will be offered under your project include:

  • Undertake foundational research to identify best practice and key principles to incorporate the voice, and enable participation, of parents in Family Services, Child Protection and/or Out-of-Home Care, which is currently very limited.
  • Gain industry experience of the child and family services sector from the peak body.
  • Engage with senior stakeholders in the child and family services sector
  • Improve outcomes for children and young people experiencing vulnerability.

Research to be Conducted

All Victorian children have the right to be safe, supported and connected to family. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Australian Governments’ National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, and the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (Vic) all recognise the need to support families to keep their children safe and enable them to thrive. To achieve the best outcomes for children, it is thus critical to include and enhance parental voice as the expert in their child’s life. However, there is currently a paucity of model for including the experience of parents in the design and delivery of services that support children and families engaged with the child and family services sectors where protective concerns are present.

The Centre is committed to promoting client voice and learning from those with lived experience to achieve better outcomes for children and support parents in their critical role in their child’s life. To achieve this, the Centre is commencing a two-year project ‘The Voice of Parents – A Model for Inclusion’ to develop a parent participation framework, model and toolkit for the child and family services sector. The research to be conducted will include:

  • Literature review: international and national models for parental participation and advocacy, particularly for those families where there has been abuse or neglect, including the identification of a set of principles to guide successful participatory process.
  • Community Services Quality Governance: review of relevant human and community services frameworks relating to client participation and how these documents support client participation.
  • Development of a monitoring and evaluation framework and tool for the Voice of Parents – A Model for Inclusion project.

Skills Wish List 

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • Excellent written and communication skills.
  • Experience of / an interest in the child and family service system.
  • Knowledge / experience of using participatory methods.
  • Experience in developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks and tools.

Research Outcomes

  • Literature review.
  • Explanatory memorandum of the compliance environment.
  • Project monitoring and evaluation framework and tool.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

5 February 2020


APR – 1331