Decolonising child protection discourses using narrative practices — Janneen Wanganeen


The ‘child protection’ system has been a key site of colonisation in Australia. This paper describes some of the decolonising initiatives of a First Nations practitioner working within the child protection system. This includes resisting dominant discourses such as those embedded in assessment policies and processes that sometimes have long-lasting and intergenerational effects: First Nations workers collaborated to develop an alternative rubric for considering the ‘needs’ of Indigenous families. The paper also describes the use of practices of welcome and yarning to show respect and elicit strong stories. In addition, the paper introduces the use of ‘narrative vision boards’, which use images to thicken preferred stories. In these ways, the paper seeks to contribute to the ongoing resistance of Aboriginal people to colonisation and the resurgence of Indigenous knowledge and culture.

Wanganeen, J. (2022). Decolonising child protection discourses using narrative practices. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (2), 9–17.