American Government Considering ‘State Contractor’ Foster Carers

February 28, 2008 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Articles, Global, Issues for Fostering | 3 Comments
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An interesting article here outlines the difficulties the United States are having in making a decision regarding reimbursements for carers who take on intensive or complex placements. Good to know it’s not just here that we are struggling with decisions of this nature.

Carers needed for brothers

February 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Posted in Stories, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment
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Statistics are one thing, but hearing individual stories of children needing foster care is quite another. Jake (11)and his brother Kevin (15) are currently living in Children’s Residential Care, and would greatly benefit from moving into full-time foster care, either together or separately.  

Jake goes to school in the Yarra Ranges and enjoys riding his BMX, swimming and camping. Kevin, who goes to school in Manningham likes playing basketball and listening to music. Kevin also has epilepsy and an intellectual disability.  

They’ve both experienced a lot of trauma but they’re learning to control their behaviour, changes which are expected continue to improve once they have both settled into positive environments with strong role models.   

These boys will need support not only from full-time carers, but also respite carers one weekend a month, and other volunteers to support them through mentorship in order for foster care really work for them.  

Suitable carers for Jake and Kevin are being actively searched for in these communities, so if you live in Melbourne’s Eastern Region and could offer any of these types of support to Jake or Kevin, or would like to find out more email 

Mirabella’s boycott unfounded

February 22, 2008 at 10:17 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Child Protection, Indigenous issues, Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For the past month Opinion pages in newspapers around the nation have been filled with letters, some with praise, some with disagreement, over the Prime Minister’s Apology to the Stolen Generations. For me personally it was a very significant and dignified day where we, as a nation,  finally reached a maturity in realising and taking responsibility for horrific mistakes throughout history.

Of course, the whole apology has been a contentious area, and as reported by The Age, Federal MP Sophie Mirabella was one who disagreed and who, in fact, boycotted Parliament. While Sophie Mirabella is entitled to her opinion, however, I do feel that her argument that ‘condemning the past removal of indigenous children may scare welfare officers from protecting children in future‘ misses the mark. While even recently judges and other public figures have pointed to concerns over repeating a history of separation, in publically and officially recognising the flawed policies of removal based on race, Australia now has a new frame of reference for Child Protection which is purely based on simply that; protecting children. Surely the public Apology for racial bases for removal actually alleviates the risk of decisions being made for fear of comparisons to past policies.

For foster care too, the apology draws a line and separates past policies from today’s context and the aims of foster care, which is to provide temporary care for children until they can return home.

Snapshot of Inter-Country Adoption

February 22, 2008 at 10:15 am | Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

An interesting article which provides a brief snapshot of inter-country adoption today can be found here.

It is interesting to note that as the number of local adoptions has decreased, the numbers of children in foster care have increased.

102% increase in Out of Home Care

February 6, 2008 at 11:35 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Child Protection, Media | Leave a comment

Those of us working in the field sometimes can get a bit down about our likeness to a broken record and our repeated spiel, which is almost habitual now, about a “foster care crisis”. Well, a recently released report from the government reassured us that we are not in the least sensationalist.

A 102% increase in the number of children nationally in Out of Home Care over the past 10 years, together with what we know about the ever decreasing number of carers is quite a confronting scenario. The Age reported these findings and included the Victorian relevant information, or, for a condensed version see the media release put out by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare. For people with some extra time for a leisurely net-surf, check out the full report. It has data on state comparisons of the number of children in care, length of time in care, notifications, substantiations, ages of children, reasons for being in care etc. It’s is well worth a read.

Although according to this report the situation in Victoria is actually more contained than other states such as NSW (possibly due to recent policy changes) is does go some way to explain the strain the system (and those trying to work within it) is under. Also, the enormity of the situation in NSW and the recent spate of problems concerning DOCs are unlikely to be unrelated coincidences.

The question we’re all asking is whether there will be a 102% increase in the funding!  

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