Quarantining Trial

July 30, 2008 at 10:21 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Child Protection, Links, Media | Leave a comment

Saturday’s Australian had a number of articles related to Federal Government moves on nationalising the issue of foster care. This article gives a perspective on a trial of quarantining Centrelink payments where there is evidence of neglectful spending of money on drugs, alcohol or gambling, similarly to the way quarantining has been implemented in the NT. This is seen by the government as a way to assist parents and prevent children coming into care.

Similarly, this article talks to birth parents struggling with substance addiction about how they see quarantining as a positive benefit for their families in preventing child protection intervention.

Both articles are optimistic so it will be interesting to watch the trial unfold to see if results are as positive as the predictions.

Be inspired!

July 25, 2008 at 10:41 am | Posted in Stories | 2 Comments

The small town of Gympie on the Queensland Coast is showing fantastic community spirit by bringing together corporate bodies, police and foster care organisations to benefit children in care this Christmas.

Although the idea is simple enough it is a fantastic example of communities coming together to support our most vulnerable children.

Who’s going to step up to the plate in Victoria?

Sins of Omission

July 17, 2008 at 11:40 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Child Protection, Issues for Fostering, Links | Leave a comment

This article co-written by Joe Tucci of the Australian Childhood Foundation offers a very insightful view of the current Child Protection whirlwind. Giving perspective to recent tragedies around the nation this article looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the federal response before an examination of the limiting use of the term Child Abuse.

Its well worth a read and contemplation.

“100 Children A Night In Temporary Digs”

July 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Articles, Issues for Fostering, Media | 1 Comment
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This article made front page of The Age today, and will hopefully attract some much-needed attention to the plight of the Out of Home Care sector. However, the headline 100 children a night in temporary digs really is an emergency is fairly misleading, seeming to suggest that foster care is somehow not a temporary arrangement. If the journalist was reporting accurately, the figure would be many, many times higher…

New Child Safety laws

July 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Resources | Leave a comment

There are new-child-restraint-lawsfor restraints in cars which are important for us all to be aware of.

Adoption Made Easier For NSW Foster Carers

July 14, 2008 at 9:26 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Issues for Fostering | 2 Comments
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This article on News.com.au details changes in the adoption laws of New South Wales which will make it easier for foster carers to adopt the children they are caring for.

One of the main changes is that foster carers will continue to receive fortnightly reimbursements while the child is in their care, even after they have legally adopted the child. Foster carers in Victoria currently continue to receive reimbursement if a child in their care undergoes a conversion to a Permanent Care placement, but it will be interesting to see if the change in laws in NSW trigger a similar change to adoption laws here. Perhaps we will see our low rates of local adoption on the increase in years to come?

“Children In Care Miss Out”

July 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Articles, Issues for Fostering, Media | Leave a comment
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This article in yesterday’s edition of The Age, “Children In Care Miss Out”, makes an important point. However, it also seemed to criticize foster carers by suggesting that they are not doing enough to assist children develop a healthy social life by allowing them to see their friends. I would like to point out that in many situations one of the primary reasons that children in care do not frequently “see friends outside the classroom” is that they simply do not have many friends. Children and young people in care often have difficulty creating and maintaining relationships, due to past trauma or abuse, and can have behaviours which may seem strange to other children and which may be challenging for them to accept. The best way we can assist children and young people in developing a healthy social network is to provide them with stability, counselling and understanding. So we should not pin this statistic on the carers. Instead, let’s examine the real reasons behind this sad situation and work together to support these children and young people any way we can.

Queensland Recruitment Drive

July 7, 2008 at 9:39 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Media | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Herald Sun has reported a 5-year, 15 million dollar recruitment drive for foster and kinship carers in Queensland. It all seems like very positive stuff, particularly since it seems to involve a reasonably high level of participation from the local MPs of the area. I’d be very interested to hear comments from anyone who lives in Brisbane or the surrounding area to see if it’s all as good as it seems. You can read the full article here .

And the silver lining…

July 2, 2008 at 10:25 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Child Protection, Media | Leave a comment

The Australian has reported that the recent media reports about the sad case in Adelaide have sparked more people to make inquiries.

Rumblings at a policy/government level are also apparent from Jay Weatherill announcing increases in financial support for foster carers, changes to legislation in the ACT, and talks in NSW, and even talks at the federal level of a national policy for Child Protection.

Child protection in the news

July 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Articles, Child Protection, Media, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Since there have been so many cases of neglect and abuse reported in the news recently, it seems an opportune time to reflect on the types of issues we’re hearing about.

Larkin’s article here is probably not a bad place to start, not only giving a snap-shot of the recent cases in South Australia, Canberra, Queensland and a myriad of other locations around the nation, but also the quotes he’s chosen demonstrate what I think the public is becoming more and more aware of- that the cases reported are not isolated cases, they’re part of much larger and ongoing issue we’re hearing referred to as the “tip of the iceberg”. Of course there has been no rise in the number of children needing foster care in the last month, just a rise in the number of cases reported, and in general, the number of children needing care is severely underestimated by the general public.

His article also challenges the perception of birth parents, thinking about them not horrible people intent on hurting their children, but taking into account that there is usually something seriously impeding their ability to make different choices.

He also points out that although government changes are needed, and a refocus on early intervention is vital, a significant aspect is that everybody expects that someone else is fixing the problem.

And while I think that Larkin’s point about early intervention are certainly valid, we  need to think about it even more holistically than that; to realise that volunteering is often part of that solution too, through community respite to support a struggling family, through mentorship programs and through emergency care.

One agency in NSW’s perfectly sums it up in their tagline “Foster care is everybody’s business”; the recent spate of articles hopefully highlights the truth of that statement.

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