NSW responds to the Wood Inquiry

March 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Child Protection, Links | Leave a comment

NSW has responded to the lengthy Wood Inquiry published last year with this message on their website.

 The NSW Government has released its response to the recommendations made by the Special Commission of Inquiry into Child Protection Services in NSW headed by Justice James Wood.

Keep them safe: a shared approach to child wellbeing sets out the Government’s action plan over the next five years to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in NSW. 

Its goal is that all children in NSW are healthy, happy and safe, and grow up belonging in families and communities where they have opportunities to reach their full potential.

Justice Wood’s report – handed down on 24 November 2008 – contained 111 recommendations aimed at strengthening government and community responsibility for child protection.

Keep them safe lays the foundations for better partnerships between government agencies and non-government organisations.

It addresses the underlying factors that affect abuse and neglect and will help families earlier so that they do not escalate into the statutory child protection system.

The action plan and new legislation has been developed in close consultation with all the agencies that work with vulnerable children and young people, including several advisory groups established to guide the development and implementation of the plan.

This paper also featured on ABC Life Matters with an interview with Linda Burney, NSW Minister for Community Services.

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Australian Parenting Program Prevents Foster Care

March 4, 2009 at 9:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Sydney Morning herald has published an article about a new parenting program which aims to prevent abuse and other causes of family breakdown. The research claims that the program also prevents the need for foster care.

The program has been implemented in a number of overseas countries and has recently been backed with funding from the NSW government.

Pyjama Angels lead a read-a-thon

March 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Links, Supports for Carers | Leave a comment

We have posted some brief information about the Pyjama foundation based in Queensland in the past. This foundation is a volunteer based organisation to support children and their carers through reading books. This is to promote literacy and a love of learning, as well as a mentor, support and fun.

In an interview the founder gave these instructions for being involved in the online read-a-thon

  1. Visit your school’s read-a-thon web page.
  2. Join your school’s team – create your own read-a-thon web page.
  3. Read 10 books and review them on your web page.
  4. Email a link to your web page to your family and friends so they can sponsor you.
  5. Submit your best book review for your chance to visit the set of The Shak at Channel Nine in Brisbane.

People in Victoria who would like to be involved in similar activities should consider the Friends of Foster Care program. Although this program is not specifically geared towards reading in particular, Friends are needed to support carers in the home, perhaps with reading, playing, homework help and other activities. Call 1300 889 335 for more information.

Foster Care Information Session

March 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Coming Events, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment
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Anglicare Victoria will be holding an information session for anyone interested in learning more about foster care or becoming a foster carer. There will be an experienced carer in attendance, and a free information DVD available to all comers.

Tuesday the 17th of March @ 7.30pm
Anglicare Knox – 666 Mountain Highway Bayswater

All welcome. Call Josh on 1300 889 335 for more details.

Now we are six: Australian story

March 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Links, Media, Stories | 4 Comments

ABC’s Australian story showed an emotional and insightful story about foster care last week. The story follows foster carer Yael Abraham and mother of 7 children currently in care, Michelle. It shows how fruitful and positive good relationships with birth families can be, but also how difficult they are to build and maintain. I thought these lines in particular showed a real strength from Yael:

I feel that Michelle and I are in this together. The childre might be all we have in common. But that’s enough. 

I’m in a partnership with the mother of the children. There has not even been a moment when I felt it is detrimental for the children to see their mother. yes I have had moments of frustration and anger, but they’ve been fleeting moments.

You can read the complete transcript on the website. There is also a clip from the program available on the website too.

This story caused quite a stir with audiences with varying responsestowards Yael’s motivations as a foster carer as well as fears that children needlessly are removed. I think it is quite clear that Yael has been able to be responsive to the needs of the foster children in her care over and above her own needs, and that the ability of Michelle look after her children was carefully investigated and considered. It’s important to understand that children and young people need a sense of stability and therefore at some point decisions have to be made about their long-term to permanent care arrangements. 

Tell us what you think by leaving a comment.

Foster care reimbursements “spent at the pokies”

March 2, 2009 at 10:44 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Issues for Fostering, Media | Leave a comment
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The Australian has run another damning article lamenting the state of foster care around the country. The latest complaints are that foster care reimbursements are not being spent on the children and young people in care, and that departmental child protection staff often barely see the children and young people they are supposed to be responsible for. You can read the full article here .

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