Calling all Mothers (& fathers!)

April 30, 2009 at 10:31 am | Posted in About Fostering, Coming Events, Events | Leave a comment
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blue_heart_handprintWith Mother’s day just over a week away now is the time when we think about the importance of mother’s and father’s in providing a safe and loving home environment for children as they grow and develop. Mother’s day also brings into focus the 4,000 children across Victoria living away from their families in Out of Home Care.

On Mother’s Day foster care organisations celebrate the compassion, patience and endurance of all our foster mums, (as well as foster dads, brothers and sisters!) as they care for our most vulnerable children. Foster mums bring children into their family but do so without ownership; always understanding that these children have a mother who, despite everything, will forever remain their Mother.

While it is tempting to see these women and men as “super-mums” or “super-dads”, the fact is that these are completely ordinary people – ordinary people who are stepping up to an extra-ordinary role. Foster mums and dads are neighbours in your community; single people, couples, families of all shapes and sizes, people who’ve retired, students, people who are employed part-time full-time or not at all!

So if you know a foster mum, take the time to congratulate and thank her.  Or if you’re ready to step up along side foster mums and dads across Victoria call us on 1300 889 335.  

From all of us here at Foster Care Victoria, Happy Mother’s Day!

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Federal Gov announces $1.9m to tackle child abuse

April 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Around the Nation | Leave a comment

In a media release yesterday the federal government announced a funding package aimed at preventing child abuse.

The funded projects include:

  • $175,000 for the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect for a national survey of community attitudes to protecting children;
  • $133,810 for Bravehearts to support White Balloon Day to raise awareness of child sexual abuse;
  • $270,000 for Child Wise for a multi-media child abuse prevention program, with a focus on preventing child sexual abuse;
  • $180,000 for Good Beginnings to expand their services, including working with families whose children have been removed from their care;
  • $98,394 for the Secretariat of National Indigenous and Islander Child Care to deliver workshops on family violence in Indigenous communities;
  • $341,000 for the Australian Childhood Foundation to print and distribute an information booklet for children entering foster care, and a resource guide for schools and early childhood services to improve the response to traumatised children;
  • $79,134 for Adults Surviving Child Abuse and to run national workshops for adult survivors of childhood abuse to aid recovery;
  • $28,650 for Heartfelt House for workshops with adult survivors of child sexual abuse, their parents and spouses.

There is very little of this package, apart from the booklet to be developed by AChF, that addresses foster care particularly, presumably due to the government’s focus on prevention.

We’re still expecting a State Government announcement in relation to foster care in the near future.

2020 proposals bear no fruit for foster care

April 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Issues for Fostering | Leave a comment

Last week the federal government released its response to the 2020 summit proposals. Unfortunately although foster care was a noted part of a number of submissions there appears to be no action from the government on these points (see page number 141).

Also disappointingly, the government has stated that it won’t be moving on the idea to develop a system where HECS/HELP debts can be paid off through volunteer work in communities. This was one idea which was particularly attractive for many volunteer organisations so the news is unfortunate (see page number 155).  

Foster Care Crisis: ABC Stateline Victoria

April 25, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Issues for Fostering, Links, Media, Stories | 2 Comments
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This week’s edition of ABC’s stateline investigated the future of foster care in Victoria. With interviews with carers Jill Gaitly who has cared for babies up to 3 years for 42 years, Kim Rae who care for adolescent boys as well as Dr. Ray Cleary, CEO of Anglicare Victoria the story questioned a future which depends on the voluntary efforts of community members for the care of our most vulnerable and most trauma affected children.

Journalists pointed out that current carers are adamant they are not in it for the money, although some feel that reimbursements didn’t go far enough.

While it is expected that much of the care provided will continue to be voluntary, Anglicare Victoria believes that “professional carers”, (paid carers with qualifications in child psychology or related fields), are a necessary part of the cohort of people caring for children, especially for children who are seriously affected by trauma and whose challenging behaviors require professional therapeutic interventions.

Another aspect of Stateline’s story focused on the need for carers to be more included in the decisions made about the child. Here it is important the recognise that most decisions are made by the courts and not by agencies. Additionally, there are a number of programs adopting a “Care Team” model which places children in the middle of the circle and includes all the other members of the people involved in the decision making for the child in a circle of care around them. These may include foster carers, case workers, DHS staff, parents, school teachers, coaches or other people with a connection to the child. These have been highly successful and have included both parents and foster carers in a way that changes the ways that decisions are made.

Charter for Children in Out-Of-Home Care

April 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Resources | Leave a comment
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Did you know that Victoria has a charter of rights for children living in Out-of-Home Care? This charter governs the way all of us work and care for children while they are unable to live with their parents and are living in out-of home-care.

The charter’s focus is on the right to be safe and well. These rights “to be safe and feel safe”  and “to stay healthy and well and go to a doctor, dentist or other professional for help when I need” have been put first to symbolise them as the most important.

There are 16 rights listed in total in this charter.

Foster caring enriches life says Hoddles Creek mum

April 23, 2009 at 9:00 am | Posted in About Fostering, Articles, Coming Events, Media, Uncategorized, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment

image from Lilydale and Yarra Valley LeaderLisa and Steven Webb and their family have described fostering as rewarding for the whole family. The family have been involved for 18 months and have a particular focus on sibling groups. Read more about the Webb’s story or come along to an information night to find out more. 

image from Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader

 

Privacy and Media Restrictions

April 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Child Protection, Links, Media | Leave a comment

Radio National’s Law Report yesterday focused on the laws which prohibit the identification of children in foster care and their carers (if this will identify the child) as well as a myriad of other issues.

The program raised a number of important areas for public discussion however I must stress that this program was particularly NSW focused and whether or not these translate to other states is not to be assumed.

In addition, the claim by journalist Caroline Overington that child protection can bend the rules of privacy for positive publications about foster care is just not the case, at least not in Victoria. Children will never be photographed or identified in the media for any purpose unless under very strict conditions.

Parent News: Available Online

April 22, 2009 at 9:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A one-stop resource for parents and carers in the Eastern Region is now available online. The newsletters are produced each term and are packed with contacts to support groups, courses and many other events.

Highlights:

Music Together
For children 1-5 years old, encourages supportive, nurturing rleationships bewteen parents/ carers and children through music. Let by creative arts therapists across the region from Cantebury to Mooroolbark.
Details page 9.

 
The Raising Children Network
The need for a national parenting information website grew out of research into what parents, carers and practitioners working with parents require. The research showed that parents complain of information overload and simultaneously an inability to find trustworthy information in one place. The Raising Children Network website is a national, reliable, user-friendly resource.

Sections include:

  • Parenting in picture – basic baby care
  • Tools to encourage good behaviour – parenting skills
  • My Neighbourhood – interactive map of helpful services.
  • Recipes and meal ideas
  • Working with Parents – for professionals

Details on page 3 or go directly to the Raising Children website.

Newsletter from other regions (Southern and Northern) are also available.

Pair opens heart, door to children

April 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Articles, Events, Links, Media, Stories | Leave a comment
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Image property of Maroondah Journal

Lots of love: Foster parenting comes from the heart for Shirley and Malcolm.

A local Montrose couple shares their experience of fostering with their community through the local newspaper.

Shirley and Malcolm have interesting perspectives and acknowledge the challenges foster care can present. They also talk about the importance of respite for foster carers. They are clearly a positive and dynamic caring duo who supporting kids and families achieve.  

Remember that if you’d like to get involved you can come along to an information night, call 1300 889 335 or make an online enquiry.

Call for more carers in the Yarra Ranges

April 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Articles, Events, Links, Media, Where can I foster? | 1 Comment
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The Ranges Trader Mail and the Belgrave/ Ferntree Gully Mail have reported on the need for carers in the Yarra Ranges. Monbulk resident and current foster carer with Anglicare Victoria, Judy James, shares her experiences of being a involved, and urges others to give it a go.

If you live in the Yarra Ranges and would like to find out more you can come to an information session, call Anglicare Victoria on 1300 889 335 for an information pack or make an online enquiry.

*Online enquiries are the best option for people living outside the Yarra Ranges to find out more about foster care in your local community.

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