Young people in care make their debut

May 28, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Articles, Events, Media, Stories | Leave a comment

Photo by Simon O'Dwyer, owned by The Age

Photo by Simon O'Dwyer, owned by The Age

Last week 18 couples made their debut at the Melbourne Town Hall to 650 proud guests.

Although Deb Balls occurr every year across communities around Australia, the path these young ladies and gentlemen have journeyed along from childhood to adulthood has been more difficult than for most other Victorian children.

All of these young people have grown up living away from their own families, living instead in foster care, residential care or in the care of other relatives.

Last week they celebrated final chapter of that journey in front of family, friends, foster carers, foster care agencies such as Anglicare Victoria, and other distinguished guests including Jenny Maklin.

Looking wonderful and feeling like prince and princesses the young couples stood tall as they swirled around the dance floor on their night of nights.

Read more  in an article from The Age

Foster Care Information Evening

May 21, 2009 at 10:14 am | Posted in About Fostering, Coming Events, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment
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Anglicare Victoria will be holding a foster care information evening next week in Box Hill. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about foster care or becoming a carer is encouraged to attend.

Wednesday May 27th
7.30 – 8.30pm
@ Anglicare Box Hill – 7-11 Shipley Street, Box Hill

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

Blogging carers from NSW

May 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Around the Nation, Foster carer blogs | Leave a comment

A group of foster carers from NSW are blogging their opinions, reflections and perspectives. Opinions about issues relating to foster care are often hotly debated by governments, advocacy bodies, people directly involved and the general public. 

The carers’ perspective in an interesting one but by no means a unanimous one. Nevertheless it is so important to hear the voices of people working and caring for these children everyday.

Readers from Victoria should note that the Foster Carers blog is predominantly written from a NSW context and some of the points do not apply to a Victorian setting where structures of service provision are quite different.

Agencies welcome Vic Budget

May 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Child Protection, Supports for Carers | Leave a comment

In media releases both Anglicare Victoria and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare have welcomed the investment of $135 million in Out of Home Care over the next four years.

The budget includes 100 extra placements for one-to-0ne care for children with who have experienced extreme trauma and abuse and who need expert care. It also includes early intervention for children at risk and training and support for relatives called on to care for their grandchild, niece or nephew.

Foster Mums celebrated this Mother’s Day

May 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Coming Events, Media, Stories, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment
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photo by Steve Tanner, Free Press Leader

Sassafras foster mum, Steph Berg, has a lot to celebrate on Mother’s Days. Not only is she mum to her five year old son but it’s also an opportunity to celebrate her role as a foster mum for a young girl in her care.

Steph describes the role as a very special experience and this Mother’s day she is encouraging other people to become foster mums and dads.

Call 1300 889 335 to find out more about foster care.

Friends Training this week!

May 4, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Coming Events, Events, Supports for Carers, Where can I foster? | 1 Comment

Friends support children and their foster carers through mentoring, tutoring, child-minding,spending social time, transport and other practical assistance.

If you live in the Melbourne’s eastern region why not get involved? The first step is coming along to training which will be running this week on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Friends for Foster Care training includes stories from real carers and children, hands-on activities and discussions.

For more information or to book your place call Jessica on 1300 889 335.

Foster Care Agencies Welcome Inclusion of Professional Carers

May 4, 2009 at 11:14 am | Posted in About Fostering, Articles, Issues for Fostering, Media, Resources | Leave a comment
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Anglicare Victoria has welcomed the news that Victorians can expect next week’s state budget to include funding for 100 new professional care placements over the next four years.

Anglicare Victoria has been actively campaigning in newspapers and other news-media for such a move by government over the past few weeks.

100 Professional Carers for Victoria’s most vulnerable

May 4, 2009 at 10:24 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Articles, Child Protection, Media, Resources | 1 Comment

The Age has reported expectations that next week’s state budget could include a “professional care model” to fund one-to-one care for Victoria’s most vulnerable children.

These professional carers will be expected to have qualifications in social work, psychology or related fields. 100 placements will be targeted at children who have experienced extreme trauma and who have significant challenging behaviours. These placements are expected to be rolled out over the next four years.

Of course, with 5800 children living in Out Of Home Care across Victoria, the move towards professional carers is not intended to replace volunteer foster carers who will remain the dominant cohort of carers in the sector.

Other child protection funding areas of the budget could include:

  • Early intervention programs for vulnerable families, such as providing them with better access to social workers, to prevent children from being removed from home.
  • Extra support and training for relatives caring for children removed from their homes.
  • Volunteer mentors for children in residential care and extra resources for emergency responses

The federal government has also recently announced child protection funding with the formation of a Child Abuse Task Force. Made up of Australian Health and Welfare agencies, the task force is a response to a report titled “Inverting the Pyramid” which argues that a uniform approach to child protection in Australia needs to be developed.

Additionally, COAG has agreed to other areas of spending including greater access to information about families at risk across all the states and territories, and an increased leaving care allowance for young people making the transition from foster care to independent living.

Who Cares…? Inquiry into better support for carers

May 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Around the Nation | Leave a comment
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The Federal Government today released its report following an inquiry into the state of support for carers in our community. While this report focuses quite clearly on family members caring for a partner, child, parent or other relative, rather than foster carers, many aspects include carers of people with a disability, making it relevant to disability services such as disability foster care (Family Options, Share Family Care and Respite Solutions just to name a few in the east)

The submissions are personal and often distressing accounts of the lack of support, isolation and lack of recognition. These submissions have greatly contributed to the 50 recommendations made in the report and remind us that Australia is well overdue in committing to action on this issue.

Life Matters this morning focused on this issue for its talk-back program and included equally personal and strong accounts of the needs within carer families. I listened with interest to one caller who felt that we as a community also needed to step up our commitment to support families caring for a child or family member with a disability through volunteering. The called mentioned that she herself had been doing monthly respite for her neighbour and had noted the value of this for the family.

For many many reasons, families across our communities will need respite or full-time care options from time-to-time. Certainly extra  funding is critical, but community volunteers and respite carers can also be part of the solution.

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