Caring at Christmas

December 21, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Around the Nation, Stories | 5 Comments

Kara (not her real name) is so excited about Santa coming she’s been sleeping with her Christmas stocking.

She’s also excited because Christmas this year for Kara will be a totally new experience- it’s her first with her foster carers, Elizabeth and James.

You can read more about Kara’s Christmas at the Anglicare Victoria Blog.

Many foster families like Kara’s across Victoria are preparing for Christmas. We wish them all a very special Christmas and hope that the festive season is filled with joy and love.


Response to Calls for Mandatory Reporting

July 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Child Protection | Leave a comment

Anglicare Victoria has responded to calls for an expansion to mandatory reporting laws for child abuse saying that child protection systems alone cannot ensure safety.

In a media release Anglicare Victoria CEO Ray Cleary said that the real focus should be on better training for child protection staff and improving outcomes for vulnerable children in out-of-home care.

 “Receiving a notification of abuse or neglect is just one step in a long process to protect children,” Dr Cleary said.

Anglicare Victoria pointed to a shortage of foster carers as a key concern and encouraged the wider community to play a part in ensuring children are protected within our families.

 Dr Cleary said calls for a Judicial Inquiry into Victoria’s child protection system were premature and could divert crucial funding.

Anglicare Victoria also writes a Foster Care Blog available at their website

Queen’s Birthday Honours for Foster Carer

June 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Around the Nation, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Congratulations to Beverley Orr of Giralang, ACT for receiving the honour of the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Beverley recieves her award for her service to the community, particularly children through foster care and child protection.

This award is great recognition personally for Beverley, as well as being reflective of the great contributions made on a daily basis by each and every foster carer across Australia caring for our most vulnerable children.

Anglicare Victoria’s Eastern Region will be recognising graduating carers who have been accredited in the past 12 months as well as foster carers reaching significant service milestones of  five, ten and 15 years. 

Foster Carers with Anglicare Victoria are currently submitting nominations for carer awards under the categories of Community Spirit Award, Service Award, Advocacy Award and the Brighter Futures award, to also be presented at the award ceremony.

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.

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
Tags: , ,

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.

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).  

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.

Including parents in the picture

April 14, 2009 at 9:58 am | Posted in Around the Nation, Child Protection, Issues for Fostering, Media, Stories | Leave a comment

The Law Report on Radio National this morning reported on a couple of very disturbing cases of Child Protection issues in Queensland. The families and sources the Law Report spoke to told of enormously difficult (largely impossible) processes for parents and families who wished to challenge court orders in order to regain custody of their children. They reported deliberate barriers being put up, parents being given little or no information and having their calls and requests for meetings go unanswered.

Of course there was not enough information given on this program to be able to comment on these specific cases; I can only assume that there is a lot more to the story, but hearing these reminds me of the importance of understanding and including parents wherever safe and possible. Including parents as part of the “Care Team” meetings, having good relationships between carers, staff and parents and maintaining communication books are all ways to include parents in the decisions made about the child and to nurture children’s bonds with their families.

Foster care is concerned with belonging rather than ownership, and the aim of foster care is to work towards reunification as a primary goal, or in come cases, towards another long term goal (such as adoption or permanent care).

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.