Carers needed to fill shoes

August 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Issues for Fostering, Stories, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment

Anglicare Victoria Eastern Region is reporting a need for new foster carers to fill the shoes of carers no longer actively taking new placements. But it’s not for the reasons which may immediately come to mind.

In the space of just a few months, three young people who’ve been supported by the Adolescent Community Placement Program (ACP) for the past 4-5 years have all celebrated their 18th birthdays. All three will stay on with their foster carers for the forseeable future even though it is technically no longer an official foster care placement.

These are fantastic outcomes for young people who clearly enjoy strong relationships with their foster carers.

But with these foster carers continuing to have full houses after the official end of the placement, there is a shortage of placement options available to young people in the region. 

Anglicare Victoria, now more than ever, needs new foster carers to fill the shoes of these carers.

You can hear an interview with a foster carer of adolescents by following this link, or to find out more about becoming involved by calling 1300 889 335.

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Great Expectations

June 29, 2010 at 11:21 am | Posted in About Fostering, Coming Events, Issues for Fostering, Resources, Supports for Carers | Leave a comment

As we eagerly await the research report into educational outcomes for children by Anglicare Victoria’s Research and Innovations Unit, it seems fitting to take a look at the existing resources around working with schools.

The Child Safety Commissioner’s Office has produced a booklet called “Great Expectations” which is a great tool for helping teachers and principals understand the backgrounds and needs of children in care.

It gives and overview of the barriers, the challenges and inclusive learning opportunities. There’s also a powerpoint presentation to guide participants through the material.

For information about the Anglicare Victoria Report into Educational Outcomes for Children in Out of Home Care check the Anglicare Victoria website.

Can you Foster His Future?

September 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Coming Events, Events, Issues for Fostering, Links, Stories, Where can I foster? | Leave a comment

matthew.picAnglicare Victoria Eastern Region is running a campaign to find a foster carer for “Matthew” (not his real name).

Matthew is 16 years old who loves basketball, school and helping out around the home. He currently lives in Residential Care but according to Anglicare Victoria a home environment is what he needs to reach his full potential.

If you would like more information call 1300 889 335, e-mail fostercare.eastern@anglicarevic.org.au or read over the website and media release. 

Anglicare Victoria will be holding information sessions about Matthew on September 22nd, Nunawading Civic Centre (Courtyard Room) at 1:00-2:00 and 7:30-8:30. Call 1300 889 335 to register your interest.

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.

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.

Foster Care Wage Push

April 15, 2009 at 10:11 am | Posted in About Fostering, Articles, Issues for Fostering, Media, Resources | 1 Comment
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The Herald Sun reported a call from Anglicare Victoria for foster carers to be paid a full-time wage of $60,000 per year. It was argued that compared to other care arrangements such as group homes or short-term units the cost of a wage would be a much cheaper option than the enormous expense these options attract. 

People who are considering becoming foster carers should note, however, that currently carers receive a tax-free reimbursement of between $200 and $400 per fortnight (depending on the age of children). This rate increases slightly for children withparticularly complex care or therapeutic needs.

Respite Care as Early Intervention

April 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in About Fostering, Issues for Fostering, Media, Stories, Supports for Carers | Leave a comment

Life Matters took a closer look at the importance of respite care this morning.

The guests Janet Elefsiniotis (Foster care team leader, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service) and Patricia McNamara (Senior lecturer, School of Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University) spoke of the value of respite as a preventative, community based program to support at-risk families, as well as respite for foster families caring for children with high needs.

Patricia has been doing research about respite care and found it to be under-resourced and suffering from a lack of carers.

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).

Local communities share the message

March 31, 2009 at 8:35 am | Posted in Issues for Fostering, Media | Leave a comment

Campaign launches throughout Victoria are echoing the message of a need for more carers. Gippsland needs 60 new carers this year and other regional areas are seeking similar numbers. Carers are also needed throughout Melbourne, including Monash.

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