A day in the life of a foster brother…

June 25, 2010 at 10:48 am | Posted in About Fostering, Media, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We all have many questions when we’re thinking about becoming involved in foster care. But for parents one of the most common questions is; How will this affect my own children?

We talked to 12 year old Liam, who is a foster brother, to hear about the experience of fostering from his perspective.

“It’s pretty easy to be a foster brother. If you get along well with them it’s like having a friend stay for a while.

You get to hopefully help kids like stopping them from getting into drugs and you help them have a better life.
I guess it would be hard if you don’t get along. Sometimes it might be hard on the first night but when you get to know them they’re really good. You just find things you have in common, you can usually find at least one thing you have in common.

Seeing the changes is great. For example some of the kids used to try and steal but you see their behaviour and attitudes change.

What advice would you give to other kids
I’ve made lifelong friends, it’s really good.

What advice would you give to parents who are worried about their kids if they become foster carers?
Well the kids probably won’t like the idea at the start and they’ll be really worried. But once they start they’ll really like it. When they get the first call for the first placement they’ll definitely be excited.

Has being a foster brother changed your life in any other ways?
Yeah I want to be a psychologist when I grow up so that I can work with kids in foster care. I really like helping people.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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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