The “Out of Home Care” system is going through historical changes. The new approach aims to foster families in better parenting abilities instead of caring for children exclusively outside their biological home environment.
The changes are based in research, which claim that the chances of raising high functioning individuals relates to their ability to have healthy connections with their birth parents, siblings and relatives.
The recruitment process of foster carers is now focusing on individuals and/or couples who are able and willing to work with biological families to keep them together. Traditional fostering is still available for the cases where parents need longer therapeutic intervention or in cases where there is a threat to physical or psychological health of children.
According to Kirra-Lee Towells, foster care provides opportunities for either full-timers or people with more flexible working hours. “It is up to the carer how much time they can give to fostering. You can start as a respite carer one weekend a month. We also have short-term, long-term, kinship, and pathways to adoption", explains the foster care assessor for the mid-north coast.
There are around 20 thousand kids and young people in the “out-of-home-care” system in NSW in need of stable and safe places where they can feel nurtured and valued. When there is a desire, Guardianship or Adoption may also be a possibility. Data from 2014 reveals there were 89 adoptions from out-of-home care in NSW.
Australian citizens or permanent residents over 18-years-old with a good record can become foster carers.
People who can foster:
- in a de-facto relationship
- in a same-sex relationship
- working full-time, part-time or not at all
- with or without children
- have a spare bedroom
What: Shared Lives - “Become a Foster Carer” Training.
When: 11 and 12 of August from 9am-3pm.
Where: Costa Rica Motel, 134 Gregory Street, South West Rocks, NSW.
Organiser: CASPA - Child and Adolescent Specialists Programs and Accommodation.
Registrations and further info: https://slrocks.eventbrite.com.au, 02 6652 9369, www.caspa.asn.au.