For the first time foster carers and kinship carers will join to undergo comprehensive training to better support the children they care for.
The Andrews Labor Government is developing an integrated training program which will address issues such as trauma informed care, how to manage difficult behaviours and de-escalation techniques, an official press release said on April 21.
Carer KaFÉ; Kinship and Foster care Education will improve and expand kinship and foster carer knowledge by providing access to face-to-face training, online learning, accredited training opportunities and conference attendance sponsorship.
Carer KaFÉ also focuses on ensuring the needs and interests of Aboriginal children are met and that carers can provide culturally supportive and appropriate care, the release said.
This program also helps carers form close relationships with other carers experiencing many of the same issues.
It’s part of the Government’s $19.2 million funding boost for foster, kinship and permanent carers.
The money will also be used for flexible grants for local initiatives to support kinship carer wellbeing and camps for kinship carers and the children in their care.
Improved training and support for carers is part of the Government’s landmark $168 million Roadmap for Reform agenda to shift the child protection sector from crisis response to prevention and early intervention by meeting the needs of vulnerable families and children.
Carer KaFÉ is a collaboration between the Labor Government, Foster Care Association Victoria, Kinship Carers Victoria, Centre for Excellence, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and the Victorian Aboriginal Children and Young People’s Alliance.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said, “Our carers are the unsung heroes of our community, and it’s crucial they have access to the best training, support and resources. These are vital investments in helping carers – and most importantly – helping the children they care for.”