Carer Information & Support Service

The Carer Information and Support Service (CISS) operates in addition to the supports and advocacy offered to statutory foster, kinship and permanent carers through their funded care agencies, therefore providing carers with an independent referral and assistance point. 


CISS has four main aims:

● Provision of accurate and clear information via consultation - phone, email and in person, training, newsletters and information sheets

● Referrals to appropriate agencies for specialised and targeted support and assistance

● Phone conversations, one on one meetings and (occasional) attendance at meetings for support

● Advocacy with CSOs and Government on themes and serious issues affecting carers, children and young people in home based care


Our commitment to you


FCAV will not initiate discussions with any agencies or government departments without your expressed consent unless there is an immediate risk of harm to an identifiable person or persons, including a child or young person. All carer information utilised in the compilation of FCAV reports is de-identified to protect the identities of carers.


Contact us


Phone: (03) 9416-4292


Make an online enquiry OR 

Book an appointment for a Carer Support Phone or Skype Video Call!


Monday - Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am - 4:30pm

This service is not available on public holidays.  






Tessa Hughes joined FCAV in March 2016 to become the Coordinator of the Carer information and Support Service. The rewarding role has provided Tessa with direct contact to support foster and kinship carers in Victoria. Previous to this role Tessa has held numerous roles in the government and non-government sectors as well as running a mindfulness business. She is passionate about health and wellbeing and hopes to bring strategies to the sector to empower and resource carers to have better outcomes for themselves and the children they care for.
Tessa works Monday - Friday








Biba Dickson has been a member of the FCAV CISS team for 9 years, having previously worked in Child Protection. Biba has a strong belief in empowering carers to navigate the foster care system to enable the best possible outcome for the children in their care. She also has a particular interest in the importance of support during the Quality of Care and Independent Investigation processes.

Biba works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays







Betti Gabriel joined the FCAV in 2015 as the Cultural Support worker to raise the profile of cultural diversity. She completed the Cultural Awareness project in June 2016, and then moved into the CISS worker role. She is passionate about advocating for foster carers, and facilitating their voice is heard. Previous experience includes 10 years as a counsellor in the perinatal mental health domain. She also leads the wellness initiative in the organisation.

Betti works from Wednesday to Friday 








Tonya Bavaro has been a member of the CISS team for almost 3 years. Tonya has extensive experience working therapeutically with children and families impacted by abuse and trauma. She is a strong advocate for children in care and is committed to extend her support and advocacy to foster carers, in recognition of the critical role they play in the lives of these children.

Tonya currently works on Mondays and Thursdays